Why brands should care about Pinterest in 5 charts

With Pinterest ramping up its ads business — the platform began testing ads last fall and increased the number of campaigns in recent months — brands need to know whether the ads are worth the cost. At a $30 CPM, promoted pins are an “expensive” ad unit. But Pinterest has a fervent, if relatively small, user base that may justify the cost.

Here’s what brands should consider when thinking about a Pinterest ad campaign.

Scale and niche, simultaneously
Although Pinterest doesn’t boast the largest user base — Pinterest had 57.9 million U.S. uniques this June, according to comScore, well less than a third of Facebook’s — it does have a highly engaged niche audience largely made up of women.

Pinterest’s audience is nearly three-quarters female as of June 2014, per comScore, far more female-centric than other platforms’ relatively gender-balanced userships.

By 2016, two-fifths (41 percent) of U.S. women are projected to be on Pinterest, as is a quarter of the entire Internet population, according to eMarketer. Pinterest is also expected to make gains with men, but less than 10 percent of U.S. male Internet users are expected to be on the platform in 2016.

Pinterest users don’t mind ads
Pinterest users are indifferent about being advertised to on Pinterest, an amazing insight considering social platform users typically respond venomously to advertising in their feeds.

A majority (73 percent) of Pinterest users reported neutral to positive feelings about promoted pins, Pinterest’s ad product, according to a March 2014 study conducted by AccuPOLL Precision Research for Ahalogy, a company that makes Pinterest marketing software.

For comparison, Instagram users are so averse to advertising that they trolled an ad from Charity Water, a philanthropic organization focused on supplying clean water to inhabitants of developing countries.

Pinterest users spend more than Facebook users
Facebook may drive more traffic to ecommerce sites, but Pinterest users spend more when they’re there.

E-commerce software company Shopify released research this March about traffic referrals from social sites and found that Facebook constituted fornearly two-thirds (63 percent) of the 37 million site visits studied (529,000 of which led to purchases). But Pinterest users spent an average of $58.95 per order, while Facebook users spent $55. Referrals from Polyvore and Instagram resulted in the highest average spending.