Monetising Pinterest: From online media to affiliates

There's no doubt about it, Pinterest is big news right now. But what does this mean for digital strategy? Can it be monetised effectively? Having thought about this a lot over the last few months, we asked some of our marketing team to round up their thoughts on the platform, with interesting results. Here's what they have to say about Pinterest - from both an online media perspective, and the perspective of those working in affliate marketing.

There's no doubt about it, Pinterest is big news right now. But what does this mean for digital strategy? Can it be monetised effectively? Having thought about this a lot over the last few months, we asked some of our marketing team to round up their thoughts on the platform, with interesting results. Here's what they have to say about Pinterest - from both an online media perspective, and the perspective of those working in affliate marketing.

What our online media team say:

You would have to be my mother to not have heard about Pinterest in the past few months. Everyone's in a frenzy over what to do with it and how to work it into their digital plans. And it's got us Media Buyers all excited over how they are going to monetise it.

This article presents a bit of inspirational thoughts around the platform but also reassures us that future advertising opportunities will be going the same direction as we're seeing things now: you need to make your advertisements relevant to both the content/images as well as the audience. There are more opportunities with this method to deeply engage, however it requires a lot more thought. The author's sound advice is to "listen first and enter second".

What our affiliate marketing team say:

With Pinterest sending more referral traffic than Linkedin, YouTube and Google Plus combined, it's no real surprise that affiliates have begun to see the financial potential in the social media's latest phenomenon.

Savvy affiliates are placing affiliate links within their pins so that they'll earn commission when a user clicks and buys. With Pinterest recently blocking Amazon affiliate links, it does seem to be just a matter of time before all affiliate links are stripped from the platform.

But are affiliates really doing anything wrong? They're promoting merchants' products, sending traffic and earning commission - so it could be argued that they're just doing what they've always done. Perhaps Pinterest wants to avoid affiliates taking over their network and rendering it "spammy" - entirely understandable - but maybe its adversity towards affiliates is more a product of envy than moral objection.

In time, it could be that existing affiliate links are stripped out and replaced with Pinterest's own publisher ID. This way, they would be the ones earning from the traffic sent via their platform - a very lucrative side effect of the already phenomenally successful craze.