Is Instagram Any Good For B2B?

Author - armstrong-admin

Ask many b2b business owners if they have tried using social media to market their business and they will often point to their presence on Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook as the extent of their interest.

This is backed up by a survey of b2b marketers, which shows more than three quarters see these channels as the most effective in their social media marketing compared to just 11% for Instagram.

Source Statista

So does this suggest that Instagram isn’t any good for b2b marketing? Or are b2b businesses missing out?

One possible reason for Instagram being overlooked as a social media channel for b2b companies is lack of knowledge of how it can be used to boost traffic and brand awareness.

Getting b2b business owners to consider putting resources into any social media channel can be a challenge when (with the exception of Linkedin) they are often viewed as less effective than other marketing channels at generating sales.

Instagram to the uninitiated older audience is often seen as a platform to look up what celebrities are getting up to or sharing photos of cuddly pets and holidays rather than anything that is going to generate interest in business products and services.

Instagram is more about telling a story with images and videos but herein lies its strength. What Instagram is not is a place where b2b businesses can be overly corporate or impersonal in the way they present themselves.

How To Build An Audience on Instagram

To attract an audience on Instagram, the emphasis must be on building a connection and being more social. To retain and build an audience, your Instagram page should also entertain. This can be achieved in a variety of ways that give people greater insights into company culture and the human side of the business.

The use of video and reels can successfully be used to entertain such as in this example from Mailchimp’s Instagram page

While this doesn’t directly promote Mailchimp’s service, it is targeted to the type of audience they want to attract i.e. small business owners.

Mailchimp’s Instagram is seen by many as the model of how to approach the platform for b2b businesses. With the account having 140,000 followers, they are in the happy position of having more than a football stadium full of people liking and sharing their posts on a regular basis, which multiplies this audience many times over. What they do well is work to a strategy that uses a variety of content that will resonate with their target demographic.

You will find very little content about newsletters, which is what Mailchimp is all about. Nearly all the content is about the small business owner, their achievements and challenges.  

Doing b2b marketing well on Instagram, therefore, does require a strategy. The platform won’t work well for those businesses that simply post content without any kind of strategy or targeting in mind.

Even with clear ideas of content and audience targeting, output on Instagram will need to be engaging enough to attract attention in your niche with other rival businesses potentially doing the similar things.

To do well on Instagram as a b2b company, will ideally require support from a team in areas such as photography, video production, animation and graphic design to ensure a variety of media.

While the broader trend is currently towards content that appears natural enough to be filmed on a smart phone, this tends to work better for individuals who want to build their personal profiles or celebrities who can be paid to help b2c companies promote products.

For b2b businesses that require a more polished presence it is worth investing in professionally filmed content that aligns with the kind of image the business wants to project to potential clients, customers or people searching for job opportunities.  

How is success on Instagram measured?

Once a strategy for approaching b2b marketing on Instagram has been established it is also important to define what success looks like . Will it be increased traffic to your website? Improved brand awareness? Leads and sales?

Setting up a business account on Instagram will enable you to measure success as will tools such as Google Analytics to monitor referrals to your website. Setting up landing pages on your website to convert potential leads is crucial to get the best out of campaigns where lead generation is the aim.

Instagram as with all social media marketing is about putting the effort in to achieve results and setting the right expectations. Instagram should be seen as one of many sales channels to utilise and the more interesting and engaging the content is the greater the chances of making it a successful channel for your business.