B2B Marketers take note: Instagram has more than 800 million monthly active users (source). As that number grows so does the opportunity to reach potential customers in new ways.
If Instagram isn’t a core part of your B2B social strategy, it’s time to learn how to connect with your target audience on this popular platform.
In today’s blog post, we’ll teach you a few easy ways to effectively promote your B2B company on Instagram. Let’s get into it!
1. Leverage the power of user-generated content.
Instagram is unique in that it humanizes even the most niche B2B businesses—but in order to form a true connection with your target audience, you must learn from the strategies B2C businesses use.
The first way to build a connection with your audience is simple: Employ user-generated content (UGC). User-generated content is defined as any type of digital media content contributed by end users of an online service.
When customers post their own content on Instagram about your product or company, they become advocates for your brand. UGC is highly influential and can ultimately help you convert more prospects into paying customers. Think about it: People trust recommendations from friends and family more so than branded content. Consider these statistics:
- 85% of users find visual UGC to be more influential than content made by brands directly (source).
- 93% of consumers say UGC is helpful when making a purchasing decision (source).
- Millennials say UGC is 20% more influential than any other type of media when it comes to influencing purchases (source).
Here are a few ways to leverage UGC for Instagram success:
Create and promote a branded hashtag:
Come up with a branded hashtag that users can tag their Instagram posts with. Add the hashtag to your account’s bio and encourage customers and followers to use it. This hashtag not only gives you a great way to find and organize UGC, but it also encourages other users to join in. Think about it, if users see hashtagged UGC content featured on your company account, they will be more motivated to generate their own content that you can then promote.
Promote contests and sweepstakes:
Give users an incentive to post a photo on Instagram using your branded hashtag through a contest or giveaway. This encourages users in two ways: they want to win a prize and garner attention on social media (not to mention potential followers).
As you design your contest, always keep your target audience in mind. For instance, what kind of prize would they like? What photos are your customers already posting about your brand? Make sure to repost the winning Instagram photo on your feed to encourage future social engagement.
Be on the lookout for UGC:
If you are new to UGC, you may not have many submissions yet for a branded hashtag. Search regularly for other hashtags associated with your brand, and browse through recent posts tagged with your company location. If you find a photo that showcases your brand in a positive, authentic way, simply reach out to the user through a friendly direct message or comment to ask if you can repost it to your feed.
Integrate UGC with your advertising strategy:
When combined with Instagram advertising, UGC turns into a powerful lead magnet that captures new followers with the testimonials and user photographs that highlight company values.
One important consideration before we move on: Always ask for a user’s permission before featuring their content within your feed or advertisements. Also, be sure to give credit to users when it’s appropriate.
2. Spread company culture and celebrate achievements.
A successful B2B Instagram account allows followers and customers to fully grasp and personally relate to a company’s culture. A good way to achieve this is to regularly showcase projects employees are currently working on or engaging imagery of the diverse personalities that help to design and create your products.
Post images that drive emotional engagement to make a real connection with your audience. Also, remember to vary the content posted on your Instagram. Mix day-to-day operations with corporate events, as well as off-the-clock employee achievements. If done right, you will foster an upbeat and inspiring social media presence that encourages potential customers to opt for you over the competition.
3. Feature your origin story.
The visual nature of Instagram provides B2B marketers with an opportunity to tell compelling stories through photos. If you aren’t familiar with B2B storytelling, begin with your company’s origin story. Your origin story is a great way to build trust with your audience—it reveals who you are as a company and where you came from.
To create an inspiring origin story, your post should travel back in time to the days your company first started. If you don’t already have photos on hand, speak to your company founder or CEO and request photos that show the early days.
For instance, consider posting the founders of your company working on first projects or just hanging out together in a social setting. Remember to write a compelling caption to complement the photo. Be honest in your caption to build trust—showcase both good and bad times to craft a compelling narrative.
4. Foster aesthetic appeal with filters.
Photo filters come standard with Instagram and can enhance your photos to create the mood and aesthetic you want to portray. There are also various photo editing tools that can help you craft the right look. No matter what industry your B2B company occupies, you can create more engaging, appealing posts with filters.
As you use filters to promote your B2B company, keep in mind that consistency is key. Just like your brand voice, your photo style should be consistent to create a dependable experience for your audience.
5. Go global with geolocation opportunities.
The location features on Instagram are extremely powerful. Be sure to use Instagram geostickers, location features, and geo-hashtags to build traction in a certain area or country to ultimately attract new clients. Additionally, this allows you to strategically associate your business with certain locations and events.
6. Collaborate with other businesses and influencers.
B2B marketers must always remember that sharing is caring on Instagram. Feature the businesses you work within your feed to build brand awareness. If they feature you as well, this exchange will benefit both businesses.
Collaborating on Instagram is a great opportunity to tap into new client pools and attract more followers and likes.
Final Thoughts About Integrating Instagram into Your B2B Marketing Strategy
And there you have it, the B2B marketer’s guide to Instagram. Use the six strategies listed above to make an impact and build your audience. The end result? New customers and prospects that are excited about what you do.
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About the Author: Lana Miro is a marketing manager at TemplateMonster who appreciates beautiful web design. She likes to write about and share her experiences. Check out more of Lana’s work at TemplateMonster.com. TemplateMonster helps find solutions for online projects.