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The Last Guide to Instagram B2B Marketing You’ll Need

Instagram is definitely not the first platform that comes to mind when discussing B2B marketing channels

At first blush, it can be hard for “dry” B2B businesses to look stunning on a visual platform like Instagram, and the B2B sales cycle is far from linear.

Instagram is not a primary channel for business-to-business companies. Still, it has a diverse audience with over 2.4 billion monthly active users, so excluding the platform from your marketing strategy would be a mistake as B2B buyers are common people who also use Instagram for product discovery and research. 

Moreover, Instagram B2B marketing is gaining in popularity and big B2B companies like Microsoft (4.3M), Boeing (1.7M), and Adobe (1.8M) see high engagement rates that prove the potential of this channel.

Why can companies consider Instagram B2B marketing?

Do you know Instagram gets 20 times more engagement than LinkedIn for B2B brands?

With only a third of B2B companies utilizing Instagram for marketing, your chances of standing out and reaching your target audience are higher. Not to mention the platform’s proven track record of helping businesses boost both their offline and online sales after running campaigns.

Here’s why you should consider using Instagram for your B2B business:

  • Project your brand identity and voice. Instagram’s highly visual nature makes it the ideal platform for showcasing your brand identity and telling your story. Instagram is the prime platform for brand discovery, with 83% of users sharing that they’ve learned about a brand or service through the app. 
  • Find new creative approaches to interact with B2B buyers. Unlike B2C companies, which have more freedom to get creative, B2B businesses are typically more “serious” or “formal.” This is because you are usually talking to C-suite executives and decision-makers. But don’t let this limit your approach to marketing. 

Instagram has built-in tools to help you engage with your audience, such as Stories, interactive stickers, Instagram Live, and collaborative posts. If you need to manage multiple Instagram accounts for your clients, you can do it in just 4 easy steps.

  • Support and shorten a long B2B sales cycle. With the right content, social media platforms like Instagram can shorten the sales cycle. This is because the platform gives you a deeper understanding and easy access to your customers’ wants and needs, making it possible to craft the perfect pitch for lead generation and conversion.

Now that you know how valuable Instagram can be for B2B businesses, here are eight tips and social media strategies to help you stand out and succeed on the platform: 

1. Lay a bet on eye-grabbing Instagram profiles

Focusing on the visuals may sound like a given on a platform like Instagram, but it’s important to double down on the value of investing in high-quality visuals and aesthetic photos. Not just because people in general appreciate great visuals but also because you’re dealing with an audience with an incredibly short attention span. 

According to research by Microsoft, the average attention span is less than nine seconds, and it only takes an average of 1.5 seconds to consume mobile content. This means you only have a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention. 

With up to 85% of people watching videos on mute, visuals are your only hope to stop them from scrolling past your brand. Text-heavy B2B companies can still make good use of data visualization and repurpose content into visuals for Instagram.

Mailchimp, a B2B software as a service (SaaS) company, invests in creating thumb-stopping visual content on its Instagram page. With bright and colorful illustrations and a combination of Reels, still images, and infographics, each post will surely grab a user’s attention. 

Mailchimp

Your audience is more likely to engage with visually stimulating content, which means they like, comment, or take action after seeing your post.

2. Put a human face with behind-the-scenes content 

Behind-the-scenes content is extremely powerful because it gives a face to our favorite brands and makes us feel a deeper connection with them. Regular behind-the-scenes posts can improve trust, increase loyalty, and boost sales. 

According to a 2023 Sprout Social Index, the top three things consumers don’t see enough of from businesses on social media are: 

  1. Authentic and non-promotional content
  2. Transparency about business practices and values 
  3. Information about how products are made and sourced

This is why behind-the-scenes content is more meaningful and valuable to your audience. Today’s consumers are more intentional about the brands they choose to support, especially when dealing with c-suite decision-makers whose choice of companies they decide to go into business with can have a huge effect on their own brand. 

Your audience doesn’t just want to learn more about your product. They also want to know the people behind it.

Oracle

For International Women’s Day, Oracle featured its women leaders who talked about what it means to inspire inclusion inside and outside the workplace. This type of content can show the faces behind the brand and highlight its values — exactly what your consumers are looking for. 

Since products are rarely ever completely unique, it’s the human element that makes them special. Use this to your advantage when brainstorming for your Instagram content. 

3. Generate B2B leads with in-built features

It’s no secret that the B2B cost per lead is higher, but you can reduce it if you test new and creative channels like Instagram. Moreover, Instagram has built-in features specifically for generating more leads. 

You can run targeted lead-generation ads through Ads Manager. Instagram lead ads can help you collect valuable information about your audience, such as their email addresses, phone numbers, occupations, and birthdays. 

We recommend adding pre-filled sections on your form, so leads don’t need to manually fill them out. 

You can also utilize your link in bio to capture leads. With limited space anywhere else to add links, your link in bio is a crucial spot for encouraging followers to take action. This can be a link to sign up for your newsletter, buy tickets to your event or answer an audience survey. Don’t forget to include a strong call-to-action (CTA). 

Additionally, you can use link stickers on your Instagram Stories to send viewers to your landing page. All of this will help you in your efforts to make money with Instagram and increase your leads and conversions. 

4. Prove your niche expertise

B2B buyers are likely already knowledgeable about your industry or would’ve done their own research about what you offer. Your goal is to differentiate your business from competitors, which can be done by highlighting your niche expertise and leveraging thought leadership. 

By positioning your brand as an expert in your industry, you are more likely to attract leads and convert them into B2B customers. To showcase your thought leadership, you can post: 

  • In-depth industry insights
  • Case studies and survey results
  • Instagram live-hosted webinars and ask-me-anything sessions

The key to proving your expertise is consistency. Post regular updates on your Instagram page that can bring value to your audience. It’s also important to engage and be responsive to your audience and consider collaborating with other thought leaders.

IBM

Despite being a multinational tech giant with more than a century of proven success, IBM still promotes thought leadership content on its social media pages. One great example is the Smart Talks podcast, which is promoted through snippets on Instagram Stories and Highlights, with a link to the full episode included. 

The brand also has a series called AI Academy, in which it invites IBM AI experts to discuss the role of AI for businesses. 

Pro tip: You can also attract more followers to your Instagram and therefore boost brand awareness if you partner with other B2B companies and promote your profiles with the help of a dynamic QR code maker.

Read more: Content Marketing Strategies to Help You Nail Your Niche

5. Use Instagram video marketing to educate B2B buyers

According to Facebook data, an impressive 74% of users have taken action after watching a brand’s video on Instagram. These actions include visiting a website to learn more, sharing the content, and making a purchase. There’s no denying the power of video today. 

More importantly, video is the best format for learning. You can educate your audience using Instagram’s various video formats (Reels, Stories, and Live) and even quiz them using the interactive stickers

Educational videos don’t need to be complicated. Check out how the team communication platform Slack, does it: 

Slack

Whenever Slack releases a new feature or update, the brand posts a video demo of how it improves the user experience. More than just how-to videos, Slack also posts hacks that can help users utilize its features and enjoy a new and improved experience. 

Slack also posts regular video content on how the platform can help solve common user pain points, other ways it can be used, and important shortcuts not many users would know about. With the variety of live streaming platforms, you can also repurpose your live sessions into short Instagram videos.

Educational content is particularly important for B2B buyers because it can greatly influence their purchase decision, which requires more time and deliberation than for B2C buyers. Educational content can help you build a stronger connection with your audience when done well. 

6. Collaborate with Instagram influencers for more reach

Contrary to what you may think, Influencers and content creators can also do wonders for B2B businesses. They can improve your reach, expose you to a high-quality audience that’s ready to convert, and boost your credibility in your niche. 

With the right influencer partnership, your brand can go from a small start-up to a market leader. 

There are many ways you can collaborate with influencers:

  • Feature them on your page
  • Ask to post an in-depth review of your product on their channel
  • Instagram takeovers

Choosing an influencer for a B2B company requires much more research and deliberation. The influencer must be viewed as a thought leader in your space with an established social media presence and audience. 

Unlike B2C influencers, whose full-time jobs may be creating content for brands, B2B influencers are professionals within your industry.  This means your influencers can be your customers, employees, or brands you work with. 

Check out what an influencer marketing campaign can do for your brand:

Instagram Business

Indonesian business accelerator company Merintis worked with creators to create Reels ads. The results? A staggering 99% lower cost per incremental lead and a 58% lower cost per click. Working with creators and influencers isn’t just effective but you also get great value for your money. 

7. Provide social proof for loyalty and trust

Using social proof on your Instagram page is an excellent way to build loyalty and trust with your audience. The fact that other real businesses and people have worked with you before can influence other people’s actions and help them make a purchase decision. 

A report by Statista states that almost 70% of online consumers will read customer reviews before spending money on a product or service. This data included B2C customers, with a smaller barrier to purchase. What more for B2B buyers whose decisions can affect an entire business? 

Shopify

B2B eCommerce company Shopify regularly posts customer testimonials on its Instagram page. Featuring real people and their success stories working with your brand is a surefire way to capture more leads. 

8. Deliver faster results with Instagram ad campaigns

While organic posts can target your existing audience and followers only if you know the best time to post on Instagram, there’s no way to reach a wider audience without running ads. In fact, with the algorithm working against your favor, you may not be even reaching your followers. 

Whether you want to capture leads, increase web traffic, boost brand awareness, or promote an upcoming software update, Instagram ads have built-in features to help you achieve your goals.  

Case in point:

B2B business Appsee used Instagram Stories video ads to attract a unique audience. As a result, the brand saw an increase in awareness plus lowered its costs per qualified leads by 25%. 

Instagram Business

Pro tip: Marketing automation tools can give you better audience insights and decrease your advertising costs, while ad tracking software can help you with ROI measurement, conversion tracking, and ad performance analysis.

In short

With Instagram’s vast and engaged user base, your ideal customer is probably already on the platform even if you’re selling to B2B buyers. Don’t miss out on an audience that’s ready to interact with B2B brands just like yours. 

Use these tips to help you build a thumb-stopping Instagram marketing strategy that attracts, engages, educates, and converts.

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