Seems like eCommerce brands were made for social media marketing, especially on platforms with mostly visual content. Among the most popular media of this kind are Instagram and Pinterest, offering unique features and catering to different creative needs.
In this article, we'll explore the differences between Instagram and Pinterest, helping you understand their functionalities, user demographics, content types, engagement, discoverability, and advertising opportunities for an eCommerce brand.
Instagram vs. Pinterest: User Base & Demographics
Let's start with the basics. The first criterion that should influence your choice of the platform is whether your target audience is there or not. Let's see how Instagram and Pinterest are different from each other audience-wise.
Instagram owns a diverse user base. It attracts individuals of all ages but particularly caters to younger people, with millennials and Generation Z making up a significant portion of Instagram users.
📊 Here are some stats for you to know:
- Instagram has 2.35 billion users as of 2023.
- India has the most Instagram users with 230.25 million Instagrammers; the US has 159.75 million.
- An average user spends 30 minutes on Instagram.
- 47.8% of all Instagram users are female, while 52.2% are male.
- 31.2% of Instagram users are 25-34 years old.
- 31% of Instagram users are 18-24 years old.
- 73% of US teens say Instagram is the best way for brands to reach them about new products or promotions.
💡 Tip: Check our guide on how to find your target audience on Instagram with Combin Growth. This tool lets you set up narrow searches based on different criteria and find exact people and posts that you'tr looking for.
Pinterest has taken its niche as an image discovery platform, primarily attracting people looking for inspiration, ideas, and curated content. Its demographic is broad, but Pinterest is mostly used by women. Users on Pinterest span different age groups, with a significant presence of millennials and Gen Z.
📊 Some curious Pinterest stats:
- 400+ million active users.
- 85% of users scroll Pinterest from mobile devices.
- 240 billion pins are saved by users.
- 43% of pinners are from the US.
- 76% of users are women, with the biggest audience segment being women aged 25-34.
- Pinterest has 23 million Gen Z users.
Instagram vs. Pinterest: Platform Functionality & Features
Instagram is primarily focused on photo and video sharing. It enables users to upload and edit photos or videos, share carousel posts, add captions, add a clickable link to the account bio, and engage with content through likes, comments, and direct messaging.
Instagram stories, Reels, Guides, and Broadcast Channels provide additional ways to share and consume content. Now, in addition to hashtags and geotags, keywords added in a caption also play a vital role in discoverability.
Pinterest is mostly about visual discovery and saving content for future reference, rather than uploading lifestyle vlogs or sharing personal stuff. Users create boards to categorise and save images or videos called Pins.
Pinterest offers a search function to explore content based on keywords, interests, or categories and emphasises the importance of SEO-friendly descriptions and keywords for enhanced visibility and discoverability.
Users can follow boards and repin content to their own boards, creating personalised collections. Users are also encouraged to create their own public or private boards.
💡 Interesting to know is that 85% of weekly users have made a purchase from Pinterest pins.
Instagram vs. Pinterest: Content Types
Instagram is the best place to show personal moments, lifestyle content, and visual storytelling. Users often share photos and videos that depict their daily lives, travels, hobbies, or special events.
Instagram offers a diverse range of content types and allows users to leverage various features to engage their audience:
- Photo posts
- Instagram stories
- Instagram Reels
- Instagram Live
- Story Highlights
- Instagram Guides
- Joint posts
- Instagram Broadcast Channels
Pinterest is best for curating inspiration and ideas across various categories. It serves as a hub for DIY projects, home decor, fashion trends, recipes, makeup tutorials, beauty videos, and much more. Businesses find value in Pinterest as a marketing tool to showcase products, drive traffic to their websites, and connect with an audience actively seeking ideas and inspiration.
Here are the key content types on Pinterest:
- Pins (photo and video)
- Boards are collections of related pins organised around specific themes or topics. Users can create boards to curate and save pins. eCommerce brands can create boards that showcase different product categories, style inspirations, DIY ideas, or seasonal collections. Organising pins into boards helps users discover and explore content in a cohesive and organised manner. You can also invite other users to collaborate on your board.
- Rich Pins are a type of organic Pin that automatically syncs information from your website to your Pins.
Instagram vs. Pinterest: Engagement & Interactions with Content
Instagram encourages engagement through likes, comments, saves, shares (reposts), replies to stories, and direct messaging. Instagram fosters community building and social connections by allowing users to tag friends, mention accounts, or share posts to their stories.
Users can also reshare their Reels to stories and vice versa — create Reels out of current stories and highlights.
Instagram stories let you engage with your community by sharing intercative stickers, polls, Q&A, adding captions to stories, and a lot more!
Pinterest's primary focus is on saving, sharing, and discovering content. Users engage with pins by repinning them to their own boards, enabling them to curate personalised collections of inspiration.
Pinterest also promotes engagement through comments and likes on individual pins. While interactions may not be as immediate or prominent as on Instagram, users can leave comments on pins to express appreciation, ask questions, or provide feedback. You can also follow entire accounts on Pinterest and browse their saved pins.
Instagram vs. Pinterest: Discoverability & Reach
Discoverability on Instagram is driven by the platform's algorithm on the Explore page, Reels tab, and feed. The Explore page offers a curated selection of content tailored to users' interests and engagement patterns. By using relevant hashtags location tags, and keywords in posts users can increase their visibility and reach a wider audience.
Besides, Instagram has recently reorganised its feed, allowing users to switch between the algorithm-curated feed and the chronological one. We made a post about it before, so take a look.
Pinterest's search function plays a vital role in discoverability. Users can search for specific keywords, topics, or interests to find relevant pins and boards. Pinterest's algorithm also suggests related pins based on users' saved content and interests, ensuring a personalised discovery experience on the main feed. Optimising pin descriptions with SEO-friendly keywords helps improve visibility and increases the likelihood of reaching a broader audience.
Instagram vs. Pinterest: Advertising & Business Opportunities
Instagram offers various advertising and business opportunities. Paid content appear in users' feed, stories, Reels, and Explore page.
- Branded content with paid sponsorship of influencers' content.
- Instagram Shopping and product tagging enable businesses to showcase their products and provide a seamless shopping experience for users (even in live streams).
- Instagram paid ads (feed posts, Reels ads, and stories).
- Instagram Insights and Analytics allow you track how your ads and organic content perform.
By utilising these advertising and business opportunities on Instagram, brands can effectively promote their products or services, engage with their target audience, and drive conversions.
Pinterest provides advertising opportunities through promoted pins and shopping ads. Promoted pins appear in users' feeds or search results, increasing the visibility of brands and products.
- Promoted Pins are paid advertisements that appear in users' feeds and search results. Brands can create visually appealing pins and target them to specific demographics, interests, or keywords. They seamlessly blend with organic content, increasing their visibility and engagement.
- Shopping Ads include product images, pricing, and availability information. When users click on a Shopping Ad, they are directed to the brand's website or a specific product page, increasing the likelihood of conversions. Shopping Ads are particularly beneficial for eCommerce brands looking to drive sales and showcase their product catalogue.
- Video Ads autoplay in users' feeds and can drive higher engagement and brand awareness.
- Buyable Pins allow users to make purchases directly within the Pinterest platform. eCommerce brands can integrate their product catalogues with Buyable Pins, providing a seamless shopping experience for users and driving conversions.
- Pinterest Analytics provide valuable insights into audience behaviour, content performance, and engagement. Brands can track metrics such as impressions, clicks, saves, and click-through rates to evaluate the effectiveness of their campaigns.
- Pinterest for Business is a dedicated platform, providing brands with resources, tips, and best practices for utilising the platform effectively. The platform offers educational content, success stories, and tools to optimise campaigns, track performance, and engage with the Pinterest community.
Instagram vs. Pinterest for eCommerce Brand: Which Platform to Choose
When deciding between Instagram and Pinterest for an eCommerce brand, several factors should be considered to make an informed choice. However, we suggest you should use both of the platforms and cross promote your content both on Instagram and Pinterest, especially if the core of your targret audience is young women.
Ultimately, the choice between Instagram and Pinterest for an eCommerce brand depends on your specific business objectives, target audience, content strategy, and the nature of your products. It's essential to regularly monitor and analyse the performance and conversions on each platform to refine your strategy and ensure you're making the most of your chosen platform(s).