When you're in the business of content and your video content grows by 60 percent in a year, you'll quickly think about the best way to monetize it. For Pinterest, the online scrapbook on its way to becoming a one-stop e-commerce app, the answer came in the form of native video ads.
"We didn't particularly invest in video," says Mike Bidgoli, product manager for new apps at Pinterest. "This is people going out there and saving links on to our platform. The No. 1 saved domain on Pinterest is actually YouTube," adds Bidgoli, who joined the company in May after the acquisition of shopping app Tote.
The online "catalog of ideas" is a late adopter of the feature--years behind other social platforms like Facebook or Twitter--but it might prove to be a better fit. Pinterest users are already motivated to purchase. More than half its users say they primarily use it to find or shop for products, according to the 2016 edition of Mary Meeker's annual Internet Trends report.
Here are three ways to promote your business with the new ad format, based on previous successful Pinterest campaigns:
1. Create a tutorial.
The layout for native video advertising lets brands promote a video and choose featured pins to place directly below it. This way you can effectively create an advertisement explaining how to use your products--a tutorial--and then link the mentioned goods underneath it.
Moreover, with the launch of the "Buyable Pins" last year, Pinterest is slowly morphing into a digital one-stop shop. Brands can offer their entire product catalog on the social platform, and users are able to buy it without leaving the app.
So imagine you sell makeup. A good way to utilize the new ad tool is to create a makeup tutorial and have each of the products used listed below in the "buyable pins" format.
This way the Pinners who are looking for makeup ideas find your video and learn how to do a particular look with your products. Should they choose to recreate the look, they can buy the items pinned directly below your video.
2. Inspire and entertain.
Pinterest users are actively looking for ideas to inspire them, says Bidgoli. So produce videos that do this; create a campaign aimed at teaching Pinners how to do or fix something--using your products, of course.
DYI project videos, for example, might make a good fit on Pinterest. You can include recipes and crafts, among other things. Whatever the topic, make sure the products featured in your video are available.
3. Tug on heart strings.
Sometimes the best ads are the ones that don't look like ads at all.
Take a look at Android's "Be together. Not the same" campaign. One of its most successful ads didn't have any dialogue or products, just a series of videos of unlikely animal friendships stitched together.
Appeal to your would-be customers' emotions, without trying to make a sale. Instead of using the "buyable pins" format, use regular pins to link to your existing marketing campaigns in the platform and build brand awareness.
Keep in mind the new Pinterest ad service is only available for the mobile app. Also, only brands or businesses with a dedicated account team can try it out at this time.