Startup Targets Pinterest Users With Native Mobile Ad Format

Kellogg Among Users of Ahalogy Ads Linked To Improved Mobile Display

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A startup that provides and optimizes content for Pinterest is going to start competing with the scrapbooking site for ad dollars.

Full-page ad in Ahalogy alternative to Promoted Pins
Full-page ad in Ahalogy alternative to Promoted Pins

Cincinnati-based Ahalogy provides marketers with Pinterest-ready content through a network of bloggers and other publishers, as well as analytics to increase their traffic and impact from Pinterest and other social-media marketing.

The company's new offering, Ahalogy Mobile, allows marketers to display their own content in Pinterest-like format on mobile devices. It will also display full-screen ads that appear in the browser when a user leaves Pinterest, an alternative to the scrapbooking services own "Promoted Pins."

"Pinterest claims that 75% of its use is via mobile and half of the mobile experience is clicking on content that is then displayed in the in-app browser," said Ahalogy CEO Michael Wohlschlaeger.

The ads when they see there are often tiny banners, not ideal for the phone. Ahalogy is hoping to change that with larger native-style ads that appear in-stream.

The tech is free to clients of its content and analytics services, which include packaged-goods marketers like Procter & Gamble Co., Kraft and Kellogg Co.

The ads will be restricted to the Cincinnati-based firm's network of more than 1,000 publishers, mainly bloggers. Collectively, those publishers account for 40 million visits monthly and 10% of outbound clicks from Pinterest, including 17% of food-related clicks, according to Ahalogy server data and a random sample of Pinterest traffic analyzed by Ahalodgy earlier this year.

Like Facebook, Pinterest's user-base is moving fast to mobile, but much of the content doesn't display well in mobile browsers, loading slowly or sometimes not at all. "As Pinterest's largest publisher, we decided to fix this problem," Mr. Wohlschlaeger said.

One example Ahalogy execs cited is a recent Promoted Pin for SC Johnson's Ziploc that didn't click through to the advertised recipe, but rather to the brand's homepage, because the brand website hadn't been optimized for mobile.

The cost is ultimately similar to the $30 CPMs of Promoted Pins, with a minimum buy of $25,000. Ads will be sold on a pay-per-performance basis, with pay-per-visit being the metric most often used by marketers so far.

The two-year-old company, formerly called formerly called Pingage, focused at first almost exclusively on Pinterest-related marketing. While Ahalogy Mobile will work with traffic from any social network or app, the company expects most of the ads to display with content linked to Pinterest, given existing traffic to and makeup of its publisher network.

Publishers in Ahalogy's content network, who up to now have gotten guidance on increasing traffic and an opportunity to share content with affiliated publishers in return for use of their content, will now also get ad-revenue sharing as part of the service.

"In the old model we helped them build more traffic. In the new model we're helping them monetize it," he said.

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