pinterest and instagram introduce buy buttons

What does this development mean for marketers?

June 8, 2015: The push towards visual networks has accelerated tenfold with the introductions of buy buttons on both Pinterest and Instagram last week.  While it came as a surprise to many, the recent explosion in popularity of these two networks left this kind of update inevitable.  So, what exactly do these buttons entail? Who do they include? What does all of this mean for marketers and businesses?


instagram cta buttons

New Instagram CTA buttons, Image from Instagram Business Blog

Instagram launched “Shop Now” ads, which added to its already growing ad business. The new CTAs include text such as “Shop Now” (great for retailers), “Install Now” (important for apps and games), “Sign Up” (good for contests and events), and “Learn More” (a general click through for articles, blogs, etc.).  Once untouchable for small businesses with small budgets, Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, is making it easier for smaller-scale advertisers to participate in the ad campaigns. Instagram’s new API promises amazing tracking and analytics to quantify the success of your campaigns, on top of Instagram’s huge, engaging user base (over 300 million and counting). Previously, Instagram didn’t allow links to even be shared, forcing big-name companies to use 3rd party apps. With the new “click to buy” system, Instagram becomes an ideal platform for retailers, lifestyle brands, apps, and other companies with online stores that were desperate for CTAs. When rolled out, the Show Now buttons will be exclusively available to sponsored Instagram images (for now).


New Pinterest CTA buttons, Image from Pinterest Blog

New Pinterest CTA buttons, Image from Pinterest Blog

Pinterest’s new “Buyable Pins” will make ever users’ “dream  closets” that much more attainable by providing direct click-throughs to retailers. The new CTAs include text such as “Make It” (good for recipes/crafts), “Visit” (for direct link click-through), and “Read It” (perfect for articles and blogs). Big name brands like Macy’s, Kate Spade, and Nordstrom will offer Pinterest posts with buy buttons. These pins come after the success of Pinterest’s “promoted pins” and “cinematic pins,” which both changed the way marketers viewed the value of this ever-growing platform. Pinterest’s powerful recommendation tools will allow brands to reach new customers based on searches, prices, and color. This feature will roll out to all retailers.

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The Takeways

Here are some takeaways about the new programs:

  • Instagram, thanks to its partnership with Facebook, has mountains of data on its user base, which allows them to better serve ads (and increases conversions).
  • Cross-promotion will become even more essential.
  • Pinterest’s users are usually considered to be in the “planning” phase, meaning they are closer to purchase than Instagram users.
  • Known as networks that “curate discovery,” both platforms are striving to maintain positive user experience.

Both of these developments are the tip of the iceberg for social media CTAs. “Buy Now” buttons seem to be the hot topic for many different channels. Companies should begin to plan and prepare for new mediums offering advertisements. As a retailer, if you aren’t yet taking advantage of these networks, then it’s definitely time to consider allotting some budget and time to expanding the commercial potential of your social presence.

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Pinterest and Instagram Introduce Buy Buttons
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Pinterest and Instagram Introduce Buy Buttons
Last week, Pinterest and Instagram introduced buy buttons to their ad programs. What does this development mean for marketers?