Pinterest video ads: The age of online video advertising has arrived

The age of video advertising has truly arrived. Pinterest, arguably one of the biggest photo-sharing sites in the world, will start displaying video ads on its platform.

Incorporating one of Pinterest’s main features, pins, promoted videos are paired with featured pins so people can watch videos and take immediate action, such as buying what they viewed. This is a new way forward, not just for Pinterest, which will no doubt benefit from this financially, but for the whole video advertising market.

With 100 million monthly active users, Pinterest is currently the go-to place where people can plan their lives – whether for everyday needs, such as finding items to fit their lifestyle, or more significant life events, such as weddings, moving house and starting a family. Since research and discovery dominates user behaviour on the platform, promoted video ads offer an even richer experience, while the shoppable nature of the product brings users closer to brands at all stages of the purchase funnel.

With video playing an increasingly important part in digital advertising, Zenith’s Online Video Forecast predicts that there will be a 20 per cent rise in online video ad spend, so it’s a natural move to include video ads on social platforms. Relevant brands can take advantage of and bring to life the huge trends seen across Pinterest, such as food styling and make-up tutorials. Additionally, the majority of Pinterest’s content links back to a brand’s own assets, or a third party showcasing that brand; thus video ads should fit seamlessly with native content.

A key strength of Pinterest, which makes the platform a natural fit for video advertising, is that searches are keyword based. As a result, advertisers have the opportunity to be highly relevant. For example, Nescafé Azera was the first FMCG advertiser in the UK to run Promoted Pins. Despite competing with a virtual bulletin board of native content, Nescafé Azera was able to capture a high volume of engagement at a low cost, demonstrating the power of the platform to connect users with brands they would be interested in.

Moreover, it is important to remember that Pinterest is about passion points – users are seeking out a specific lifestyle that brands can fit in with. At its core, Pinterest is practical and functional – users create boards, and often then purchase the products that make their aspirations a reality. Its Pins feature is also very useful, since it engages more with posts containing detailed text. Video is a step further in this sense, delivering information through TVCs, tutorials and expertise.

Despite Pinterest becoming more attractive to advertisers with this new video functionality, in reality, Pinterest is still playing catch-up. Facebook is already ahead with its live video proposition, Facebook Live, which is bringing live, branded ads and content directly into the hands of consumers.

However, Pinterest might have a unique advantage over Facebook in terms of its audience. With 70 per cent of Pinterest’s audience being female, arguably advertisers can reach many main household shoppers at the planning and consideration stages of the purchase cycle for both small and big ticket items.

Video adverts that enable consumers to directly purchase are a dream for brands and, in the case of Pinterest’s users, a dream for them too. With Instagram and Snapchat recently launching their respective video adverting features, Pinterest has smartly joined the party and incorporated video ads naturally into the dynamics of its platform. The age of video advertising has arrived indeed.

Jon King is managing director at Performics UK