Digital Publishing Top Stories
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Pinterest doubles down on video: Publishers benefiting from increased referral traffic and engagement

Pinterest recently introduced new video features for content creators and businesses. The features include an improved uploader, video tab, lifetime analytics, and Pin scheduling. 

This is noteworthy for publishers, as according to a May 2019 report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC, digital video revenue grew from $11.9 billion in 2017, to $16.3 billion in 2018. That’s a 37% increase, which surpasses all other formats. 

Further, mobile video revenues grew by 65% between 2017 and 2018. Earlier IAB reports predicted that brands will boost spending on video, and consumers are willing to see ads in exchange for free digital video

“Videos surface and resurface over time”

The new video features added by Pinterest include an updated uploader that enables publishers to seamlessly upload videos directly to Pinterest. A new video tab makes it possible for brands to feature all their videos in one place. According to the company, “On Pinterest, videos surface and resurface over time and don’t disappear with a feed, meaning the lifespan of a video is evergreen.”

They have also introduced new video analytics for publishers to monitor lifetime views. Finally, there is the Pin Scheduler tool that allows publishers to schedule video content in advance.

According to Pinterest, its video features have helped video network Tastemade grow their following 100% year-over-year. Larry Fitzgibbon, CEO & Founder of Tastemade said, “As early adopters to video on Pinterest, Tastemade has successfully driven over 1 billion video views and 200 million engagements YTD, while growing our following 100% YoY.” 

It’s clear that Pinterest users are hungry for videos that are both entertaining and actionable. We are excited about the platform’s new video capabilities as we continue to inspire the taste of new audiences across the globe.

Larry Fitzgibbon, CEO & Founder of Tastemade

Pinterest told Adweek that it has seen a 31% increase in searches for inspirational videos over the past year, and Pinners are 54% more likely to say they were inspired to action by videos on Pinterest versus those on other social media platforms.

News publishers on Pinterest

Several news publishers are on Pinterest. The more well-known names include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Vogue. Generally, they have multiple boards on the platform. On Pinterest, Pins are individual items while Boards are specific groups of pins. For example, the Journal has boards dedicated to sections like magazine, real estate, fashion, front page, and sports among others. 

Readers can go to individual articles with pins like the one below. They can also find similar pins just like recommended articles on news websites. Another feature useful for publishers is that they can see the users that have saved specific pins. 

Vogue, on the other hand, also uses Pinterest to highlight magazine issues and interviews. 

“Flipboard and Pinterest are growing—and gaining an edge”

At present news publishers are not as active and prolific on Pinterest as they are on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. However, visual journalism is becoming an increasingly important strategy for publishers.

According to Jessica Rovello, CEO of Arkadium, which creates interactive website content for digital media companies, “In our own study of more than 1,000 news consumers, we found that pairing news stories with visual content — the visualization of data and text in the form of anything from images and videos to static or interactive infographics — helps boost reader engagement, and even trust.”

The study also found that 78% people were likely to continue reading an article if visuals were included throughout. The figure increased to 85% when only millennial respondents were considered. Further, Arkadium found that 82% millennials are likely to return to news sites that regularly use visuals. Pinterest is popular among women in the 25-54 age group and 50% of its users are millennials.

Parse.ly’s traffic report, “The Authority Report” for April/May 2018, analyzed 8 billion page views for 1 million articles in its network. It states that while “Google and Facebook still dominate referral rates for publishers, others like Flipboard and Pinterest are growing—and gaining an edge.

As Facebook has changed its algorithms and a lot of the traffic that people were used to has now gone away, more publishers are getting more savvy around diversification. But you really need to be thinking about all the different ways that you could be potentially getting an audience from them.

Sachin Kamdar, CEO of Parse.ly

Pinterest is attracting brands because of its lower ad costs compared to Facebook and Instagram, according to Digiday. It offers a smaller user base (250M) compared to Facebook (2.38B) and Instagram (1B), but is gradually taking a greater share of the marketing mix for brands looking for less expensive traffic. A publishing exec told Digiday, “If you have Twitter and Flipboard on one end and Facebook on the other, Pinterest is in the middle.”

“Growing as a referral source”

In a recent UBS survey, 14% of the advertising executives surveyed said that ad costs for Pinterest had decreased in the past year, but increased for YouTube and Instagram. Many brands are now retargeting Pinterest users on other platforms. Some are using it to capture emails while others are experimenting with the new tools launched by Pinterest.

Rovello adds, “While visual journalism is currently a hot topic, digital media will continue to evolve both in content and delivery. It’ll become increasingly critical for publishers to harness new innovations to resonate with audiences and stay ahead of the competition.”

Regina Buckley, former GM of Lifestyle and SVP of Digital Operations and Business Development at Meredith, told Digiday earlier, “Pinterest is a major focus for us. It’s material and growing as a referral source. Yes, it does increase our interest in Pinterest, in light of Facebook.

“Pinterest is interested in being a real partner to us. They want to work together to grow both our businesses. That is definitely something I can’t say of all our distribution sources.”

Download WNIP’s comprehensive new report—50 Ways to Make Media Pay—an essential read for publishers looking at the multiple revenue opportunities available, whether it’s to reach new audiences or double down on existing super-users. The report is free and can be downloaded here.

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