Instagram is a tool traditionally associated with B2C companies, and with good reason, its format makes it perfect for showing off tangible products.
Increasingly however, B2B companies are using Instagram to differentiate themselves from their competitors – this is particularly advantageous for smaller firms trying to carve out a niche for themselves. Take Hemingway Bailey for instance, a small accountancy firm whose tagline is ‘not all accountants are the same’; or Joleena Louis, a solo attorney, who found that Instagram allowed her to develop her personal brand and attract clients.
Instagram does require a different approach to other social media accounts. While you can adapt images you use on other networks for it, you will often find the need to create content specifically tailored to it. This can be a real challenge if your business is not very image-based in the first place!
Here are five B2B companies who have found a way to make Instagram work for them. Why not follow them and inspire yourself from their approach?
Mailchimp’s Instagram account is colourful and attractive, putting the spotlight on their users, as well as using it to recruit new staff. They're not afraid to use text-free intriguing images either.
Legal Cheek is already the antidote to most law-related publications and its Instagram account is no different, embracing meme culture to build its brand.
Multinational technology company Cisco demonstrates how you can use a little creativity and humour in your Instagram posts without going off message.
Take a leaf out of Modern B2B, a B2B Technology Marketing agency, by using Instagram to share testimonials and motivational quotes. Images with text overlay, particularly quotations, work well on Instagram.
Deloitte Digital is proficient at showing the human side of its team through pictures of team outings. These are very popular on Instagram and are a great way of giving life to your business.
Essential tools to make the most of Instagram
Instagram posts can still only be uploaded via mobile, creating an additional challenge for marketing teams. However, there are various workarounds that can make the process smoother:
- You can create your images on desktop using a tool such as Canva, and then send them to your mobile. A shortcut for this process is to save this image to Dropbox and access it from the Dropbox app on your mobile.
- There are also numerous mobile apps that allow you to edit and create images for Instagram, including PicEdit, Overly, and Layout, so that you can upload them on the go. This is great for reacting to conferences and networking events.
- There are desktop applications for creating and scheduling Instagram posts, the most popular is Schedugram. It costs a little each month but has the advantage of not only letting you edit your images, but also posting them for you. For a free version there is Latergram, which has no editing tools and requires you to still physically post your Instagram on your phone (the text is copied so you can simply paste it).
- Use a tool like RiteTag to find out which hashtags are trending in your niche. Use a minimum of 4, so that your audience can find you.
- Use Iconosquare for analytics to find out the optimal times to post.