Consider: 600 million monthly users, 300 million daily users, and 1.5 businesses worldwide. What do all these numbers reference? Instagram. In 2016. Instagram was used by 48.8% of brands – a number that is expected to rise to 70.7% by 2017.
Selfies, food images, and more flood Instagram news feeds daily. In this Millennial-driven world, Instagram would lend itself more to B2C brands, wouldn’t it? You’re not wrong, it does. According to Instagram, some of the industries that have found early success using its ads include “e-commerce, travel, entertainment, and retail.” But does that mean that B2B businesses can’t leverage Instagram? Absolutely not!
Think Millennials aren’t making B2B decisions? You’d be wrong. Nearly half of B2B researchers are Millennials, and 42% of all researchers use a mobile device during the B2B purchasing process.
Document Progress Using Your Product
Whether your company develops software, manufactures widgets, or remodels buildings, show off the progress! Have fun with it. Like I mentioned in the intro, 60% of users learn about products and services from Instagram and 75% act. Utilize Instagram Apps like Boomerang, Layout, and Hyperlapse to insert creativity, and don’t forget about those hashtags!
Showcase Your Events
Have an upcoming conference, trade show, or speaking event? Let potential customers see what you see! Use video to show your energy and the atmosphere of the event. You can document your day with Instagram Stories, use Hyperlapse to show a quick set-up at your event, and more. Again, use those hashtags for better engagement!
Better Company Culture
What’s your vision? What’s your companies mission statement? Show that with Instagram! Use video to highlight employee engagement. This is also extremely important for recruiting. The workforce is getting younger, and Millennials are now the largest generation composing the U.S. labor force. Show them why they want to work for your company.
Now we’re to the meat of this blog. Advertising. Instagram uses the same powerful advertising engine as Facebook. It’s easy to set up, run, and track campaigns the same way you do with Facebook ads. As of this blog, you can use these objectives on Instagram:
- Brand awareness
- Traffic (for clicks to your website or to the app store for your app)
- App installs
- Engagement (for post engagement only)
- Video views
- Conversions (for conversions on your website or in your app)
- Lead generation
Let’s discuss lead generation for a bit. Leads are crucial to B2B companies. The beauty of these lead gen ads inside of Instagram is that the user never leaves the app to provide their info. Instagram will take their name, email, and phone number and autofill that if it’s in the account profile. Users do have the option of visiting your site after they are done, but to fill in the form, they all stay right there inside the app.
You may be thinking, “Ads, yeah, that’s great, but will they work”? Does engagement on Instagram mean consumers are becoming more aware of your brand? According to Instagram Advertiser statistics, 50% of Instagram users follow at least one business, 60% say they learn about a product or service on the platform, and 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post.
If you’re hoping to spread the word about your business, Instagram is a statistically sound place to invest your time and energy.
When creating your ads, don’t forget about who you’re targeting. I think that sometimes marketers forget that VPs, Directors, and even CEOs are more than just their job title. Ads can’t be one size fits all. You may be reaching men, women, Baby Boomers, Millennials, or Gen Xers. You may want to reach them all in one campaign. Create ads for each segment and configure your targeting accordingly.
Take time to understand the benefits of Instagram to connect your company to new potential clients. Instagram might have its roots in B2C marketing, but, with over 600 million subscribers, can your company afford not to be on Instagram?