So You Think Instagram Isn’t The Place For Your B2B Marketing Strategy? Think Again.
Instagram isn’t just for posting pictures of blue (like extremely, unnaturally blue) water at the beach, or your cat sleeping in a pizza box anymore. Businesses all over the globe have adopted an Instagram strategy for B2B marketing as a means of increasing their engagement on the hyper-visual, Facebook-owned social media platform.
Nowadays, it is just as important for your brand to have an Instagram strategy for B2B marketing as anything else. Don’t believe us? Let’s take a look at the numbers:
- Instagram has more than 1 billion (yes, that’s billion, with a “b”) monthly users.
- 90% of user accounts follow a business.
- 200+ million accounts visit a business page once a day.
- 60% of people discover new products through Instagram.
- 500+ million accounts use Instagram stories every. Single. Day.
- 33% of most viewed stories are from business accounts.
With numbers that big, it’s easy to see that there are literally MILLIONS of reasons to start working on your Instagram strategy for B2B engagement.
Instagram 101: Back to the Basics
Now, odds are, you are well aware of Instagram and probably have an account for yourself AND your dog. But just in case you’ve been living under a rock since the last time Nickelback was nominated for a Grammy Award (2010, in case you are wondering), we’re going to go over the “ins and outs” of Instagram before you create an Instagram strategy for B2B marketing.
Creating a Profile
This may seem mundane, but setting up your profile is arguably the most important part of your B2B strategy for Instagram.
When creating your account, make sure that you have it registered as a business account. This gives you the ability to see engagement insights, promote your posts, and add useful information like your company’s email address, phone number, and hours of operation.
Engagement insights are a useful tool that helps you understand the effectiveness of your efforts on Instagram. What posts were successful and which ones weren’t? That’s where engagement insights show their value. We’ll dive deeper into the details of engagement in just a minute.
Once you get your engagement down pat, start using Instagram’s Ad Services to promote your posts, which will ensure that your content ends up on your community’s feed, increasing engagement altogether.
Basic Company Information
Listing basic information on Instagram’s profile makes your business more accessible to those who want to engage with you. Cutting out steps is pertinent to not losing the other businesses’ attention. Other companies won’t have to search or dig to figure out exactly when, where and how they can reach out to you. Plus, the information in your bio can help improve your ranking on Google!
As far as posting goes, it’s crucial to have a healthy mix of content to keep your audience as engaged as possible. Here’s some ideas to get you going:
- Business Updates – Highlighting new blog posts, sharing company statistics, etc.
- Company Culture – Show off the “human side” of your business.
- Services – How will your services appeal to another business? Let them know!
- Testimonials – If you have previous experience working wonders for another brand, show it off on your Instagram. This will help other companies quickly see the value in your services while bolstering your reputation.
Take advantage of multiple forms of content, too. While graphics are easy to make, videos are also ideal for Instagram, and are known to boost engagement. Instead of simply adding text to an image, produce a quick explainer video demonstrating your product or service. Like you, your target audience is busy running a business, so the quicker they can understand who you are and what you do, the better! Creating high-quality video doesn’t have to break the bank, either. Learn more here.
Following in the footsteps of Snapchat, Instagram decided to capitalize on the success of allowing users to provide quick, but temporary, updates to their followers. Stories are a great way to keep your page relevant in your audience’s timeline. They last 24 hours and are typically more accessible than a regular post, which can get lost in a follower’s feed thanks to Instagram’s ever changing algorithm. Just make sure your stories stay consistent with your brand so that they are quickly recognizable by your followers. Brand recognition is a key element of every Instagram strategy for B2B businesses!
After figuring out what content you want to post, the next step is coming up with a posting schedule. Timing and cadence can make or break your B2B Instagram strategy, so it’s important for you to research what trends are occurring within your Instagram community. Studying competitors, experimenting with schedules, and learning posting trends are great places to start.
Hubspot provides a phenomenal platform for consolidating all of your social media posts into one place. Through their services, you can schedule posts as far in advance as you would like! But try not to get too far ahead so your content stays relevant. Hubspot goes as far to provide you with even more insights on your Instagram engagement and base your future social media marketing efforts on your past successes.
Looking for a Hubspot partner? We can help.
Lastly, since we are talking about the most photo-focused platform on the internet, it’s critical to develop your image (see what I did there?). Ask yourself, how do you want your profile to come across to other businesses? Tone, voice, and themes are all criteria for making sure your business is not only professional, but also personable. The more genuine and relatable your brand’s Instagram perception is, the more natural it will feel for other businesses to interact with your profile.
Watch your tone! Hopefully, that didn’t bring back any childhood flashbacks, but your parents were right. Your tone matters when interacting on social media. Do you want to sound happy? Friendly? Smart? It’s up to you to determine which tone will work best for your audience.
Your voice is your brand’s personality. When other companies picture your company, what do they see? Hopefully, they don’t see a robotic, lifeless webpage but a friend they can talk to. Finding a voice that accompanies your personality is crucial for making connections.
An often overlooked step of content is theming. Picking colors, fonts, and graphics that match your brand’s overall image is huge for ensuring that your page is recognizable and unique, setting yourself apart from other businesses in your community.
Being conscious of your image is what helps build a following that trusts you and wants to hear what you have to say.
Read More: Why Your Brand’s Color Palette Matters
Optimizing Your Instagram Strategy for B2B Marketing
Now that your business’s Instagram page is running like a well-oiled machine, it’s time to start using the tools that Instagram provides to turbocharge your page’s impressions.
While Instagram is known as a “B2C platform”, forming a strategy for B2B engagement has huge implications for marketers in today’s climate. Like we said before, you want your business page to be as personable as possible. You achieve this by treating your business’s Instagram page like it’s a person. Start engaging with page’s in your professional circle by liking, commenting, conversing, sharing, joking, informing, relating, and anything else you would do on your own page, as long as it stays appropriate and goal-driven, and is appropriate for your audience.
Remember, Instagram is a visual place for users to find a sense of community, and it’s up to you to prove that your business belongs. The goal of your business’s Instagram page should be to provide a place where others in your community can spend time — so offer helpful resources, tips, updates, and trends that your followers want to keep coming back to time and time again.
Instagram provides a breakdown of your profile’s engagement information, as well as analyzing every post individually. Some of the information you are going to see under “insights” includes:
Here is where you will find your collections of posts, stories, and promotions. It will rank your posts by which received the most views. This is a great place to monitor your posting successes so you can adjust your social schedule accordingly.
This is the “one-stop shop” for viewing your profiles overall engagement criteria. You’ll find your reach, impression, and interactions all broken down for the past seven days. Interactions get even more in depth by showing exactly what users do when they see your posts, whether it’s visiting your website or even getting directions to your place of business.
Your community’s demographics will be outlined and analyzed here. Instagram breaks this down into metrics including location, age, gender, and even when your followers are using the app.
Getting a grip on your insights is key to figuring out where you are doing well and where you need to improve on Instagram. Like we’ve said, the platform is constantly changing, so keeping an eye on your performance is really the only way to ensure that you are continually garnering success.
There are a smattering of tools to aid you in perfecting your Instagram strategy for B2B marketing. These include built in “call-to-action” features and avenues for connecting with your website or other social profiles.
Utilizing these can make navigating your page entertaining and lasting for your followers. It’s an easy place for users to learn about your business’s history, activity, and overall personality. They’re called “stories” for a reason!
If you use Instagram even in the slightest, you’ve seen the infamous “Swipe Up!” feature on someone’s story. This allows you to link a landing page to an image or graphic that you share on your Story. With one swipe, your followers can find themselves on your website, and you didn’t even have to ask them twice.
The only caveat: Instagram does require you to have 10,000 followers before you can use the “Swipe Up” feature. I know this seems a little odd, but it’s a great way to reduce spam posts and make your efforts more fruitful in the long run.
Now that you are posting with the intent of getting users to visit other pages, it’s time to pick the right option of linking your content. And yes, there are many!
Linkin.bio is a way where you can provide a specific URL for each of your posts, making it easy for your followers to get more information on posts that interest them.
Linktree provides a simpler version of your webpages navigation menu. If users want to view your blogs or visit your shop, this gives them the perfect opportunity.
And finally, we arrive at advertising, the last piece of your “Instagram Strategy for B2B” puzzle. Using ads is a great way to get front and center on your follower’s feeds. After you have reviewed your page’s insights and experimented with your posting schedule, use this essential tool to target specific audiences and continue driving impressions and interactions with your business’s profile.
Your audience could be other businesses around you, competitors in your industry, or even influencers. Plus, let’s not forget who owns Instagram: Facebook. The reputation that precedes Facebook’s Ad Campaigns should speak volumes about what Instagram is capable of.
And that’s it! All the basic information you need to get your Instagram strategy for B2B marketing off the ground and moving for Instagram. A few key takeaways:
- Instagram is well worth your effort due to its sheer amount of users.
- Start off on the right foot by making quality content.
- Develop a B2B Instagram strategy to drive engagement for your business
Follow us on our Instagram page, where you can see us put all of these tips in action!
Here at Pinckney, we have plenty of content that will help you learn how to get your business’s marketing strategy up and running. If this article interests you, then we invite you to download a copy of our Social Media Handbook. It provides plenty of information on all things social media and even gives you platform specific activities to help you practice before you post.
To download your copy of the handbook, click the button below.
This post was originally written on December 26th, 2019 and refreshed on July 21st, 2020.