Need a B2B Instagram strategy?
If you’re in the B2B space, you might think that you should focus your social media marketing on LinkedIn and leave Instagram to the kids. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great B2B Instagram strategies. Here are some of the best.
A B2B Instagram strategy should do the following
- Show the inside of the business in a positive light
- Showcase business wins and value
- Have an ad budget for promoted content
- Run Instagram remarketing ads for those who visit the website
- Upload your customer list and target them through Instagram ads
- Create Look Alike audiences and target them through ads
- Run content ads and then nurture them further down into the funnel an finally run direct conversion ads
- Have some creative and interactive content
- Make sure you using things like Campsite or linktree to direct users to important links
- Post Instagram stories just as often as posts
Outside of this, here are other important things to think about.
Why does Instagram work for B2Bs? Because there are 800 million monthly active Instagram users and 500 million daily active users.
It’s safe to say that the people in your target market are on Instagram. If you ignore that marketing channel, you’re limiting your reach.
Also, Instagram isn’t just for kids. About a third of all Internauts between the ages of 30 and 49 are on the platform.
B2B Instagram Strategy: Brag About What Your Product or Service Has Done
Let’s start with the obvious: upload images that highlight the benefits of your product or service.
Start by creating an image that showcases your brand’s finest work. Post it on Instagram with a caption that offers more detail.
The nature of the photo will vary based on your business model. If you’re in digital marketing, for example, it might be a good idea to go with a mini-infographic that shows how your services have increased a client’s web traffic and click-through rates. If you’re in the fashion space, you can post photos of models wearing your products.
Adobe offers a suite of software tools that help marketers produce creative content. The company’s Instagram account highlights some of best artwork from a variety of Creative Cloud users.
That, by the way, is what’s known as user-generated content (UGC). Although there are Adobe employees who could produce some outstanding creatives, Adobe instead chooses to use other people’s work to promote its brand.
By using UGC, Adobe not only shows off what its software can accomplish, but also lets folks know that customers are using its products to put together some fine artwork. So the company gets two benefits with each Instagram post.
Think about what kind of images reflect your company’s outstanding track record. Then, create those images and upload them to Instagram.
B2B Instagram Strategy: Post Portraits of People You’ve Helped
Another great way to show off your brand on Instagram is to post a portrait of somebody you’ve helped. In the description, explain how your business helped that person.
That kind of picture adds a human element to your marketing. It shows how your product or service changes lives.
It’s also a great idea to add human testimonials to your Instagram marketing if you’re in a “boring” niche, like accounting or insurance. That way, you’ll keep people interested with an emotional connection.
Wells Fargo is in the very boring banking sector. Still, the company has managed to use Instagram to promote its brand with some personal stories.
One of those stories is towards the top of the company feed right now. It shows a picture of a woman sitting on a couch with a cat in her lap.
Also, there’s a very large reptile crawling up her shirt. That’s an eye-catcher.
Here’s the caption Wells Fargo included with that image: “Animal rescuer Anna Johnson now has a place for her and her pets to call home. She recently became a first time homebuyer with help from the @NeighborworksAmerica#NeighborhoodLIFT down payment grant and a mortgage financing program requiring just 3% down. Congratulations, Anna! We hope you love your new home!”
And, just like that, banking got more interesting.
Give Your Account a Unique Theme
As we’ve seen, there are 800 million monthly active users on Instagram. That not only means that people in your target market are on Instagram, but competitors are on the platform as well.
You need to stand out.
How can you do that? Give your account a unique theme. Then, make sure all the images you post are in line with that theme.
Think about a creative theme that you can apply to your account.
B2B Instagram Strategy – Offer Free Tips
You’re probably already doing some kind of content marketing that usually involves giving away free advice.
Why do you do that? To show off how much you know. You want to convince others that you’re an expert in your industry.
You can do that on Instagram, too.
Upload some images with short, pithy pointers. Then, elaborate on those pointers in the caption.
Hubspot is a digital marketing company that also has an Instagram account. If you scroll through the company feed, you’ll find that it’s packed with practical tips for people in business.
Follow that example. Post advice pics with corresponding commentary that make it clear you know your stuff.
B2B Instagram Strategy – Promote Your Latest Offerings
One of the reasons that people follow your account on social media is because they want news about your company. Give it to them.
When you have a new product coming out, for example, highlight that product with Instagram posts.
Note the plural (“posts”) in that last sentence. It’s a mistake to advertise a new product with just a single post.
Instead, tell people about your latest offerings with a campaign of posts.
Hewlett Packard is doing that beautifully right now. If you check out the company’s Instagram feed, you’ll find that several of the latest posts are all about the HP Sprocket. That’s a mobile printer.
Every time you have a new product or service to offer, launch an Instagram campaign to tell people about it.
Instagram Strategy: Pull Back the Curtain
You should also use Instagram to give people a glimpse of what’s happening behind the scenes. Let them see how you produce a great business.
For example, upload interesting pictures of your manufacturing facilities. If you’re running a service-oriented business, post photos of people actually doing the work.
GE has an Instagram account. The company uses it to highlight how team members work to make the products its customers use.
At the top of the company feed right now, you’ll see a picture of an employee working in a manufacturing environment. The photo has this caption: “A look at an additive engineer’s version of a sandbox. The sand binder jetting machine, pictured here, uses a chemical binder to print casting molds from layers of fine sand. Each layer is 280 microns thick—that’s about as thick as a strand of human hair. This machine can print an intricate mold, which you can see in green, in one day and have the casting back from the foundry the next day. Using traditional manufacturing techniques, this process would’ve taken weeks.”
It doesn’t stop there, though. In this case, the Instagram post is a story. Users can swipe through to see more detailed images of that engineer working his magic.
If you’re looking for a clever way to work stories into your Instagram marketing, GE is a great role model.
Solicit Content With a Carrot For A B2B Instagram Strategy
We’ve already covered the importance of highlighting company successes with Instagram. Additionally, we’ve also mentioned the importance of UGC.
Consider using your Instagram feed to ask for customer success stories. Offer a reward to companies whose stories you end up using.
Check out the Infusionsoft Instagram account for an example of how to do that. The company posts success stories from its customers but solicits additional stories by offering a $1,000 reward.
Here’s an example description: “@visual_impulse saw their business expand after working with a big brand like @petsmart! What are your #BusinessMilestones?
Share yours for a chance to win $1,000! We are still looking for May submissions for the business milestones contest. Tap the link in profile for more details.”
If you find you’re at a sudden loss for UGC, solicit some by offering a bounty.
Go Whimsical For A B2B Instagram Strategy
Remember, Instagram is all about imagery. Sure, you can include some great content in a caption, but unless you have a compelling photo, video, or story to go along with it, don’t expect much engagement.
One of the best ways to get people’s attention on Instagram is with humorous or whimsical photos. Nobody does that better than MailChimp.
Scroll through the company feed and you’ll find it’s filled with original, fascinating, brand-specific content. Sometimes, that’s all you need to keep people interested in your company.
It’s not easy to generate that kind of imagery, though. You’ll need to outsource the task to an employee on your marketing team or a contractor who knows how to highlight your brand with quirky content in pictures.
So this is a strategy that’s best left to companies with a healthy marketing budget.
B2B Instagram Strategy: Use Reactive Storytelling
You should also use Instagram for reactive storytelling.
If you’re unfamiliar with reactive storytelling, it’s defined as combining top-of-mind stories or ideas with a compelling marketing message that will appeal to your target market.
That’s just marketing geek speak for “find a story that people are talking about now and use it to promote your brand.”
For example: when it’s time for the Super Bowl, find a way to link the Super Bowl to your own marketing message. Then, put that message into an image and post it on Instagram.
Maybe one of the companies advertising during the Super Bowl is a client of yours. Or perhaps one of the contractors who’s doing work for the Super Bowl is a business partner.
In either case, upload a relevant image and add a caption that connects your brand to the big sporting event.
Check out the IBM Instagram feed for examples of reactive storytelling. The first entry in the feed right now is a picture from a car race that was posted just a couple of days before the Indianapolis 500. The photo has this caption: “To give their drivers the edge on race day, @teamchevy is integrating weather data and insights from The Weather Company, lap-by-lap. Click the link in our profile to learn more.”
If you click the link in the bio, you’ll find that The Weather Company is “an IBM business.” The page also includes this text: “Chevrolet Racing is working with The Weather Company, an IBM Business, to add advanced weather technology to the Chevrolet toolbox they provide to Chevrolet race teams so that they can understand how they perform under specific weather conditions and make critical decisions on the track in real-time.”
Now, think about upcoming events that people will be talking about. How can you connect them to your business?
Use the Link in Your Bio to Tell ‘Em More For A B2B Instagram Strategy
Let’s stick with the IBM Instagram feed for a moment. Did you look at the link in the company bio?
Here’s what it looks like: “ibm.com/IBM_Instagram”.
It appears that the link itself stays constant. However, it will redirect to different URLs from time to time.
You might have noticed that several of the companies we’ve looked at so far caption their photos with text like “Click the link in the bio to learn more.” They have to do that because they’re not allowed to post links in captions.
That means, unfortunately, that the URL in the bio will have to change based on the contents of the latest Instagram post.
IBM handles that by leaving the same URL in its bio and redirecting it to the right page. In this case, “the right page” is a landing page that explains the relationship between The Weather Company and IBM.
That seems like a good rule of thumb to follow. First, take advantage of the only link option you have available: the one in your Instagram bio. Use it to provide more details about your latest post.
Also, keep the same link in your bio and just redirect it on the server side to a “fresh” page as you update your Instagram content.
Show Off Your Best Assets: Your Employees
Another way to put a human face on your brand is by posting photos of your employees. Be sure to include a caption that explains how they contribute value to your business.
Even better: post videos of them and let them tell your followers about why they enjoy working for your company.
Remember: Instagram doesn’t just allow photos. It also allows videos. You’re limited to a maximum of 60 seconds per video, though.
Take a look at the CBRE Instagram feed for some examples of a company that knows how to brag about its employees.
One post highlights employee Sean Ward with this quotation: “Technology is changing, and everything is moving at hyper-speed. I love making the most of our ideas and resources to help clients work through problems.”
The post encourages followers to click the link in the bio for more info about Sean.
B2B Instagram Strategy: Handle Customer Questions and Complaints on Instagram
In case you missed the news, people are relying on social media as a customer service channel. Don’t think that your Instagram account will be an exception to that rule.
Take a look at the FedEx account, for example. As of this writing, the first post is a picture of a company plane with this caption: “A runway in bloom.”
However, if you look at the top comment on the pic, you’ll see this: “Would love for you to deliver my package in time for my daughters wedding tomorrow. Every time I call you have a new excuse. Also, teach your drivers not to toss packages marked fragile over fences.”
You’re probably thinking that the folks at FedEx weren’t expecting that kind of response to a post. In fact, they were.
That user has a response from FedEx customer service that’s also in the comment feed.
Make sure you monitor your comments for questions and complaints. When you see them, handle them professionally.
Potential customers will be paying attention.
Wrapping It Up B2B Instagram Strategy
Instagram isn’t just a fun social media channel for millennials. It’s also a great platform that you can use to build your B2B business.
Pick out a few of the best suggestions presented here and put them in place. Then, watch your revenue grow.