Pinterest is the Dark Horse for 2019

Connor Sanner
By Connor Sanner

Facebook Advertising has dominated the social media advertising space since its inception, leaving other platforms such as Pinterest in its shadow. Many of the platforms have not been able to compete with the targeting capabilities and impression share that Facebook has been able to command, but a lot of things are changing in the social media realm and I think that Pinterest is poised for big things in 2019.

Pinterest was created in January of 2010 and the self-serve aspect of advertising became available at a large scale in December of 2014. Since then the company has taken big strides with a lot of the major accomplishments occurring in 2018. Some of these major accomplishments include nearing $1 Billion in ad revenue through the platform and usership passing 200 Million Monthly Active Users.

While these numbers are largely overshadowed by the $33 Billion in ad revenue and 2.27 Billion Monthly Active Users on Facebook, when looking at strictly Pinterest’s historical numbers they are trending up exponentially. Below is a visual representation of the companies trajectory created by Crunchbase.

As you can see the company is definitely heading in the right direction. Not only is there revenue and users going up, but they are also upping their personnel to ensure that they have a good foundation to take the platform to the next level. This year they also brought on Francoise Brougher as the COO in February. Brougher was previously a top executive at Square and before that was an ad exec at Google. Brougher is a perfect fit to take this platform to the next level especially because at its core it is search engine similar to that of Google where has had previous experience.

With all of these big accomplishments, Pinterest definitely has a bright future ahead. The most promising on the horizon for Pinterest is that they have announced that the plan to go public in Mid-2019. The company is projected to be valued around $13-$15 Billion. While this seems like Deja Vu with Snap recently following the same path, I believe that Pinterest’s foundation gives it a fighting chance against the duopoly that is Facebook and Google. What makes it different, well let get a little more granular and take a look at how Pinterest Advertising works.

The biggest thing you have to think about when digital marketing is the headspace of the consumer when they are seeing your advertising. Facebook is great for generating interest because people are actively looking to be entertained. It is a great brand introductory point for new customer acquisition. Google on the other hand the user is actively searching to accomplish a task. There intent is already there and it’s a matter of how you match up against the competitors that have the same real estate. Facebook is also very good at targeting new individuals based on the activity that they do on the platform where Google is based more upon search queries.

This is where Pinterest becomes such an attractive new option for advertisers because not it is a combination of both. Users are looking for inspiration, but are also looking actively to accomplish a task whether it be for recipes, home design, fashion, etc. Pinterest also has the ability to target users based upon their activity on the platform through interest targeting similar to Facebook and they also are able to target individuals based off of search queries. One of the biggest factors as well is that you are able to serve media rich content to a user who is performing a search query. Pinterest takes the best of both platforms and combines it into one. And here is the kicker, its CHEAPER! The CPM’s (cost per 1000 impressions) are in most cases significantly cheaper than on Facebook and Google. I know crazy, right?

Another thing that they have on their side is that Facebook and Google have faced a lot of backlash this year and have been in the headlines for negative reasons the majority of the year. If there was ever a time to capitalize on the offering that they have it would be 2019. The biggest obstacle that Pinterest will have to overcome to battle with the giants is that it has a very niche demographic using the platform and that also people are sometimes only looking for inspiration and are not as much transactional. If they can overcome these two factors, there is no doubt in my mind that they will be making a huge splash in the advertising world in 2019.

While the stats about the company’s growth is very impressive, there are also some stats about the platform that reinforce how big of an impact this platform can have on an overall business.

  • 1 out of 2 U.S. millennials use Pinterest every month
  • Every day, 2 million people post pins, resulting in a total of more than 100 billion pins currently living on Pinterest. To put that in perspective, the Mall of America, the largest mall in the U.S., only gets 100,000 shoppers per day.
  • 86 percent of millennials say they use Pinterest to “plan life moments, big and small.”
  • It’s the number one shopping platform among millennials.
  • 47% of millennials on Pinterest have purchased something they’ve pinned (9 percent more than millennials on Facebook and 14 percent more than millennials on Twitter).
  • 67% of Pinners report using Pinterest while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, most frequently at mass merchandisers.
  • 55% of Pinterest users shop on the site, more than 4 times the rate of other digital platforms.
  • 55% of U.S. online shoppers pick it as their favourite online platform
  • 18.5% of Active Pinners make a Pinterest-inspired purchase at least once a month.
  • 73% of Active Pinners have bought something because they saw it on Pinterest.
  • 61% of Pinners have made a purchase after seeing branded content on Pinterest.

Wrapping up

All in all, Pinterest is making big moves in the space and while the two giants Google and Facebook seem to be taking steps backward especially in terms of net sentiment with the public, Pinterest is taking huge steps forward. Needless to see I am very excited to see what the company does in 2019. I would recommend keeping close eyes and if you have a marketing budget for 2019, it would not be a bad idea to test the waters.

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As a Paid Social Account Manager, Connor works to develop innovative strategies accross multiple social channels to help his clients reach their goals. Previously, he has managed social media campaigns for multiple Fortune 500 companies as well as other notable brands such as Airbnb.