Update: check out this blog post to see the updated 4C 2015 Pinterest Advertiser and Spend chart. Spoiler alert, spend was up 15x for the full year.
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So far, 2015 has been a breakout year for Pinterest’s ad offering. As the power of social advertising continues to win marketing budgets – up 33.5% from last year to $23.68 billion predicted globally in 2015 – Pinterest has been able to draw advertiser interest and dollars with its unique, integrated ad formats and highly engaged user base.

For marketers, Pinterest represents an opportunity to reach consumers at every phase of the buying cycle. It is an incredible discovery engine where Pinners can stumble upon and share things that they’re passionate about and offers advertisers a compelling way to reach new audiences. Because Pinterest’s ads are triggered by keyword searches and Pinning behavior, there’s always a high relevance with the consumers who view them. This intent-driven ad targeting has proven to be be highly beneficial to brand marketers looking to engage with their core audiences.

Pinterest is also a strong direct response vehicle for consumers to visually key in on what they want to do soon and then take action, such as to visit a cool-looking travel destination, cook a mouth-watering-looking recipe, and buy furniture that looks great in a room.

4C’s data shows that Pinners are willing to click, share Pins, and engage with brands through advertising. This is most likely due to Pinterest’s savvy approach of giving brands the ability to have their paid content sit side-by-side with organic content, both adding value to the user experience. This keeps consumers interested and, as a result, marketers have continued to shift budgets to Pinterest to capitalize on the opportunity to develop strong brand connections with consumers at scale.

4C built the first SaaS platform that offers marketers not only the ability to manage Pinterest ads, but to manage their ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn from a single, easy-to-use interface.

Maggie Schulz, Digital Marketing Manager at The Grommet had this to say about 4C: “They simplify my Pinterest ad management. 4C has been essential to supporting that growth allowing us to efficiently optimize and build out our campaigns. Since starting with 4C, we have increased sessions 180% and orders over 270%.”

Timothy Winfred, Social Media Specialist at Shutterfly has seen over a 50% increase in sales revenue by using 4C. “The platform is great for managing Pinterest ads and the account reps are quick to respond and implement necessary changes.”

In terms of how Pinterest has been performing in aggregate across advertisers on the 4C platform, here are a few charts showing key metrics from January through September 2015:

pinterestgrowthadspend

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Spend grew 7.7x as marketers embraced 4C’s platform for Pinterest. In its first full calendar year of offering self-service advertising, Pinterest ad revenue growth follows the similar trends we’ve seen for other popular web properties with initial testing budgets for the first quarter, a ramp up in spend to test efficient scalability in the subsequent months, and then major budgets shifting to the platform once it’s proven its ability to drive marketing goals.

Insight: Brands are reallocating budgets from other channels such as display and search to Pinterest ads as it is an uniquely visual, intent-driven, and highly shareable environment. Pinterest can drive metrics at every step of your funnel from awareness to direct response sales. For example, with 4C, online retailer Adore Me was able to increase their Pinterest revenue by 4000% and reach entirely new customers. The customers they acquired through Pinterest spent 20% more over time compared to other sources.

Clicks on Pinterest are up 6.5x since the beginning of 2015. Pinterest ads get high click-through rates because ads are not interruptions vying for awareness, but rather side-by-side with the rest of the organic content.

Insight: Right now, the more money you put into Pinterest, the more clicks you’ll get as advertisers have been able to scale up their programs efficiently. Look for the extreme growth to continue into 2016 and take advantage of the opportunity to drive engaged consumers to your site.

Repins – Pinterest’s unique core engagement type – on ads are up 5x since January. This is very good sign for Pinterest’s ad offering because it demonstrates how well they’ve been able to integrate advertising with their loyal audience. Pinterest has done a really good job developing ad units that don’t just sit passively away from content but rather are additive to the value that already exists natively.

Insight: Even if you are a direct response brand strictly focused on driving website conversions, do not ignore the value of repins. Repins represent what your customers are thinking about for their future and are a key signal for downstream KPIs.

Impressions are up 3.3x, the converse result of advertisers quickly learning what works best to drive relevance and higher CTRs with Pinterest ads. Spend is up 7.7x  but CTR’s are also up 2x which is why impressions are are growing at half the rate of spend.

Insight: Remember, all ads on Pinterest are intent-driven and customized by the keywords each consumer searched and the pins interacted with – this is different and more powerful than many of the ads online which are generally contextually relevant to the page versus targeted to the individual. You should keep that in mind when evaluating your campaign performance and comparing the impressions you get on Pinterest versus other publishers.

Click-through Rate is up 2x as advertisers get more savvy and sophisticated with their Pinterest approach.
They’ve been able to better understand which creative elements best resonate with Pinners and use the 4C optimization tools to generate the most clicks from available impressions.

Insight: High CTR’s are a good sign that consumers find Pinterest ads interesting and worth clicking especially on mobile devices. Through 4C’s Social Ads product, creative agency Unique Influence helped online registry brand, Zola, achieve a 44 percent increase in conversion rate and 50 percent increase in click-through rate on Pinterest.

Cost Per Click (CPC) are up just 1.2x so far this year. As with any new biddable marketing channel, the auction costs are extremely low until advertiser adoption approaches critical mass. As more marketers come on board, competing advertisers will drive up costs but precedence has been set with other channels where a quality score metric from the publisher can help ensure relevancy and user experience remain paramount when determining what advertisers to show.

Insight: If you are still on the fence about Pinterest, jump in now before the true market saturation begins as click costs rise. You can take advantage of the opportunity to get clicks at a bargain before your competitors arrive en masse. For example, Demand Media uses 4C to manage more than one thousand active Promoted Pins for multiple brands and achieved an increase in CTR and decrease in CPC.