Are you trying to achieve the objectives of your B2B social media marketing strategy? Are you looking for a channel that is not Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or Twitter? It’s time to add Instagram to your B2B marketing strategy.
Instagram has more than 1 billion subscribers and daily over 500 million are active.
In a search from Forrester, Instagram is called the “king of social engagement“, as the engagement rate is 58 times higher than that of Facebook and 120 times higher than Twitter.
And few people know that Instagram users have a higher average income than other social media users.
Getting followers on Instagram is not difficult. Getting real followers in your industry is often a challenge. Instagram has quickly become one of the best sales channels for eCommerce merchants thanks to its features.
The nature of the platform, combined with the highest level of engagement among all social networks, has made Instagram the perfect channel to show off your brand and products.
Instagram is increasingly a life raft for Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg earned something like $ 1.7 billion after Instagram announced the launch of IGTV and reached 1 billion users.
The sentiment towards Facebook, especially among young people, is in decline and is continuously shaken by privacy scandals. However, many users do not even realise that Instagram is owned by Facebook.
With the achievement of 1 billion users, companies and content creators can take the app even more seriously to share photos and videos.
Not sure where to start? Here are 7 activities that you can quickly implement in your Instagram B2B marketing activities
We have identified 7 activities that are essential for implementing an effective Instagram marketing strategy for B2B to attract highly profiled followers:
1. Tell the story of your brand
It is crucial that your audience knows the history of your company. For example, you could tell the experiences of your first customers … how you helped them grow. Tell the story of your product, how much time it took to create it and who started the idea.
By emphasising events that affect the history of your company, you can help your clients understand the journey and build an emotional connection between them and your product.
2. Share company news
What does your marketing team do when the company closes a good deal, wins a prize or launches a new product?
Instagram provides a plethora of filters and graphics to quickly and professionally create snapshots that will not only attract your audience but also ensure that they share the news about the company with all their followers!
3. Share your blog content
Looking for a new platform to promote your next blog post? Do you want a new channel for your social campaigns? Are you looking for a new way to lead people to your landing page for a new eBook? The answer is Instagram.
Promoting your content on Instagram will allow you to increase its reach, convert your audience into followers or subscribers of other marketing channels, help your buyer personas or B2B buyer personas to make the purchase faster and remain clients for longer.
4. 15 seconds of demos and tutorials
15 seconds are enough to capture the attention of potential customers, earn their interest and lead them through the marketing funnel. Instagram allows you to post a short video that shows the use of your new product.
This is especially useful for hi-tech companies, helping current customers adapt quickly to their new and improved product!
5. Create leadership
If you want to turn your company into an industry leader, you absolutely must have great insights to share with the Instagram audience. To do this, you must post videos that contain sharp and useful tips to educate your audience.
An interactive way to make your business a true leader is to tell customers to ask questions or ask your employees for advice and let them post their answers. As you know, customer service can be an excellent content marketing strategy when you provide help to customers in public form.
6. Leverage event marketing
Post photos of your experiences in marketing events. Using the hashtag #event, you can connect with all the participants on Instagram.
In this way, your followers can take a look at your event even if they can not be there in person (in the same logic as the real-time social media marketing launched by Twitter).
7. Have a good time!
Remember that the most performing posts concerning involvement are the funniest and able to entertain your audience. Show your human side, be funny and the audience will love you for it!
The best B2B strategy is experimental. Plan and test different activities and use specific metrics to understand their effects. The details will depend on what concerns your business and, above all, who your customers are. Remember that there is no magic formula!
About Instagram B2B Marketing and Stories
Instagram Stories are simply a functionality that allows users to post photos and videos that remain online for 24h.
There are already many brands that use Instagram Stories, especially B2B companies. We can find some examples in Deloitte Digital and We Work, in addition to NASA, Starbucks, The Guardian, Primark…
Most of them use it for “behind-the-scenes” style content and the promotion of corporate culture. The most significant difference is that Instagram allows us to evaluate the performance of every content thanks to increasingly advanced analytical tools.
Among the most innovative and exciting examples of Instagram in the B2B marketing world, we find Squarespace that has focused on giving greater consistency to its brand thanks to Instagram.
The brand’s slogan is “The simplest way to create a beautiful website”.
The slogan is perfectly embodied by the company’s feed on Instagram. The account includes beautiful photos taken by customers.
This is not just a great “customer” marketing, but also a way to show different layouts and models available and inspire and create engagement for prospects!
Humanise your brand, create leadership and adopt storytelling before marketing. It aims to build a community around your brand
Instagram B2B marketing means corporate culture. How to achieve the same success as B2C companies?
There are some activities needed here:
- Find the time to produce good content and post it regularly, following a well-planned strategy
- Alternate the type of content published and the topics covered. Make sure to offer your audience a fun and above all exciting material!
- Communicate the real value of your company. Try to “connect” with your audience through the emotional sphere
- Recycle contents. An easy way to stay in line with content is to share it directly with the community: ask members to tag your Instagram company profile!
Don’t think that your products or services are too dull for the Instagram audience…
You can always post educational photo content that shows what you do best. Choose a nice filter and the best description to maximise the engagement of your photo.
Pour some sugar on your Instagram B2B strategy
Be more elastic, instead of posting photos that portray only you, try to link what you do, or interests that people might have, to lead users to visit your Instagram profile even if they are not looking for you.
Use hashtags that are sufficiently relevant and carefully study what they do and how other Instagram users behave: you may participate in potentially exciting conversations.
As already mentioned, you need to awaken your Instagram account: 40% of the most shared videos on Instagram are posted by companies. They give a much more compelling content of the photos, which are obviously more static and less attractive, as well as providing a real personality to your brand.
Involve your employees as much as possible
It is probably the simplest and most rewarding way to increase engagement on Instagram.
Some B2B companies even publish only the activities of their employees: this serves to demonstrate the values and culture that make your company.
It is essential for people to have an all-round vision of the company and the brand! This is why posting funny photos/videos about your employees and how they work can be a good idea.
Search for the best hashtags
There are so many reasons to do it. You can search for the most popular hashtags and find the ones that suit your interests and what you want to communicate, also related to the photos you post. It is also useful to make sure that someone else (competitor?) has not already associated their content with a hashtag that you would like to use for yours.
Plan using the right tools for content management
Some tools work well with Instagram, sending you a notification every time you should publish content. Unfortunately, Instagram does not allow you to schedule posts and let them publish themselves in the time slot you have chosen. In any case, the best tools that the web offers you in this regard are Buffer, Hootsuite, Latergramme, Sprout Social, Planoly, Plann and AgoraPulse.
Do not post irrelevant content
Make sure that the content you post is relevant and consistent with the themes and topics of your website. You can always provide value by showing your products to the public!
What can be measured...can be improved!
The most determined marketers absolutely want data that spell out as much information as possible about what’s good and what’s not and to do this, there are several tools, such as Iconosquare, Minter.io, Simply Measured, Inkk361, Command app, Keyhole.
Two examples of companies that are taking full advantage of the Instagram platform are Adobe and Microsoft. Adobe has the power of knowing the design industry well, so Instagram seems to be much simpler for them to master than other B2B companies.
Their feed is exceptional, including user-generated content that is very important to their audience.
Microsoft uses the Instagram channel as an integral part of its editorial plan, utilising each post as an opportunity to tell a story, guiding the audience through what is actually told by the photo.
Instagram B2B marketing: how to create a smart alternative to advertising
Two alternatives to Instagram traditional advertising are proving to be particularly useful for Instagram marketing: CTA (Call To Action) and intelligent use of the most relevant hashtags.
CTA on Instagram is one of the best techniques to attract the user and entrust with the hard work of finding new followers. The ranking of the most relevant hashtags is the second great alternative for marketing on Instagram.
Once you have selected all the most suitable hashtags, use them in the comments. Hiding the hashtags in the comments section can shorten the description of your post and avoid a hashtag overload.
So the content will be more accessible to read, and it will also become easier to be found, attracting all users potentially interested in your topics.
Always find time to follow other users and like their posts
Spending time on other users will allow you to get more followers. The classic like-minded users are probably following you to reciprocate the likes once you have satisfied regarding engagement.
One of the best techniques, apart from reciprocating likes and comments, is the repost of the contents of other companies.
This builds relationships.
It can also be useful to tag employees, event participants…this will undoubtedly increase your engagement!
Use visual storytelling
Tell a story with images of strong impact.
You could spend hundreds of words describing a service you provide or simply take your best picture that represents that service. Besides, the filters that Instagram offers make images more beautiful, even if you are not really into photography and design.
Promotional content is not particularly appreciated on Instagram: a brand must focus on communicating a message through images and videos. It is not about having text on the photos to deliver a message; instead, it is the kind of message that your brand wants to convey through the image.
Demonstrating the capabilities of your company is synonymous with creativity
Authors of the past said: “Show, do not tell”. A photo of your team or your products will show users that what they see is what it really is.
Spice up your Instagram B2B strategy with visual case studies
Usually, when you want to tell a case study, explaining the processes in detail, you get to fill an entire web page. This way of working is still valid, but with the visual platforms, you bring everything to a higher level easier.
Go to your client’s office and take a photo while using your products, in this way you will emphasise both your client, as a subject, and the potential of the use of your product in everyday life situations.
Take advantage of your employees' trips
Among the users’ most loved photos of Instagram are indeed those of travel. Why not use something like this for your business?
Ask your employee who is often on a business trip to take photos of cities or country where they are located. By publishing these photos, you can show your audience the areas served by your company and at the same time take advantage of the opportunity to tell why you are right there.
And if your company had different offices in different locations, why not show the peculiarities of each area in its context?
Here it is useful to adopt the hashtags and geolocation, taking care to write the name of the location in the hashtag format and adding the keyword “travel” or “business travel”.
Another way to reach a wider audience is to add the location using Instagram’s geolocation option so it will be easier to reach potential customers in that specific area, making you available for new business opportunities.
Facebook Lead Ads and Instagram B2B marketing
Consider that as it was for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others, Instagram needs to monetise and the thrust it is giving to advertising is consistent.
It is just a few months ago the news of the integration with Facebook Lead Ads, an important historical moment: today it is possible to make quality lead generation through Instagram.
Do you want to get leads giving in exchange your exclusive content? Facebook Lead Ads is a new type of advertising for Facebook and Instagram that allows users to simply subscribe to your CRM-integrated database such as HubSpot or ActiveCampaign and email marketing platforms such as MailChimp and receive content via email, wherever they are.
By clicking on the Facebook Lead Ads announcement, your customers will see a form that is automatically pre-filled with information that they have shared with Facebook, such as their name, phone number or email.
The form is entirely mobile-friendly and designed to ask for as little information as possible.
Connect people to companies and their products: in 2 clicks
People these days expect to do anything with their phone. With smartphones, it has always been straightforward to create a community of users interested in brands through likes, but it is challenging to get contacts interested in buying products or services.
With Facebook Lead Ads, it is now easier for advertisers all over the world.
Avoid ads overdoses...what is your engagement rate?
Thanks to this new way of doing social advertising you can reach your customers, faster, obtaining contact information to start direct email marketing and inbound sales.
It all starts with an investment in organic growth.
The load of advertising that we all experience through social media will keep growing. Organic growth means engaging your potential customer but also means increasing conversion rates by following others and creating common interests.
Considering Instagram B2B marketing not enough for your strategy?
Are you wondering how other B2B companies use their platforms? There is no reason to limit the B2B social media marketing to Linkedin or Twitter. Start also thinking about Snapchat alongside Instagram.
There are 4 ways to use it, along with Instagram:
1. Attract new talent
Snapchat, the video and photo sharing app that recently surpassed Twitter in terms of daily users, has depopulated with teenagers and is spreading even among the over 30s. If you’re trying to attract an early adopter audience, you absolutely have to incorporate Snapchat into your marketing strategy.
While B2C brands have been using this app for a long time, it’s not the same for B2B, which has often remained very wary of this platform. Despite this, some companies like HubSpot and even GE General Electric are already moving towards this application, primarily as a way to share the company’s culture and values.
To start with Snapchat, you need an editorial plan for sufficiently regular and varied content: photos, videos, links. You will also need a precise method to define your level of success on the flat. Snapchat, unfortunately, does not offer many possibilities of performance analysis, but it is possible to keep track of it by checking visualisations.
2. Create visibility to events
The localisation (geo filter) for Snapchat can be created by local people to highlight the city or the landmark they’re in, to promote the event. If you are a guest or a participant, the benefits of using Snapchat location for events are double: first, encourage participant engagement by offering a unique way for guests to show their followers where they are and what they are doing, in real time.
Secondly, increase your brand awareness by being included in the Snapchat stories of others.
3. Promote brand awareness
Instagram has its limits. For example, you can only share a clickable link in your profile description (bio). Despite this limitation, the platform, after being acquired by Facebook, allows you to make sponsored ads that will enable you to reach a wider audience and increase the reputation of your brand. Also, both Instagram and SnapChat have ample potential to humanise your business, creating a visual story that touches the most “highlights” of your brand!
4. Show customer success stories
What if you do not have a “photogenic” office or if you have a product that is too “abstract” to be photographed? Do not worry! You can create a nice feed on Instagram that still allows you to attract customers, promote your product and conquer the Instagram community. All without paying a photographer or a social media manager to create images.
Aim to get out of the schemes
First of all, do not think in silos. The fact that Instagram is a purely visual social media does not necessarily mean that it is not suitable for reaching a B2B audience. It’s actually the opposite, and the scenarios that are opening up are unpredictable and in any case extremely positive for companies.
On this platform, in fact, there are several niches easily reachable just by using targeted hashtags.
Doing a little test, you will be overwhelmed by the potential of this platform and the opportunities it offers.