Pinterest vs Instagram: Pros, cons and how to know where you should spend your marketing dollars!

In the vast landscape of ever-changing social media platforms, two visual powerhouses have captured the hearts of users and businesses worldwide: Pinterest vs Instagram. Both platforms offer a creative haven for scrolling and inspiring. They also each offer unique ways to showcase your products or services, engage with your target audience, and drive business growth. But which one is will be most beneficial for your business?

Short answer: Both! Each platform offers unique ways to connect and reach your target audience.

Long answer: You’re busy and you don’t have time to spend hours upon hours in both places. You will have to choose where you spend your time and prioritize the places that move the needle for your business.

We recommend you make time to market your business on Pinterest and Instagram, but try and choose one where you want to spend the bulk of your time and money.

In this blog post, we’ll compare the pros and cons of Pinterest vs Instagram,  at the end of this post I hope you have a clearer understanding of which platform aligns best with your business goals.

Pinterest vs Instagram: What's better for marketing your business?

Pros & Cons of Pinterest for Business

The best way to think about Pinterest is as a visual discovery engine, not a social media platform. It allows users to discover and save ideas for various topics on virtual pinboards. With over 425 million active users, Pinterest presents businesses with a vast potential audience of people who are actively searching for what they offer right in the decision phase of their buying journey.

Pros of Pinterest:
  1. Evergreen Content: Unlike Instagram where posts have a short lifespan, Pinterest pins can continue to drive traffic and engagement for an extended period. This longevity allows businesses to showcase their products or services consistently and generate ongoing interest.This is particularly great for businesses who use blogging or content to drive traffic.
  2. Visual Discovery: Pinterest’s visual search feature enables pinners to discover products, ideas, and inspiration based on images they find appealing. This feature presents businesses with valuable opportunities to reach a highly targeted audience that is actively seeking products or services similar to what they offer.
  3. High Intent Audience: Pinners are planners! Pinterest users often have a specific purpose in mind, such as planning events, home renovations, or shopping for specific products. This focused intent means that businesses can connect with users who are more likely to convert into customers or take desired actions. Read more about the Pinterest sales funnel.
  4. Ecommerce Potential: Pinterest offers ecommerce businesses huge potential to reach a wide audience with their product right when they are searching for it. Most Pinterest searches are unbranded which also gives smaller businesses and opportunity to compete with larger brands. Pinterest is also offering more and more shopping options for businesses!
  5. Referral Traffic: Pinterest is known for its ability to drive significant referral traffic to external websites. Instagram was not designed to drive traffic, and it doesn’t make it easy. With compelling visuals and keyword-optimized pins, businesses can attract users to their websites, generating leads, sales, and brand exposure.
Cons of Pinterest:
  1. Demographic Limitations: While Pinterest has a substantial user base, it tends to have a predominantly female audience, which may not align with the target demographic of every business. If your products or services cater primarily to a male audience, you may find it challenging to reach and engage with your desired customer base on Pinterest.
  2. Time-Intensive Content Creation: You have to have visually appealing and high-quality content to use Pinterest well. Creating beautiful images or graphics for your pins can be time-consuming, especially if you’re not efficient in design or image editing. Consistently producing fresh and attractive content to stand out among the vast array of pins can be a demanding task for businesses with limited resources. Thankfully you can hire a Pinterest marketing team to make this easier!
  3. Not Ideal for Local Businesses: Pinterest is not really used for local searches and in most cases wouldn’t be the best choice if your business only serves a local audience. There are som exceptions (weddings, hotels, etc), but in general it’s not the best for a local business.
  4. Time-sensitive Marketing: Due to the nature of how people use Pinterest, it’s not the best place to market timely promotions. Things like sales, limited-time offers, etc won’t reach enough people in the timeframe to make it worth it.

Pros & Cons of Instagram for Business

Instagram, with over 1 billion monthly active users, has established itself as a leading social media platform for visual storytelling. It offers businesses a chance to connect with their audience through captivating photos, videos and engaging captions. Instagram’s emphasis on real-time content and stories makes it an excellent platform for showcasing the human side of your business, building brand personality, and fostering a sense of community.

Pros of Instagram:
  1. Visual Storytelling: Instagram’s emphasis on visually appealing content allows businesses to tell their brand story in unique and personal ways. Through high-quality images and videos, businesses can showcase their products, services, and company culture, creating a strong connection with their audience.
  2. Broad User Base: Instagram is one of the top social media platforms in the world and provides access to a wide audience across various demographics and interests. This broad reach allows businesses to connect with potential customers from different backgrounds and expand their brand’s visibility.
  3. Influencer Partnerships: Instagram is renowned for its influencer marketing potential. Businesses can collaborate with influential creators in their industry to promote their products or services, leveraging the trust and credibility that these influencers have built with their followers.
  4. Relationship Building: Because you can show such a personal side to your business, Instagram is a great place to build relationships with your customers and others in your industry. Engaging daily with your community will help you build a strong brand.
  5. E-commerce Opportunities: Instagram Shopping and swipe-up links in Stories (for accounts with over 10,000 followers) enable businesses to seamlessly integrate product listings and drive traffic to their online stores. These e-commerce features streamline the purchasing process, making it easier for users to explore and buy products directly within the app.
Cons of Instagram:
  1. High Competition: With the popularity of Instagram, competition for visibility and engagement can be intense. Standing out in a sea of content requires a strategic approach, exceptional visual content, and consistent efforts to capture your audience’s attention. It may take time and dedication to build a significant following and establish a strong presence on the platform.
  2. Algorithm Changes: Instagram’s algorithm determines the content users see on their feed, which means that not all your followers may see every post you publish. Algorithm updates can significantly impact the visibility of your content, making it harder to reach and engage with your audience organically. Staying updated with algorithm changes and adjusting your content strategy accordingly is essential.
  3. Limited Linking Options: Instagram’s strict linking limitations can be a hindrance for businesses looking to drive traffic to their external websites or specific landing pages.
  4. Long Lead Time: Organic Instagram marketing can take years to build. To get results you have to stay consistent and stay engaged almost daily.
  5. Cost of Ads: The cost of Instagram advertising is higher than Pinterest.

When comparing Pinterest vs Instagram it’s important to note that both platforms offer unique advantages for businesses wanting to grow. While Pinterest excels at driving high quality traffic and reaching users who are searching, Instagram’s emphasis on visual storytelling and real-time engagement makes it a powerful platform for building brand personality. Ultimately, the decision between the two depends on your target audience, industry, and marketing goals.

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