We’ve reached a point in social media where it’s more uncommon not to own an Instagram account than it is to have one. Whilst this may spark debate, in terms of advertising, it’s an ideal platform for connecting with consumers.

The term ‘consumers’ is perhaps a bit misleading in this context as Instagram is still very much a place for B2B brands. Whenever you make a post, you’re advertising to the employees and advocates who work for the businesses you want to associate with. And so, your message is likely to reach the key target that way.

Why Should B2B Companies Use Instagram?

Instagram is a platform that is growing fast – even 13 years after its release. As the 2nd most downloaded app worldwide, it’s becoming the marketing hotspot for B2B companies.

On first impressions Instagram can seem like a poser’s playing field – only good for sharing pictures and gaining likes. But this is a common misconception, and there are statistics to back this up.

30% of B2B companies have found Instagram to be an effective network when they have a concrete strategy in mind. Approaching the platform with an idea of who it is you’re targeting, the message you want to portray and a plan B if all else fails, is a promising start to marketing on Instagram. More importantly, it will help you understand that it’s not exclusively for B2C purposes.

Instagram ads are particularly helpful at identifying your ideal and current customer base. Not only do they consider the needs of your target audience, but also how well these apply to the platform’s audience demographics.

Bear in mind these ads are aimed at the employees who work for B2B companies – not the actual companies themselves. With 61% of Instagram’s advertising audience falling into the 18 to 34 age bracket, it’s these younger employees who’ve ousted earlier advertising methods and encouraged more innovative ways to market online.

Using Instagram to Promote B2B Brands

Due to its popularity in the modern generation, Instagram is a platform that helps businesses engage current customers and attract new ones.

There are different ways to leverage the app’s features depending on your niche. Some companies use Instagram to primarily update their following on business news or announcements – whether it be through stories, reels or standard posts. Others utilise the platform for its promotional purposes, such as selling products or services via Instagram Shopping and ads.

Whatever you plan to use Instagram for, its best your strategy leads with the intention of selling your product or service. If you can provide thorough solutions to other businesses problems and interests, you’ll have more control over their buying decisions.

The key to organically growing your business on Instagram is a strong presence where you can promote your brand. Here are a few pointers to start your account off:

  • Make sure the content you post remains relevant to your niche.
  • Only follow people who are going to benefit your brand. Following random accounts to increase your following won’t bring any value to your business.
  • Keep a close eye on competitors. You can alter your strategy depending on their content type and how well it performs. Competitor comment sections are great for chasing potential targets because they already have an interest in your niche.
  • Discover relevant accounts by looking in the tagged section of similar pursuits.
  • Use reels – short, engaging videos which can be uploaded to your feed. On the back of TikTok’s viral awakening, bitesize content is what consumers respond to the most and generates the best engagement.
  • Upload daily stories for a greater reach.
  • Post weekly IGTV’s explaining your product or service (or anything related to your business that users might find interesting!).
  • Do live streams and answer your audience’s questions to improve engagement. You could even go live with other industry experts or relevant creators for increased exposure.
  • Tag your location in your posts so your account appears when people search for that location.

How to Set Up a B2B Instagram account

Switch to a business account

Business profiles offer much more analytical tools than personal accounts. You can track account engagement and interactions, as well as adding important contact information for users to access easily.

If you have more than 10,000 followers, it’s worth adding landing page links to your stories.

Include Swipe Ups to Your Stories

Stories are one of the best engagement strategies Instagram has to offer. They appear at the top of every user’s feed, which makes them very noticeable and easy to click on.

With a 24-hour life span, Instagram stories automatically delete after one day. Whilst it may seem that fewer people view them this way, it’s actually the opposite. The number of user interactions only increases as people don’t want to miss out on what you’ve posted.

Providing you have over 10,000 followers, you can add a Swipe Up or See More button to these stories to promote your landing page.

Categorise Stories into Highlights

Want a story to last longer than 24 hours? Save it as a highlight.

When you save a story as a highlight, it remains under your bio until you remove it. You can organise these highlights however you’d like, but it’s best to keep the relevant stories under the appropriate headers. This will make it a lot easier for your followers and new visitors to see your previous stories based on the subject titles.

This next step is often skipped past, but choosing cover photos for your highlights helps with the professionalism of your page. Think about whether your brand has a running theme across its social media channels, or whether there’s a certain aesthetic you want to achieve on Instagram.

Authentic Brand Image

This is where you can play around with your page and begin to humanise your brand. Show your followers more ‘behind the scenes’ footage and original content, whether that be getting to know the team, sharing recent company events, etc.

To you it may seem somewhat unwarranted, but it helps to build trust and present your business in a way that’s approachable. Other companies are much more likely to work with or buy from your page if it has a light-hearted (but professional) character.

Not to mention that the more authentic and genuine posts tend to have better engagement.

Share and Repost Client Stories

When other businesses can see how your brand and services have influenced customers, it inspires their interests in buying your products.

Be tactful with the stories you repost and make sure they align with your own content. Otherwise, it might not be worth sharing and will only pester your followers.

Use Employees as Advocates

Use your employees as advocates and ask them to share your business’ latest news, releases and updates on their own social media.

Word of mouth is the most powerful factor when it comes to consumer’s relationships with brands, and people prefer to hear from a business indirectly.

The content your employees post doesn’t need to be a strict copy and paste of business content. Encouraging them to have their own take on things will improve personalisation and make each employee’s post a little different.

Promote Your Products and Services

Instagram is a very visual platform and a great place to show off your brand through pictures, reels, infographics, animations and other image-based features.

But taking pride in your visual content shouldn’t mean you turn a blind eye to your textual content. Captions and important notices are required (accompanying visuals) to leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Within your Instagram strategy, you need to decide how often you’re going to post and set a balance between fun and professional pictures. Posting pictures that are entertaining yet relevant to your company will keep your visitors interested.

Once the graphics have been selected, write a succinct and snappy caption to contextualise the post. And don’t forget to include hashtags to extend your reach. We recommend using no more than five to avoid cluttered and unreadable captions.

Influence Your Followers

Even though you have a business account, not every post needs to be business-related. It goes without saying that you should be posting about your products and services, but you could try posting more influential content aside from that. This isn’t going to take away the professionalism of previous uploads, it will only motivate your followers and breakup the heavy information.

Take an interest in your followers. Like and reply to comments, drop a follow back – especially if they make effort to share your account. These add-ons take little to no time and can really increase your chances of connecting with bigger brands and people. Regardless of this, it shows respectability when companies recognise support from their audience.

Attract and Maintain Follower Engagement

Instagram works on the basis of mutual interactions and connections. The user-friendly environment allows app users to communicate with other accounts and companies through comments, DMs and contact sections.

Keep your online community engaged by making conversation in creative ways. Attach a voting poll to your stories, add swipe up features where followers can respond to questions, do live streams etc. There’s lots of ways you can interact with your followers to maintain their involvement.

How to Verify Your Instagram Account

It might be useful to familiarise yourself with Instagram’s Business Blog – a guide helping companies develop their strategy and better understand how to market on Instagram.

The endless visuals available on Instagram opens an abundance of opportunity for small, medium and large-scale businesses. By now, you should have a defined presence on the platform (or at least be thinking about it) in order to achieve and excel your B2B marketing goals.