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Why B2B Companies Shouldn’t Shy Away from Marketing on Instagram

Satta Sarmah-Hightower
March 10, 2021

3 minute read

When it comes to B2B marketing on social media, brands currently rely heavily on LinkedIn. It’s the top organic and paid social platform for B2B marketers. According to a CMI report, 95% of content marketers use LinkedIn to distribute their content organically, and 76% use it for paid distribution.

However, there’s another platform B2B marketers shouldn’t overlook: Instagram. It isn’t just a place where B2C companies leverage shoppable posts to hawk everything from lip gloss to outerwear. Marketing on Instagram creates advantages for B2B brands, too.

Most B2B marketers aren’t fully taking advantage 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 to do so, along with what you can learn from other companies finding success on this channel.

The advantage of marketing on Instagram for B2B brands

Both the traditional B2B buying journey and the demographic of B2B buyers are changing.

According to Gartner, even before 2020, B2B buyers weren’t spending as much time meeting face-to-face to assess potential suppliers. In addition, Gartner reports that 45% of B2B buyers research a product independently online and offline before making a purchasing decision.

Millennials may be responsible for some of this shift. This group makes up a larger share of B2B buyers — with TrustRadius reporting that 60% of all B2B tech buyers are millennials. This age group also overlaps with Instagram’s core audience. As of January 2021, data indicates nearly 56% of 18-34 year-olds use Instagram, making this the largest user group.

B2B brands that ramp up their marketing on Instagram may benefit from more customer engagement and increased visibility. Tapping into a highly engaged audience potentially offers higher conversions and a shorter sales cycle. Companies that focus on Instagram marketing stand out because the platform isn’t as saturated with B2B brands as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

B2B brands doing Instagram marketing right

Smart B2B companies use Instagram to tell their brand story visually. Organizations including Invision and Slack are already harnessing the power of Instagram to connect with their audience.

Invision

Invision, a digital product design platform, uses its Instagram page to increase brand awareness. Its “design of the week” feature highlights product and web pages from different designers, serving as inspiration for the design community while subtly showcasing interesting designs created using Invision’s technology.

The company also uses Instagram to drive traffic back to its lead-gen content, such as white papers and e-books. To promote its recent guidebook, “Business Thinking for Designers,” Invision posted several images containing quotes and photos from leading designers featured in the guidebook, along with a call to action for its followers to click the link in its Instagram bio to access the content.

Though getting clickthroughs on Instagram isn’t as seamless as it is on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, third-party tools are available to make this easier. Still, Instagram may be well worth the extra effort for B2B brands, especially for those already in the visual design space like Invision.

Slack

Slack uses animation to showcase its app’s features to tout its growth (like when it passed 10 million daily active users in 150 countries) and promote tools like SlackConnect, allowing organizations to collaborate more effectively with external partners.

Other brands can follow suit and use animation, gifs, and other visual storytelling tools to give prospects a preview of new product features or even provide mini-tutorials to help customers get more value out of their products.

Making 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 companies are competing for buyers’ attention on more channels, innovative B2B brands are adding Instagram to their marketing mix. The B2B buying landscape is changing, and companies that are open to new ways of engaging their audience are best positioned to stand out amid all the digital noise.

Satta Sarmah-Hightower
Satta Sarmah Hightower is a freelance writer who covers topics such as healthcare tech, government IT, business and personal finance for a wide range of brands and publications. A former journalist, Satta previously worked for AOL and the Tribune Company. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School.
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