Pinterest Ads vs Facebook Ads: Which platform should I use?

Pinterest Ads vs Facebook Ads: what’s the difference? Which one is better? Where should you spend your dollars?

There has been quite a bit of contention placed between these 2 ad platforms over the years so let’s talk about the differences without bias between them.

There has been a long drawn out argument over both of these platforms and a lot of marketers will come out and make blunt assertions on which is better.

Honestly, no one ad platform can be better than the others due to courses or services they want to offer.

There’s nothing wrong with selling your services or products, in fact you should be doing that. Sales is service.

But for today’s topic at hand let’s breakdown the differences between the two platforms without all the fluff.

What is the difference between Facebook Ads & Pinterest Ads?

There is a difference between the two advertising platforms and I believe for most businesses there is a time and place for running ads on either.

Now there is one caveat to whether you should run ads on either platform and that is whether or not your audience is on the platform. If your audience isn’t there then you probably shouldn’t invest there.

So let’s breakdown the difference in Pinterest Ads vs Facebook Ads on a level most people don’t talk about.

I’m going to cover: 

  • User Intent
  • Targeting Options
  • Objectives
  • Cost
  • Imagery

So let’s dive in.

What is the User Intent for Facebook?

Most users who are on Facebook are there to interact with their family and friends. They are there for communities and social networking.

When they see ads on Facebook they are more likely to purchase through impulse because they aren’t on the platform shopping.

They are on the platform in communities and if they see your ad while they’re on the platform then that is a win for you.

What is the User Intent on Pinterest?

Pinners go on Pinterest to search and plan so the reason they are on the platform is different.

The majority of pinners are looking for content earlier than when they need it. For example, in 2020 they started looking for Christmas content in April.

They plan intentionally and execute strategically and that’s how I tell my clients & students to think when it comes to Pinterest as well.

What are the Facebook Ads Targeting Options?

With the Facebook ads platform you definitely have a lot of targeting options. You can get so granular in the targeting and it’s because of the amount of data that Facebook knows about us.

Here are some of the options:

  • Location
  • Demographics
    •  Age, gender, education, employment, household and lifestyle details
  • Behavior
    • Target based on things like devices they use or their likelihood to purchase
  • Connections
  • Interests
  • Contact lists
  • App users
  • Site visitors
  • Devices
  • Languages
  • Lookalikes to a current audience
  • Expanded targeting

While there are a ton of audiences you can build on Facebook sometimes it’s better to go broad. Your strategy will vary depending on your target audience, your offer, the time it takes to convert them, etc.

What are the Pinterest Ads Targeting Options?

While you can’t target people based on someone they follow on Pinterest like you can on Facebook you can get pretty detailed in your targeting.

One major difference between Facebook and Pinterest is the keyword targeting feature.

The primary feature of Pinterest is the search bar because pinners are using it as a search engine.

So let’s dive into the other targeting options you can use on Pinterest.

  • Keywords
  • Interests
  • Custom audience uploads
  • Site visitors
  • Lookalike audiences
  • Engagement audience
  • Demographics
    • Gender, age, languages, device, location
  • Expanded
  • Browse & search

I have found the interest and keyword targeting on Pinterest very powerful and a great way to build an engaged audience ready to take action.

What Can You Optimize for on Facebook?

Facebook allows you to choose between a myriad of conversion events.

Here are the most common but know there are more:

  • Purchase
  • Lead
  • Add to Cart
  • Page Visit
  • Subscribe
  • Search
  • View Content
  • Add to Wishlist

What Can You Optimize for on Pinterest?

  • Signup
  • Lead
  • Custom
  • Page Visit
  • View Category
  • Search
  • Add To Cart
  • Checkout
  • Watch Video

If you are new to Pinterest Ads and the events you are wanting to optimize towards are not in your ads manager when you create your ad it simply means those events have not fired on your site.

What are the Objectives I Can Choose for Facebook Ad Campaigns?

When you setup your ads on Facebook you can choose between some of the following:

  • Traffic
  • Video views
  • Traffic
  • Conversion
  • Brand Awareness

What are the Pinterest Ad Campaign Objectives?

On Pinterest you can choose from the following:

  • Brand awareness
  • Video views
  • Consideration
  • Conversions
  • Catalog sales
  • Web Sessions

What are the Costs of Facebook Ads vs Pinterest Ads?

This is going to depend heavily on your audience and your offer among many other things.

On average, among my entrepreneur friends we are seeing anywhere from $0.50 per lead up to $2 per lead on average.

For Pinterest we are seeing anywhere from $0.50 to $1.50 per lead.

This is just during writing this post and isn’t historical data so take this with a grain of salt.

Facebook Ad Imagery

Facebook gives you more leeway for imagery. You can put text on your images or include video and animated graphics as well.

The greatest advantage of ad assets on Facebook is the ability to write a novel in ad text to convince someone to buy your product.

Pinterest Ad Imagery

With Pinterest ads you don’t get a long block of text to go with your image. You have to create a compelling image or video that gets people to click and take action.

The ad image that people see on Pinterest has to be very compelling and closely resemble the landing page people will land on so they aren’t confused when they land.

Unless someone saves your ad image they won’t see a description and in most cases the descriptions are not on the pin when you save an ad.

Why I Personally Love Pinterest Ads vs Facebook Ads

The half life of a Pinterest pin lasts so much longer than a Facebook post. When you run an ad on Pinterest & someone saves it then you turn your ad off you can still get leads & sales attributed to your campaign long after its off.

When you turn off a Facebook ad it’s done and can’t be found again.

Wrap Up

Choosing an ad platform that works for your business should take some consideration. You may want to use Pinterest Ads & Facebook Ads at the same time or at totally different times.

It’s going to depend upon your audience, offer, time of year, if they use the those platforms and much more.

Take some time to think about where your audience is at and where they are in the buyer journey. You can potentially meet them on each platforms for different purposes.

Pin It For Later

Pinterest marketing is the way to go when it comes to free organic traffic. Digital marketing tips are everywhere but you should be on Pinterest. Learn how to start a Pinterest account the right way! Pinterest SEO is so important and I teach you exactly what to do in this post! Up your Pinterest marketing game, grow your traffic, grow your email list and fall in love with Pinterest for marketing your business.
Pinterest marketing is the way to go when it comes to free organic traffic. Digital marketing tips are everywhere but you should be on Pinterest. Learn how to start a Pinterest account the right way! Pinterest SEO is so important and I teach you exactly what to do in this post! Up your Pinterest marketing game, grow your traffic, grow your email list and fall in love with Pinterest for marketing your business.