As Instagram’s user count continues to soar, there’s no doubt it has quickly become one of the most popular social media platforms. However, despite all the hype, B2B brands seem to think the platform isn’t relevant to them. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
With more than 800 million monthly users, thousands of brands are turning to Instagram to drive brand awareness, engage their audiences and, ultimately, attract new customers. As with all aspects of marketing, though, success on Instagram comes from outlining a clear strategy. Here are five tips you can implement right away to take your Instagram game to the next level:
1. Know your niche
Before anything else, it’s essential that you identify your niche audience. It may seem pretty straightforward, but finding and interacting with those actually interested in your offerings is the first step to growing brand awareness and commercial results.
Once you’ve successfully identified your niche, it’s time to get involved.
This means you can’t just post; you must also partake in conversations.
A simple way to do this is to take the time to reply to your community comments. Or consider outward engagement by checking out other profiles and liking some content – maybe even leave a comment. Engaging with others will make them more likely to take the time to engage with you.
2. Ready for real-time content
Leave the stock photos and the promotional images at the door. Real-time content is here to stay.
Instagram users are tired of scrolling through their feeds and seeing mundane marketing content. They want to see posts that are truly authentic, offering a personal view into your company’s culture and the services you offer.
Live video streaming is a great example of real-time content, providing your community with a personal and unfiltered look into your brand. Real-time content adds a much-needed human element to your B2B business, helping you to form a genuine human connection with your audience.
3. Get behind the scenes
When you think recruitment, you probably think LinkedIn. However, Instagram does a much better job of showcasing employee perks at a particular company.
As a visual platform, Instagram allows you to get creative. So try thinking outside the box when posting content featuring in-house events or company news.
Incorporate pop culture or current events into your company identity as a unique way to boost engagement. As a B2B company, offering a more human-oriented display of culture can actually attract candidates better than a job post. After all, people still like to do business with people.
4. Link up
Unlike the other social platforms, Instagram does not allow you to include links within the captions of your individual posts. Despite this issue, there are still options available within the platform for sharing links and acquiring website traffic.
One option that can be utilized is your profile’s bio. Located directly at the top of the page, your profile bio is the perfect spot to highlight and showcase your website link. These links can be used to promote your company’s latest news, blog or product/service. However, it’s important to remember that Instagram allows for only 150 characters in your bio, so keep it concise.
Another great option for driving website traffic is Instagram stories. These ephemeral pieces of content will not appear in your profile grid or in the main Instagram feed but rather will live on your profile and the top of your followers’ homepage for 24 hours.
Despite limited time on the platform, Instagram stories are still great for garnering traffic.
It’s simple. You’re interacting with an interested, engaged audience. Unlike a normal post, stories require users to click-in to see the content, which means they have an interest in what you’re sharing. This also severely decreases the chances they’ll pass by it when scrolling through their news feeds.
It’s important to note, however, that Instagram currently offers the option to add links into stories only to accounts that are either verified, or have 10,000+ followers. If you don’t meet either of these requirements, don’t fret. Instagram has slowly been rolling this feature out to more and more users, meaning it’s likely to eventually become available for everyone.
5. Reporting the right way
Now that you’ve established your audience and the type of content you will be sharing, it’s time to know what metrics you should pay attention to in order to know if your strategy is effective.
Many businesses tend to think that an increase in likes and clicks is the defining factor for determining if their social strategies are effective. While these metrics are good to keep track of, they don’t tell you if the right people are actually interested in your content.
Instead of harping on these base metrics, try to look for metrics that showcase real engagement.
New followers within your niche and user comments on your posts are two that B2B brands should seriously focus on.
These metrics will provide you with solid evidence as to how your strategy is performing and how much exposure your business is receiving. With the right reporting in place, you can effectively measure your success against your goals, determining what does and doesn’t work for your industry.
While B2C companies have historically used Instagram to their benefit, this powerful social platform has quickly become a serious contender for B2B brands in several different industries.
Unlike other social platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn, where you can just share relevant industry content and get clicks, Instagram forces you to get a bit more creative. Take the time to make a connection with your followers and let them feel like they have something in common with you. It likely won’t translate into sales right away, but once your community of followers is large enough, it will.