Since Instagram’s launch in 2010, it has become one of the top social platforms for both personal and business use, with an average of 1 billion people using the platform every month.1 Several business-to-business (B2B) brands still believe that Instagram can only be successful for B2C companies; however, that is no longer the case. In 2019, the way to win at social media marketing is by creating a human connection through original and authentic content and customer interaction.
Today, 71% of businesses are using Instagram to connect with their customers, build brand loyalty and increase leads one post at a time.1 With that said, only 30% of them being B2B companies, indicating that your B2B business now has a chance to stand out from the competition.2
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry; we’ve put together some helpful strategies for you to implement, along with examples of popular accounts leveraging Instagram for marketing.
Share Playful & Creative Visuals
Instagram’s platform is unique because it revolves around sharing photos and videos. When it comes to choosing which visuals to share in an Instagram post, story or highlight, B2B businesses should try to think outside of the box and have a little fun. Instagram has many features to help jazz up your posts and stories, but figuring out what to initially post is where most B2B businesses struggle. Use Instagram as a way to personally connect with other users and to show everyone that humans, not robots, are running your company. Choose an informal tone and friendly voice in your captions while generating unique visuals to represent your brand, product, company, and culture.
Salesforce does an incredible job expressing what they’re all about through endless photos and videos. Their feed is full of community events, inspiring quotes, product highlights, and entertaining ways they include their brand in everyday social holidays, like #NationalDonutDay.
Sharing personal photos, event pictures, and employee appreciation posts are some of the best ways to grab a follower’s attention. These positive and lighthearted photos help to paint a picture of what the company stands for, making it easier for customers to trust you and your brand. Posting team experiences, client interactions, and facts about the company’s history can further help display a brand’s culture and values. Not only do these photos humanize the company, but they also reveal how proud the business is of its people and products.
Hootsuite takes advantage of Instagram to flaunt their employee outings, awards, workshops, office areas, and pets. They regularly share photos of their mascot, Owly, traveling to various places which differentiates them from competitors.
Utilize Instagram to feature your products or services through easy-to-understand visuals, such as infographics, short videos, or product photos. By posting pictures of the products operating in real-life, everyday situations, consumers will be able to relate much easier. By also including a short caption and branded hashtags with the eye-capturing visual, you can easily demonstrate how your product can help meet the needs of users.
Oracle’s clever caption in this visually appealing post subtly states two services they provide. They also tag who they’re offering the services for and incorporate hashtags to enhance awareness and traffic.
No matter the industry or product, highlighting positive feedback from customers and their success on Instagram is a valuable tactic. This feedback helps establish credibility and convinces followers that your solutions have been successful for others already.
Squarespace does a great job by sharing this engaging graphic which includes a customer photo and inspirational quote. In their caption, they express their gratitude while enticing customers to click a link to read more of the success story.
Hopefully, customers, employees or others within the industry are talking about your company on Instagram. They may be communicating through popular branded hashtags, mentions, tags, or photo uploads. This sort of material is ideal for B2B businesses because it requires minimal effort on their end. Brands can use this content from other users and repurpose it and share it to their Instagram accounts. USG increases engagement, helps to reach the target audience and also makes the brand more authentic by interacting with customers.
IBM is continuously repurposing user-generated content. Sometimes, they feature employees who use the #ViewFromMyDesk hashtag in posts, or they will highlight customer product photos. Occasionally, they’ll share photos of team meetings that employees overseas have posted, like in this example below.
The key to success for any social media platform is knowing how to use it effectively. With the correct content, strategy and anyone, including B2B businesses can use Instagram to reach their audience! If you’d like to schedule a meeting to create an Instagram content strategy for your B2B company, contact us.