Pinterest vs. Instagram- there’s a lot of confusion over the two platforms and how they differ, and a question I hear a lot is, “I already have Instagram, so why would I need Pinterest for my business?”
While they are both visual platforms that feature aesthetically pleasing images, they’re actually very different and serve very different purposes from both a user and a marketing perspective. I’m going to break down the differences between Pinterest and Instagram and offer some insight into which is right for your business and how the two platforms together can create a really well rounded and effective marketing strategy.
Pinterest vs. Instagram: the basics
The most important thing to understand is that Instagram is a social media platform, while Pinterest is a search engine.
Users come to Instagram to be social and to engage with their friends, family, favourite influencers and brands, meme accounts, etc.
From a marketing perspective, this gives businesses a great opportunity to build brand awareness, create a community, engage with their customers, encourage user generated content (UGC), provide customer service, etc.
Pinterest, on the other hand, is a search engine. Users come to the platform in discovery mode- they’re there in search of something, whether that’s inspiration, information, ideas, products, etc. They’re not here to engage or be social, but rather to discover something for themselves.
From a marketing perspective, this makes Pinterest an amazing platform to get your products and services in front of an audience who is actively searching for what you offer and are ready to take action.
Benefits of Instagram
As I mentioned, Instagram is an amazing platform for creating and facilitating a community. You get a chance to be more personal with your audience, chat with them directly, and show them a more personalized, behind the scenes side of your business. You can show more of your brand’s personality and create an emotional connection.
Instagram is also great for sharing current updates and information. The typical IG post has a shelf life of just a few days, and users see your content almost immediately. This makes it a great platform for sharing things like sales, giveaways, restock alerts, collabs, store openings, etc.
Benefits of Pinterest
Pinterest, on the other hand, is ideal for getting direct traffic to your website and getting your products/services in front of a fresh audience. While Instagram aims to keep users on the platform, Pinterest encourages users to click off of their site and onto yours. For many businesses, Pinterest quickly becomes their top traffic driver!
Additionally, Pinterest gets your business in front of people who may not have heard of you before. On Instagram, users are primarily seeing content from people they already follow while on Pinterest, they’re primarily seeing content from their search results, so you can have people viewing your products and services even if they’ve never heard of you before.
Unlike Instagram, it can take Pinterest awhile to index your content and start showing it to users. However, once it is indexed, it will continue showing up in search results for months or even years to come. Because of this, Pinterest isn’t where you want to be sharing updates and time sensitive content. Instead, it’s a platform for evergreen content that will continue to drive traffic in the long term.
Pinterest vs. Instagram: Conclusion
As you can see, one platform isn’t necessarily better than the other, they just serve different purposes and can be very complementary.
Instagram is where you build community and engage with your customers and followers. It’s where you create a personal connection and keep your audience up-to date on all of the latest news in your business.
Pinterest is where you share evergreen content and provide solutions to your potential customers’ wants and needs. You get in front of an audience that may otherwise never have heard about you and drive traffic directly to your website.
If you only have the time and resources for one platform, consider your marketing goals.
Are you working on increasing website traffic, growing a mailing list, and leading potential customers down your sales funnel? Starting off with Pinterest is likely the way to go.
Do you want to build brand awareness and grow a community of engaged followers? Start off with Instagram.
But iff you’re able to take on both platforms, that’s ideal because you’ll have both a website traffic generator that’s reaching new audiences, and a platform that nurtures your community and allows for timely updates! Together, Instagram and Pinterest are a marketing dream team.
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