You’re wrong about Instagram and B2B Businesses. It’s a bold statement, I’m sure you’d agree. However, the general misconception that Instagram does not work for “serious” B2B brands is clearly #fakenews. In this post, we’ll explore some reasons why this is the case.
Data and B2B Brands on Instagram
At Ampfluence our CEO loves to say, “Data never lies”. It’s 100% true as marketers we have our standard beliefs or what works and why. Simply because at face value some tactics naturally fit together while others seem to be the antithesis of marketing. If you are a lot like us you enjoy figuring out the pieces that are not easily discernable by the naked eye. This is where data comes in.
In a study conducted by TrackMaven, the company examined over 300 leading B2B brands and over 100 million social interactions spanning a 12 month period. Interestingly, the study revealed that engagement rates for these leading B2B brands are actually the highest engagement rates on Instagram in comparison to other social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Again data never lies. A whopping 22 percent that’s at least 20% more engagement than LinkedIn. It’s apparent there’s something going on with Instagram that is not occurring on any other social network.
Why B2B Brands Should Use Instagram
Interestingly enough, at Ampfluence our experience has shown us that B2B brands perform just as well as fashion brands or anything other vertical. From a variable perspective, the industry type or segment served depends less on the vertical and more on the content type and consistency of the brand itself. Now that you know why you should use Instagram as a B2B brand below are some features that add value to your brand’s activities.
Advanced profile settings provide an advantage to brands. Settings like out of the box call to action solutions and insights per post. These new advanced settings make it feasible for any B2B brand to leverage digital solutions without complex coding or custom visualization builds.
Instagram Story Highlights allows companies to pin feature stories to the top of their profile pages. This feature set can help B2B brands share information about their company including more nuanced aspects like:
- Charitable endeavors
- Sustainability efforts
- New projects or products
- Corporate Culture
- Investor Relations
- Client stories
If you can think of an interesting way to tell the story you can highlight that story on Instagram.
Automated Posts allow businesses to post to the newly-opened content publishing API, which gives options for planning, managing, and scheduling posts in an efficient manner.
Links in stories Instagram stories are becoming a more prominent method for sharing content. Through achievable growth, brands can leverage the once single link platform into a serious direct traffic vehicle. Additionally, if you do not have 10k or more followers. Advertising is a quick shortcut to driving direct traffic through IG.
5 Instagram Strategies for B2B Brands
Build Audience Trust
The benefits of building engagement are long reaching for B2B brands. In traditional advertising vehicles, most brands do not have direct connections to their consumers or potential employees. Instagram changes this concept completely. It’s a platform people actually want to use casually making real engagement a seamless after effect of good content strategy.
Brands can share casual, behind-the-scenes glimpses of what it feels like to work at a company. Sharing corporate culture has never been so simple. This type of content strategy can help with talent acquisition and recruiting. For example, Hootsuite is known for sharing corporate culture on the Gram. However, last Christmas they took the opportunity to share a Christmas survival guide. Needless to say, but I can’t help but share a pun, ’twas a fantastically creative way to release content that highlights their brand during peak ad season while showcasing the culture.
Getting employees involved in social strategy is an extremely underused tactic. Your true audience will appreciate seeing what your offices and employees look like as well as how they work. This very intimate share allows your brand to connect with users without having them actually walk through your office or meet individual employees. Even LinkedIn uses Instagram to share employee stories which you might think is absurd but they know how to leverage social too. After all the company is a social network in its own right.
Customer stories are a great way to generate content without having to talk about yourself directly. It’s also an exceptional organic method for building trust and attracting more customers. See how John Deere frequently uses UGC to connect with their customers.
Quote images have been a dominant content type on Instagram since day one, that’s because they work. You can use them for motivation, inspiration, story-telling, humor, or just to diversify the kinds of content you’re sharing. For example, Chase uses the occasional quote image in their feed to tell stories that matter to their brand.
Creating your own Instagram hashtags can be another effective strategy, in the sense that it gives your company the option to control the narrative while connecting with others who share similar values. For example, Deloitte is no stranger to the branded hashtag e.g. #LifeAtDeloitte. However, take a quick glance at the company’s hashtag set, it’s easy to see the strategy they are using to connect with today’s workforce. For example, the company uses #millenials #worklife #impactthatmatters and a story takeover. This strategy utilizes many different tactics to give and get the most value from their audience.
Examples of B2B Brands Using Instagram Successfully
IBM has done well with the platform by appealing to the technical side of things in a quirky way, and by paying attention to cultural impact with their Instagram posts. Here they highlight Earth Day and the many ways that they and their users can reduce waste, and help the environment by being aware of the impact of plastics.
Wells Fargo decided that there is a cultural match between golf-lovers and their company culture, so they attach themselves to celebrity golfers, sponsor tournaments, and involve themselves in golfing events frequently that their brand becomes synonymous with the sport itself. What better method to highlight this concept than on Instagram.
Canva posts ideas about how their product can be used, which is enough to inspire the current audience and show the beauty and simplicity of using their visual design products – simple and effective.
National Geographic sticks to what they know – they post pictures and videos of Wildlife, animals, and national parks that inspire, move, and engage their audience. Intense discussions and debates are all fair game, and a story is told with each and every picture.
SquareSpace keeps it simple by highlighting much of the design work of some of their more successful users. This strategy keeps falls in line with their mission of making e-commerce accessible, lightweight, and convenient for entrepreneurs of all walks of life.
Final Thoughts on B2B Brands on Instagram
Instagram is a viable digital method for today’s brands and businesses. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand which certainly rings true in this case. In short, the power of visualization, storytelling, and ambassadorship go a long way. Afterall, these are the very same drivers that iconized the world’s iconic brands. Today, Instagram gives you for FREE the power of distribution , data , and longevity. Seems like a pretty sweet deal, don’t you think?
We hope you enjoyed this post! Don’t forget to share because sharing is caring 🙂 Also, If you have some really cool examples of B2B brands that you admire on the Gram be sure to share it in the comments below.