Over one billion people use Instagram every month, and this number is not surprising—you’re either using it or know people who do: your friends, neighbors, or colleagues.
On average, each Instagram user spends thirty minutes a day on this platform, at least 80% of those research products or services. So marketers started wondering, should we be using Instagram for business?
Yes, you should. 71% of businesses are doing it, and we wouldn’t want you to miss out. The only right question is, how can you get the most of it?
What Is Instagram?
Instagram is a social networking service made for sharing visual content through mobile devices. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in 2010, and a few years later acquired by Facebook.
The media uploaded to it can be edited, grouped by hashtags, and location tagged. The newest forms of content formatting are Stories (short, disappearing materials) and IGTV videos.
Users can like, share, and subscribe to the content of other users. Also, Instagram can be used as a messenger, video chat, and content search engine.
“Instagram is one of my favorite business platforms of all time. It has its ecosystem, posts, audiences, and it is needed for your marketing strategy, as much as you need LinkedIn,” says Yustyna Grynyk, Social Media Manager at CIENCE.
Why Should Businesses Use Instagram?
We can name at least three reasons why any business should consider Instagram useful for marketing and lead generation:
1. It’s popular.
Almost everyone and their dog (true story) are using it. With one-seventh of Earth’s population active on Instagram, you cannot disregard an opportunity to find your target audience among those people.
2. It’s relatable.
Instagram marketing is a way to turn your business page into a blog. Besides selling or promoting your services, you can share personal stories, delve into the history of your company, or have some fun.
3. It’s not conventional.
Every social media has its concepts: short, catchy tweets on Twitter, inspirational content on Facebook, and professional long-reads on LinkedIn. Instagram can reach your audience through Stories, IGTV videos, or hashtag trends.
“Instagram can be the perfect-match social media platform to share your real-life experience, authentic atmosphere of your company, and the life behind the services you provide. We all are human, and it’s very human, wanting to know what’s behind closed doors,” says Yustyna Grynyk.
How to Use Instagram for B2B Marketing
There’s no universal instruction on Instagram marketing because you get to put a personal twist on everything you do there. Yet, there are some general steps you should take if you’ve decided to use Instagram for your business.
1. Create a business account.
And then, it’s all up to the quality of the content you post. To succeed, bring your authenticity to the table. Share your thought leadership, showcase your corporate culture, collaborate with other accounts, and overall just have fun with it.
Yustyna Grynyk says: “The most effective strategy to making Instagram a valuable source for marketing is to be authentic, reliable, and informative. The time when Instagram was just an inspiring mood board is far gone. You can create, sell, share and connect with your customers, so why not do all of that?”
2. Embrace your followers.
Some of the major brands like Etsy and Mailchimp share user-generated content on their Instagram accounts all the time, and that proves to be a very effective strategy. If your followers create awesome content that mentions your company, it seems sinful to let it go to waste.
At CIENCE, we answer every comment and repost any mentions of our company to our Stories, and we also pin them to our saved collections. So the fun in our offices, career opportunities, or even sales horoscopes are just one click away!
3. Utilize every tool.
To succeed in sales, you have to use every tool at your disposal, and Instagram is no different. Besides traditional posts and stories that you’ll fill with high-quality images and information, there are a few more options for your creativity to shine:
- Instagram ads: These can be used for advertising your services and showing new job openings.
- Instagram Insights: You can get statistics of your page and its content so that you can tweak your strategy and make it better.
- IGTV videos: If you can produce long-form video content like tutorials, office tours, or vlogs, there is a special place for them on IGTV. Use hashtags to be visible for common searches in your community and location tags to be seen in a particular area.
“Videos are on hype in every social channel. Use videos in your stories to engage with your audience, ask questions, share you're interested in their opinion, create polls, and mention some of your customers. Instagram is a two-sided communication platform. Sometimes brands forget about that,” says Yustyna Grynyk.
Tips for Instagram B2B Business Strategy
Even though those five steps are enough to get you a good start on your business Instagram account, we have a few more tricks to share with you.
1. Be consistently active.
As we’ve already mentioned, being consistent is crucial for any type of content. Every step of your lead generation should be orchestrated with a schedule, whether it’s a cold email campaign or a weekly plan of posting on social media.
There’s no generic good time to post on Instagram; however, you can look at the Instagram Insights to see what time is best for your audience. So with a little A/B testing, you’ll find your perfect time slot.
2. Show behind-the-scenes.
Showing your corporate culture and everything that goes on beyond the service you provide is a great way to connect with your audience. Any type of company event, new office, or photo challenge for teams shows your followers that you have more than just workers—you have a community.
3. Post statistics.
Numbers have always attracted the attention of readers. For instance, you may not remember every detail of the intro of this article, but I bet you remembered that Instagram has over a billion users.
4. Promote your resources.
Our teams create many resources for our potential and existing customers: long-form guides, whitepapers, case studies, tutorials, etc. And CIENCE is proud to share that on Instagram. Not only will your followers learn something new, but they will also be aware of how detail-oriented and knowledgeable you are.
5. Have some fun.
Strategy and planning are crucial for every sales process. Instagram, however, gives your social media managers a bit more freedom to use creativity and conduct experiments. Think about it: If it’s fun for them, it can be just as fun for your readers.
“My advice is to share your expertise, knowledge, and thoughts. Be real, and your followers will feel that. Instagram is more about authenticity, moods, and vibes. Such an approach will help make your customers feel like friends,” says Yustyna Grynyk, CIENCE's SMM.
Is Instagram Good for B2B?
Yes! It’s an entertaining visual platform that can show another side of your business. People strive to purchase the best there is, it’s true. But they also want to buy an idea and culture behind the service that resonates with their core values.
Let Instagram be a place to show what makes your company unique and use it to attract new customers and build your brand.