Whether you are a professional services firm, a manufacturing company or a startup, Instagram is an invaluable social channel that can really help to boost your online presence and grow your business. Far too often the platform is overlooked; viewed as nothing more than a superficial world created for the B2C market – but this, of course, is wrong. More and more B2B businesses are now embracing Instagram and the many benefits it can bring, some of which include:
- Extended reach
- Increased brand awareness
- Referral traffic
- Increased number of leads
- Increased customer loyalty
Naturally, if you haven’t used Instagram before, starting out can be daunting. But don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back; check out our 5 top tips for B2B Instagram marketing to give your business the confidence boost it needs & the results you deserve.
#1 Start with strategy
When it comes to instagram marketing, you must first start with your strategy, otherwise, you risk spending a lot of time heading in the wrong direction. As with any area of marketing, it’s always best to start with your customer; after all, they are the ones who will be viewing your content, so you need to ensure you are sharing posts that resonate with them.
Think about your current customer profiles – including everything from their likes and needs to habits and common characteristics – then assess which groups you think are most likely to be active on Instagram. You can also use competitor research to evaluate the type of audience you are likely to want to target on the network along with reviewing analytics from other social channels to help you make more informed decisions. Once you’ve clearly defined your target audience for Instagram, you then need to gain an understanding of the type of content they want to see and tailor your plan accordingly.
The next step is to define your goals for the channel. Think about how Instagram can help you achieve your overarching objectives and set your goals with this in mind. At this stage, it’s useful to use the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) framework to ensure your goals are both realistic and relevant.
#2 Build your brand
When it comes to posting on Instagram, you must always think about your brand. From your brand colours to your tone of voice, if you want to build a strong brand, everything must remain consistent across all of your digital channels. Whilst there is a degree of flexibility – for example, a caption on Instagram is likely to adopt a less formal tone than one published on LinkedIn – everything you publish should align with your overarching brand strategy.
A great example of a company that knows how to publish on-brand content is Zoom; as shown in the examples below, each of their posts incorporates their brand colours whilst the language used for their captions remains consistent with that published elsewhere.
#3 Get to know the #hashtag
If you are looking to widen the reach of your content (& for free) you need to be using hashtags. Sounds simple, right? And it is. However, it’s also simple to get it wrong. Many businesses will fall into the trap of thinking using several trending hashtags will bring results, but it doesn’t work like that.
Stuffing your captions with irrelevant hashtags will not only make your account look spammy, but it will also put your content in front of the wrong people, meaning you are unlikely to achieve the results you want. Not only this, but focusing on popular hashtags can cause your posts to get lost in a sea of Instagram images, so instead, you should focus on including 7-30 relevant hashtags and include a mix of both popular and niche ones.
#4 Be creative
To stand out on Instagram, you need to be creative. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking because you are sharing content for a B2B audience it has to be formal and dull – people are people whether they are sat behind a desk or not!
By all means, share informative content, but think of creative ways to showcase your information. Take MailChimp, for example, they regularly take simple concepts and make them engaging and most importantly, shareable with the use of colour, graphics and animation.
#5 Assess, adapt & evolve
We’ve spoken about the importance of defining goals, and to measure your performance in relation to them, you need to understand analytics. Instagram offers helpful analytics into everything from your audience and post insights to the best days and times to publish content – and it’s all free!
This data is invaluable as it will not only enable you to optimise your content schedule and gain a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of your posts, but will also allow you to make informed decisions about the type of content you should create and share to optimise your results. Equally, you will be able to identify any underperforming posts and formulate a plan to improve (or avoid) them moving forwards.
Top tip: your post insights (impressions and engagement) will also prove useful when it comes to selecting hashtags for future posts.
With Instagram continuously growing and more brands than ever now reaping the benefits of the platform, it’s time for your business to buckle up and get on board. If you’re looking for more tips to get you heading in the right direction, check out our ultimate guide to social media marketing here, or if you’re looking for an extra helping hand, contact us today for a free consultation.