When it comes to B2B marketing on social media, brands currently rely heavily on LinkedIn. It’s the best organic and paid social platform for B2B marketers. According to a CMI report, 95% of content marketers use LinkedIn to organically distribute their content, and 76% use it for paid distribution.
However, there is another platform that B2B marketers shouldn’t overlook: Instagram. It’s not just a place B2C businesses use shoppable posts to sell everything from lip gloss to outerwear. Marketing on Instagram also creates benefits for B2B brands.
Most B2B marketers don’t make full use of this platform to promote their content and reach their target audience. The CMI report finds that only 46% of B2B marketers use Instagram to organically distribute their content, while 17% use it for paid distribution.
If your brand hasn’t invested in Instagram marketing yet, here are a few reasons why it should, as well as some information on what you can learn from other companies that are doing well on this channel.
The Advantage of Marketing on Instagram for B2B Brands
Both the traditional B2B buying journey and the population of B2B buyers are changing.
Even before 2020, B2B buyers weren’t spending as much time meeting in person to evaluate potential suppliers, Gartner said. Gartner also reports that 45% of B2B buyers independently research a product online and offline before making a purchase decision.
Millennials could be responsible for part of this shift. This group makes up a larger proportion of B2B buyers. TrustRadius reports that 60% of all B2B tech buyers are millennials. This age group also overlaps with Instagram’s core audience. By January 2021, data that nearly 56% of 18- to 34-year-olds use Instagram, making this the largest group of users.
B2B brands that step up their marketing on Instagram can benefit from more customer loyalty and higher visibility. Reaching a very engaged audience may offer higher conversions and a shorter sales cycle. Companies that focus on Instagram marketing are notable for the fact that the platform isn’t as full of B2B brands as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
B2B brands are doing Instagram marketing right
Smart B2B companies use Instagram to visually tell their brand story. Organizations like Invision and Slack are already leveraging the power of Instagram to connect with their audiences.
Invision, a digital product design platform, uses its Instagram page to increase brand awareness. The Design of the Week feature highlights product and web sites from various designers, provides inspiration for the design community, and subtly shows off interesting designs made with Invision technology.
The company also uses Instagram to drive traffic back to its key pieces of content like white papers and e-books. To promote its current “Business Thinking for Designers” guide, Invision posted several images with quotes and photos from leading designers featured in the guide, as well as a call to action for its followers to click the link on their Instagram bio to access the content.
While getting clicks on Instagram isn’t as seamless as it is on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, third-party tools are available to make this easier. Still, for B2B brands, Instagram may well be worth the extra effort, especially for those who are already into visual design like Invision.
Slack uses animations to showcase its app’s features, to promote its growth (such as when it passed 10 million daily active users in 150 countries) and to promote tools like SlackConnect that help companies work more effectively with outside partners .
Other brands can follow suit, using animations, gifs, and other visual storytelling tools to preview new product features to potential customers, or even provide mini-tutorials to help customers get more value from their products.
Make the most of Instagram
With over a billion users worldwide, Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms.
In a world where more and more companies compete for the attention of buyers on more channels, innovative B2B brands are adding Instagram to their marketing mix. The B2B shopping landscape is changing, and companies that are open to new ways to engage their audiences are best positioned to stand out from all the digital noise.
Satta Sarmah Hightower is a freelance writer covering topics such as healthcare technology, government IT, business and personal finance for a variety of brands and publications. As a former journalist, Satta previously worked for AOL and the Tribune Company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School.