Why now is the time for brands to go all-in on Pinterest

Brit Morin is the founder & CEO of Brit + Co, an online platform that provides tools to teach, inspire and enable creativity among women and girls.

It’s no secret that social media rules the publishing world. And while most folks in media have their eye on Facebook (Instant Articles, anyone?), it’s more important than ever to put a few eggs in the Pinterest basket. News that the platform launched its long awaited “buy” button broke today, meaning it has taken its great — and potentially game-changing — leap into ecommerce.  

Yes, Facebook is a massive traffic driver. No argument there. Facebook also has over 1 billion users worldwide. And Pinterest? Just 70 million users to date, but growing quickly. To use startup terms, Pinterest is just starting to hit the “blade” on the “hockey stick” growth model. The site currently drives 7.1 percent of Web traffic, second only to Facebook (21.3 percent), and is miles ahead of other social sites, according to data from amplification platform Shareaholic. Investing in Pinterest now is a long-term play for growth.

Striking a balance between viral and evergreen content is becoming increasingly important for publishers and brands. We need to rely on consistency over the occasional “hit.” Bleacher Report and Bustle founder Bryan Goldberg explained it this way in a recent Digiday article: “The number of ‘super hits’ — the type of stories that will individually drive a million readers to the site — has decreased. This has had a disproportionately negative impact on the sites that had early traction on the Facebook platform … it is simply much harder to produce a massively viral story.”

Investment in evergreen content is imperative in this new media world, and Pinterest is the ideal platform to distribute this type of content. Think about Pinterest the way you think about search (don’t forget Pinterest has search!): Evergreen and high-quality content is the traffic gift that keeps on giving. Seasonal posts that do well year-over-year often have Pinterest as their strongest referral channel.

We all know that video will play an important role in the future of publishing and native advertising. Advertisers have developed very successful custom video programs with media partners (Friskies + BuzzFeed’s “Dear Kitten” series is one great example), while others are eager to invest in it. And while all the hype to date has been around Facebook and YouTube, many may not realize that video will soon make its way onto Pinterest as well. The company has revealed that they will be launching a video pins strategy in June, making them another avenue for video distribution and discovery.

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Brit + Co gets over 11 million daily impressions on pins from our website and more than 35 million monthly viewers on our pins. Now, Pinterest is giving us the opportunity to share our video content with a much more significant (and active!) audience.

Most exciting of all is Pinterest’s potential as a monetization tool for both media and e-commerce businesses. Its user base is ridiculously engaged and likes to spend money. Facebook may drive more traffic to e-commerce sites, but Pinterest users spend more when they’re there. Not only that, but 87 percent of pinners have purchased something because of Pinterest. Eighty-seven percent! That statistic speaks volumes about Pinterest’s ability to influence purchase behavior.

And with a new multi-image ad unit on the way and, finally, that long-awaited “Buy” button, there are more and more opportunities for publishers to turn pinners into shoppers.

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Lastly, with announcements like the Pin Factory, Pinterest is showing that it is committed to supporting the quality and growth of advertisers and publishers on its platform. Now is the time to rethink how you’ll take advantage of the platform. With a steadily growing 55,000 pins and repins of our content on a daily basis and the ability to leverage video content just around the corner, Pinterest is the frontrunner for scaling engagement and monetization, and I for one am going all in.