When you think of Instagram, you may not immediately think of B2B lead generation. After all, when the image-driven platform burst onto the scene in 2010, it really made more sense for a B2C audience. Retailers were using the platform to showcase attractive photos of their products to a mainly millennial audience.
However, over the last decade, Instagram has really transformed. After Facebook purchased the platform in 2012, it began to grow quickly. And new features were added to make it more attractive to a wider demographic.
Now, according to Oberlo, there are more than 500 million active users on the platform every day!
The quick explosion of growth had many marketing and sales teams wondering, ‘how can I generate B2B leads with Instagram’? In fact, the number of companies turning to Instagram for B2B lead generation jumped from 66% to 71% last year. And 64% of these marketers plan to increase Instagram activities in this coming year, according to the latest report from Social Media Marketing State.
In this blog, we’ll discuss six proven B2B Instagram marketing tactics you can use for your business.
But first, let’s talk about why marketers and sales teams, being a part of B2B lead generation companies, should not be overlooking Instagram.
Why Should I Use Instagram for B2B Lead Generation?
If you’ve been holding out on Instagram for your B2B brand, it’s time to let go! Instagram can be a fantastic way to connect with a new audience and generate interest in your brand in a non-traditional way.
Consider these facts:
- According to Statista, 35% of Instagram’s total global audience is between the ages of 25-34. (This is the same age range as many of today’s B2B buyers.)
- 80% of people who use Instagram follow business accounts
- Only 33% of B2B companies currently have a presence on Instagram, which makes it a much less competitive platform than most other social channels
So, if you’re ready for your company to jump in and make a splash on Instagram, here’s how to do it:
Don’t Ignore Your Instagram Bio
The first rule of B2B Instagram marketing is to let your audience know who and what your business does. This is done mainly through the use of your Instagram Bio.
One of the biggest hurdles B2B companies find when using Instagram is that the platform does not allow users to insert links into their post captions. However, Instagram does allow you to include links in your 150-character bio. You can use your bio to link to relevant content from Instagram such as your blog or a sales/lead page you’d like to promote.
Another workaround is to use Instagram’s stories feature (which we’ll talk about in more depth below) that allows users to swipe up for a custom link.
Make sure your bio gives a clear picture of who your company is and what you do. Include a relevant profile picture or your logo. And if you are a local business, it’s also a great idea to add your location.
Basically, treat your Instagram Bio as a first introduction to your customer. So, make sure to do your best and create a perfect Instagram profile. Also, use an all-in-one bio link tool like MyURLs.bio to add multiple links to your bio, add links to your posts and stories, and customized buttons.
Then, it’s time to start learning about all of Instagram’s useful features:
Make Use of Instagram Stories, Reels, Highlights, and IGTV
When you’re first getting started with Instagram, some of the features can seem a bit complex. There is your feed, but then there are also Instagram Stories, Reels, Highlights, and IGTV.
In order to really make the most out of this channel (and in-turn, gather B2B leads with Instagram) you need to learn how these features work and how to use them.
Here’s a quick run-down:
Your Instagram feed is essentially your homepage. This is where users are taken when they log onto the platform. The feed is filled with photos and content from other accounts that you follow, or content that Instagram’s algorithms think you’ll be interested in.
In order to stand out on your followers’ Instagram feeds, you need to use beautifully curated, interesting, and eye-catching images. But you also need to put thought into your captions.
Give users valuable advice on something your brand is knowledgeable about. Encourage them to act on an issue they’re passionate about. Keep them informed about what’s new with your brand. Entertain them with humor or commiserate with them with empathy.
B2B content doesn’t have to be dry or boring. Find ways to work your message into content that’s interesting to users.
When you’re thinking about posts, try thinking about your Instagram profile as a whole and keep a consistent aesthetic. This will make your profile visually appealing to users and also give them a good sense of what type of content they can expect from your brand.
As a pro tip, we suggest you schedule your Instagram posts and stories to post at the best time possible, keep consistent, and create high-quality content.
Instagram Reels was created as an answer to TikTok— another popular social platform featuring short, 15 second videos.
The Instagram Reels feature is arguably one of the best to come out for brands. The beauty of Reels is that a brand’s content can show up on a user’s “Explore” page, which can really help with their exposure to new audiences.
The short-form video option also allows for B2B brands to create fun, interesting new content to connect with users and give valuable information about their business. Research has shown that 59% of B2B brands plan to make more video content from 2021 onwards.
Reels posts will remain in your Instagram profile as a post indefinitely.
Instagram Stories and Instagram Highlights
Instagram Stories are also short-form videos; however, they only remain under your brand’s account for 24 hours. You can share other user’s stories to your account as well. For example, if your CEO has an Instagram, you could share their stories to your brand account.
You can save a series of stories to your Instagram Highlights. Highlights are saved as a row of stories at the top of your profile that’s usually sectioned off by topic. So, if you wanted to share your CEO’s stories daily, you could save them to a Highlight on your Profile called “CEO”, and their stories would remain in that highlight for users to watch.
B2B brands sometimes struggle with short-form video content. This is where IGTV comes in to save the day! IGTV is Instagram’s longer-form video feature. With IGTV, brands can create videos up to 10 minutes long. Or, if your profile has more than 10,000 followers, you can create videos up to 1 hour long.
For B2B companies, this is a perfect feature for hosting Q&As, Webinars, How-To’s and Tutorials, or Fireside chats.
It’s important to try a mix of all of Instagram’s features for your brand to see what connects best with your audience, and to keep them interested.
Read More: Upload To IGTV From Computer & Schedule it
But along with switching up your features, you’ll also want to switch up your content type:
Use a Mix of Promotional and User-Generated Content
When it comes to marketing for B2B lead generation, the focus usually revolves around highlighting all of the great things about your business.
However, on Instagram, there is a great way to increase your value to potential customers by highlighting their content. This strategy is called using user-generated content (UGC).
For example, say you’re a staffing company travel brand. Perhaps the travel brand posts an interesting story about a vacation destination. You could share that story and ask your users “if you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?”.
Not only is this fun, different, and engaging content for your own followers, but it also highlights your prospect, making them aware of you. It highlights your brand to their followers as well and opens up the door for some cross-promotional opportunities.
So, try not to hold the megaphone all the time on Instagram. Use a mix of promotional and user-generated content to build awareness and relationships for your brand.
Also, watch the following video to learn how to find all your Instagram mentions in order to run a UGC campaign in the best way possible:
Get Involved in Your Niche
The best way to make your Instagram channel an effective lead generation source is to find and target your preferred niche.
In order to find potential clients and engage with them on the platform, follow hashtags that are relevant to your brand and your customers. Seek out and follow potential client’s brand and personal accounts. Respond and comment on their posts.
Basically, making yourself known to potential clients on the platform can help with brand recognition and potentially get them interested in learning more about your company.
Work with Influencers
If you’re having trouble building your B2B audience on Instagram, working with influencers is a great way to power-up your profile.
Instagram Influencers are users with a large, niche following. Usually, influencers focus on a specific type of content, like fashion, cooking, or cars. If you work with an influencer within your specific niche to promote your brand, it helps to get exposure for your account.
Don’t worry if the influencers you’re targeting work mainly with B2C brands. If the influencers are well-known enough, it’s likely that your potential customer’s brands are following them and will hopefully see your promoted content as well!
Keep Reading: Micro-Influencers on Instagram: A Complete New Guide
Run Instagram Lead Generation Ads
Another way to expedite your Instagram fame is to run some lead generation ads on the platform.
In order to do this, you’ll need a business Facebook page and an Instagram Business Profile. Instagram ad campaigns are run through Facebook’s Ads Manager platform.
Setting up a lead generation ad can be done in a few simple steps:
- Choose your marketing objective— in this case, it will be lead generation
- Next, define your audience
- Then, select your placement (Facebook recommends Automatic Placements and we do too)
- Set your bid (optimize either for leads or for link clicks)
- Choose an ad format
- Create your lead form
And you’re finished!
Author’s Bio: John Dubay is the Managing Partner at Leads at Scale, an outsourced sales support company that helps B2B companies generate well-qualified leads at scale, ready to be closed