Originally launched October 2010 as a free photo-sharing app for Apple iOS devices, Instagram has quickly become one of the world's most popular social media networks. As of September 2017, it has around 800 million users. It's even been hailed as one of the "most influential social networks" in the world. But Instagram is used for more than just sharing personal photos. Business-to-business (B2B) companies can also use it to promote their products, services and brands.
Successful B2B marketing involves storytelling. In other words, you must tell the story of your product or service and how it helps prospects achieve their goals. Thankfully, Instagram makes storytelling a breeze. Take the shipping courier Fedex, for example. The company's Instagram account is flooded with colorful photos featuring its fleet of trucks in various locations. This otherwise simple format tells the story of how Fedex operates.
Selling a product or service isn't the only goal of B2B marketing Instagram. Using this platform, you can also humanize your company. Humanizing involves presenting your company in a more relatable, down-to-Earth manner to which prospects respond more strongly. If a B2B prospect views your company as being down to Earth, he or she may feel more confident about buying your products. To humanize your company on Instagram, consider posting photos of your company's office, employees and past work.
Like most social media networks, you don't have to produce all of your content. You can, and should, encourage the use of user-generated content. Basically, this means asking your audience to post content related to your company. You can even go one step further by offering an incentive, such as a chance to win prize.
Remember, Instagram also supports videos. While it's focus has largely been around photos, Instagram users can upload and shade videos as well. Videos are particularly effective when used for B2B marketing, as they allow companies to squeeze a substantial amount of content into a small, convenient format. Furthermore, statistics show that 82% of all Internet traffic will consist of video by 2021, attesting to its power and reach.
Creating a successful presence on Instagram is all about building a strong relationship with your followers. This means you'll need to engage with your followers by responding to comments. When someone leaves a comment on one of your posts, use the "mention user" feature to respond to him or her.