How to Use Instagram for B2B Marketing
For too long, marketers considered Instagram strictly B2C turf. The time has come to clear this misconception.
The truth is, Instagram is a B2B goldmine. It can help differentiate your brand, build your audience, and boost customer loyalty. In short, B2B brands need to be there.
If you’re still not sure about Instagram for B2B, get ready for a change of perspective. Keep reading for all the evidence, strategies, and tools you’ll need on board.
Why should B2B brands be on Instagram?
Most marketers want to see data before making strategy adjustments. Luckily, there is a lot of research that supports the power of B2B Instagram marketing. Here are three quantifiable reasons to bring your brand to Instagram:
This is where your customers are
Consumer social media use is through the roof. More than two-thirds of consumers (71%) across generations find themselves using more social than ever before.
All this time spent on social is not exclusively for connecting with friends and influencers. People also use social to connect with brands. In fact, more than 50% of consumers follow brands on Instagram, making it the second most popular network used to follow businesses.
Whether you’re working with a single buyer or a team of 10, you’re talking to an active Instagram user. A strong network presence can secure your spot at the top of their mind from the awareness stage to contract signing.
Visual content supports every step of the buying process
Marketers rank video and images as the top two most valuable content formats for achieving their goals. Short, digestible content is the secret to expressing your value propositions in a way that sticks.
You can look at it and think it is leaning towards B2C brands. After all, they have more flexibility with product display and user-generated content. But it couldn’t be further from the truth.
A recent Forrester study found that short-form video plays a major role in the B2B buying process. It can also help brands get a spot on a reputed seller shortlist. Between video post, reel and live-streaming, Instagram can support every step of the B2B buyer journey.
Instagram Ads are a Brand Awareness Game Changer
Half of all B2B marketing materials are designed to create brand awareness. With Instagram advertising, marketers can use engaging content to tap into new audiences.
Instagram ad campaigns generate recalls that exceed Nielsen standards for online advertising. A consistent Instagram advertising strategy can ensure that prospects remember your brand when it matters.
4 B2B Instagram Marketing Examples We Love
Now that you know why your brand should be on Instagram, let’s figure out how. There are plenty of creative B2B marketers you can turn to for inspiration as you build your strategy. If you’re not sure which one to turn to, check out these four brands that have mastered the art of Instagram for B2B:
Conversational marketing platform Drift produces five different podcasts that cover everything from the art of business negotiation to operational excellence. With new episodes published several times every single month, they are constantly churning out high quality content.
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Thankfully, they’ve figured out how to reuse that content so that it lives beyond its original medium. The Drift Social team cuts podcast recordings to use as clips for Instagram feed posts. This allows them to promote their shows on a new platform while creating a nearly endless well of Instagram content.
Takeaway: Between sale sheets, case studies, white papers and other marketing efforts, B2B brands have an abundance of material to work with. Understanding how to use that content to support an Instagram strategy can help brands grow their presence on the network without as much pressure on capability.
Email marketing platform Litmus uses Instagram to share its expertise. When dealing with complex topics like email delivery and performance insights, this is easier said than done. Still, his team pulls it off using the Instagram carousel.
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This exclusive post packs a ton of value into a 1:1 square. In just nine tiles, they share 18 tips on subject line structure. They may also include the advice of team members and subject matter experts. All of this information helps establish their brand as a leader in the space while providing high quality information to followers and potential buyers.
Takeaway: According to socialinsider.io, carousel posts provide higher engagement rates than standard posts. This is a huge win for B2B marketers, who can use the extra space to break down complex topics without sacrificing quality.
If anyone knows anything about conversions, it’s the Unbounce team. When it comes to driving traffic conversions on Instagram, landing page solution provider Instagram Stories relies on highlights.
Unbound publishes highlights that cover a range of topics, including new product information, employer brand stances, and content promotion. Since highlights can be rearranged, removed and added at any time, they are able to constantly modify their profile to stay on time.
Takeaway: Instagram Stories come packed with additional engagement functionality such as polls, links, quizzes, and more. With Stories Highlights, B2B brands can take those engagement plays beyond their 24-hour limit, getting the most out of their creative efforts.
4. Chili Piper
Chili Piper helps sales teams streamline their workdays with solutions that automate appointment scheduling. Their product speaks to the needs of sales professionals and so does their Instagram content.
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If you view the Chili Piper Instagram feed, you’ll see posts about mental support, remote work, and productivity. While these topics have nothing to do with sales software, they speak directly to the interests of their end users.
Takeaway: B2B Instagram marketing is not about increasing sales instantly. It’s all about building relationships with potential buyers. To prove that your account is worth following, share content that taps into buyer’s pain points and goals.
6 Tips for Using Instagram for B2B Marketing
You are almost ready to move on and lay out your strategy, but there are still a few things to learn. Here are Instagram B2B marketing tips you need to know before scheduling your new content:
1. Clarify your goals and audience
Note how both are plural. You can use Instagram to support many B2B marketing goals beyond awareness. For example, you can try to connect with potential employees by using the network as an employer brand tool. Or, you can go conversion-driven and experiment with ways to get more site traffic.
Regardless of how you plan to use the network, you need to know who and what you’re aiming for in order to be successful. With this defined, you can work on creating the right content mix to support your goals.
2. Create Link in Bio
Stories can include links in Instagram business profiles but they are still not allowed in post captions. To get around this, you’ll need a Linq solution. Many brands rely on links in bio tools to create webpages that mimic Instagram feeds so that people can access links that match specific posts. This is important for driving traffic conversion across the network.
Sprout users who wish to consolidate all their metrics into one platform can use our link in the bio offering, SproutLinks. Once it’s set up, marketers can access pageview information from within the Sprout platform for quick and easy reporting.
3. Dust off your most recent content audit
Rolling out your B2B Instagram marketing strategy is an opportunity to take a fresh look at your content. When you look at your marketing material library, imagine how existing assets can aid in the creation of new Instagram content. Here are some tips to steer your mind in the right direction:
- sell sheets Can be used to create educational Instagram stories that share the value of your product.
- blog and white paper Can be recycled into carousel positions for maximum engagement.
- Study the matter Make for excellent testimonials graphics.
- proprietary research Can support the creation of countless infographics.
4. Outline a Payment Strategy
You need to experiment with paid marketing to get the most out of Instagram. According to the Demand General Report for 2021, 32% of B2B shoppers notice ads and are positively influenced by them. Understanding and designing the role paid will play quickly in your Instagram strategy can help you quickly grow your presence on the network.
When building your organic strategy, keep an eye on post-level performance data to see what drives the most impressions and engagement. You’ll want to start with those positions when it comes time to put the money behind your performance.
5. Stay updated on trends in time
Memes thrive on Instagram, especially the topical ones. Cultural moments can inspire an abundance of timely material before the passage of time, and for good reason. Those moments create a connection.
Although these moments can present opportunities for fun and excitement, they can also present risks. Before you jump into the most popular trend of the day, be sure to use a sentiment analysis tool to understand how people are really feeling about the topic.
6. Test and Learn
The only constant is change in social media. There will always be new features, tools, and algorithmic adjustments, so your strategy is never perfect. To stay ahead, you need to embrace creative testing.
Regular A/B testing can help you identify what your audience wants from your brand. Dedicate time to testing new creatives, copy, and hashtags to see what makes the biggest difference to your performance. Soon, you’ll be able to use your Instagram analytics to become the next exceptional B2B brand on Instagram.
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Also, you need to use Instagram for B2B marketing. Instagram’s diverse content formats support discovery and enjoyment in the buyer journey, increasing your brand’s compatibility and stickiness.
Now that you know why and how to do B2B Instagram marketing, you’re ready to create a strategy that supports shared marketing goals. If you need some extra help along the way, count on this B2B content planning worksheet. This will help you plan and create engaging content that moves prospects through your marketing funnel to a signed contract.
How to Use Instagram for B2B Marketing The post first appeared on Sprout Social.