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Pinterest is Hitting Play on Video Ads

Pinterest is following in the footsteps of the social media giants before it (Facebook & Twitter) to soon include video ads. With the recent explosion of video ad creation and consumption, it’s no wonder this Internet behemoth is jumping on the opportunity to make an extra buck.

Video is Exploding

If you own a computer, tablet, smart phone, and/or a pair of eyeballs, then you know how much video is saturating the digital space. YouTube, the original king of video content, has seen a huge spike in video advertisers in the past couple of years. Facebook’s adoption of video ads has allowed brands to tell a richer story in a format likely to generate interactions. According to this BI Intelligence report from 2015, video ads have the highest click through rate of all digital ad formats. Marketing budgets that were once dedicated solely to TV are now being shifted to digital video (want more video ad facts and statistics? Click here or here).

The Cinematic Pin

This won’t be the first attempt from Pinterest to add a new, flashy visual ad format. In May of 2015, the platform launched its animated “Cinematic Pin.” This full-motion ad was as close to video ads as Pinterest wanted to get at the time. Through user feedback, the general manager of monetization, Tim Kendall, discovered that people found Facebook’s auto-play style “interruptive.” The Cinematic Pin was designed to give Pinners more control. The format of Pinterest’s upcoming video ads is still unknown.

Pinterest Has a Type

Not all brands are right for Pinterest, and not all brands on Pinterest are right for video ads. While the characteristics of the average Pinner are changing, there are still major skews in the user base. 71% of Pinterest users are female, and the majority of users are under the age of 40. Additionally, 75% of daily traffic comes from mobile devices, and 93% of all users have shopped online in the past 6 months. If those numbers sound like they’re up your brand’s alley, then you might want to consider these new ads.

The Perfect Mix

What makes for successful Pinterest video ads? Long story short: stick to what works best on Pinterest and other networks that play nice with video.

• Snackable, high quality videos

• Topics related to the most popular categories – Food & Drink, DIY & Crafts, Home Décor, Holiday & Events

• Useful content that fits the experience – how-to videos, cooking tutorials, etc.

• Strong eCommerce game

• Responsive web design

• Substantial user base of females and 20- or 30-somethings

Next Steps

In order to make a real splash with video ads, Pinterest will need to make sure that video consumption is an important part of their platform. Before Facebook introduced video as an ad format, they made sure to ingrain video uploading and sharing into the user experience. Once organic video posts took off, Facebook added the option to promote videos natively. If all goes well for Pinterest video ads, advertisers could see major benefits. One study cites that shoppers clicking through from Pinterest are 10% more likely to make a purchase than if they came from other social media. Time will tell if video is truly the best move for Pinterest, but all signs point to a valuable new ad product for Pinterest, brands, and users alike.