After generating a lot of buzz a few years ago, Pinterest has fallen somewhat to the wayside for advertisers. The company’s understated style has made it easy to overlook. However, they are trying to change that image to show they are ready to play with the big dogs online.
For the past year, the company has been taking steps to bring their brand back into the spotlight, and show how Pinterest can compete with online giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Their re-imaging efforts got a real boost at an advertising conference in Cannes, France, a few weeks ago. The company set up displays showcasing their ability to search using pictures from a digital phone. They highlighted the brand’s popularity with its users and the potential that presented to advertisers. They offer advertisers the ability to purchase promoted pins and search ads that blend seamlessly with the rest of the platform’s content. They compare this seamless integration with the search ads people get with Google.
Over 175 million people, the majority women, use Pinterest’s virtual bulletin boards to bookmark articles, pin images, and create story boards for projects. The information available to advertisers based on a user’s pins and boards is a sheer gold mine. A user’s searches and pins can indicate if that person is planning a wedding, interested in redecorating their bedroom, or looking for clothing items to add to their wardrobe. The company hopes that advertisers will see this as more powerful than Google’s capabilities.
The San Francisco-based company has plenty of capital to work with after recently raising $150 million based on a valuation of over $12 billion. They are projected to raise an additional $500 million before year’s end.
In an effort to boost its profile with key advertisers, Pinterest gathered a panel of people from companies who do a large amount of advertising, including JPMorgan Chase and L’Oreal. They included representatives from media companies like GroupM and Publicis Media. The panel of experts gave the company sound advise on what advertisers want to see. With that advice in mind, Pinterest has developed and rolled out measurement tools as well as ads based on searches.
Pinterest has gained the confidence it needs to play with the big online players like Google, Facebook and Twitter. The Cannes appearance is just the beginning as the company prepares to move forward and grow. Industry experts predict Pinterest will get a lot more vocal in the days and months to come.
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