Is Instagram an Effective Channel for B2B Inbound Marketing?
Instagram, the online photo and video sharing social networking service, now has a community of more than 500 million users.
This number is hard to ignore when considering where to concentrate your marketing efforts, but is Instagram useful for B2B Inbound Marketing? Or is it better kept for B2C brands?
In October 2015, eMarketer forecast that in 2016, 48.8% of US Companies with more than 100 employees will use Instagram for Marketing and that this number will jump to 70.7% in 2017.
If you are considering using Instagram as part of your B2B inbound marketing strategy, have a look at their dedicated business site, Instagram for Business. The business site has a guide to getting started, and a list of potential partners that you can view by your area of interest, such as Content Marketing and Community Management. It also has its own business blog.
Instagram for B2B inbound marketing, is still about providing content, but it is also about telling a story, letting a potential customer visualise why they should use you and humanising your brand.
When looking to use Instagram as part of your inbound marketing strategy, you need to consider if you can promote your business through a wholly visual medium. Is there a visual element to your business? Or is this something you will need to create? See Hubspot’s post on 16 of the Best Brands on Instagram Right Now.
If you are able to access or create images that represent your business, you need to consider whether this is something you will be able to update regularly. Major brands update their Instagram on average 1.5 times a day.
Instagram is not just for posting pictures, you can now add one minute videos, which is a great opportunity for owners and employees to introduce themselves or to provide information on a product or service or upcoming event.
So we know that Instagram has a large user-base and that it can help to humanise your brand, but will it help to drive leads and sales?
If you have a retail or wholesale based business, then the answer is likely to be a clear yes. You can upload photographs and videos of your product and link your profile to your online shop.
If retail is not your business model, then Instagram can help to humanise your brand and also to draw potential customers to your website.
Aside from the nature of your business, you should also consider who you are marketing to, your Buyer Personas. Is Instagram another helpful way to reach out to them? Are they likely to be Instagram users?
In conclusion, the jury is still out on whether Instagram can help to drive leads and sales and ultimately generate revenue. Providing regular fresh images and videos does require a time commitment, much like keeping your blog up-to-date, but if you have the resources and capacity, then Instagram could be a useful tool for part of your B2B inbound marketing strategy.