How can Instagram be the secret ingredient to boosting your company’s B2B sales?
Hello world! I’m Mike Ploger here with Visme and believe it or not, marketing on Instagram shouldn’t be limited to just B2C companies.
Instagram is home to one billion users. And 80% of those people follow brand accounts.
Starbucks has 17 and a half million followers. Take a look at Nike – nearly 87 million followers. But the granddaddy of them all is National Geographic with over a 108 million followers.
Instagram has become one of the hottest places for a company to market itself. For B2B companies, it’s no different. With 200 million users visiting a business account everyday, there’s a huge B2B Instagram marketing opportunity for B2B companies.
Based on visual content, Instagram can help boost sales, grow brand awareness or solidify commercial relationships.
And while I showed you some of the B2C companies with massive followings, in this video I’ll show you some of the B2B companies who are killing the Instagram game. Let’s get started.
Getting Started: Create Your Account
Now the odds are that you likely already have an Instagram account, and if you don’t, well, you might consider yourself to be kind of like the angel shark, one of the most rare creatures in all the world.
But all jokes aside, you don’t just want the ordinary Instagram account. You need a business account. It’s totally free and it will give you access to analytics, success rates and other metrics you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
To get started, make sure you have the app downloaded and sign up for an account.
Then you want to set it up as a business account.
By going into your profile, going into your settings and then click on, Add a Business Account. From there, it’s a few easy steps of inputting information like what type of company you are, your business hours and your phone number before you’re all set up.
Before you know it, you’ll have access to real time metrics to analyze all of your posts. Plus, you’ll receive insight into your followers to learn how to adapt to their changing interests. It’s the same exact Instagram just with an advantage.
B2B Instagram Marketing: How Can You Use Instagram to Sell B2B Products?
Let’s hop into the seven different ways your new business account can help your company reach new heights in B2B sales.
1. Offer Insight Into Your Company’s Values and Culture
Who are you? What are you talking about? What are you working on? These are just a few of the questions that your followers will be unconsciously asking themselves before buying your product.
If you have a strong company culture and good values, don’t hesitate to showcase that on your page. Take a look at Adobe. The design software pioneer does an excellent job marketing themselves on Instagram.
With inspirational design and beautiful imagery, their page exemplifies the product their followers could create using their software. Their timeline screams who they are, what they’re about and what they bring to the table.
2. Make It Branded
When marketing anything, you gotta have a strong brand. You must be clear on who you are. Don’t send mixed messages of unrelated content. Find your niche and stick to it. Using visual imagery and visual data are two ways to accomplish this.
Mailchimp brands all of their content around their original logo. From the black and yellow colors to the graphics in their posts, the consistency will develop a brand that creates awareness and a steady pool of followers.
IBM took the same approach with their page. Blue, black and white appear again and again, and while this may not immediately sell their services, it will help lead to a sales increase down the road.
And then there’s HubSpot. The company aimed at helping other companies hashtag #GrowBetter while often use infographics to sell their product. Add an emoji as nearly half of all Instagram posts do and you can effectively brand your content.
3. Make It Look Professional
Just because you create a strong brand doesn’t mean that your content looks professional. You want your posts to be in line with your corporate or business style. There are three ways to accomplish this.
The first, learn graphic design yourself. This will require a lot more time and resources, but could provide long term benefits if you plan on designing far into the future.
Another route to take is to simply hire a professional designer. Yes, this will cost more, but it’ll be a lot easier and it adds a sense of reassurance that you’ll have a good product. Check out Dribbble, Behance or even Instagram to find a designer that could suit you.
And lastly, don’t forget about Visme. Our services allow you to create a wide variety of designs from infographics to flow charts to presentations. We can make a first time designer look like a professional without pouring hours and hours into a design.
4. Use Instagram Stories
Remember when Instagram Stories debuted and everyone clamored about how they copied Snapchat? Well, people weren’t wrong, but Instagram made a brilliant move. In under a year’s time, million more Instagram Stories are being watched than Snapchats.
With Instagram stories, marketers can be spontaneous and true. In other words, they’re not spending all their time creating that perfect product. These posts disappear after 24 hours, so the companies are marketing in the moment.
Stories can consist of behind the scenes footage, user generated content or product-based content, which The North Face took advantage of in this example.
5. Advertise Podcasts on Instagram
More and more people continue to put down books and plug in their earbuds. Podcasts are gaining ground each day because, well, everybody has a smartphone.
It’s so easy to play audio in your car, when you’re at the gym or maybe when you’re participating in a favorite hobby. You can do multiple things at once when listening to a podcast. You can’t really do that when you’re reading a book.
So try creating your own podcast and promote it via Instagram. How? Here’s 4 ideas.
- Post relevant images from your recording sessions.
- Post behind the scenes images with your guests.
- Create short audio or video trailers to tease upcoming episodes.
- And feature a well known guests highlighting their best quotes.
GaryVee does an excellent job promoting his podcasts through Instagram Stories. Notice how strong his brand image is here.
And Kevin Rose is another excellent example of the podcast host who uses Instagram to post content of his guests and some of their most inspirational quotes from an episode.
6. Encourage User-Generated Content
When you’re starting to think about buying a product, you’re likely curious about customer reviews, or on the same token, maybe a friend spoke highly of a product, which in turn made you want it.
That’s what user-generated content is all about. If others are engaging with your product on Instagram, their friends will see it and be more likely to do the same. You’re letting your customers become the protagonist of a marketing campaign saving you time and money.
UPS created the hashtag #theupsstorecustomer to encourage customers to post their own content about the company’s reliability. Since cardboard boxes and packaging isn’t all that appealing, the hashtag creates a platform for others to share their experiences with the shipping giant.
Google did something similar, creating the #mysuperG. Individuals starting creating their own versions of the iconic Google G and and sharing it with their friends. Again, through user-generated content, marketing came easy.
7. Use Instagram’s Shoppable Posts
Lastly, perhaps the best way to sell a product on the app is through Instagram’s shoppable posts. Now, commercial brands, stores, shops and even B2B businesses can sell their product through the app.
Shoppable posts looks something like what we have here with that shopping bag icon located in the lower left hand side of the image.
How can you set this up? Follow along.
First, set up that business account that we talked about back at the beginning of this video. Then, make sure you are selling physical goods that are compliant with Instagram’s merchant agreement.
Once you’ve done that, connect your Instagram business account with a Facebook catalog. If you don’t have a Facebook catalog, you’re gonna need to create one.
From there, you will enable product tagging by clicking get started, then tap products, select the catalogue that you want and click done.
Lastly, you’ll tag the products in your Instagram image with the proper product from your Facebook catalog. Just find the tag products button once you’re all finished editing your image, hit post and watch your product fly off the shelves.
Hey, that’s all the help I have for you today. I know marketing for B2B sales can be a challenge, there’s no doubt about it, but Instagram can be a great platform for you if you use it properly.
For more great examples, just open up your Instagram account right now and check in with IBM, Mailchimp or General Electric. These brands are making the most of their Instagram network.
Good luck as you embark on this marketing adventure. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel as we’re always creating content to help you with your marketing and design questions. For now, I’m Mike Ploger with Visme, helping you Make Information Beautiful.