There are two primary sources of imagery: consumers and brands. Instagram is heavily biased toward user-generated content — photos taken in the moment by consumers eager to share their lives. For example, Instagram users tag Starbucks in images over 10,000 times daily.
Conversely, Pinterest is dominated by images supplied by brands. Over 85% of Pinterest engagement comes from consumers saving images from the Websites/blogs of the brands they visit. Taken together, these platforms represent a powerful continuum of the things people want (Pinterest) and those things in action (Instagram).
Pinterest, in particular, is driving substantial results for brands. Unlike Instagram, images on Pinterest link back to brands. Those links have enabled Pinterest to become the Web’s third-largest traffic referral source. For numerous retailers and publishers, Pinterest has actually become their top referral source. The traffic converts, with average shopping cart sizes over 75% larger than Facebook. That’s not surprising when you consider 70% of Pinterest users use the service to look for shopping inspiration.
Digital marketers will need to adapt to these new visual conversations in order to drive consumer engagement and revenue. But, like all things worth doing, this isn’t easy.