B2B Marketing on Instagram
“A picture is worth a thousand words” -- we’ve all heard it before, but that old saying may be more true than ever with the rise in businesses using social media platforms, like Instagram, as a part of their marketing plan. In fact, "Instagram is used by 48.8% of brands - a number that is expected to rise to 70.7% by the end of 2017." If you don’t know what Instagram is or haven’t created a brand profile for your company on Instagram, you’ll soon be late to the party.
Instagram, for those who don’t know, is a social media platform where users post images with clever hashtags (#PuppyTuesdays or #CrockPotThursday) or witty one-liners to gain followers and likes. This is a great resource for businesses because it’s quick and there are millions of people using Instagram daily. Instagram has been on a rise across all ages since 2012 and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Using instagram for your business, like other social media platforms, takes a little work. You have to monitor it and be active with your posting, in order to be effective - especially for B2B marketing. Instagram offers an Inspiration board on their business page that has a section of “hashtags to watch” to see what’s trending at the moment. They also suggest “brands to follow” to help their business users as well. While these are good resources, they’re definitely not all you need to pay attention to. We’ve come up with a list of 5 things you should be doing to prevent your marketing on Instagram from becoming an insta-flop.
1. Balance the Fun Images With Business Images
Fun is what gets people engaged. We like to show them images of the pups in the office or the delicious food we’ve eaten on crockpot Thursday. You want people to know that you're more than just a company - that you're people too. Donna Amos said:
"While running a business requires dedication, sweat and sometimes tears, it should never be all work and no play. Instagram is perfect for displaying fun times in the office or when you’re out and about having lunch or dinner with coworkers. Sharing these types of images with followers speaks volumes. It not only suggests that you don’t take life too seriously while on the job, but instead you must be happy and successful in your career.”
While those images tend to get more likes across the board, adding images of projects people have been working on, new company attire or just a picture of the team hard at work, will still engage your audience.
2. Just Posting Images Isn’t Enough
“Treat others how you wish to be treated” - another saying we’ve all heard before, that still applies today. If you don’t follow other businesses, don’t expect them to follow you. Simple steps, like engaging others by following and liking their photos, connecting with your Facebook account and using relevant, popular hashtags, can increase the foot traffic to your Instagram account and the recognition of your company. Another way to get people connected is cross-posting. Cross-post selected images to your Facebook page with a correlating hashtag to let people who don’t know you’re on Instagram, know you’re there. Cross-posting with Facebook is also a great way to promote contests or sweepstakes and engage your potential clients. By sharing it across both platforms you increase opportunities for engagement, as well as the likelihood of participation.
3. Use Instagram Video in Your Marketing
Instagram is not only a place for images, but you can also upload short videos, that can range from 3-60 seconds and can be in square or landscape format. You can share these videos to your blog, website or other social media platforms. This is a perfect place to feature quick teasers of things like new products, upcoming events, important news, office fun or just a quick summation of a service.
4. Advertise on Instagram
- Photo Ads: These ads look like regular posts, but along with the photo they also have a sponsored label above the photo and a learn more button on the bottom right corner, under the photo.
- Video Ads: These look like regular video posts, but will include a sponsored label on top.
- Carousel Ads: These ads look identical to photo ads, but feature multiple photos that users can swipe through.
- Stories Ads: These are like snippets of photos and videos all strung together and according to Instagram, there are 200M+ people using stories daily!
All of these ad formats appear in users' feeds while they scroll through their app. These ad solutions help businesses to increase awareness, teach potential customers about your services and ultimately increase conversions. They’re easy to use and are budget friendly, giving you the option to decide how long they’ll run and what you’re comfortable spending. Utilizing all four of these advertising options will let you in the homes of multiple potential clients and businesses and allow you to reach all of these objectives. Instagram also offers you the ability to make your ads hit specific audiences with these targeting options:
|- Location||- Demographics|
|- Interests||- Behaviors|
|- Custom Audiences||- Lookalike Audiences|
|- Automated Targeting|
Instagram could play a huge part in your social media marketing strategy. As of March 22nd, 2017, there were 1 million advertisers on Instagram. Another benefit? 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post. Don’t miss out on the opportunities for businesses that come from advertising on Instagram.
5. Quantify and Qualify
Above all else: quantity and quality. Post often but make sure they’re quality posts that say something about your company. Don’t post a picture of a computer desk and say “this is our desk”. No one has any interest or time for that, so you won’t stand out and they probably won’t follow you. Make sure to capture things that are interesting to the brand and to the your target. You need to train your eye to focus on what makes a great, provocative, engaging image - one that you, as a consumer, would want to see. If it’s not something you would “like” on someone else’s page, don’t bother posting it because if it doesn’t reflect something you would like, your viewers probably won’t either. The best part about images, is that they allow you to express your company’s culture and the “human” side of technology without being mundane - use this to your advantage.
At the end of 2016, 13% of B2B brands ranked Instagram as “very important” or “critical” to their social media marketing - a number that will most definitely increase this year. Instagram is an awesome marketing tool that can help boost your social media presence over the top, if it’s used correctly. It's not just an online photo album, but a new way to reach out to other businesses and increase your brand awareness. If you have ideas you’re unsure of, bounce them off the marketing team here at JoomConnect by phone at 888-546-4384 or head over to www.JoomConnect.com or Live Chat with us today!