Speaking to Marketing Week, Joanne Bradford said there is still “work to do” before Pinterest expands its ad product, Promoted Pins, outside the US. She said the focus is on ensuring brands and publishers are using the “pin-it” button (Pinterest’s answer to the Facebook like), building their profiles and using analytics, rather than rushing to get them to pay for ads.
“Our goal is to have them [promoted pins] be as tasteful and beautiful as a regular pin and perform better because they’re targeted correctly.
“There are a number of steps to go through to ensure that happens. Brands have to put the pin-it button on their site, build their boards and think about how to use Pinterest to market according to their brand using the analytics and insight, and work with us on co-marketing strategy. The final stage is using promoted pin or paid products.
“In the UK we still have a lot of work to do until we’re ready for a paid product because we want brands to know how to use Pinterest and have a really great experience first,” she added.
Expanding its partnerships team
Pinterest is looking to grow its partnerships team – the group responsible for working with brands, agencies and publishers to educate them on the best ways to use Pinterest and the benefits of buying ads. The division now has more than 60 people, up from four when Bradford joined in December last year.
It recently hired its first head of partner marketing in Eric Hadley, who joined from The Weather Channel and previously worked at Microsoft.
Bradford said Pinterest is looking at introducing dedicated teams in markets including the UK and is trying to build a best practice guide for marketers.
“We have a team of people dedicated to working with agencies in the US and globally, although we don’t have teams on the ground internationally yet. We are doing creative workshop, teaching agencies how to use Pinterest, the analytics, what makes a great pin. We’ll probably train at least 1,000 creative people in agencies, maybe up to 1,500,” she said.
Paid ad trial
Pinterest introduced ads in the US in February, with the first brands starting to advertise in May. They all signed up to six-month contracts, which will come to an end towards the end of November.
Bradford said both Pinterest and the marketers it has been working with are “pleased with the results”, although it won’t publish any more detailed information until at least the end of the year.
“So far they feel like they have learned a lot about how to use the platform and get to scale, they are getting strong results and a strong signal,” she said.
The plan is to slowly expand the number of brands using its promoted pins through 2015. Pinterest is also working on its self-serve ad platform, which more than 1,000 small businesses are testing in the US.