Pinterest eyes influencer marketing budgets with new API

Pinterest is helping brands work better with influencers on the platform by providing more resources for campaign measurement. Today, Pinterest expanded its content marketing API to third-party influencer marketing platforms for the first time.

Pinterest announced eight influencer marketing platforms as launch partners, joining the other official Pinterest Marketing Partners that provide services for advertising, audiences, content marketing, creative and measurement. The new partners are OpenInfluence, Hypr, Klear, AspireIQ, Mavrck, Izea, and They will have direct access to statistics on profiles such as monthly views and followers as well as impressions, click-through rates and saves for pins.

The move to embrace influencer marketing platforms comes shortly after Pinterest revealed it has more than 250 million monthly active users, more than half of which are located outside the U.S. Pinterest also said it has 175 billion pins, up about 75 percent from last year. Pinterest is reportedly planning an initial public offering for 2019, according to CNBC. Working closely with influencer marketing platforms can help convince more brands to pay for campaigns on Pinterest, thereby bringing in more revenue and engagement on the platform.

“The key benefit is pinners come to Pinterest every day to discover and do what they love and creators inspire them. This is a way to help [creators] be successful and that helps all pinners be successful,” said David Temple, Pinterest’s head of creator products.

Pinterest influencers aren’t anything new, and despite the platform’s aging, it remains the most important distribution channel for some influencers. For example, Maria Lichty, who shares recipes under the name Two Peas and Their Pod, said Pinterest drives the most traffic back to her and her husband’s blog. Relatedly, publishers have seen a resurgence in traffic from Pinterest since the changes to Facebook’s news feed earlier this year.

“We do campaigns across all different social platforms and now most brands want a little piece of everything. All the brands that we work with now are interested in a Pinterest component as part of the contract. They see it. It’s a natural fit,” Lichty said.

Over the years, Pinterest has created several tools to help its influencer community. In October 2016, Pinterest launched the Pin Collective, a group of influencers and production partners that can create branded content. By orchestrating the deals, Pinterest got a cut of the deal similar to Twitter’s Niche. This expanded API makes influencer marketing on Pinterest more of a self-serve feature within the ecosystem, which could mean less direct revenue for Pinterest from influencer posts but more engagement overall as third-party platforms help orchestrate more deals.

But in 2018, Pinterest has been ramping up that work with influencers. In April, Pinterest released redesigned business profiles including dynamic cover images, a monthly viewers metric and a following tab that orders pins chronologically. In June, Pinterest hosted its first-ever creator conference, inviting 250 creators to its office in San Francisco. The event included classes about the platform and keynotes. Pinterest has since held creator conferences in the UK and France and will host one in Tokyo next month.

While many of these tools help influencers’ most-engaged followers, Lichty of Two Peas and Their Pod said she sees traffic boosts from her pins appearing in searches from people who don’t follow her or when her pins are embedded in other sites.

“I have friends who will say, ‘I saw your recipe on Pinterest!’ People are just searching for chocolate chip cookies. It’s about making our pins stand out with text, starting with good photography and focusing on keywords,” Lichty said.

One unique aspect of Pinterest for influencers and brands is the longevity of the pins. That’s one important aspect of Pinterest that its sales team explains to ad buyers at in-person visits.

“Due to the search based usage on Pinterest, a creators influence extends beyond the number of people that follow them. Now we can objectively show this dynamic in action,” said Lyle Stevens, cofounder and CEO of Mavrck, one of the launch partners.

Lichty said she sees boosts in her posts depending on the season. For example, her two-year-old recipes with pumpkin as an ingredient have been seeing a resurgence in views over the last month.

“I’ve already been pinning pumpkin stuff for a month now. I know some people don’t want to see it, but on Pinterest, they do,” Lichty said.

Influencers, like Lichty, know the story of the long-tail on Pinterest compared to other platforms like Facebook and Instagram all too well. The expanded API will help show that to advertisers.

“The data [in the new API] updates within two hours of the pin being created, but we see the real value is created over much longer. That’s part of the value. We love that about Pinterest. It’s a question of making sure everyone understands that and see that [content is] evergreen,” Pinterest’s Temple said.

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