When used properly, there is no doubt that Instagram is one of the most powerful social media platforms and benefits brands in numerous ways, including an increase in brand visibility, user engagement, and lead generation.
It’s worth to stress out the advantages are not only noticed by B2C companies, but they have been equally recognized by B2B businesses.
How Instagram benefits B2B brands? How to choose the most efficient techniques for your company to implement into your social media strategy? And, how does the implementation of the Instagram strategy affect the realization of your promotional and business goals? Let’s start with some of the most intriguing Instagram statistics:
An Estimated 71% of US Businesses Use Instagram — Sproutsocial
Instagram has more than 1 million monthly advertisers and 8 million business profiles — AdWeek
According to Statista, with more than 500 million active users, Instagram is currently the third most popular social media network, just behind Facebook and YouTube.
Everyday users scroll through their Instagram feeds, watch InstaStories, and check the profiles of their favorite brands to stay up-to-date with any news or updates. Designed mainly for mobile devices, it’s not far-fetched to say that Instagram is always in our pocket.
Having mentioned numbers, brands have to recognize what platforms their current and potential customers choose to spend time on, what actions they conduct when online, and what kind of information they look for.
By being present exactly where your customers are, you’re not only able to engage with users more systematically, but you can also see the customer loyalty growing significantly.
INSTAGRAM TOOLS FOR B2B BUSINESSES
B2B BUSINESS PROFILE ON INSTAGRAM
Small, medium-sized, and big businesses actively conduct their promotional and marketing strategies on Instagram. Owning an official business profile on Instagram is a milestone for your company to attract target groups that are active on this platform. In every business, there are a few different target groups you may want to reach, and they possibly include:
When running an Instagram account, think about the specific target group you want to reach through this platform; based on the group’s characteristics, you can develop the most effective communication strategy. The strategy should dictate what kind of content you publish on the profile, including photos, videos, graphics, and hashtags you should choose to become more visible to potential followers.
Invision App Instagram Account (left); Hootsuite Instagram Account (right)
Every business profile has several places on Instagram where they can list and promote core activities, highlight values, and boost visibility, such as:
- Profile description
- Website address
- Profile photo
- Location field
Business profiles can also boost their performance by analyzing data about their visitors in the statistics section.
Buffer conducts systematic marketing activities on the brand’s profile on Instagram. In addition to promoting the company’s values, activities, offers or new features available on the platform, the profile supports building the company’s image as an employer supporting its employer branding strategy. The brand also uses a “call to action” in their posts’ descriptions to encourage users to click on the link available on their profile and visit their dedicated landing page.
Buffer Instagram Account
Using a similar approach, brands are able to invite Instagram users to participate in their events, download e-books, or schedule a meeting with consultants.
In addition to owning the main profile on Instagram, HubSpot promotes its platform via their second profile called HubSpot Academy which supports the company’s content marketing strategy. This entity is aimed to attract the attention of potential customers and encourage them to access insights, trends, reports and statistics relevant for both marketing and sales industries. On the profile, the brand publishes videos, graphics, and photos tailored to their communication strategy.
As a result, the company builds a coherent image as an innovative brand open to initiate dialogue with target groups, and share knowledge and experience.
HubSpot Academy Instagram Account
INSTASTORIES AND ITV
InstaStories is a tool available on Instagram that allows brands to publish short stories that are visible for 24 hours for their followers. The stories are highlighted in the upper section of the main screen in the app. What’s more, brands can also highlight selected stories on their profile, creating engaging and interesting visual materials pinned between the profile section and photos.
Using InstaStories, brands can publish a photo, video, or graphic content tailored to their target group’s needs. It’s a simple but efficient tool to showcase some backstage scenes from a company’s daily life, events, or workshops, and communicate the newest features, releases, information about competitions, or giveaways.
Websummit InstaStories (left); Trello InstaStories (right)
In June 2018, Instagram has introduced ITV — a video-based app that allows users to upload videos that can be up to one hour long.
Instagram offers brands a possibility to reach target groups, expand impressions, and clicks via native advertising tools. The ads can be shown on the users’ feeds or between stories that users see in the InstaStories section.
It’s another useful tool available for Instagram B2B business profiles to promote the brand’s content among people who can be potentially interested in your product or services and gain more visibility. Instagram Ads are managed via Facebook’s advertising platform and can include:
- Single photo/graphic Ads
- Carousel Ads
- Video Ads
Advertisers can set goals based on:
- Website clicks
- Video view counts
- Mobile apps installations
all of which offer a vast range of possibilities for businesses. Depending on the main goals of your promotional campaign, by using Instagram ads, you can reach your target group and encourage them to visit your website. You can promote your online webinar, a free eBook or build visibility promoting your new video encouraging potential employees to apply for open positions in your company.
Salesforce uses advertising on Instagram to promote their CRM system. The “Learn more” button redirects users to the external site — a dedicated landing page with a detailed offer description. Thus, the company reaches potential B2B customers seeking similar sales management solutions. It’s a part of the company’s lead generation strategy.
Convertflow Instagram Ad (left); Salesforce Instagram Ad (middle); WeWork Instagram Ad (right) via Adstage
WeWork, a global coworking network, promotes their coworking offices in various locations around the world among local freelance communities, small, and medium-sized businesses.
Convertflow, a platform for generating sales leads for B2B, uses advertising on Instagram to gain traffic to its product published on Product Hunt. The call to action “Learn more” button redirects the user to an external site. As a result, the brand not only boosts its visibility, but it also can potentially increase the number of leads for the platform.
Squarespace Instagram Ad
Squarespace, an online platform to build websites, advertises its services via InstaStories. Having more than 10k followers, Squarespace can add a direct link in InstaStories to the company’s website.