Earlier this year, Pinterest rolled out “promoted pins” the marketers in the U.S., a feature that would allow users to promote their pins to gain higher exposure to promoted products and services.

The purchase of promoted pins allows advertisers to select specific pins for promotion in particular categories that could be targeted toward a pin’s intended target market. Additionally, individuals who wishing to sell their product online will soon be able to link their Pinterest posts with third party e-commerce software (shopping cart) such as Shopify or Demand Ware through “buyable pins”, coming later this month.

During the announcement of the new service, the company released the following statement:

“We believe Promoted Pins should make the Pinterest experience better for everyone. We think advertising can play a big role in helping people get inspired and bring their future plans to life, which is why we want Promoted Pins to be among some of the best Pins you see on Pinterest—beautiful, actionable and interesting.”

The company has specific guidelines and specifications for what type of products and services advertisers can promote, but the general summary is that all non-nefarious types of pins will be allowed.

In the past, gaining true exposure through Pinterest for any one particular product was extremely hard as the overall volume of “pins” in each category is very high. As a result, most pins would get lost in the mix the second they were posted to the site. This new feature allows individuals to gain true exposure to their pins, and, in turn, drive more traffic to their sites, whether ecommerce or blog.

In comparison to most online advertising venues (or at least the most credible one, Google AdWords) Pinterest clicks cost significantly less. Similar to Google AdWords, advertisers only pay for direct clicks to their pin’s website and not the impression volume, which in my opinion more accurately represents an acquisition of a contact.

In our personal experience, using promoted pins for our e-commerce product sites we have noticed a tremendous increase in exposure for our pinned ads, an overall increase of website traffic, and an increase in overall sales at a fraction of the cost compared to Google AdWords. The back end interface of the system is still in need of some tweaking for easy of campaign reporting and analysis, but overall we are very pleased with the product.

From the business standpoint, the rollout of the promoted pins feature sets Pinterest up as a very attractive candidate for future investments and a higher IPO, which is no doubt part of their overall plan.

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