Among social-media giants racing for advertising dollars, Pinterest is shaping up as the dark horse.
Pinterest hasn’t grabbed as many headlines as companies like Twitter and Facebook. Nevertheless, its powerful following — notably with women and millennials — is likely to garner more attention from savvy brands.
The company raised $200 million dollars in capital investment last February and is valued at $3.8 billion or more, depending on whom you ask. What’s more, Pinterest accounts for a formidable 23 percent of global social-mediated e-commerce. Add in 65 million unique users per month, and it's clear Pinterest could be the next big thing in advertising.
San Francisco-based Pinterest in May began running its first paid advertisements, called "Promoted Pins." The test run included brands such as ABC Family and Target. The ads, which are all static images, appear organically throughout the site.
Mike Mayzel, who heads Partner Communications at Pinterest, told Campaign the company has taken steps to ensure the promoted pins will be seen by the right users, called Pinners.
"We want Promoted Pins to feel relevant to Pinners, so they're available in category and search feeds," Mayzel said. "We hope that by showing people Promoted Pins in places where they’re looking to discover things, the Pins will feel more relevant."
Besides its massive slice of the e-commerce pie, Pinterest’s unique demographics could make Pinterest particularly attractive to advertisers. 68.2 percent of Pinners are female. In addition, 21 percent of Americans use the site, and millennials are flocking to it in droves.
Demographics aside, Mayzel said, advertisers are interested for one main reason: Pinterest is all about business.
"We see discovery as a universal need regardless of gender, interests or geography," said Mayzel. "People need businesses to help make their ideas a reality. In fact, two-thirds of content on Pinterest is from businesses."
That said, Mayzel recognizes Pinterest’s large female following is a huge plus to advertisers. Women represent 85 percent of all online buying decisions as well as representing a demographic advertisers are realizing they need to work harder to reach.
"It’s clear that there are more women using Pinterest than there are men, so we are working with marketers that we hope will be able to provide a relevant experience to Pinners," he said.
But it’s not just women Pinterest attracts, it’s millennial women. In fact, one in three users is a millennial woman. Advertisers are taking notice.
"Brands recognize the connection between where they are in their lives and Pinterest as a planning tool for the future and are excited about the opportunity to be part of this," Mayzel said.