Pinterest Search Driving Higher Social Ad Investments

Pinterest may have launched as a social tool, but the platform is beginning to look and act more like a paid-search tool. 

iProspect’s paid social clients in 2017 spent 72% more on media in the fourth quarter compared with the prior year, and 86% more year-over-year (YoY), according to the Paid Social Trends report. The biggest increase in budget did not go to Facebook and Twitter in 2017 -- but to Pinterest. 

Much of this went to Facebook and Twitter, but the data reveals that a substantial amount went to Pinterest. Budgets on Pinterest among iProspect clients rose 132% YoY and 56% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ). Many capitalized on visual search after the company made investments in their ad capabilities in 2017. iProspect attributes most of the increase to the consumer packages goods industry and a focus on the holidays.

Pinterest visitors conduct more than 2 billion search queries monthly, according to the report. Last year, the company introduced search ads to allow brands to target site visitors based on keywords they use in their query.



The site also gave advertisers direct access to Pinterest’s Ad Manager, allowing them to integrate search ads with an auto-targeting tool called Taste Graph that works with a brand’s keyword strategy by automatically targeting relevant searches. It also means marketers gain access to more precise targeting tools via negative, broad, phrase, and exact-match keywords. This increased granularity allows for more cross-channel convergence between a brand’s search and social efforts.

Consider this: Facebook investments rose to 90% QoQ. Twitter investments fell to 56% YoY and 44% QoQ. Snap's spend also fell 31% YoY, but rose 40% QoQ.

While Facebook, Twitter, and Snap entered the content space, Pinterest launched Lens, search ads, promoted app ads, and the Taste Graph.

Pinterest also introduced third-party tracking. The platform can sent click data to third parties like Google DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM), and other third-party ad-serving tags for campaign reporting and verification of campaign delivery, according to the report.

No doubt social platforms are trying to capitalize and appeal to search marketers. In 2016, iProspect recorded more than 300 platform updates in the social advertising space, primarily focused on direct-response features and hands-on management. In 2017, that number grew to more than 400, but the updates spanned all phases of the consumer journey to drive performance based on awareness and brand lift, consideration, intent, and purchase.

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