After a year of massive growth, Pinterest hopes to attract marketers to the platform with a new focus on video and content creators.

Today, during its first virtual event for marketers, Pinterest announced that it is rolling out a number of tools to help marketers reach its audience, including exclusive video placements and insights based on users’ behavior within the app so they can market against emerging consumer trends. During the event, called Pinterest Presents, the company also revealed a new conversion insights tool that will help advertisers see promoted organic metrics in a single report, along with new ways to understand attribution windows and paths to purchase through Pinterest’s growing e-commerce business.

“We want to deliver more inspiring content, so we need to make sure that this helps with more inspiring content and increasingly more inspiring readers,” says CMO Andrea Mallard. “We want to continue to invest in video to provide our users with more dynamic experiences, like how-to tutorials, and more engaging, immersive storytelling from brands. So we are taking these first important steps to build a creator ecosystem around story pins so that a new generation of creators can create great content and enrich the lives of pinners.”

One of the new video ad tools, Pinterest Premiere, will let companies advertise within users’ home feeds during specific time frames to reach audiences based on demographics, interests or categories. According to Pinterest, video views increased 100% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2020, while unique video uploads increased sixfold. Video uploads in 2020 were up 800% while daily video views on the platform totaled 1 billion. Pinterest is also increasing its use of augmented reality for people to virtually try on makeup and clothing and view renderings of furniture and other products in their real-life space.

Now that video plays a prominent role in practically every social platform, will it still feel fresh to Pinterest users? Mallard thinks so, noting that Pinterest videos will be educational and all about how to create things, rather than “random entertainment” or “a mindless video loop.”

“This is people who come often with a challenge,” Mallard says. “And they say, ‘I want to hang up wallpaper in my living room, I actually need someone to teach me how to do that.’ Or ‘I want to try this new advanced cooking technique.’ Well, now there’s a creator who’s actually going to be walking through that step by step. So I think the nature of the videos on our platform, actually are particularly inspirational, deeply useful, and deeply relevant.”

The new focus on video comes after a strong financial quarter for Pinterest, which last month reported fiscal-year 2020 revenue growing 48% year-over-year to $1.7 billion while total monthly active users increased 37% year-over-year to 459 million. Gen-Z and male users are among the fastest growing categories, both increasing 40% year-over-year.

While Pinterest has been increasingly growing its base of advertisers and e-commerce offerings, it wasn’t too long ago that some thought the company wasn’t doing enough with its treasure trove of users and insights. Mallard says that 80% of Pinterest’s predictions for 2020 came true, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Already, brands ranging from Bacardi to Kohl’s are advertising on Pinterest based on emerging trends such as charcuterie boards and athletic loungewear (or “athflow”).

To help build out its new areas of focus strategy, Pinterest is also trying to recruit more content creators to the platform. While other social networks like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat have relied on a variety of influencers for years, Pinterest has relied on user-generated content. (Right now, 80% of Pinterest content comes from brands.)

As other social platforms have had to play catch-up when it comes to diversifying their creators, Pinterest has tried to make that a priority from the start. The company’s creator management team has set a goal of ensuring 50% of managed creators are from diverse backgrounds. Last month, Pinterest pushed to support small and midsize Black-owned businesses during Black History Month, and recently launched a new program called “Black Gold,” which strives to educate the next generation of Black creators.

“We have this beautiful opportunity, because we’re building this right now that we can are more deliberate and ensure we’re growing our creators in a very inclusive way, which is very good for business,” Mallard says. “To be clear, the reason to do that is to not only elevate diverse voices, but because there’s demand for diverse content on our platform.”

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