Instagram for B2B marketing? Say what! Can you use Instagram for B2B marketing? The simple answer – Yes! Instagram is the sixth most popular social media platform, and therefore, cannot be ignored by your business. You should be leveraging its amazing potential, starting right now.
With 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram should be right up there amongst the primary social media platforms you are using to engage with other businesses.
But are, B2B marketers using Instagram? How does its B2B marketing usage stack up against other social media platforms?
46% of marketers used Instagram in an organic manner, while 17% used Instagram in a paid manner. These figures tell you that B2B marketers are not using Instagram enough. There is tremendous opportunity there and also not as much competition as on other platforms. As a marketer, you have the potential to get a first-mover advantage on Instagram, so get started on it.
The question is how do you approach your B2B marketing on Instagram? Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind:
You must adopt a ‘current approach’ to your Instagram and this is where you can come across as a business that is well aware of its place in the world and has an eye on the latest happenings. You can also showcase how you are contributing to the society in general, and highlight your brand-building efforts. This can be showcased through apt messaging.
The two posts given below are from IBM’s Instagram account and are perfect examples of posts that have relevance and also contribute towards a company’s brand-building efforts.
Instagram also helps you connect with your target audience in a manner that is awesomely fun, and impactful.
This is a valentine’s day post, that targets customers but from a ‘Valentine’ perspective. It’s essentially a marketing message for businesses, but extremely relevant for the day at hand.
The whole idea behind Instagram is to infuse creative imagery and thought process to make an immediate impact in the minds of your target audience. Even companies in a very serious space, have the liberty to come up with fun messaging that allows them to shed inhibitions imposed by their domain.
Deloitte is a global organization that offers audit, risk advisory, financial advisory, consultation, legal and tax services. As can be imagined, this space can immediately by considered as ‘serious’. But Deloitte is making a concerted effort to make their Instagram account fun. Take for example the above post. It is in honor of the Millennial Survey, with a series of posts that feature their millennial employees - The focus here is on creating an enjoyable, yet poignant post. Works all the time!
Happy faces work, especially during tough times. What people are looking for on Instagram is a lot of positivity and you must give it to them. Integrate it with a bit of business messaging like GE does and you will have a rock-solid Instagram account on your hands.
Look at all those happy faces. And read the text. The happy faces immediately get your attention and make you want to read the text. It describes how GE is making a difference in diverse domains.
Your target audience will be looking for some authentic content and not one created with the use of stock images and boilerplate text that is totally salesy. They want to get some drill-down insights about the company, its work culture, and the people working for it. One of the great ways of coming up with authentic, real-time content is creating user-generated content. This is what Wells Fargo does really well, and again it is all about adopting an innovative approach towards Instagram messaging. What you are doing with user-generated content is engaging users with a human touch. No prizes for guessing that it delivers returns.
Yes, adopting a strategic approach towards your Instagram messaging is a very good idea, but don’t let that stop you from coming up with mixing up your posts. You need to keep adding posts to ensure that the engagement levels do not taper off after some time.
One example of mixing up different types of messaging is the Salesforce Instagram account.
The first post is a pure business post (also a very relevant post for the current times) about the Salesforce Contact Tracing Tool that is helping businesses drive their reopening plans. The second post is about one of Salesforce’s mascots Codey the Bear and the third is about BlackLivesMatter, which focuses on a popular movement of immense social significance.
They are mixing it up.
Initially, when you begin your Instagram journey, it is important that you do not go in different directions. It is imperative that you make it very clear that you are using Instagram to target your customers. This is your main goal. Everything else, although important is secondary.
A prime example, of not losing sight of the bigger picture and still innovating is Scalefast. The first image is of a post that covers a study they have put out, the second is a video post about a customer success story and the third is a post that is all about reputation building as it talks about the startup’s achievement.
In their own way, all posts are contributing to the brand-building effort, and are completely oriented towards generating leads.
Maintain Content Quality
As a B2B company, you will need to create a lot of content from your social media accounts, including Instagram. But, don’t drop the ball on quality. Create a weekly content calendar, which essentially allows you to create Instagram content well in advance, so that it can go through a comprehensive feedback and revision cycle. Also, it is important not to lose sight of your main goal in order to pursue viral posts. A viral post doesn’t necessarily attract the leads that you want. So be careful.
It is imperative that you take a look at other B2B Instagram accounts in your space before you draw out a strategy for your own Instagram account. This will tell you what need to do, and what you shouldn’t do. The latter is more important.
The road towards a successful B2B Instagram account is not easy, but if you do the simple things right, you will be well on your way to achieving success. Try using the tips given in this article to ensure your journey begins in the right manner. However, it is important to remember that like all social media strategies, this one will also be a bit of a fire and miss. So, don’t worry if things don’t work out initially. Keep at it and you will succeed.