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Pinterest Marketing Spend Up 51%, Users Up 26%

Marketers & Users Are Piling Into Pinterest In 2020

Almost a year after listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Pinterest’s stock is riding on high, as usage and marketing uptake continues to surge.

On Thursday, Pinterest posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter results, ending 2019 in style, and setting the scene for a very strong 2020.

Pinterest now has 335 million monthly active users which is a 26% annual increase.

Marketing investment boomed in the final three months of 2019, with revenue up 46% year-over-year to help fuel annual revenue growth of 51%.

Pinterest marketing spend topped $1.14 billion in 2019, with $1.52 billion forecast for 2020.

Annoyingly, Pinterest does not reveal how many advertisers it has; however, in 2018, it claimed to have 1.5 million businesses actively buying ads on the platform.

Due to its highly visual nature, Pinterest has historically skewed towards consumer facing brands and retail, although, it’s appeal is broadening quickly.

2020 should also see Pinterest, looking to swim upstream, accessing more substantive marketing budgets.

Ben Silberman, Pinterest Chief Executive Officer

“Last year, we focused on making Pinterest accessible to small advertisers by building a suite of mobile tools, basic analytics and reporting, and those are now available in all 28 of our ad markets. This year, we plan to focus on improving the experience from midsize international advertisers.

That means, building more robust desktop self-service tools so sophisticated advertisers can succeed with less accounts sales support, more creative tools so they can create inspiring content, in scalable measurement so they know the value they're getting from Pinterest.

Unlike Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, Pinterest has few issues (so far) with hate speech, fake news, mental illness and paedophilia.

Pinterest is perhaps one of the only online platforms where the general tone is positive. Therefore, for more conservative communicators, it is widely considered one of the last few remaining “safe havens” online.

High Conversion Rates Driving Marketing Uptake

2019 Investments in superior conversion tracking for Pinterest marketers is paying off handsomely, with CEO Ben Silbermann citing improvements here as a significant driver of its fourth-quarter revenue.

Alongside this, Pinterest launched Conversion optimisation as a campaign type last year.

Much like their equivalent on Facebook, etc. Pinterest’s version optimises Promoted Pins for specific consumer actions, rather than just clicks.

Therefore, organisations can choose conversions as a campaign objective and drive people to take specific actions such as checkout, signup, lead, or add to cart events.

Pinterest Conversion campaigns grew 150% in Q4.

Off the back of improved conversion tracking and new Conversion optimisation campaigns, Pinterest saw a 2.5 times improvement in attributable conversions year on year.

Hence, the expectation from Wall Street that marketers will shift budgets across at a much higher rate than what Pinterest is forecasting in 2020.

Growing Users & Engaging Existing Pinners

Pinterest’s most robust market remains the US, whereby it recently overtook Snapchat to become the third most popular social app.

Depending on who’s data you go off, locally those roles would be reversed.

For consistency’s sake, if we stick with native social ad planning tools, the local picture looks more like this:

  1. Facebook – AU: 15m, NZ: 3.1
  2. Instagram – AU: 9.7m, NZ: 1.7
  3. Snapchat – AU: 5.8m, NZ: 1.2
  4. Pinterest – AU: 3m, NZ: 800k

Naturally, it is advisable to take these estimates with a grain of salt, given all are prone to ‘accidental’ over inflation. However, it is handy for benchmarking.

Note: YouTube, LinkedIn, Reddit etc. are unnoted above, since they are not relevant for a Pinterest comparison in this context.

Interestingly, Pinterest’s AU data is somewhat at odds with Roy Morgan’s data.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, May 2019

“Pinterest has more than doubled its user base from around 2.7 million four years ago to almost 7.4 million today. This is an increase of over 4.6 million from four years ago and Pinterest has attracted over 2 million new users in just the last two years alone.

Could Pinterest be a rare example of a social channel under-reporting its stats?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Not only is Pinterest user growth motoring along, but it has ambitious plans to lock in attention for longer, across the board.

Ben Silberman, Pinterest Chief Executive Officer

“In 2019, we made progress in introducing pinners to more video, organic video views increased 6x. We've also invested in AR, including a new feature called Try-On that helps you virtually try and make up before buying it. This is an area where we're just getting started, so stay tuned for more updates throughout the year…

We're going to make it easier to discover shoppable products so Pinterest can move seamlessly from inspiring images to shopping services where they can buy what inspires them.

We'll be launching our verified merchant program, so pinners know they're buying from merchants that meet our quality guidelines.”

Following a rip-roaring 2019, for brands, retailers and even users, Pinterest is fast becoming a must-use in 2020.

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