Is Now the Time to Consider Marketing on Pinterest and Instagram?

The two biggest “Yeah it’s cool but how will they ever monetise THAT” platforms have recently made their moves and shown exactly how they’re going to make dollar out of cool pictures.


Where every girl goes to daydream about her rustic lakeside wedding, complete with tweed waistcoated page boys and live doves carrying the artisan cruelty-free hammered rose gold rings. When Pinterest first arrived, I was hooked.

I spent many hours writing about how it was more than just a lady playground and you should totally be doing it because it looks nice and gets spread around the globe…blah blah blah. But now I can actually put my money where my mouth is.

Buyable Pins

Pinterest announced a few days ago that it will be releasing Buyable Pins, a new click-to-buy button on posts. There will also be swipe functionality, letting customers browse product options.

The Buyable Pin doesn’t cost money unless you want to set up one to promote – it’s something that Pinterest works out for itself when someone Pins from your site.

Buyable Pins


Not only will the world be tempted by your glorious products and pin them to their followers; they’ll also be able to BUY ON IMPULSE. That magical brain process that turns like into love into I need it now because I have that dress for Kayleigh’s birthday that would go perfectly in 30 seconds.

I buy things like I rip off plasters: super-fast to minimise second thoughts and painful feelings. Click-to-buy is the way forward.


The last few months have seen more sponsored posts appearing in Instagram users’ feeds. Airlines tempting me with beautiful vistas in far-flung locales – ugh.

Slider posts

Thompson holidays on Instagram

But then last week I noticed something new: where lame old non-paid posts are stuck at single frame (unless it’s a video clip), the new sponsored posts have swipe functionality.

Multiple posts in one!

I even swiped, cursing my human curiosity and need for visual stimulation as I validated the company’s marketing spend.

The first one I spotted was by Thomson Holidays, which used very typical Instagram-style photos to blend well with the advertee’s feed. Cocktail, beach, bikini-clad lady swimming under water… Much jealous, many envy.

It’s obvious in retrospect.

Facebook has had these multi-frame ads for yonks and the Instagram/Facey relationship has seen lots of other inter-platform copies – like silencing auto-playing videos, which started on Instagram and travelled quickly to Facebook.

Instagram has also just updated the look of its desktop site so now’s a perfect time to make your business look good online.


Another step away from traditional Instagram posts is the Learn more button. One of Instagram’s real drawbacks for me is that you can’t link in a post – you put up a picture of your latest product but you can’t send people to look at (buy) it. Gah!

But now people willing to put their hand in their pocket can put a clicky button underneath their post to link out to an external site. Super-cool.


If you’re not sure if image sharing networks are for you, check out these cool ideas for how to market on Instagram. It’s often very cheap and very easy. And who doesn’t like that?