Instagram. Instagram. Instagram. You know this platform is a major player. But posting selfies and pics of your dog doesn’t necessarily help you run a successful Instagram B2B marketing account as the content manager of a B2B brand.
Why do some accounts have tens of thousands of followers, but no engagement on their posts? How come some accounts post amazing content but still don’t grow?
In this post, we’re going to break down what it looks like to grow a B2B Instagram account in order to get more eyes on your key pieces of content.
Table of contents:
- Why use Instagram
- Understanding the Instagram algorithm
- What makes Instagram unique
- How to win on Instagram as a content marketer
Why use Instagram B2B marketing
We’ll just go right ahead and say it: Instagram is a tough nut to crack for B2B brands. While there are 1 billion active users on the platform, the B2B Instagram marketing audience is much, much smaller than Twitter or LinkedIn, because most users don’t use their personal accounts to engage with professional content.
However, there are still lots of opportunities to find and engage with your audience on Instagram.
The businesses who perform the best on Instagram tend to have one of the following things working to their advantage:
- Small business audience (for example, Wix and Shopify can engage with business owner customers)
- Capacity for visual content (for example, Adobe can show how its software is used)
- Unique brand with fanatical customers (for example, Notion and ClickUp are well-loved by users who were tired of basic task management software)
Essentially, you can’t be the same old boring B2B brand posting pictures of computers. You have to be willing to do much more and get personal.
If you can figure out a way to create engaging content for Instagram and target your audience then you can experience the benefits of increased brand awareness, content views, and omnipresence.
Understanding the Instagram algorithm to get better at Instagram B2B marketing
Every social media algorithm is different, but they do have similarities. Engagement is always key because social media platforms want to keep users logged in for as long as possible. To do this, they need to show users the best content. Cruddy content gets pushed to the bottom.
Quality images and captions
What does quality mean? It doesn’t have to mean stunning, professional photography (though it can).
Quality images are scroll-stoppers: realistic photos (not stock or staged), interesting graphic designs, etc.
Quality captions include a hook to encourage people to keep reading, and they often leave off with a question to inspire comments.
All about engagement
The Instagram algorithm prioritizes engagement over all things. Engagement consists primarily of likes and comments. However, buying likes and simple comments isn’t worth it. You need to get a good dose of engagement on your new posts:
- Form an engagement pod with your marketing team or company and ask them to like and/or comment on a post when it goes live.
- Stay active on the platform for 30 minutes to 1 hour after posting by commenting on followers’ content and responding to any comments that come through on your new post.
- Write captions that encourage comments, and if you struggle to get any engagement, reconsider your content (see types of content to try below).
Account activity is essential
Many content marketers pre-schedule their Instagram posts so they can plan their content ahead of time. But that doesn’t mean that growing an Instagram account is completely hands-free.
You absolutely have to be logging into the platform and engaging with other people’s content. Otherwise, the Instagram algorithm will not show your posts.
That’s why you should schedule time each day to be active in the company’s account. Depending on how quickly you want to grow your account, you could spend anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours a day on the platform doing the following:
- Engaging with followers’ content
- Following new targeted accounts
- Liking and commenting posts from target audience accounts
- Researching new hashtags
- Engaging with content from the same hashtags you use
What makes Instagram B2B marketing unique
Before we move onto the types of content you should create, let’s take a quick look at some other things that make Instagram different from other social media platforms. If you can differentiate yourself in your Instagram B2B marketing strategy, great!
No links in posts
Unlike Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, Instagram is not a link sharing platform. Of course, you can put a link in your profile, and encourage people to visit it from posts.
The exclusive “swipe up” feature
While there’s no linking from image captions, it is possible from Instagram Stories. If you have over 10,000 followers, you unlock the “swipe up” feature, meaning users can swipe up from your story to navigate to a link, all without leaving the Instagram app.
Great engagement with businesses & brands
Relative to other social media platforms, Instagram is known for brands being able to get a high amount of engagement on their content. We’ve all heard the worry that Instagram could go the way of Facebook, but it just hasn’t happened yet. As long as brands create content that users want to see, we should experience an even playing field between business accounts and regular user accounts.
Tons of content formats
One of the most exciting things about Instagram is the different types of content you can create: images, short videos in the feed, long IGTV videos that you can also promote with your feed, and Stories.
How to win with Instagram B2B marketing as a content marketer
Now that you know what makes Instagram worthwhile, how can you stand out? How can you increase views for your content and impressions for your brand?
Here are our top Instagram B2B marketing tips for content marketers.
Redefine what it means to have a cohesive feed
First off, as a B2B brand, it’s time to redefine what it means to have a cohesive feed. You don’t need to pretend to be an influencer or an e-commerce company, but a cohesive feed always works, even in B2B Instagram marketing.
For example, Shopify’s account uses lots of different types of content as well as colors, but they are consistent in the way they frame images and in the modern retro design style they employ.
Maximize the features and media types available to you
While you might not choose to go for all 4 content types, you should definitely create 2 or 3 content types. Why? That gives you more chances to engage with your audience the way that they prefer.
Traditional image posts
Of course, traditional images and carousel posts are still key on Instagram. This should be the basis of your strategy so that even when you create other types of content, your feed stays fresh.
Short feed videos (under 1 minute)
In addition to images, you can also add videos under 1 minute long to your feed. These short videos are a great way to stop users from scrolling and capture even more attention.
In this Instagram B2B marketing example, Notion posts a video of the customer Loom hard at work.
IGTV videos (1 minute plus)
You can also create IGTV videos, which can be over 1 minute. These will show up in the IGTV tab of your profile, and when uploading them, you can also select for them to get added to your feed as well.
Here are some IGTV videos from Adobe. For best results, include a quality thumbnail and upload video that is vertical instead of horizontal. Since most IGTV viewers will be using their phones.
And last but not least, there is Instagram Stories, which are a great way to capture more attention awareness for your brand. Essentially, Stories give you another way to show up for followers, even if they don’t see all of the content in your feed.
Wix uses Stories for all sorts of things, including product announcements and tips. Wix is actually a great example of a good Instagram B2B marketing.
Broaden your content strategy
Aside from the format of your content, you need to decide what you’ll actually be saying in your content.
You should take a look at what your competitors are doing and find opportunities in what they’re not doing. Also, look at influencers and non-competitor brands that your ideal audience also follows.
While you may come up with other ideas, there’s a strong likelihood that you should create content for all or most of these categories...
Feature your customers
Your company is nothing without your customers, right? Right!
So show off their successes in a way that other followers can learn from. This post from Shopify features a florist who learned how to take her business online to keep from going under.
You should also (of course) promote your high-value blog posts, ebooks, and case studies. You can do this with carousel style posts that help followers learn the gist of the content even if they don’t navigate to it. And to increase content views, use short, intuitive links whenever possible, like Notion does in this example for great Instagram B2B marketing.
You can also use Instagram to share announcements that your customers and followers will care about. Wix shares an announcement that’s not all about the company and instead is customer-centric because it helps their users build better sites affordably. Instagram B2B marketing is a great way to show your customers you’re more than ‘just another company’.
Give product tips
Another great B2B Instagram marketing tip we can give you is that you can also use Instagram to share quick tips on how to use your platform. Every third post by ClickUp is a tutorial video that is less than 1 minute long.
Offer advise and helpful content
And lastly, you should always seek to offer content that can...
- Teach your audience something they want to know.
- Solve a problem for your audience.
- Inspire your audience.
- Keep your audience up to date on issues and changes they care about.
Creating amazing B2B Instagram marketing content is a lot of work, but when done right, it gives you an opportunity to grow your customer base and stand out from competitors.