It’s hard to surprise Ezra Firestone.
As the CEO of marketing-training hub Smart Marketer and an e-commerce wizard, he always keeps one eye on the horizon, scanning for new platforms he can use to power his campaigns.
That’s why he knew Pinterest was going to be huge, right from the start. The photo- and media-sharing site’s user base was an e-commerce marketer’s dream: higher income, 70% women, and growing faster every day. Plus, he figured he could get a spectacular return on his ad budget by becoming an early adopter. As he says:
“When a new platform launches, they are still working out the kinks in the system and dialing in its targeting capabilities and platform functionality, so ads are cheap . . . Basically, new social ad networks use cheap ads to attract advertisers as paying beta testers for their fledgling platforms. Win-win!” – Ezra Firestone
So Ezra couldn’t wait to harness this powerful new source of traffic.
Well, he had to do some waiting. In late 2013, Pinterest finally opened a waiting list for companies who wanted to start publishing promoted pins, and Ezra wasn’t selected right away—all the first invitations went to Fortune 500 brands.
In the meantime, he had a campaign to run for a makeup brand targeting baby boomer women (an ideal audience to reach via Pinterest). He set up a website anyhow, figuring some organic traffic might trickle in.
It didn’t. But 9 months after he joined the waitlist, the news came: he’d been approved to start promoting posts on Pinterest.