Most B2B brands may not immediately turn to Instagram when deploying social media marketing campaigns, with the assumption that the visual-rich platform is too lifestyle-focused and only works well for consumer brands. That’s where they’re wrong.
According to TrackMaven’s research, B2B companies receive the largest engagement on Instagram, out of all major social sites. This means the platform delivers the highest number of interactions per number of followers. Besides that, all media is hosted directly on the platform so users don’t have to click elsewhere to see the content.
In fact, when executed well, Instagram marketing for B2B brands can be a powerful way to reach your target audience. Remember, there are over 1 billion users a month on the social platform. So it would only be wise to tap on that user pool.
But first, how has Instagram marketing evolved over the years?
What started as an image sharing platform has evolved into a visual storytelling platform with the release of various features. Instagram now offers up a whole suite of options for marketers to explore and be creative beyond the grid.
1. It’s more than just pictures
Instagram is no longer a platform to only share photos – in a square format. You can now play around with photo dimensions and even upload videos to tell a more engaging story. Additionally, you can upload up to 10 images in one post as a carousel. This gives you greater room to play with storytelling through visuals.
2. Use of stories with swipe-up links
Similar to Snapchat, Instagram launched Instagram Stories as a way for users to share photos and videos on-the-go. These posts disappear after 24 hours. As an additional boost, for marketers running a business profile with more than 10,000 followers, you can add a swipe-up link to stories, directing users to a landing page. Otherwise, ads on Instagram Stories also give you the added advantage to immediately integrate links.
According to Digiday, the popularity and versatile functionality of Instagram Stories have pushed advertisers to shift more of their ad spend to the platform. Completion rates – the percentage of users who viewed the entire story – for Instagram Stories are also on the rise, and younger age groups have been gravitating toward them. So it’s a good move for brands to consider jumping over to the ephemeral side.
3. Launch of IGTV
Then came the launch of IGTV, a dedicated space within Instagram for users to upload longer videos, effectively bringing users away from YouTube. Here you can create mini-episodes, tutorials or product run-throughs that resonate with your audience and create conversations around them.
4. Shoppable pictures for thumb-shoppers
Catering to the growth of e-commerce, Instagram launched a feature that allowed brands to add shopping tags to images. This meant brands can easily inform users of what products are in the image and direct them to a purchase page with a link to buy. Eventually, Instagram aims to make the platform completely shoppable, such that transactions can take place without having to leave the app. How’s that for seamless social shopping?
Now that Instagram offers up a whole lot more on their platform, many brands have embraced it and delivered varying degrees of creativity to engage potential customers. Below, we’re going to highlight brands that are nailing Instagram marketing and show you what you can learn from them and apply to your own Instagram marketing strategy.
Additionally, with these suggestions you might have a greater chance of landing on the Explore tab of Instagram, further boosting your overall engagement levels.
Everyday relatability with comics: Evernote
It’s easy to lose the attention of your audience in the sea of content posted on Instagram. Hence, Evernote takes on the challenge to engage with users by creating highly relatable comics. These comics cleverly depict everyday situations where one would find themselves and offer a solution that comes in the form of Evernote.
Not only does it ensure users pause to read, it also serves as an easy way to introduce humour along with your product line. Who knows, the decision-makers who determine whether or not to use Evernote could just be the ones amused by your comic.
Produce creative service examples: Invision
As a digital product design platform, Invision can showcase its platform’s prowess through real-life examples of user interface designs. By taking it to Instagram, the company regularly uploads videos of innovative designs produced by Invisioners.
Through this, Invision is able to promote its platform and at the same time credit the creators who’ve used the platform – increasing engagement with existing customers.
Add a dose of humour to office life: Zendesk
In order to build closer connections with its audience, Zendesk delved into creating short videos of office life. Uploaded as an Instagram Story, these snippets are often a hilarious stab on what happens in the day-to-day.
Additionally, such posts give a peek into the life of a Zendesk-er at work, showcasing the company’s fun corporate culture. There are even mini-meditation and relaxation tips featuring current employees for a personal touch.
User-generated content with IG Stories: Canva
Canva takes it to Instagram Stories to garner better engagement. However, instead of giving users content that’s intriguing or funny or about the platform, the graphic design platform attempts a different direction.
They launched a regular Q&A series and utilised the Question sticker tag on Instagram to gather design questions from their users. Beyond simply engaging with users, the responses are also a great way to naturally provide answers to common questions their customers might have. At the same time, it’s a quick way to generate a regular stream of content.
Create Giphy stickers for added creativity: MailChimp
Is it gif or jif? Let’s not debate the pronunciation because whichever it is, we can’t argue that everyone loves these animated graphics. On Instagram, the Giphy stickers are especially popular with users who want to add a little pizzazz to their stories.
So what better way to get users to mention you or keep you on the top of their mind than by creating your very own set of Giphy stickers on Instagram? The email marketing service, MailChimp did just that.
Couple that with irreverent and anything but boring posts, the business is consistently making email marketing fun again.
Share studies with digestible IG Stories graphics: SurveyMonkey
Most brands would create e-books and focus on marketing it through gated landing pages, banners within articles or via email marketing. Survey Monkey goes one step further to market their studies on IG Stories.
By taking snippets of data in their studies, SurveyMonkey creates digestible graphics in the form of IG Stories. These individual IG Stories are then strung together to form an IG highlight so new users visiting the profile can always view it.
This effectively allows the survey development company to naturally reach out to a whole other target audience who’s active on Instagram – but without overwhelming them. It also helps that the study topics are relevant to the younger demographic on Instagram, such as the Emoji Study.
How can you kill it on Instagram too?
Seen the possibilities and now you want to get started on B2B Instagram marketing? Before you jump right in, be sure to have certain guidelines in place – you don’t want to commit a faux pas.
- Identify your audience
- Find your distinct flavour (also known as your voice)
- Create a clear strategy and set measurable goals
- Ensure your posts provide a clear value to your target audience
- Ensure your posts are also relevant to your business
- Analyse performance and keep improving
You don’t necessarily need a fancy camera or editing software to make an impact on Instagram. What you will need is a brainstorm session with your team to gather all the creative angles that’ll show your B2B brand’s Instagram is clearly #owningit.