B2B and Instagram? Here’s what you need to know
Social media marketing is one of the fastest-growing channels of digital marketing and the potential it has is unimaginable. Businesses that harness their social media accounts boast of filled pipelines and read-to-convert leads.
Out of all the platforms, Instagram is the show-stealer. There are hundreds of high-profile B2B brands that are using Instagram to boost brand awareness and engage with their consumers and prospects. Yes, you heard that right – B-2-B!
If you have been thinking, Instagram is only for B2C, you are certainly missing out on a lot.
Instagram is not just for B2C!
B2B marketers are usually of the opinion that Instagram is more of a ‘cool’ and ‘chill’ platform where serious business cannot be conducted. Just because B2C companies are more open to the visual appeal and bright characteristics of Instagram does not mean that B2B companies cannot use it for their marketing.
If anything, Instagram is a platform where you display your offerings and expertise through your photos and videos. And there is no better place than here to give your prospects a glimpse into your company – how it works, the management, the teams, work culture, what you stand for, etc. Everyone gets real on Instagram, and you can be transparent with your prospects as well.
All you need to know on Insta is your target audience and their preference for content. Two out of three marketers had planned to boost their organic usage of Instagram in 2020.
So, once you have done your research, your Instagram flight is ready to take off!
How to create a B2B Instagram strategy?
Step 1: Define your target audience
Your audience is very well present on Instagram. 36.2% of B2B decision-makers use Instagram to research new products or services. Defining your audience is the very step of your social media marketing strategy because if you don’t know who you want to engage, creating audience-targeted content will be a tough nut to crack.
Instagram users are mostly millennials. Further, the demographics also vary from country to country. Even though this is a good point to start, it is not enough to decide what kind of audience you have. Dig deeper into their characteristics, activities, and behavior. Analyze your other social media accounts and see who is engaging well with you.
Once you have figured your target audience, think about what they want to see, what they are sharing, and what other businesses they are following. You will definitely get a list of things to act upon.
Step 2: Set real-time goals
Now that you are on Instagram, armed with content, it is time to unleash your goal. That is if you have set it. Setting a realistic goal for your social media changes you from a random page to a brand, building its community on the platform.
Let’s look at the S.M.A.R.T guideline. It stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely – something your goals should have. For example, if you are a startup operating in its initial years, your objective should be to increase your brand awareness that would lead to an increase in organic search.
Although this goal is timely and relevant to the company, it is vague and not really measurable. Set a particular number to this, like the exact number of new searches you want, and work on that.
Step 3: Draft a posting schedule
When you are marketing through content, it is important to keep an eye both on quality and quantity. Sure, you don’t want to post mediocre content that will lose your followers, but if you are posting once in a blue moon, the result is likely to be the same.
Draft a schedule for your Instagram posts. Your followers will slowly fall into a routine of expecting content on your page at the same time. Keep posting and keep them engaged with your business insights and glimpses from inside your company, but be cautious to not overdo it. The most common posting frequency for brands on Instagram is 11–20 times per month, with almost one-third of companies measured falling into that bucket.
Although there are specific days and timings that claim to bring more viewers and shares, this also depends on your audience and their time zone. Ensure that your content calendar does not get derailed and wait for the magic.
Step 4: Create Great Content (and click amazing Pictures!)
Now comes the brain-cracking-nerve-whacking part – Content creation. When you are sharing content on Instagram, the graphic appeal and quality of your posts matter a lot, and so do your marketing ideas. Every post has to be just right; in terms of quality, alignment with your goals, and as a messenger of your brand.
Think about what you want to share with your prospects – thoughts and insights as a leader, the work culture in your company, special announcements, or a mixed bag of everything. Along with that pay attention to visual content, because as we say Instagram is all about the “pics”.
Use a mobile or a camera, try various angles, keep it natural and definitely learn some photography rules to click great pictures. Remember, pictures might not be “all” Instagram has to offer, but it is definitely at greater power.
Tips to Make the most Instagram in B2B
1. Share User-generated content
Have you ever come across some super good-looking post which screams editing and you almost tagged it as something you never want to see again? Learning from this lesson, you should never do that either.
Your viewers want genuine content that talks about the company. Consider real-time content like live videos and reels. It shows your unedited and real self. This does not mean you can put out anything that resembles the framework of a post. Try to maintain a balance, go real with some editing, but don’t edit too much to make it look cold and disconnected.
2. Ace your storytelling in every post
It is not a secret that the best way to keep someone’s attention is through a story. You are competing with thousands of posts to make it to their feeds, so when you get the opportunity, why let it go waste? Channelize your inner storyteller in every post you create.
Don’t limit your talent to your posts. Use Instagram Stories to create slideshows of your videos or collages with pictures to weave together a gripping story. It is said that the most interesting stories build the best audiences.
50% of people surveyed by Instagram say they have visited a website to buy a product/service as a result of seeing it in Stories. Bring out the big guns and watch it work magic on your followers.
3. Take part in industry discussions
Yes, industry discussions happen on Instagram too. Although Instagram is more of a ‘fun’ platform, it is not necessary that they leave all the business to LinkedIn. It is as important for you to partake in discussions relevant to your industry as it is to consistently post content.
Engage with people. Reply to responses that your followers leave. Take the time to explore other profiles and see what they are up to. Leave a comment on things you like. If you take the effort of engaging with people, they will take the time to do the same for you. And that is exactly how you network yourself on social media.
4. Use other mediums like Insta Stories, IGTV, Reels!
While you are making the most out of Instagram posts, you might as well check out the additional features that the platform has to offer. Insta Stories allows you to post pictures and videos that stay up to 24 hours. Instagram TV or IGTV is used for long videos whereas Reels are your TikTok for Instagram.
You can use these different features as per your convenience. Got a candid shot at work that you must share? Make a Reel out of it. Want to capture attention and bring more traffic to an important post? Share it in your story. Have a long video that won’t fit into a post. Upload it on IGTV.
The bottom line is that you can do anything you want with Instagram. If you are still thinking it is not for B2B businesses, did you know that Instagram stories are used by 500 million users every day and one-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses?
No one can deny the influence Instagram has when it comes to B2B marketing, and hence the reason why businesses all over the world are using it to boost their brands. 50% of marketing teams spend half of their marketing budgets on social ads and specifically, 29% of marketers spend the majority of their ad dollars on Instagram.
Instagram is the best way to reach out to younger decision-makers and start-up owners. If you have been using Instagram for the plethora of memes out there or just as a personal account, you know how it can keep people hooked. You can also seek expert advice from B2B marketing and sales consulting firms if you still don’t know where to begin!
Get started with an Instagram business account today, incorporate the right practices, create a plan and see the change in your results.
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