6 Instagram Marketing Lessons from the Best B2B Companies
The popularity of Instagram marketing is on the rise: It’s one of the fastest-growing networks with the most engaged users. 90% of people follow at least one business on Instagram. So it’s no wonder that brands of all sizes and shapes promote their products and services in-app.
At first blush, Instagram is probably not the most obvious social media platform the majority of B2B marketers would think of first for promoting their companies. However, over 45% of B2B buyers are 25-34 years olds, which means your clients are more likely to use Instagram.
Here are six Instagram marketing lessons from the best B2B companies like DHL, Hubspot, and Adobe. Each can help anyone interested in learning how to grow your B2B company on Instagram. Let’s dive in!
1. Instagram is the Right Place for B2B Companies
To become a better B2B marketer, you need to seek out new alternative ways to reach your B2B buyers, and being active on Instagram is a great way to do it. Any proof needed? Check out successful B2B companies on Instagram like Apple (22.2 million followers), Intel (1.3 million followers), and WeWork (634k followers).
Here are several reasons why Instagram is the right place for B2B companies:
- B2B buyers are active on Instagram. There are real people behind the brands and 84% of B2B buyers use social media to search for products. Since the platform has over one billion active users, it’s likely your potential B2B buyers use Instagram for product discovery, too.
- The competition is low. As specified in the latest research by Statista, Instagram is the 4th most popular social media network for B2B companies, after Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Since only 66% of B2B companies promote their businesses on Instagram, using this platform is a great way to surpass the competition and achieve your business goals.
- Instagram has many business-specific features. Since Instagram has great sales potential for B2C brands, the platform rolls out features that make it easier for companies to achieve their business goals. From driving website traffic with clickable Story links to selling services in-app with shoppable tags, there are many ways to use Instagram features and bring your B2B business to the next level.
The bottom line? Instagram is just right for B2B companies. So draw inspiration from successful companies and develop your winning Instagram marketing strategy.
2. Beautiful Instagram Feeds Attract Followers
For most B2B companies, it can be daunting to create visual content for Instagram. However, it’s a must if you want to attract more Instagram followers and turn them into customers. Not only should you post visual content regularly, but you also need to make it beautiful.
Why? According to Forbes, 65% of people are visual learners, so it’s important for all businesses to have a cohesive Instagram.
Once you have a beautiful Instagram feed, you:
- Stand out from the crowd
- Attract your target audience
- Give them a reason to check your profile regularly and share it with their friends
Just take a look at Adobe:
With a focus on creativity software products, it’s no wonder that Adobe knows how to create an eye-catching Instagram feed that grabs the attention.
And TailWindApp is another example. Although the company is active on Facebook and Twitter, its Instagram account has 44k fans, making it the company’s most-followed social media platform:
The bottom line? B2B buyers are visual learners, too. And if you have a limited budget, you can still find stock photos for social media and repurpose them for your Instagram account without putting much time, effort, or money. Just be sure to pay for these images and post their source.
3. Behind-the-Scenes Content Adds the Human Touch
Selling to other businesses doesn’t mean you have to publish boring content and keep a focus only on your products. Modern customers seek out authenticity on social media. And there are real people behind B2B companies who also crave the human touch.
Thus, you have to showcase the people behind your company. Sharing behind-the-scenes (BTS) content is a great way to humanize your brand and get closer to your target audience. Moreover, it’s another amazing opportunity to find new content ideas and show off your brand values and principles without being too salesy.
For example, General Electric often features its staff members to take followers behind the scenes and give them a look into their daily life. The company publishes a series of Instagram Stories to avoid clogging the main feed up with BTS content. It also repurposes the best stories into long-form videos to publish on its IGTV channel. Here’s how it looks:
All in all, sharing behind-the-scenes content helps to improve customer experience and increase brand loyalty and trust. As a result, it also encourages Instagram visitors and followers to find out more about your company and products.
4. Educational Content Builds Brand Trust
It’s no secret that 55% of B2B buyers do research on social media before making the purchase decision. Why? They seek out solutions, not products or services. Thus, they want to make sure that your company is expert in its niche and is worth giving a try.
If you know your potential customers’ pain points and show them how to solve their problems, you gain brand trust. This differentiates you from your competitors who seek the attention of the same audience. Plus, it proves your niche expertise, which results in more sales.
Here’s how Hubspot uses its Instagram feed to share educational content. Not only does the company create valuable Instagram posts, but Hubspot also invites its experts to answer followers’ questions and publishes these replies in Instagram Story Highlights:
With the rise of eLearning, HubSpot also offers free courses that educate users on its software. The company also has a separate Instagram profile for its Hubspot Academy:
In short, sharing educational content helps your B2B company prove your niche experience, earn brand trust, and tell your potential customers how to benefit from your product or service.
5. Social Proof Attracts New Customers
Modern buyers trust other customers more than brands. According to research by BrightLocal, 93% of people read online reviews, 91% of users claim that positive reviews make them more likely to use a business, and 53% of customers would use a business that has less than 4 stars.
Since more and more people use Instagram for product discovery, providing social proof on the platform is a must. For B2B marketing, sharing customer reviews is a great way to use social proof and therefore attract new customers.
This is how Keap did it:
The company has realized the power of social proof, so it offers referral codes for its loyal customers to spread the word about its software in exchange for getting a bonus. What is more, new clients can get a solid discount which encourages people to use Keap’s software. Everyone wins!
As you can see, providing social proof gives potential customers a reason to trust your brand, so you can acquire new clients with ease. Want to know the best part? There’s no need to hire a designer to create similar customer feedback posts. Just use an online graphic design tool to find templates, add your logo and font, and put your text on the image in just a few clicks.
6. B2B Customers Crave Customer Support on Instagram
Instagram isn’t the most obvious place for B2B companies to provide customer support. However, Instagram marketing experts claim that customer expectations have changed. Not only do people use Instagram for product discovery, but they also want to get their requests solved on the platform.
Whether you’re a B2C or B2B company, it’s more likely you can get customer requests on Instagram. The more followers you have, the more complaints you can expect to handle. For instance, DHL gets many comments from dissatisfied customers. However, the company invites users to contact their customer support via email. But if people call out your brand on Instagram, they want to get a reply in-app, and the following example proves it:
No matter how good your product or service is, your B2B clients may have questions about it. If you use Instagram for B2B promotion, get ready to receive customer requests in-app. Thus, you need to provide customer support on Instagram to improve the customer journey and turn your worried customers into loyal fans.
Over the last few years, Instagram has become a powerful marketing tool for B2B companies. Not all companies have developed successful B2B marketing strategies using Instagram. But the best companies successfully use this platform for business promotion. Hopefully, these lessons can teach you a lot and help to understand customer demands so that you can create a winning strategy.
Hugh Beaulac is a content marketer and strategist behind MC2 who also contributes to different websites to share his knowledge. Having 7+ years of experience in social media marketing, he believes in the power of Instagram marketing to grow businesses online. You can tweet Hugh @HughBeaulac
Featured image: Andy Capaloff