Instagram vs Website: Both or One?

Since we last carried out our last SME Report, we’ve noticed a sharp increase in Kiwi businesses using Instagram, with 30% more businesses using the platform than in 2021. And of those who don’t have Instagram, 16% want one. Which raises the question - Instagram or a Website?


Starting as an image-driven social platform Instagram has largely stayed true to its visual roots but has evolved to feature reels, stories and shopping tags that let users navigate directly to a product page from an image.

Some benefits:
  • Connect and encourage interactions
    Foster relationships and engage with customers through likes, comments, reshares, tags (location and profile), and direct messages.
  • Let’s get visual
    With the opportunity to display information visually and capitalise on eye-catching imagery, it’s no wonder businesses from travel, accommodation and hospitality, and health and beauty are flocking to the app.
  • Keep your customers in a loop
    Easily share UGC (user-generated content), show off the benefits of products and services, display your work, share customer success stories and harness highlights to share key information. 
  • Reach a new audience
    As a social platform, Instagram is an excellent marketing tool to reach new customers, both through in-app ads and organic content. The explore, shopping and reels pages all drive new users to your posts and profile, while sponsored posts and story ads have a natural in-app feel, feeling more genuine and less jarring for users.


On the other hand, websites serve as a hub for your business. Generally seen as the foundation of any online presence, as your website is easily accessible for all your customers - regardless of what accounts and profiles they may or may not have.

Some benefits
  • Customisation
    When it comes to websites, the world is your oyster. Create custom websites or use templates for complete control over your brand, appearance, and customer journey.
  • Automation
    Free up time with lead forms, live chat, questionnaires and solutions like Calendly or Timely that automate bookings and give you insights into what your customers are facing, giving you a leg up when they’re ready to talk.
  • The ultimate destination
    If you’re looking to run digital ads, a website is almost essential, with many requiring a URL to drive to. So if you’re looking to run activity outside of Instagram, a website is worthwhile having. Not to mention you can optimise your website through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), increase your chances of appearing on the first page of a Google Search and organically reach new customers. 
  • Establish Credibility and Authority
    With a website you can build up your reputation, share content and establish your business and yourself as an authority in your industry, making your business the go-to place.
  • Wider audience
    With nearly half of Kiwis on Instagram, having a website ensures the other half of Kiwis who don’t have an account or peruse Instagram can find your business. 

Is one better than the other?

While many businesses may be sitting in the “one or the other” camp, both have their benefits and their role to play. So it’s best to have the two working in tandem and reap the benefits of each platform to maximise your presence online. 

We recommend using a website as the ultimate base of operations, driving traffic through clickable shopping tags, swipe-up stories, and a linkinbio. Multiple or too many channels can make it hard to manage orders, consultations or bookings and lead to a poor customer experience as there’s the potential to slip through the cracks.

Not to mention if your website goes down or if Instagram goes down (like the infamous META crash of 2021), your customers are still able to find you on other platforms.

Want to learn more about what platforms Kiwi businesses like yours are investing in? Download our SME Report today!