More articles by Richard L. Tso
With $200M Raise and New Analytics Platform, Pinterest Paves Way for Monetization
The race for Pinterest monetization is heating up. Just last month Pinterest secured approximately $200 million in funding, raising the San Francisco start-up’s valuation to $2.5 billion. Yes, billion. This latest round of funding was led by Valiant Capital Management, with previous investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital also a part of this round.
In a one-two punch, last week, Pinterest unveiled its web analytics for bloggers, businesses and organizations, to “help pinners see what content is resonating best on Pinterest.” The visual social network has quickly become one of the fastest growing web properties, with comScore reporting a 4000% increase in Pinterest traffic last year, in comparison with Tumblr, which was up 168%, and Facebook, up just 4%.
“Our focus is on helping millions of people discover things they love and get inspiration to go do those things in their life,” Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann said in a statement. “This investment gives us more resources to help realize that vision.”
Pinterest said it plans to use the funding to continue growing and expanding its service. The startup will continue to hire more employees, improve its infrastructure to make Pinterest faster and develop new technology and features for users. It is also embarking on a site redesign that will help drive the discovery of content across the site through larger pictures and cross-site linkage to get people pinning and engaging with pins.
With Pinterest’s latest foray into providing ROI analytics for brands, a business that other companies like Pinfluncer, PinLeague, Curalate and Reachli have been able to dominate over the past year, the real question now is if the Pinterest analytics offering will be deep and comprehensive enough to give these specialized players a run for their money.
Pinfluencer Is Now Piqora
Today, Pinfluencer, the complete marketing suite for Pinterest, announced that it has rebranded to Piquora and is launching a new product called Gallery that automatically pulls a brand’s most popular trending pins and displays them in an embeddable gallery on websites and even on a brand’s Facebook page, bridging the two most popular social networks. Gallery by Piqora is a tablet optimized, automated visual feed of a brand’s in-stock, top products trending on social networks, creating a social e-commerce experience for consumers and helping marketers convert their social traffic. The new Piqora Suite now encompasses analytics, promotions, content management and social e-commerce.
Piqora customers already using Gallery on Facebook and special landing pages include Cost Plus World Market, Overstock and Buckle.
Gallery is an automated merchandising engine that uses machine learning and social design to deliver trending products that are relevant to the e-commerce context of the user. It builds this page around a brand’s socially curated top pins, pulling in price and product title dynamically from the product page of a company’s website. By cutting and pasting a short line of code, brands can redirect the users to these visual landing pages, embed their trending products on any web page, landing page or even on a Facebook tab.
“We have changed our name to Piqora because it is an elegant blend of piquing one’s curiosity and inquiry about products. The new name also implies pictures and the IQ lends itself to deep analysis. This encompasses the essence of what we do,” explained Sharad Verma, CEO, Piqora. “Our new Gallery product gives brands a way to nurture their discovery traffic from social networks and tablet users, showcase what is most popular and offer customers a rich, boutique-type browsing experience. The addition of Gallery makes Piqora the complete marketing suite for Pinterest by leveraging the visual appeal of the social platform, helping brands to turn their browsing customers into paying customers.”
Gallery is designed to help marketers convert social traffic into sales. Pinterest is a visual discovery experience, and the landing pages for Pinterest traffic promote on-site product browsing, pinning and purchases. Unlike search, social visitors have an inherent curiosity to browse categories and discover, and marketers are recognizing that these customers need to be presented with visually compelling options before they will make a decision to purchase a product. Piqora monitors social pinning activity from channels like Pinterest and Facebook, examines search queries, traffic and purchase data from GA, Omniture and Coremetrics to weave aspirational products with buyable products in its feed of products.
“The Pinterest community is out in full force, finding treasures on Overstock.com and sharing pinspiration with their friends and followers. At Overstock.com we check more than 500,000 prices every week, so fans know that they’re sharing products with big savings off retail prices,” said Stormy Simon, co-president of Overstock.com. “Piqora’s Gallery product harnesses the power of trend-setters in the Pinterest community, who are curating the hottest in home décor, as well as the savings from Overstock.com and brings top trending products on to our website and Facebook tabs.”
The Piqora Gallery landing pages are optimized to promote product discovery and maximum pinning from the landing pages. More pins lead to more traffic and sales. Piqora has also powered over 100 contests and sweepstakes driving up to 25 million impressions per contest, 20 pins per participant, and saving marketers hours of manual work by automatically tracking user eligibility.
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