Horizon Featured Article

Running Successful Promotions on Pinterest & Instagram

Northsail Believes in Creating a Consistent Brand Image

Reliability and consistency are two values that play a huge role in how your customer base views your brand. If you want to create long-lasting Brand Affinity, then you need to focus on providing consistent Brand Marketing.

Both of these values are extremely important to Northsail, which is why anytime we take on a project, we guarantee it'll be completed on-time, on-spec, and on-budget. If we don't think we can maintain our top-quality standards, we'll simply turn the project down.

When you're running marketing campaigns, you need to ensure that your branding is consistent, not just in traditional marketing materials, but in how you manage promotions across multiple social networks.

With that in mind, this page is going to teach you a little bit about some of the differences between Instagram and Pinterest - two of the most photo-centric social media platforms. We'll also discuss some ways to take advantage of those differences, whether you're planning to run promotions on Pinterest or contests on Instagram.

What are Instagram & Pinterest?

Instagram and Pinterest are two popular social media platforms that use images at the heart of essentially every post. For the average social media user, if you have a gorgeous picture that you want to share, odds are you’re likely considering adding it to one of these two platforms.

Unlike certain other types of Social Media Marketing, there's typically a reduced word count associated with posts on these social media channels, and including visual content in the posts is basically mandatory.

Despite their similarities, there are actually a number of fundamental differences between these two useful social media networks.

For instance, Instagram stories offer a platform that's designed primarily for users to share their own content. Pinterest, on the other hand, tends to be a place that is used to discover curated content in similar veins of interest.

Instagram tends to have a younger user-base, and there are more men using the platform than women. Conversely, Pinterest’s user base is a little bit older, and their user-base is made up of much more women than men (although that statistic is starting to shift).

Apart from these differences, one of the biggest variances between these two platforms is their flexibility on digital devices. Pinterest is designed to function well on both desktop and mobile devices, while Instagram is designed to only function as a mobile app.

This may not seem like a huge deal at first, but don't underestimate how much of your target audience are using desktop computers. The last thing you want to do is cut yourself off from potentially reaching a vital part of your key demographics.

Taking Advantage of Interactive Marketing Techniques

If you've never used Interactive Marketing techniques, you're already leaving money on the table.

We live in a digital age, where consumers demand engagement at every turn; otherwise, our terrible, overwhelming fear of boredom pulls us in another direction.

On average, you have approximately 15 seconds from the time that someone reaches your page, until they will click away. This is, unless you can find a way to engage them and hold their attention, especially if you're trying to collect Customer Data like their email address or follow you through their social media profile.

There are a few tactics that you can use to grab hold of your audience immediately (other than perhaps call to action buttons), but not many are as reliable as photo-centric marketing.

Images that we find visually pleasing, interesting, or elicit an emotional reaction from us, are at the center of both the Pinterest and Instagram stories. Because of this, it makes sense that these social media channels would be the natural place to run Photo Contests.

How to Run Promotions on Instagram & Pinterest

Now that you know a bit about the differences of each platform, let's discuss some ways these two outlets can be used to the benefit of your next Instagram contest or Pinterest promotion.

The key to making the most of your campaigns on either of these platforms is understanding how to use their differences to your advantage.

Once you do that, you'll be able to start planning parallel campaigns. This way, you can make the most of both platforms, as well as engage your potential customers on multiple social platforms.

# Instagram Stories

For businesses that are trying to build some of their social media campaigns around branded content ideas and Hashtags, Instagram stories are definitely the place to start.

Like Twitter's tweets, Instagram stories tend to include a lot of Hashtags. It allows people to get their own posts in front of specific audiences. You could use a hashtag in your campaign like #Ontario if you wanted to localize the post, or a hashtag like #Tasty alongside images of food or drinks.

Since hashtags are such a large part of the platform, it makes sense that you should arrange these types of contests to include hashtags that are specifically designed to put your Brand or products at the forefront. This means avoiding popular hashtags the active user base is already using for other purposes.

A branded hashtag or #[Product]Love are fine examples for a basic campaign, or in addition to other hashtags on individual posts, but if you really want to get the most engagement from your potential followers, be sure to think outside the box.

A little creativity in how you use your hashtags can go a long way towards helping your entire social media strategy. You can also encourage active users on Instagram to suggest hashtags that you can use as part of a social promotion. Just make sure anything you choose to use are relevant hashtags, otherwise you could muddle your marketing messaging.

User-generated content that you can begin working into your regular posts is the perfect way to get new and exciting social media content that might help you reach a larger audience.

You never know what kind of brilliant contest ideas you'll get offered for free from your social media followers, which makes these social channels an invaluable tool for businesses that are having trouble finding an engaging direction for their Instagram stories.

Link-sharing with Pinterest Contests

Surprisingly, Instagram is currently the only major social media platform that doesn't have some sort of link-sharing option within their posts for business profiles.

This makes Pinterest the best option, if you're going to be pushing your Pinterest promotion by encouraging customers to share the link to the contest page on your website.

For business owners running No Purchase Necessary Promotions or Bonus Entry Contests, Pinterest is a fantastic way to start getting some more word of mouth, and give your customer base some extra steps to earn themselves additional entries into your promotion.

Instagram doesn't actually have any kind of link-sharing process built into their platform at all, which means you can't effectively run a campaign focused on sharing links from there. The same way Pinterest doesn't take advantage of hashtags in any meaningful way. This requires a multifaceted social media marketing strategy.

In these scenarios, you'd be much better off focusing on Pinterest for the link-sharing part of your campaign and Instagram for your hashtags. Utilized together, you can create a well-rounded, photo-centric campaign that targets both sides of the spectrum.

But which types of photos are best used in a visual platform to engage your ideal customers and increase your follower count?

Sometimes, it's best to let the social media posts speak for themselves. Or, at least, their color schemes.

Let the Image Decide if You Should Use Pinterest or Instagram

Red vs Blue

Are you using pictures on the blue side of the color spectrum or the red side? You might be surprised to know they could have an impact on your social media accounts across Pinterest and Instagram.

Pinterest social media posts that have lots of red in them tend to get repinned almost twice as much as other primary colors.

Alternatively, Instagram stories on the blue side of the spectrum tend to get more likes than pictures using red.

Colors have a huge impact on your customer's initial emotional reactions. Even the number of dominant colors you use in your images or button colors could dramatically impact which platform will be appropriate for your post.

Instagram posts get more attention when they're focused on a single, or low number of dominant colors. Pinterest works in the exact opposite way, with multi-coloured pictures getting much more attention than single-shade images.

What is the Focus of Your Photo?

Does your picture incorporate a lot of background behind the central focus, or is it a close-up shot, which centers almost entirely on a single thing?

You might be surprised to know that this can have an impact on where you should post the picture. Images with lots of background get more attention on Instagram, while close-ups function better on Pinterest.

If you’re using people in your pictures, how you should frame their position, and how many of them you should show, changes depending on which platform you choose.

Body shots without faces shown are more popular on Pinterest. However, people smiling in pictures is an extremely effective method for engaging with users on Instagram.

As you can see, there are a lot of factors you may not have considered before that you need to take into account, before you start running your next Instagram contest or Pinterest promotion.

The good news is that if you take the time to make tactful choices on which social media platforms to use for each photo, you can leverage multiple platforms simultaneously to engage with your audience. In turn, this makes your odds of running a succession promotion much higher.

With All Good Things, Seeing is Believing

That's Why Northsail is Offering You a Free Trial of Our Newest Service 'Horizon'

You read that correctly, we're inviting you to take part in a free trial of our next service launch, which we've dubbed 'Horizon'.

Are you tired of relying on a developer to get new site pages up, or help you incorporate customer data forms into your pages?

Well, Horizon takes the developer out of the equation, and it gives you the freedom to quickly and efficiently create high-performance landing pages and microsites for your business. It also makes creating and adding data collection forms a breeze.

All we ask is that you take a few minutes to let us know what you think about our new service, once you've had a chance to try it.

It's a small price to pay for early access to our innovative, helpful new service. We’re sure you'll agree that it's well worth your time to check it out!

Sign up for early access to Horizon!

We’ll send you important updates about the early access program and your free invite when we are ready.

Your contact information will only be used for the early access program, not for future sales and marketing.

Back to top