April 6, 2021
Did you know that Instagram has more than 1.16 billion users?
It’s arguably the most rapidly-evolving social media platform.
Now, that's a lot of potential customers your B2B brand can reach!
This massive milestone only shows Instagram’s popularity, and how essential it is for your business in 2021.
The question is: how can you make the most out of it?
How can you develop data driven marketing decisions to increase your engagement rate, reach, conversions, and traffic?
With 90% of people on Instagram following a business, Instagram’s popularity is sky-high and only going up!
In this blog, we’ll explore how to achieve astronomical social media growth for your brand on Instagram in 2021 and beyond.
Keep scrolling for the good stuff - or use the menu below to skip to a section.
Understand your audience and create valuable content | Build an authentic and genuine brand voice | Use meaningful captions and relevant hashtags | Be consistent and monitor your results | Key takeaways
Unless you’re Google, your target audience isn’t “everyone” on the planet.
Your target audience is the group of people you want to reach on social media. They are your potential customers. They are people who are already interacting with you. People who are interested in your products and services.
Conducting some in-depth social media audience research will help you understand your audience much better. To take your content marketing one step further, you need to be able to answer the following questions:
Basically, if you want to grow on Instagram, you need to create content that’s valuable to your target audience. Instagram’s algorithm cares about your comments, likes, reshares and views on your videos.
For example, if you’re a marketing and sales-based SaaS company, you can share tips on SEO, social media, content creation, demand generation, email marketing etc.
Because that’s what your target audience wants.
That’s essentially what HubSpot does, and it’s amazing.
Of course, you’ll also need to create content to your audience’s level of understanding. That means high-clarity, well-researched, meaningful content supported by statistics.
In the noise of millions of Instagram posts every day, you need to maintain a unique perspective.
Think of it this way: if you’re giving out content that everyone is already offering, your content is not providing any value. It’s just adding to the noise.
Strive to be different and better. Based on your industry knowledge and expertise, provide your users with a fresh point of view - one that’ll help you stand out amongst the crowd.
When you’re scrolling through your newsfeed, or swiping right on your stories, you only hit like on things that stand out to you.
In 2021, it’s more important than ever to strive to be genuine and authentic. 90% of consumers believe that authenticity impacts their buying decisions. Especially Millennials.
That means it’s time to get real! Providing an end-to-end authentic experience has become increasingly imperative for all brands, not just B2C.
That means you need to forget the staged and stock photography. Bring on the user-generated content because that’s considered 2.4x more authentic.
Bring on the culture! Show the customers the people behind the company. This is especially important for B2B marketers. Your clients want to get to know your brand on a personal level.
You can do this with video marketing.
Here’s a stat: 85% of Instagram users’ businesses are already doing video marketing.
For a lot of brands, videos play a pivotal role in attracting and delighting their customers. During the pandemic, we’ve learned that the significance of video marketing has overwhelmingly increased. This will only continue to grow in years to come.
What sort of videos should you create?
People want the authentic, 100% unfiltered you. People like to hear brand stories. Share the stories about how your business has achieved success over the years. Talk about the challenges that your brand has faced and how you have overcome them.
Share your brand values - like this example from Sprout Social 👇
What about Instagram Stories?
Well, they’re a good place for your team activities. Things like office pranks, team building sessions, lunches, brainstorming ideas and interviews with your colleagues.
Communicate with your customers by offering expert advice on how they can overcome their challenges. Promote best-practice tips on how your platform can help them to do this.
While you’re working on maintaining your brand persona, it’s also important to keep everything consistent through all the social channels, emails, blogs, everything! Create visually appealing graphics with meaningful content for your B2B brand. You can maintain consistency in your content by standardising your company logo, font, brand color palette and brand tone.
Work on building an authentic and genuine brand personality and you’ll quickly become a thought leader in your industry.
We mentioned earlier that people love stories.
So when you’re posting your next Instagram picture, tell a story. While some celebrities can get away by just making do with an emoji, for B2B brands and influencers, lengthy, poignant, emotion-filled captions are the key to success.
Captions are also a great way to connect with your audience and to build relationships with them on a deeper level.
Oh - and another important element you need to leverage on your posts - Instagram hashtags!
You might think that hashtags don’t look that great. They might even seem too desperate.
But here’s the tea: they’re not. If you want to reach new audiences, you need to use relevant hashtags.
When used correctly, Instagram hashtags can help you increase reach, engagement and growth rates. It’s best to avoid overused hashtags like #l4l, #f4f, #love, #follow.
Find hashtags that have a smaller, engaged audience - and that contain keywords that your target audience is actively searching for. (Once again, step 1 of understanding your audience plays a huge part in this!). For inspiration for the best hashtags you can use, check out the ones your biggest competitors are using.
A nice hack for finding hashtags that work for your brand is to search for the ones that are relevant to your industry. Then check out the engagement before committing to using them.
To get discovered by new audiences, you can also create branded hashtags.
Encourage your users to tag you in their posts and stories, including your branded hashtag. That way, your brand will be visible in external user-generated content.
Don’t forget - your bio is equally as important as your posts. What you say in it is searchable too, so you want to use hashtags there and include a link (the more you change the link the better for reach).
For example - change the link in your bio whenever you publish a new blog or company press release.
Want to measure the success of your Instagram efforts?
Use Instagram’s Insights section or a third-party Instagram Analytics tool to evaluate your social media metrics.
Of course, you need to make sure you’re tracking the right content marketing KPIs. Don’t measure anything and everything - this will just lead to social media burnout and massive exhaustion!
If you want to see an uplift in your Instagram metrics, remember that maintaining consistency is the key. That means consistency in everything: your brand image, captions and posting frequency.
Take the time to show up everyday. To stay consistent, it’s best to schedule your posts in advance by creating a content calendar so you don’t miss out.
You can hack the Instagram algorithm by finding out the best time to post on social media, potentially increasing your reach. Posting at the optimal times every day will help you get more likes, boosting your chances of ranking higher in the newsfeed and in the coveted Discover page.
One vital thing to remember…
Instagram is social, so engage with the people who comment on your posts! Get involved in your niche, and build meaningful connections in your industry. It’ll do wonders for your brand in the long-run.
Building an online presence on Instagram is a long process that requires a lot of effort, time and research. Following the tips mentioned in this blog will definitely be a game changer for your B2B company’s engagement on Instagram.
Let us know what you think and what your strategies for B2B on Instagram are! Connect with us at the link below 👇
This article was written by Mariya Koracheva, SEO Consultant and content marketing specialist. She loves to write attention-grabbing content, and when not writing, you can find her playing her guitar.