The Instagram community is an untapped market for B2B marketers.
Currently, the top ranked brands on Instagram are Nike, Starbucks, and the NBA (Nitrogram). @Nike has over 3.3 million followers, and #Nike has been used nearly 22 million times. Obviously being a globally recognized consumer brand, you’re probably thinking “well, no duh!” Of course they would be successful on Instagram. Nike’s market audience is much larger than most, but don’t let that discourage you! You may never reach the ranking that top B2C companies have on Instagram, but you can successfully market your B2B brand relatively to its audience.
- Instagram now has over 150 million users worldwide. (Instagram.) Click to tweet.
- 40% of Instagram users are located in the U.S. (Instagram.) Click to tweet.
- 55 million photos are uploaded to Instagram daily. (Instagram.) Click to tweet.
- 16 billion photos have been shared across multiple social media networks via Instagram. (Instagram.) Click to tweet.
- Instagram users double tap 1.2 billion times daily. (Instagram.) Click to tweet.
With stats like that there has to be a few hundred, maybe even a few thousand, opportunities for your B2B brand to increase its reach. However, don’t become unrealistic! In B2B marketing, quality trumps quantity in leads. Sure, you’re not going to reach 2 million people like Starbucks does, but you are going to effectively reach a smaller market that is prospective for your business. One brand that successfully does this is MailChimp, an email marketing service provider. @MailChimp is ranked as the #10 B2B brand on Instagram (Nitrogram). They have a little over 6,700 followers, and each post averages about 100 to 300 likes, sometimes more! So, how did MailChimp catch the #10 spot that follows B2B giants like NASA, General Electric and Adobe? Well, with posts like these:
Check out MailChimp’s Instagram here for more creative post ideas.
What makes MailChimp’s Instagram so successful is how the brand’s logo is creatively incorporated into each and every post. MailChimp provides email service, so I expected the posts to be all email marketing related. However, they do the exact opposite! They’ve constructed posts that establish company culture, rather than promote the company through its product/service offering. As social marketers, we’ve grown to believe that all social platforms can be used to share all content. I’ve been quick to use Instagram to share blog posts, but this photo-posting social network just isn’t for that! Instagram is not as share-savvy as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn because there are no options to include clickable links within posts or comments. Therefore, your business should use Instagram to share its culture instead of content.
Now that we’ve concluded that Instagram isn’t the best for sharing linked content, here are some ways you can realistically build your brand via Instagram.
- Include your website or blog link in the bio line. You’re only allowed one clickable link, so use it wisely. No more posting shortlinks in captions and comments in hopes that someone will actually take the time to copy and paste the link into their web browser. It’s not going to happen.
- Create an original hashtag that pertains ONLY to your brand. Ours is #GetMarenated, which will most likely only be used by RBM… and the occasional confused barbecuer!
- Research your followers. What types of photos do the majority of your followers post? Do your followers post a lot of food photos? Do they like photos of landscapes? Find a way to creatively incorporate your logo into a relatable image.
- Showcase your company and clients. Include funny (but appropriate) photos of your employees, and show off what your company is all about. If your clients have an Instagram, share their stuff too! The more brands you link to through mentions and hashtags, the better.
- #Regram relatable content. Mix up your posts a bit! #Regram can be used to share another user’s post that relates to your brand. Don’t forget to credit them by mentioning their handle, and you just might gain a new follower! Plus, #regram has been used over 8.1 million times, so you’re sure to make quite a reach.
@MailChimp has successfully done all of these and has easily established a specific brand culture. Check out some of these other successful B2B brands on Instagram for more InstaInspiration: Cisco, General Electric, and Maersk Line. Who knew a shipyard could be so beautiful?
- How have you implemented Instagram into your marketing strategy?
- What are your biggest struggles and/or successes with using Instagram for B2B marketing?
- In your opinion, is Instagram a viable SNS for business marketers?