It is a big year for Pinterest: now that it's fully launched its ad format, it's making a big push to get advertisers to embrace its "Promoted Pins."
At the Code/Media conference Joanne Bradford, head of partnerships for Pinterest, sat down to talk about her strategy to build the company's nascent business model. Her key selling point for Pinterest ads: Brands have achieved 30 percent free impressions – or what's called "earned media," and another 5 percent more in the month following the end of the campaign.
What's promising for Pinterest's business potential: two-thirds of all content on Pinterest is from businesses, and people seem to like that content – the platform has more than 30 billion Pins on more than 750 million boards.
"It's an exciting year, I think that companies are really starting to adopt the Pin-it button, that you're finding better content on Pinterest, that people are creating content for Pinterest, businesses are really engaging w/ how to create pins," said Bradford.
"It's really a new ad format, much like when Google started key-words, people didn't know how to make a great keyword ad. We think just because we have a visual, a really great description and then an actionable URL on every Pin; that we're teaching people how to do that – it's going to be a big year for businesses and consumers," she added. One way the company's educating brands is with a "Pinstitute" program to educate brands, which launches in two weeks.
In addition to that new ad format, which was made fully available at the beginning of the year, Pinterest is testing another ad format – a cost-per-click auction-based product. Just last week it announced a new tool for publishers to allow people to install apps – for say Gilt or Neiman Marcus – without leaving Pinterest. And this year it's widely expected to launch a 'buy button,' to allow people to make purchases without leaving Pinterest platform.
Bradford wouldn't comment on plans for a "buy button," or an eventual IPO. But she did say that the way people naturally behave on Pinterest sets it up for massive growth.
"What we've found with the Pinterest launch of ads, is that people actually like ads and save them. Think about it like pages being torn out of a magazine and saved somewhere," said Bradford.
"And advertisers got 30 percent free media with their campaigns just on an earned basis, from passing it around, it'd be like I gave you a page of a magazine and you gave it to more people," she added.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the duration of the "Pinstitute" program.