August 15, 2019 by kicksta
8 B2B Companies With The BEST Instagram Marketing Strategy
Because you’re a B2B company, you can’t use Instagram. If you just nodded your head, you’ve come to the right place, because we’re here today to prove you wrong. When you leave this post today, you will have a strong Instagram marketing strategy, a way for you to get organic Instagram followers, and you’ll also have eight great B2B examples that will help you get rid of any doubts.
Instagram is a unique social media platform when it comes to the B2B world, especially for a number of reasons. You can’t use links within your posts to drive your audience to your website. Images are the driving force, not an afterthought you hope pulls through from your link. And your audience can’t easily share your posts with their network.
Maybe these differences though, are why Instagram is the second most popular social media site. Maybe that’s why the platform has 1 billion active users each month. And why 71% of American businesses use Instagram.
Not only does it offer you a unique challenge when it comes to creating content, but it also gives you a great way to interact individually with your followers much more closely than on any other platform. Instagram users have come to expect that someone will talk back to them when they direct message a brand. On other platforms, they assume they’ll get an automated response, and so they’re less likely to reach out.
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Creating Your Instagram Marketing Strategy
Hopefully by now you realize that you should incorporate Instagram into your social media strategy, but maybe you’re still stumped about how you should do that. Let’s take a look at some of our best tips for creating a great Instagram marketing strategy to help you stand out from the crowd.
Step 1: Determine Your Goals and Your Audience For Your Instagram Marketing Strategy
Before you start creating your Instagram marketing strategy, as with any strategy, you’ll want to outline your goals. By defining clear goals, you’ll have something to compare your results to and see how well your plan worked.
You also want to figure out who your audience is. First, you want to make sure that they’re actually on Instagram (they probably are), so you’ll want to do that research. Once you’ve found them there, outline who your ideal followers are, and find a few key accounts that you’d love to have following you.
From here you can do more research about your audience to see what other brands or influencers they follow. Not only will this give you more insight into them, but it can also set you up for potential partnerships and collaborations down the road.
Step 2: Design Your Content Strategy
Every good Instagram marketing strategy is built on a strong content strategy. If you’ve tried to use Instagram before and just posted what you felt like when you thought about it, chances are you haven’t had very much luck with it. Creating posts at random won’t help you get more organic Instagram followers.
Being strategic though, can make a big impact on the success of your account. Instagram can get somewhat involved when it comes to content strategy because there are just so many aspects to the app. Let’s take a quick look at each of these aspects that you should include in your Instagram marketing strategy.
Instagram stories are incredibly popular right now, and they’re an excellent way to get engagement and impressions from your followers and potential followers. While the Instagram algorithm is always changing in regards to your static feed posts, up to this point your stories are safe. If you’re looking for a way to kickstart or boost your account, post consistently on stories. You can use the polls, question box, and other stickers, or you can just ask your viewers to send you a DM. Try it and see if your engagement increases.
There’s a lot more to an Instagram post than just the pretty picture. While your image should be eye-catching enough to stop your viewers from scrolling, you need the first line of your caption to be captivating enough to make your viewers click “Read More.” This is where you can deliver value to your readers and give them a reason to view your future captions. You can tell a story, teach something, ask a question, or anything else you want. Just make sure you can deliver value. You also want to find and use a voice that resonates with your ideal audience and that is consistent with the rest of your brand. Be genuine and connect with your followers.
If you don’t have an Instagram hashtag strategy yet, it’s time to come up with one. Whether you want to use a hashtag generator or just do research on your own, hashtags are one of the best ways to get your content in front of new eyes. Search for hashtags your ideal followers are using, preferably those with under 500,000 posts. Use them when you can in your posts, but make sure they connect with either your image or your post so that Instagram understands the relevancy.
If you’re worried about the time commitment of actually posting on Instagram, don’t let that hold you back. There are plenty of third-party apps you can use to schedule your posts in advance when you’re using an Instagram business account. Some even let you schedule stories! But be careful – users love Instagram because of how real it is and how they can actually connect with people. Make sure you’re still spending time in the app engaging and responding to messages. You can also use third-party apps to help you interpret analytics to help better your Instagram marketing strategy.
IGTV and Going Live
IGTV and Instagram Lives are two newer features that are very popular on the app. If you have longer-form video, share it to IGTV. Chances are you have a few people in your audience who won’t go to YouTube or somewhere else to view it, but they’ll watch it within the Instagram app. Going live on Instagram is a great way to get in front of your audience and engage with them, just like on Facebook. If you need to multi-task, consider streaming to Facebook and Instagram at the same time, so your audience can watch on whichever platform they prefer.
These are some of the most important pieces of your content strategy, but let’s make sure you have plenty of followers who will see the posts you create.
Step 3: Consider Using an Instagram Growth Service
It can be easy to discount your Instagram presence when you have a small number of followers, but getting more can be a lot of work. But chances are you’ve also heard horror stories from people who bought followers and got burned. By using a quality Instagram growth service, you can gain real, organic Instagram followers who actually want to be following you.
Kicksta is an Instagram growth service that uses the first step of your Instagram marketing strategy to expand your follower count. Once you provide your ideal followers (target accounts), we’ll start engaging with their posts on your behalf. Then, it’s up to your potential followers to come back to your account if they’re interested and make the choice to follow you. This way you don’t get spam accounts or bots, and your new followers actually want to be there and are eager to see your posts.
Step 4: Promoting Your Instagram Account
Now you’ve got a great content strategy and the foundations, and it’s time to promote your account and your content to the people of Instagram. This is the last key piece of your Instagram marketing strategy. Here are three of our best tips for promoting your Instagram and expanding your reach.
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Partner with Influencers
If you did the extra step earlier when researching your ideal audience, you’ve already identified key influencers or brands that your dream followers follow. Now’s the time to reach out to them and pitch a partnership or collaboration of some sort. Make sure you create and outline the fair terms and show exactly what each of you will get out of the interaction.
Use Instagram Ads
Paid advertising is starting to become more popular on Instagram. Paying for an ad, either to boost or sponsor your post or to create an Instagram story ad, is a great way to get your message in front of a targeted group of people. Story ads are some of the most popular, just as stories are becoming more popular. If they’re done well, they can fit seamlessly into the user’s story stream. You can get up to three story ads in a row, which means forty-five seconds of time in front of your potential followers or customers.
Sprinkle in User-Generated Content
User-generated content is a great tool to add to your Instagram marketing strategy. Users who create content for you are bringing your brand to their followers, and then you get to repost it. Many people love getting shoutouts from brands they follow, and a re-post is even better. Some users even trust UGC more than brand-created content because it feels more real. Besides, adding UGC to your strategy can take some of the content creation pressure off of you. This can also help you develop your Instagram hashtag strategy if you create a custom hashtag.
8 B2B Companies with a Stellar Instagram Marketing Strategy
Now that you have a full understanding of an Instagram marketing strategy, what goes into it and how to make one, let’s take a look at eight brands that are currently making waves on Instagram with their strategies.
Yes, we’re talking about the office supply store here. Staples has a very strong presence on Instagram, thanks in large part to their beautiful pictures. Although office supplies might not be the most visually interesting pieces, the Staples team has done a great job of creating eye-catching images to use on Instagram.
They also do a great job of asking their audience questions to generate engagement. Some of their video posts are sneak peeks at new products, which is always a great way to keep your audience involved. Everyone wants to be the first to see something, that’s for sure! Staples also incorporates UGC and sweepstakes to keep their feed full of different and interesting posts.
Yep, good ol’ FedEx is crushing the Instagram marketing strategy game. They post beautiful pictures but also share some bigger things – like the International Trade Challenge they just participated in to help teach students about entrepreneurship.
FedEx also uses UGC in their feed to highlight the way they are making a difference in their customers’ lives without saying so in a blunt, straightforward way. Instead, they’re supporting an author’s first published book. They’re there to help small business owners with shipping. And they support Children’s Hospitals and the patients inside those walls.
Oracle is a software and cloud company that also has managed to create a unique presence on Instagram. When you scroll through their feed, you wouldn’t guess that they’re a software, computer, or cloud-technology company. Between the pictures of sailboats, cupcakes, cat on a beach, and historic architecture, “technology company” doesn’t exactly emerge.
But that’s okay. Their Instagram marketing strategy is to connect with their consumers and build relationships with them – not to post their products and services all over their feed. Instead, they take their followers behind the scenes in a very genuine and real way. They post about conferences and share trivia questions (with prizes!). They highlight their interns and the ambition they have. They share UGC and use special days – like World Emoji Day – to help them create posts.
4. American Express
Before you read any farther, go take a look at the American Express account page. Did you see anything odd? Go back and take a look at their following. Subtract the eight different AmEx pages and you’ll find just one account: Shop Small. Contrast that with the 376,000 followers that they have, and I have a feeling you’re wondering how they got this audience.
They’ve taken part in the #BackOurOceans campaign to remove plastic pollution from the world’s biggest bodies of water. If you scroll back a little farther, you’ll see that they created an interesting Instagram marketing strategy. Their photos and captions transport the viewer to the lives of AmEx cardholders. Whether that’s getting a pretzel at Oktoberfest, or visiting a skate shop in New York, they showcase the many places you can take an AmEx card.
The client relationship management platform has fully embraced Instagram marketing as part of its strategy. Their strategy is slightly different from some of the other companies we’ve looked at, because they use very few images. Instead, they focus almost entirely on infographics. Whether they’re sharing facts and statistics, like how blogging affects ROI, or a customer case study, they target their customers with each post.
Hubspot knows who their customers are and what they’re looking for from the brand on Instagram. They share short, easily-digestible, and meaningful facts that followers can take back and implement in their brand. Sometimes though, they take a break from the information and share an encouraging word or inspirational quote. Followers enjoy the variety and the tactical nature of their posts.
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Shopify has created a consistent aesthetic and style for their Instagram marketing efforts. All of their quote graphics use similar backgrounds, and their color scheme rolls over into the photographs they post. It might seem like a trivial thing, but putting thought and energy into the cohesive nature of your grid is a great way to make sure you’re creating a strong brand identity.
They also use their Instagram account to direct their followers to their content offsite. They have a podcast that they regularly feature quotes from, enticing followers to go download and listen to the episode. Many of their posts are about their clients. They highlight the small businesses that use their platform and share their stories with their audience.
Have you ever wondered how social media sites interact with one another? Well LinkedIn is proof that websites can have a strong Instagram presence. With over 374,000 loyal followers, they are reaching plenty of potential users on Instagram. Many of their posts highlight their users, which is a great way to encourage people to join their platform. What’s interesting though, is that they highlight more than just their profession.
You’d probably assume that LinkedIn would focus on their user’s careers, and while they certainly do highlight that, they share much more. Whether it’s a passion, an accomplishment, or a snappy catchphrase, they share the hearts of their users.
8. InVision App
InVision App is here to help your designs come to life in a way that improves your customer experience. They also have a two-part Instagram marketing strategy. First, they showcase great design (as you would expect) and promote the designs their clients and customers are creating.
They also share fun facts and links to more insights to provide greater value to their followers. Because their service and their clients’ projects are so visually appealing, it’s easy for InVision App to spend most of their time on showing those products. Not only does it get followers interested in the app, but it also shows them their capabilities.
We know we threw a lot of information at you today. Give it some time to sink in while you look through these eight B2B companies that have Instagram marketing strategies that stand out. Once you’re thoroughly inspired, go back through our strategy guide and try your hand at planning your content and promotional strategy. If you’re overwhelmed with all of the tactics, just start with one. You can always build your Instagram marketing strategy from there
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