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Pinterest vs. Instagram – which is better for marketing your business in 2022?
If you’re following me on Tiktok (head’s up, you should be – I post new Pinterest tips every day!), you’ll have probanlyheard me talk about the difference between Pinterest and Instagram, as well as which one is better for your business!
Now, I’m a Pinterest Strategist, so it doesn’t take a genius to work out that I love all things Pinterest. I’ve seen so many bloggers and brands go full time thanks to the power of Pinterest.
That being said, it doesn’t win every point. Instagram has a number of great features that make it an appealing option for businesses. The two platforms have different strengths and weaknesses and, though I might not like to admit it, there are a number of ways in which Instagram can benefit your brand more than Pinterest.
In this blog we’re having a social showdown – fight club style, where we look at everything you need to know before deciding whether to use Pinterest or Instagram to grow your brand!
Now the answer to: ‘Pinterest vs. Instagram, which is better?’, is going to differ depending on a few factors. There are definitely some things that are important to keep in mind when making the decision to pursue Instagram or Pinterest:
Instagram tends to be better for:
Pinterest tends to be better for:
One of the best things about Pinterest is that you don’t need a large following to be successful. In fact, you don’t need any following at all! That’s because of the way the platform works.
On Instagram, your feed is full of people you follow and most people tend to spend the majority of time on their feed. It can be difficult, then, to get new people to see your content. And without a lot of followers, you’re unlikely to be able to make much money through Instagram, either via sponsorship, or sales.
On Pinterest, people tend to be searching for a specific solution to a problem. They type whatever they’re looking for into the search bar, and will click on the pins that populate the results.
It’s 100% possible for your pins to be one of the top ranking pins for a search term, even if you don’t have any followers. As long as you’re doing proper keyword research and have a strategy, your pins will appear in search results. Pinterest makes it much easier for new people to find your content than Instagram does.
This means people will be clicking through to your website, even if you don’t have any followers. Follower count doesn’t matter!
When it comes to building a community there’s a clear winner – Instagram! Instagram is the place to be if you want to build a community of followers who love and trust your brand. That’s because they’re seeing your content regularly in their feed and get to know you much better.
As previously mentioned, Pinterest works similarly to a search engine. People will find your content when it provides answers to their search query. However, once they’ve consumed your content, they might never see anything from you again. It’s therefore not generally the best way to build a community online.
However, there is a caveat to this…
Pinterest is amazing for building an email list. And an email list is arguably one of the best forms of marketing there is. You’re able to regularly serve people right in their inbox and can nurture your community there.
One of the most frustrating things about Instagram is how short the shelf life is on a piece of content. You can work on creating the perfect post for a long time but it’ll generally only have good reach for about 48 hours or so. This puts you on an intense and exhausting cycle of content creation. You’re constantly having to put something new out as your last piece of content is no longer working for you.
Luckily, this isn’t true of Pinterest!
On Pinterest, you’ll actually find the opposite. Pins don’t tend to perform particularly well at first. This is because it takes Pinterest a while to understand what the pin is about and rank it for the correct keywords.
Then a couple of months later, once the pin is ranked correctly, you’ll see huge amounts of traffic. This traffic can last for months and, in many cases, years! Your content definitely works a lot harder for you on Pinterest. It just requires a little more patience!
There’s a clear winner when it comes to links. It’s Pinterest!
Pinterest is specifically designed to push people out of the app. It’s a solutions based site. A bit like google, it provides you with a whole host of different links depending on your search query.
You can link your website to every pin you post and people can easily click through to be taken straight there!
Instagram on the other hand is a community-based site. It wants to keep people in the app. As a result, it can be difficult to get people to click through to your site. You can only add one link to your bio, rather than to each post you make. As a result, you’re often forced to direct people to your profile in order for them to find your link. This added step can put a lot of users off and instead, they’ll simply keep scrolling through their feed!
When it comes to links, there have been a few changes that are levelling the playing field:
Until recently, Instagram would only allow you to add a link to your stories if you had 10,000+ followers. This is no longer the case! They’ve replaced the swipe-up link with a link sticker. This means that anyone can add a link to their stories. Of course, the more people who see your stories, the better you’re likely to do!
Not long ago, Pinterest launched their ‘Idea Pins’ (which are a bit like Instagram stories). Pinterest Idea Pins allow you to tag products but not link to your website. On a normal pin, you can click on the pin and be taken straight to the linked website. This is not the case with Idea Pins! As a result, it can be very hard to get people to click through to your website when using this specific type of pin.
One of the best things about Pinterest is the amount of control you have over growth. This is because it’s a visual search engine, and as such, you can optimise your content using SEO (search engine optimisation). It’s possible to be very strategic with Pinterest to make sure that you rank highly for certain search queries.
The most important way to do this is to learn how to find and use keywords properly. If you’re not sure you’re doing keywords right, check out my Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Keyword Research.
Now, of course it’s possible to have a strategy on Instagram too. In fact, it’s very important! However, because it’s not a search engine, you don’t have quite as much control over whether people see your content. You’re much more at the whim of Instagram’s algorithm.
When it comes to Branding and Storytelling, Instagram has to be the winner. Because of the emphasis on following and community, it’s the perfect place to build brand awareness and take your audience along on your journey. This is because they’ll be seeing your content daily, making it easy to watch you develop and grow!
Pinterest users are generally looking for a specific solution to a specific problem. They don’t really care who provides it! On Instagram you can build a loyal following through storytelling. On Pinterest, you have to lead with value. Promise the user a solution and drive them to your website. This is where you can introduce storytelling and build brand awareness! Make sure to always have a link to your about section on every page.
When choosing between Pinterest and Instagram, it’s important to consider where your audience already is. You want to meet them where they’re at! This will make it much easier to drive traffic and sales.
Here’s a quick look at some Pinterest and Instagram demographics that might be useful in making a decision between the two!
If you’ve dipped your toe into the online marketing world, you’ll probably already know how important it is to grow your email list. You don’t want to rely on the ‘borrowed land’ of social media too much and email lists have been proved time and time again to be highly effective for launches!
If you haven’t already started growing your list, this is your sign to start. I promise you’ll thank me later.
I use Flodesk for my own mailing list and love it. It’s reasonably priced and the cost doesn’t go up as your subscribers increase (as is the case with many other email marketing providers!).
You can get 50% off at Flodesk using my affiliate link – https://flodesk.com/c/ATLASSOCIAL
So which is better for growing your ever so important email list – Pinterest or Instagram?
They can both be effective. If you have a lot of followers on Instagram, you can post about your lead magnet or freebie frequently and direct them to sign up for your email list.
If you have less followers however, Pinterest is the way to go. You can create a lead magnet that perfectly solves your audiences problem, load it with keywords and promote it on Pinterest. These people are already searching for the solution that you’re providing. As a result, you’ll probably find it’s easier to grow your email list over there!
In fact, growing email lists is one of my favourite things to use Pinterest for when it comes to both my clients and my own business!
Instagram’s biggest advantage is that it has much more global reach. Whilst Pinterest is very big in some countries, it’s practically non-existent in others.
The USA has by far the most pinterest users, followed by:
It’s a good idea to check that your ideal audience lives in a country that uses Pinterest. Otherwise, you’ll probably be wasting your time!
If you’re looking for a quick fix, Pinterest probably isn’t for you. Due it’s position as a search engine, it can take a number of months for posts to rank properly and for people to be shown your content consistently. It’s a method that requires strategy and patience!
Instagram provides immediate feedback with likes, comments, and shares. However, actually growing your account can take a very long time.
Either way, you’ll have to commit to putting a lot of time and effort into creating content.
I hate to be that person but… it depends!
On what your brand goals are and who your audience is.
I’m inclined to recommend Pinterest because it allows you more control over your own growth and your not as much at the whim of forever changing social algorithms!
However, for some people Pinterest won’t be the right choice.
That being said, hopefully this blogpost has helped you to decide which platform could be most beneficial for your business!
If you’ve decided that Pinterest could be the way to go, then make sure to do the following things:
I started Atlas Social Co. to bring the power of Pinterest to businesses, bloggers, and brands with the aim of increasing traffic and decreasing stress! We're here to make Pinterest marketing a breeze.