Gone are the days when marketing was limited the print media and other traditional manners. With the revolution in technology and IT sector, the niche of marketing witnessed a new dawn in the form of digital marketing. Companies and marketing gurus all over the world welcomed this new trend of marketing with open arms. And why not? As compared to the traditional marketing strategies, these new ones are cost effective and give immediate results. Now, when we are discussing about digital marketing strategies that includes content marketing, search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, email marketing, pay per click advertising and many others, it is the social media marketing that is stealing the show. It won’t be an exaggeration if we say that social media marketing is the show stopper of the digital marketing strategies and is definitely in vogue.
Thanks to the numerous social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram that have been whole heartedly adopted by people all over the world, these have opened a new realm for the marketers to reach their targeted audience. According to a recent study, millions of users login to their social media account; keeping in mind the extremities of this number, social media has become the fastest, efficient and one of the most effective ways to communicate with your target audience, irrespective of their geographical location. And we haven’t started yet; with facilities such as paid advertising, sponsored ads and features such as hashtags, one can become very specific when it comes to targeting a particular segment of audience, which was never possible with any other marketing strategy, be it traditional or digital. But today, our sole focus isn’t going to be social media marketing as such, but one specific platform that was earlier considered as unfit for marketing: Instagram. Whenever there is any discussion pertaining to the different social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter is always the centre of attention, but one look at the stats and you would find that when it comes to the popularity of social media platform, it is Instagram that is winning the game. Moreover, studies also show that Instagram users are more open towards marketing tactics and have higher engagement rate per post as compared to any other social media platform.
A few years back, Pete Caputa, a veteran internet marketing guru stated, “In general, consumer brands love Instagram, local businesses obsess over Facebook, e-commerce companies pine over Pinterest, B2B companies love LinkedIn, early adopters use Snapchat and no one expects much from Twitter anymore.” He further added, “In talking with agencies and companies all day, the pattern is pretty clear. Unfortunately, they’re all wrong! The real key is just knowing how to use each one effectively. You can’t post educational content on Instagram and expect it to generate traffic, like you can on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.” Let’s see if this statement holds its grounds, keeping in mind the below stated facts.
According to a recent survey conducted by TechCrunch, the past two years were the most glorious years in the history of Instagram. During these years, there was a huge influx of users, somewhere around 700 million, who created their Instagram accounts. This number is almost double than Twitter and you can only imagine about all the leads that can be generated with this kind of numbers. Well, the driving force behind these crazy numbers are the updated features of Instagram that include the Instagram stories, just like Snapchat and the feature of ‘going offline’ for the Android users that allows them to use Instagram without any data plan. Apart from this, another study was conducted by Website Builders and the data revealed some interesting facts. For starters, this app has around 500 million registered users and out of these, 300 million are the ones that log in to Instagram on a daily basis. At least, half of these users actively follow a business or two and out of these, 5% have said that they take a desired action that includes visiting the main business website, sharing with a friend or most importantly, purchasing something from the website.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg as the base of the users is quite broad and displays some interesting facts. Though more than half of the millenials in the United States use Instagram, a staggering number of users, approximately 80%, are the ones who belong to other nationalities. When you are marketing your product or service all over the globe, these numbers can’t be ignored. And this is the reason why 48.8% of global brands are active on Instagram and by the end of 2018, it has been predicted that these numbers would reach 70.7%. For many businesses, this journey wasn’t easy at all as unlike its counterparts, Instagram focuses on visual content which is a great blessing for product based businesses such as Puma or GAS, but for businesses that don’t have any tangible, physical product to display, creating content for Instagram was definitely a challenge.
This is one of the main reasons why B2B or SAAS businesses prefer staying away from Instagram. But not anymore as time is changing, the boundaries are blurring and for surviving in the utmost competition, you, as a B2B or SAAS business, have to take the plunge and make Instagram your ally. How? Well, we researched and found some of the most amazing tips that would help you to foster your relationship with your clients through Instagram. Want to know more about it? Then, keep on reading.
- Utilize genuine and real time content
Rather than going for Photoshopped images and promotional pictures, it is better to opt for genuine and real time content that gives your clients a peek into your business and offered products. Real time content includes live streaming of an event that gives your business a much required human touch. With such kind of live streaming gives you a wonderful opportunity too gel up with your clients.
- Show your involvement in your own business niche
Apart from posting content, it is also important to reply to your clients whenever they leave any kind of response. Just like any other social media platform, it is important to be a part of the overall conversation on Instagram as well. If you have your business presence on Instagram, then take some time and visit your Instagram profile and don’t forget to reply. Apart from this, if you find any interesting conversation pertaining to your niche, don’t hesitate to participate.
- Ensure that your every single post tells a story
Do you know what kind of businesses is successful on Intagram? The ones that tell interesting stories through their posts. One of the best ways to attract your clients and get loads of potential clients is frequent storytelling that would make you stand apart from rest of the crowd. Don’t put a limitation on to your posts; create an amazing story with videos and images to give your clients a more homely touch.
- Give your clients a glimpse of a usual work day
To ensure that your clients remain loyal to you, it is important to make them feel as a part of your business family. Instagram can help you with this by featuring the usual day of employees working or live stream a tour of the complete office. Ensure that all the posts are focused on the employees by giving your clients snapshots of different employees tackling the different situations. You can assign any employee as the key speaker. This strategy can be used during any special event.
- Always give your readers an original story
It is important to give your readers genuine information about the past, present and the future of the company through different images. With the features such as Instagram Galleries, you can showcase the complete development process of a specific project. But for this strategy, it is important that whatever you showcase is 100% genuine and involves all the ups and downs your company faced during the course of the time. Don’t hesitate to involve the story of your partners.
- Utilize the different filters
Do you know that there are certain filters in Instagram that you can use to boost your client engagement? Well, there is not even an iota of doubt in the fact that Nashville filter won’t work for your LinkedIn profile, but it is definitely going to work on Instagram. If you have some important images clicked at low resolution, then you can upgrade the quality of images by using the filters. But while choosing a filter, ensure that it doesn’t interfere with the message that you want to convey.
- Schedule the posts
We definitely agree with the fact that the functionalities among all the important social media platforms are not similar, but it is vital for the online reputation of your business that all the posts are uniform when it comes to the date of their posting. For this, you can use different social media tools. Moreover, you can also create uniformity among the posts on different social media platforms by using specific hashtags and sharing the same images. In case, the post is related to any specific event, make sure to coordinate the dates.
- Optimize the use of hashtags
When you are using Instagram for posting your business images and videos, you have the flexibility to use 30 hashtags for every single post. But here we are talking about B2B business. While you are using hashtags for B2B purpose, ensure that the hashtags are in accordance with the SEO optimized keywords for your business. Moreover, it is also advised to use a minimum of four hashtags.
- Talk with your clients
Conversation is something that you always need to maintain with your clients. For this, you should be updated regarding all the trending topics, latest news pertaining to news so that you can easily target the specific audience. There are several approaches for this which includes different images, videos and graphics. Moreover, you can also interview the industry experts about the same. In short, you need to start a conversation with your clients.
- Make location your ally
If you are hosting an event, then it is the best time to engage with your clients. Ensure that your all your clients and other customers become a part of your event by using the uber cool feature of Instagram which is the location feature. During the event and post event, you can use Instagram Live to post about the event. The main motive of these posts is to promote the products and services that you are offering to your clients. You can use the hashtags of different local businesses to target the local audience.
- Talk about your customers
One of the most important strategies to boost client engagement is to include your customers in the posts. Rather than talking about your own products or services, it is always beneficial to talk about the success stories of your clients. Doesn’t matter if your product is aesthetically appealing or not, there are good chances that your customers having interesting stories related to your product. Now the main question arises is how to make this strategy work? And the answer is to find the best manner to capture some of the most enthralling stories of your customers.
- Show your customers that you both care about the same matters
Do you want to ensure that your clients remain loyal to you? Then, apart from helping your clients with your hardcore business operations, you have to show your customers that it is not only the business where your thinking matches, but there are other matters also where you have the same perspective. Your every product and service should involve this approach. For instance, if you deal in interior designing and you know that your clients are more into eco-friendly interiors, then post images and videos pertaining to the same.
- Display your physical products
Well, you are definitely in luck if you deal in physical products as it ensures that Instagram is your ally all the time. But how would you make the most of this ally? Apart from simply showcasing your products, create an album featuring different images and videos that are in sync with your products. Apart from this, you can create hashtags and ask your users to post different videos and images in accordance with your products using those hashtags. This would fetch you the best user generated content and would bind the users with the brand in the best manner.
- Find the most effective content
Whenever you open your Instagram account, you would find people posting random stuff. But when we are talking about a specific B2B Instagram account, you don’t have the flexibility of posting random stuff. But with the help of the likes of your post and people following your account, you can have a fair idea as to what is going on the market and what are the needs of the clients. In order to get the details, you can also use different analytical tools that would provide you a deep analysis of the daily posts. In this way, with the help of collected data, you can plan your next posts.
- Use infographics as your visual ally
Not every time you have the luxury of show casing some of the most beautiful and stunning images. And if you are stuck with such kind of situation that you don’t have anything visual to show off, you still have the opportunity to create something visual for your audience. And this visual content is in the form of infographics. When you are dealing with B2B companies, then you might have data that would pike up the interest of your clients. Now, all you need to do is to present the data with great images, charts and other graphical presentations that are easy on the eyes and brains as well.
- Create your own brand and community
You can also use Instagram to build a brand for your product and services. How? Well, while updating your Insta bio, you can use a direct, single link back to your website which means no direct sales. Now, one of the easiest methods to create your brand and community is to give your customers a tour of your office or production site. Live stream your employees while they are working, click lots of images and post them with funny captions. In short, go with the ‘behind the scene approach’ and garner the best results.
- Use Instagram for networking
We understand that you want to use the different social media platforms to interact with your clients and potential leads. But that’s not all! With the help of social media, you have an amazing chance to interact and network with the individuals related to your business field. These individuals may include various event organizers, developers, your own team in the field as well as competitors. You would be amazed with the opportunities that would come your way through this method.
- Always be proactive in your approach
When you are on the social media such as Instagram to promote your business, it becomes important for you to be proactive in nature. If you want more and more people to share and comment on your post, then you have to set an example by commenting on the posts of your followers every now and then. But a word of caution here; be aware that you are commenting in a legitimate manner, otherwise you can be spammed.
- Don’t forget to talk about different events and tradeshows
Being in B2B business, it becomes imperative to be a part of the numerous events or tradeshows that are one of the major marketing strategies. Now, when you are actively participating in them, Instagram offers you the perfect medium not only to promote the event, but also for covering whatever is happening at the event. If you are planning any such strategy, it is wise to start promoting the event through your Instagram handle a few weeks prior to get the desired hype. The organziers of the events can help you with the details and you can give your followers the desired updates.
- Always remember ‘old is gold’
It is imperative for a good business to constantly make their old customers feel valued. Though you might be constantly getting new leads and a long list of new customers, it is the old ones that always had your back during the bad days. Now, you would be thinking as to how to achieve the same. The answer is quite simple: pay attention to their needs and always be attentive towards their questions. Moreover, keep on posting content on regular basis that would benefit your old clients.
- Use the power of testimonials
If your products and services are doing wonders for the users, then at one point of time, they are going to talk about you, either by posting about the product or referring the product to another individual. Well, if nothing like this is happening, then simply ask your clients for their reviews and testimonials. Apart from this, you can also have a word with other businesses to use your product or services free of cost, with the agreement that they would share their honest reviews about your brand on the various social media platforms.
- Don’t underestimate paid advertising
Are you new to Instagram or looking forward for a great head start organically, the you always have the option to go with the paid promoted posts. With such kind of posts, you can easily reach out to the audience who isn’t following your account currently. There are around 500,000 paid advertisers on Instagram that can help you with the same. With such kind of tools, you can easily boost your conversion rates by 70%.
- Use the amazing features of Instagram
Gone are the days when Instagram was simply a social network platform that was meant for images. After it was taken over by Facebook, it underwent a complete transformation and emerged as a flexible and advanced marketing solution. Now you can easily share videos, gifs, live streams and can also create ‘stories’, the feature that was presumably launched by Snapchat. So, with all these features, all you need is a bit of creativity to showcase your brand.
- Ensure that the content is real and authentic
No social media platform portrays the images better than Instagram. Well, thanks to the filters, the images indeed look beautiful, but most of the time, they are either borrowed or aren’t relevant to the niche. Thus, to boost the customer engagement through Instagram, it is very necessary to ensure that the content is authentic and real. For this, you can post the interviews of your clients or mini videos of them using your product. Always keep in mind to use the photos and videos of your own company. Also, ensure that your clients can easily comment or share these posts.
- Keep the posts authentic and frequent
As compared with the B2C clients, B2B clients are quite different when the discussion is pertaining to the fact that as what kind of visual content would work for them. Your B2B clients aren’t going to get impressed with glossy, high resolution images. Rather they are looking for posts and updates that are informative, authentic and help them in their business. Apart from this, it is also necessary to ensure that you update different kinds of posts regularly and it can vary from live streaming the daily day to day activities to uploading the snapshots of any event that you are currently participating for.
- Keep your targeted and related audience engaged
Before posting anything on Instagram, give it a moment and think about your motive behind the process. Well, if your answer is simply to boost your online presence, then you are definitely missing out a lot. With the help of Instagram, you can easily widen your horizon and can learn a lot about the audience that you have already tapped or the one segment that you are looking forward to explore. Moreover, this would also boost your credibility as a brand and would generate goodwill in the market.
- Understand the importance of bio
There are certain ways in which Instagram is different from the other social media platforms. Well, unlike all the other social media websites or apps, Instagram doesn’t offer you the flexibility to share numerous links. But you have the ‘bio’ option where you can give the direct link to your website. Always ensure that the link is updated, working and is clickable. Apart from this, you can also make use of certain tools such as Linktree to further create more links. You can use the Instagram story for this purpose.
- Create a post that is crisp and comprehensive at the same time
Every post of Instagram gives you a wonderful opportunity to give your clients a different perspective of your brand, product, services, company and employees. But the trick here is how to do this in a crisp and concise manner. Whenever you post anything, ask yourself what kind of message is being delivered by that specific post and is that the message you want to convey to your audience. Ensure that every post of yours is concise, consistent and coveys the apt message in a seamless manner.
- Stop wasting time on metrics that don’t have any details
Obviously who doesn’t smile after getting numerous likes and posts being shared! Everyone does, but when you are in the B2B SAAS business, such kind of metrics doesn’t help you that much. Well, the basic point is to find out the number of related individuals and companies liking your post and sharing the same. If you are able to find out data pertaining to this, it becomes quite easy to figure out what exactly your audience is liking and what is their needs? Then, according to these facts, you can cater to their business needs and boost your ROI.
- Discover your own niche
As we have already stated that there are more than one billion monthly users of Instagram. Well, this means that your business also has its own niche out there; all you need to do is to find it. For starters, you can search for the hashtags that define your business and use them whenever you post anything. Follow the businesses that are related to yours and individuals who actively like their posts. In this way, you can easily carve your own niche.
- Make the influencers your ally
The latest term that is trending on the various social media platforms is ‘influencers’. Well, there is not even an iota of doubt in the fact that you can have your own follower base, but it can be a long journey to reach there. Till then, you can make the influencers your ally. All you need to do is to connect with people who have a popular name in the market and belong to your niche. Ask them to review your products or services and post the same on your Instagram handle.
- Always behave and think like human
If you want your posts to be popular, then you have to think from the perspective of your clients. In the end of the day, you are interacting with humans and no human being wants to interact with a ‘company’ as it sounds so clinical and lacks the warmth that binds together two businesses. So, every now and then, post the images while you are celebrating the birthday of any employee or went out to have lunch with the team. It would give your company a nice human touch.
- Ensure that you understand the audience
Your Instagram profile is ready, you know all the rules of the game and have some really cool images that are apt according to your business. But it’s all in vain if these posts fail to appeal the targeted audience. You have to understand that whatever you are posting is meant for your clients and therefore, it is of utmost importance to know what they like or dislike. Now, there are certain parameters that can help you with this such as impressions, reach, website click, video views etc.
- Don’t forget to interact with the community
There are several businesses that focus solely on posting visual content that appeals the client and boosts their engagement. Well, that is all good, but what is better than this is to make your brand a part of the users’ stories. This is one of the most sought after and out of the box ways to make your clients and users feel valued and thought of. When you share, comment or follow your user by reposting their stories or pictures, they feel appreciated and that exactly is what you are looking for.
- Think out of the box
There may be times when you would find yourself struggling with the ways to display your products and services. Or you have used every traditional way to showcase your brand. Well, if you are facing any of these issues, then it is the time to think out of the box. Don’t restrict yourself in one dimension; let the horses of your imagination run wild and try to relate yourself with the clients or different events that you are or were a part of. In this way, you get the best chance to interact with the yet untapped market. For this, you can use the hashtags that are trending for your business niche or participate in the conversations related to trending topics.
- Wear your nerdy glasses
Haven’t you heard that nerdy is the new sexy? If you are into some cool robotic projects that have nothing to do with your business, don’t be shy to show off your talent on Instagram. Well, for starters, such kinds of videos are massive hit among the millenials and if done in the right way, it won’t take hours for one such video to go viral. Moreover, this is one of the ways to show your clients the extremes that you can go for them. Such kind of creativity displays your out of the box thinking that every client looks for. Post some educational videos and use the trending hashtags along with it.
- Don’t forget to use videos
When we are talking about Instagram, videos are as important as the images. When you simply post the images, things can get quite boring after some time; at such point, it is the videos that bring life to your Instagram handle. According to a recent study, around 40% of the videos sharing that occurs on Instagram is done by the various brands. In such a scenario, if you are not posting any video, then you are definitely lacking behind from the others. Moreover, if you are facing the creative block and lack any kind of informative visual content, regular office videos are the ones that can help you out from the murky waters. If your B2B brand has its own YouTube channel, then you can promote the YouTube videos by posting the snippets of the video and giving the link ahead to watch the complete one on YouTube.
- Make employee engagement a handy tool
Not many B2B businesses use this strategy, but employees can become your ally in this battle. And why not? It is simple and the easiest way to increase the user engagement through your Instagram handle. There are a few companies that have explored this strategy to its full potential and post nothing but the different activities of their employees. Also, it is the coolest way to display the work culture that you follow. All you need to do is to create hashtags and ask your employees to use them whenever they post anything about their office day or any official event.
- Think of leadership
There are several B2B businesses that give importance to leadership. Well, there is a deep logic behind this as these are the businesses that construct the very foundations of the economy all over the globe. In other words, B2B companies are all about leading the niche and leading the world. Now, if you are dealing with a B2B business, it is advised to post something inspirational every now and then. You can use quotes or memes for the same purpose as these are considered as digestible content and can be easily related with. Moreover, these inspirational posts and quotes can stick to the mind of any average Instagram user for longer time.
- Associate yourself with a cause
Last but not the least, if you want your content to be trending on Instagram, it is better to get associated with a common cause for which various communities are fighting for. If possible, find a cause that is related to your niche and post how your product or service can help in the cause. In this way, you can easily be the part of the limelight that the cause is enjoying and can harvest the desired results in the form of traffic and eventually enhanced ROI.
Well, in the end, all we want to say is that if you are doing all the above mentioned things, then start liking, commenting and sharing the posts of other businesses and individuals. Give it a few days and witness the changes in the numbers for yourself. After all, it is the 21st century where business is all about thriving together and achieving success by helping each other. Give your client interactive, informational, creative and user generated visual content, post frequently and be active on Instagram even if you are not posting anything important. Always remember: sharing is caring! So, what are you waiting for? Get on your Instagram handle and start posting, liking and commenting.