10 Ways to Make Instagram Work for Your B2B Business
Has your wholesale or manufacturing business been avoiding Instagram for your B2B marketing mix because you think it only attracts consumers? Well, think again!
With over 1 billion active monthly users worldwide — 200 million of which visit at least one business profile every single day, according to Instagram — the untapped potential of Instagram for B2B businesses is huge.
According to Content Marketing Institute, Instagram is an effective network for 30% of B2B companies who use the social network to build brand awareness, engage with their audience and attract new customers. And according to TrackMaven, Instagram produces 20 times more engagement than LinkedIn for B2B brands. Here are a few more impressive statistics:
- Intel gained over 1.5 million followers on Instagram featuring its technology products.
- Wells Fargo uses Instagram to showcase the human side of their company with nostalgic photos.
- Appsee increased its click-through rate by 3.4x, decreased its cost per click by 2x and lowered its cost per qualified lead by 25%.
And if you are concerned about the “younger” mindset you think Instagram focuses on, don’t be. Remember, millennials are the largest generation in our workforce. They make up a large portion of today’s B2B buyers and over half of them are active on Instagram.
10 Tips for Growing Your B2B Business on Instagram
1. Create a business profile.
If you are using Instagram for your B2B business, make sure you create an Instagram business profile as it will provide you with additional benefits that personal profiles do not. These extra benefits include analytics about your profile and how your posts are performing; the ability to add a contact button; and the ability to add links to your Instagram Stories.
2. Publish nine posts at the start.
Before you begin promoting your new Instagram business profile and following others on the platform, create nine (9) posts and then publish them all at the same time. Instagram displays posts in grid format, so ensuring you have a solid grouping of published posts on your page when you start promoting it will make your new Instagram business profile look cohesive and give it greater appeal.
3. Utilise the “Stories” feature.
Instagram Stories allows you to post pictures and videos with a hyperlinked call-to-action (CTA) to an album you create, and then feature those albums at the top of your profile. Although Instagram Stories only appear for 24 hours, they are highly effective at creating a sense of urgency for potential leads and customers, and businesses all over use them to improve engagement, visibility and content. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), case studies and customer testimonials are just a few examples of how you can use Instagram Stories to grow your B2B business on Instagram.
4. Incorporate targeted hashtags.
Using hashtags is a vital component of any social media strategy, and it is especially important for B2B businesses on Instagram. Choosing the right hashtags can make or break whether your company is successful on the social network or not, so be sure to use hashtags that are specific, targeted and relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach. You can come up with your own branded hashtags or use existing ones that are already trending, and remember to use them in both your posts and your profile.
5. Focus on quality, not quantity.
There is no perfect answer about how often to post on any social media channel, but one thing is certainly true for all of them regardless of what industry your B2B business is in — quality is more important than quantity. In other words, three (3) high quality posts in a week is better than five (5) poor quality ones. Coming up with ideas for B2B social media content, however, can be difficult — you want to ensure the content you post not only aligns with your company goals and objectives, but also appeals and engages your target audience. To help make this task easier, start by creating content for three (3) main focus areas, and then expand from there once you are more into the swing of things. Those areas are:
· Thought leadership (insights,advice and tips)
· Corporate culture (a“humanised” behind-the-scenes look at your company)
· Announcements (latest news)
6. Showcase your products.
Posting great product pictures and/or product videos is essential for success on Instagram (and you don’t need to be a professional photographer to get them!). You want your visuals to be as appealing as possible to your B2B customers — they want to not only see what your products look like, but also how they work. So, remember to show your products from different angles, use lots of natural light whenever possible, and make sure the composition is balanced (a product doesn’t always look best when it is placed in the centre of the screen).
7. Showcase your customers.
Your B2B business succeeds when your customers succeed, so share their stories about how your products helped their business grow. Choose impactful, inspiring customer success stories that accurately portray the value your products bring to them, such as where they sell your products or how they are displayed in a retail shop.
8. Take advantage of Instagram ads.
Apart from the great organic traffic Instagram can provide your B2B business, its advertising program can also help get your content exposed to a larger audience. Instagram Ads allows you to advertise your posts as well as your Instagram Stories, and include a call-to-action (CTA) to drive people to your website right away.
9. Jump on the #tbt bandwagon!
Everyone loves a good throwback. One of the most popular hashtags on Instagram is #tbt (short for #ThrowbackThursday), and there are currently over 500 million posts using it. Your business can join in the nostalgia by posting photos highlighting your company’s history.
10. Post when your audience is active.
Instagram tracks how quickly your followers like and comment on your posts. Posts that receive fast engagement are more likely to be featured on the top of your followers’ feeds, so having a high engagement is important. A good way to achieve this is to make sure you are posting at the right time. To find out when your audience is actually active on the platform, simply connect your Instagram business account to the best time to post tool.
Yes, Instagram is for B2B too!
Despite what you may have thought before reading this article, unless you are targeting a highly niche market, your B2B customers are on Instagram, and your B2B business needs to be there too!
Yes, Instagram for business isn’t quite the same as other social media networks — you have to be a little more patient, creative and expressive to ensure your audience feels a connection with your brand, but once your wheels are well in motion and you have enough followers, your efforts will translate into sales or conversions quite quickly.
According to TrackMaven, B2B companies experience their largest engagement ratios on Instagram.
So, the moral of the story here is — if you work in the B2B industry, it’s time to give Instagram a second look as you plan your marketing mix.