Over the past few years, Instagram has climbed the social media ladder, making its way up to one of (if not the) most popular platform for B2C marketers.
With the rise of Instagram Influencers paired with its offering of marketing tools for community engagement and shopping (like Shopping Tags, Checkout on Instagram, etc.), Instagram supports businesses well. In particular, these tools can help B2C businesses reach their ROI goals on the platform - but what about B2B brands?
Instagram isn’t just a place for B2C brands; it offers a great deal of value for B2B brands as well. For example: Instagram is a great place to spread brand awareness for any brand. B2B brands can also use features like Stories or their bio link to drive website traffic or share UGC content to connect with their audience.
Last week, we held an #SMTLive Twitter chat to discuss all the ways B2B brands can find success on Instagram.
We talked about:
Common struggles for B2B marketers on Instagram
Goals that Instagram can help B2B brands reach
Different types of B2B content strategy for Instagram
Keep reading for the recap of our chat, including great tips to help you improve your B2B Instagram marketing strategy.
1. Common struggles for B2B marketers on Instagram
What do B2B brands struggle with the most on Instagram?
Of course, as all of this goes, content strategy and brand goals depend on the business. Every brand will experience different issues and will need to develop a unique strategy to align with their goals, but there still are a few common struggles most B2B brands face.
We're kicking off today's chat with a poll. -- Q1: What are your biggest struggles managing a B2B brand on @instagram? #SMTLive— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) April 23, 2019
This poll shows that everything from content creation to measuring ROI to community engagement is difficult (but not impossible) for B2B brands on Instagram.
2. Goals that Instagram can help B2B brands reach
What goals can B2B brands use Instagram to reach?
Many B2B brands turn to social media as a referral channel for website traffic. Instagram is no exception; especially now that Stories and Highlights exist on the platform.
Increase engagement and visits to website#SMTLive— Cristina Simone (@cristinasimone) April 23, 2019
Brand awareness is a huge one. If this is all you are using Instagram for, ROI might be dificult to measure but a strong content and engagement strategy on Instagram can go a long way in reaching this goal.
We've found Instagram is the best way to grow brand visibility fast using targeted hashtags, we then convert those followers to our clients' other platforms like FB & Li. We love the engagement here as well!— MOMENTUM Media Solutions (@Get_Momentum) April 23, 2019
Not only can Instagram help with brand awareness, but also relateabiliy through the humanization of the brand.
The "humanization" is a right point of view. I'm agree with you.#SMTLive— Cristina Simone (@cristinasimone) April 23, 2019
A2: Instagram is a great way to show the visual side of your brand. A place to showcase your personality with behind the scenes shots! - Rhianna #SMTLive— Oleso (@olesosocial) April 23, 2019
A2) I'm using #Instagram as a PR tool - trying to boost awareness, reputation, industry authority and overall share of voice in the Houston market! #smtlive— Point A Communications (@pointacomms) April 23, 2019
Brands with successful Facebook ads can also use Instagram as an extention to reach their Facebook ad goals.
A2: Currently using Instagram as an extension audience for lead gen campaigns (via Facebook Ads Manager). #B2BMarketing #SMTLive— Robin Selvy Re (@RobinSelvy) April 23, 2019
A2: We primarily use Instagram for paid marketing to reach an extended audience through Facebook Ads Manager campaigns. It's a great way to target both younger and older audiences in a cost-effective, multi-platform manner. #SMTLive— Taryn Grisham (@taryn_grisham) April 23, 2019
3. Different types of B2B content strategy for Instagram
It's hard to talk about a content strategy without knowing company goals, but we discussed a few content strategies we often see on Instagram.
Should you share company culture photos or videos?
Sharing company culture photos or Stories can make your audience feel more connected and involved in the life of the company, but this strategy doesn't work for everyone. Again, the content you share depends on your company voice and goals.
So true! Or if your office is dreary - it may hurt recruitment to showcase it on Instagram #SMTLive— Robin Selvy Re (@RobinSelvy) April 23, 2019
If you have a fun and visually appealing office space, showing off some BTS videos or photos is easy content for your Instagram. Just like many B2C brands have started to make Instagramable products a priority for their UGC content strategy, B2B brands need to do the same for their content. If you have a dark and dreary office space, maybe don't share photos of that. Take photos/videos of the team somewhere else.
Regardless of your workspace, you should be able to find some way to share who you are as a company and what you represent as a brand. Anything is better than a stock image on Instagram.
A4: I think that Instagram gives brands an opportunity to open the doors into a day in the life. We so often see stock images in ads, or over-glamorized shots of individuals. Use story elements to be "real" with your audience. It's a great opportunity! #SMTLive— Taryn Grisham (@taryn_grisham) April 23, 2019
Marketing teams aren't the only ones who can benefit from sharing company culture content. Recruiters say they have seen great success using this tactic to attract new employees.
I’ve done this for corporate Instagrams for this exact reason.— Kelsey Shaw (@kelsey_shaw_) April 23, 2019
Repurposing your own content and utilize UGC.
If you already have a strong inbound marketing content strategy, repurposing fragments of your content (blog posts, ebooks, webinars, videos on your website, etc.) to create new, visually appealing content is a tactic many marketers find effective.
Completely agree. For example zooming into detail of a pic.— Cristina Simone (@cristinasimone) April 23, 2019
You can make it appear as new content #SMTLive
And of course, UGC has been proven time and again to work for everyone. People love being recognized by the brands they follow. Engage with your audience and share their content.
A5: Everyone loves recognition. Share UGC across your platforms and tag the individuals who created it to show appreciation and share the love. With social media "days" like #TBT and #FBF, you can always repurpose old content that performed well the first time too. #SMTLive— Taryn Grisham (@taryn_grisham) April 23, 2019
Sometimes a good ol' hashtag campaign can help encourage clients/followers to create some UGC for you. #SMTLive— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) April 23, 2019
If you aren't generating much UGC organically, you can always run a hashtag campaign or use other similar tactics to encourage sharing.
This is a general overview of what B2B marketers can do to find success on Instagram. The main takeaway we have is to know your purpose on Instagram. If you know your goals, you can set up a content strategy to support that.Want to be a part of an #SMTLive community chat? Join us during our next Twitter chat: RSVP here.