Designed with a focus on visual content, Instagram emerged as a unique app in 2010 and has grown massively over the years, now with 500 million daily active users1, truly earning its place as one of the leading social media platforms.
Its integration into brands’ social media marketing strategies is continuously growing, and naturally its visual nature has lent itself particularly well to the B2C industries, presenting them with an attractive platform on which to showcase their products and brands.
Some have therefore ruled out its value for B2B industries, assuming that their content isn’t a good fit for a platform so focused on the ‘pretty’ and ‘lovely’. But many B2B businesses have proved that, with just a little creativity, Instagram can be just as valuable.
We’re sharing our thoughts on why and how Instagram can work for B2B businesses, with a little help from some already leading the way.
Sharing brand personality
Instagram content doesn’t have to be limited to images of a business’ products; it can be a great way to share an insight into the business, its values, personality and identity.
A great way of doing this is by sharing ‘behind the scenes’ photos; often people don’t just buy into a product, they also buy into a business, particularly so with services. Encouraging the whole team to get involved in social media can be a great way to ‘humanise’ a brand, showcase the company culture, and demonstrate enthusiasm, passion and knowledge.
Hootsuite has really mastered this!
Showcase your customers and present your products as solutions
Whilst your product might not be visually exciting, it may offer a great solution that many people can relate to or may find interesting: consider how you might use Instagram to tell a story.
Granted it’s not purely limited to B2B, but HP is a great example of a brand that uses Instagram to demonstrate the versatility of its products.
Which leads nicely onto the next point…
Encouraging engagement and user participation
User-generated content is becoming a popular marketing trend and it could lend itself nicely to B2B marketing, as well as helping businesses with content creation. Encouraging customers to share their stories about how they use a product or their experience with a business is a great way to demonstrate what your business can do from the user’s point of view. This case study approach will add credibility to your brand, as well as create interesting content.
Reach new and wider audiences
By showing another side of your brand, or even creating a profile that people will want to follow regardless of whether the product is relevant to them, you might just reach new audiences that otherwise might not have an interest in you; it can be a great way to raise brand awareness.
For example, courier and shipping services might not seem like the most exciting thing to follow on Instagram, but FedEx has convinced us otherwise! They use their profile to share pictures of their services in action all around the world in beautiful and vibrant images, putting them at the front of followers’ minds.
So whilst Instagram might not be for every business, it also shouldn’t be immediately written off if your product portfolio doesn’t consist of divine looking food or fabulous apparel. Consider creative ways to share your message or to engage with your audience.