Is Instagram part of your social media marketing mix? Many business-to-business marketers are hesitant about using Instagram for B2B marketing, however, depending on your niche, it’s where your audience could be living their digital lives. Before you dismiss Instagram as a channel, have a look at @ibm, with 238K followers or @cisco with 169k followers. As a B2B small business, using Instagram could be a great way of building a following, and it’s a lot less time consuming than other social platforms. You can drive your Instagram audience to relevant parts of your marketing funnel and nurture them, as you would any other traffic source. In this article, we explore how you could start using Instagram for B2B marketing.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a social network that has been around since 2010 and was acquired by Facebook in 2012. It’s now growing at a faster rate than ever before. Unlike other networks like LinkedIn and Twitter, Instagram is primarily mobile experience.
When you publish a photo or video on Instagram, it will be shown on your profile page. Other members who follow you will see your updates in their own feed. Similarly, you’ll see posts from other users you follow.
Instagram is a visual platform. Exactly like other social media networks, you can engage with other members on Instagram by following them, being followed, commenting, liking, tagging and messaging. In contrast to other social media channels, you won’t find any long-form text.
Posting content to Instagram
Instagram users can publish content straight from the app or even use existing photos/videos from their device. Members share both images and videos as much as one minute in length, and you have plenty of additional filter choices plus the capability to modify the images you have.
What is Instagram Stories?
Instagram stories is an additional feed that shows up at the top of the main feed. Instagram Stories allows members post images and videos that disappear after 1 Day. Posts published to stories likewise will not show up on your profile page or in the main Instagram feed. In contrast to normal posts, in Instagram stories there are no likes or comments. Want to keep stories longer than 1 day? You can now use the stories archive section to keep and highlights section to promote your best Instagram stories.
Instagram business profiles
With 1 billion Instagram accounts and 500 million active users, Instagram is a prime social media platform for many businesses. Many businesses still use personal Instagram accounts, but having a free business Instagram account has plenty of advantages. 80 percent of Instagram accounts already follow a business on Instagram and having a business account could give you a great advantage.
Instagram business profiles have additional contact us options.
A business profile gives you access to analytics about your posts.
A business profile also gives you additional access to data about your profile and followers.
Having a business profile makes it a lot easier to run Instagram ads directly from the app.
Start using Instagram for B2B marketing with these best practice tips
Understand your Instagram audience
In B2B markets we often don’t have the most exciting products. Sharing screenshots of a SaaS product or server can only go so far. To be successful you need to understand your audience well enough to know what they like and enjoy beyond work. Take for example @Buffer. Buffer is a social media management tool. They know their audience is interested in travel and freedom, so instead of sharing screenshots of their tool, they share travel pictures. In fact, you rarely see anything in their stream about their product.
Use good imagery
Exceptional images and videos will help you connect with your audience. Using good, engaging imagery is the only way to stand out.
Post regularly and at optimum times
Post at times that your audience is most likely to engage. There are plenty of studies that suggest suitable times, but this will be unique to each audience. Do your own tests. Once you have found a good time to post, share content regularly. Find the posting sweet spot for your audience.
Use Instagram stories
Instagram gives you the extraordinary opportunity to share stories using visual posts. Instagram video clips are great for communicating your brand story and vision.
One of the best ways of being found is to use hashtags. Hashtags improve your visibility and allow you to appear in the streams of people who are following the hashtags you use in your content
Understanding what’s working and what isn’t is vital for ensuring you’re focused on activity that generates ROI.
Put a link to your website in your profile. Remember that you can also add contact information if you have upgraded to a business profile.
Engage with your audience and other profiles
Instagram is no different to other social networks. To be successful, you need to be social. Connect, engage and comment. Like photos, others have shared, or even better, leave a comment. Follow industry leaders and influencers. Ask questions and respond.
Related content on using Instagram for B2B marketing
Business.Instagram.com – Instagram is a place where visual expression from business inspires visible action from people around the world.
Hubspot – 6 Expert B2B Instagram Tips for 2018 – As it stands, there are thousands of brands and a number of high-profile B2B organizations using Instagram to drive brand awareness, engage with their audience, and ultimately, to attract new customers.
Komarketing – Should Your B2B Company Be On Instagram? – When most B2B marketers think of Instagram, they may think of teenagers or millennials who are using it to post photos about their lives and what they are into. But using Instagram in B2B marketing actually isn’t a bad idea.