Social media marketing is the hot cake right now and for good reason. Leading social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been adopted by the masses, and millions of users log in every single day. SAAS and B2B companies, who often have nothing physical to show off and aren’t even targeting the general public, are using Instagram to sell products.
Instagram is a visual platform. So much of its marketing appeal, B2B companies tend to shy away from this visual platforms. The reality is that good posts bring followers to your account, whether you sell products or cloud computing applications. B2B companies on Instagram can attract thousands of meaningful followers with the right content strategy, audience targeting, and a comprehensive social media strategy.
On top of that, visual platforms have a large, untapped audience for you to explore your business. Instagram has more than 200 million active users monthly, above 75 million daily users and approximately 55 million photos are shared daily.
Today, we’re going to publish an article about a particular social media channel, Instagram, and how to use it as an effective means to increase B2B sales.
Why To Use Instagram to Sell
There was a time when Instagram appeared to be only “for the kids,” and not for businesses. But it became wrong in 2016, when Instagram launched its first business tools. Companies quickly adopt the platform — particularly those selling tangible or visual-centrist goods to consumers.
Instagram’s value add service for B2B companies wasn’t immediately inherent. Marketers struggled to figure out how they could tell their story on a visual platform if they didn’t have a physical product to photograph, or any visually attractive process.
But as with all social media platforms, successful business strategies soon emerged, which gave B2B companies a common pattern to follow. Instagram become the perfect platform for brand storytelling and increasing awareness. Now, companies like Intel, Hootsuite, and Morgan Stanley tell stories through their Instagram accounts.
The pathway to B2B companies success on Instagram is well-worn at this point. Selfies, food photos, and envy-inducing beach photos no longer predominate the channel. More than 80 million photos are posted every day on Instagram, and B2B companies have found ways to post their content that drives new business, recruits new talent, and skyrockets their brand recognition.
How to Get Started with Instagram
Hope you already have an Instagram account. However, in order to make your marketing strategy worthwhile, you need to have a business account.
You can easily create a business account as it is free. In addition to your regular account, it is essential because it will give you access to thorough analytics to measure your metrics and, your success rate.
Here is the step by step procedure how to create it.
Download the instagram app, launch and sign up. It is very easy for those who already have a Facebook account and login with that account.
After login to your Instagram account, now you have to set up the business account. Go to the Settings option and scroll down until you got the “Switch to Business Account” option.
Once you complete the switch option, you will be able to update your account with useful information like business hours, business address or phone number.
Now, post, comment and follow users and get new followers just like your regular Instagram account.
Benefits of having a Instagram business account to sell
1. Access to Instagram Insights
Instagram for business provides analytics and performance statistics for the average Instagram user in a small scale. This is a problem for businesses, so they created Instagram Insights for businesses and power users.
Instagram business account provides all of the essential data they need to know about their account and how their posts perform.
It shows you the performance data on Instagram over the last week – change in followers, number of posts, impressions, reach, profile views, website clicks, and email clicks.
It then gives you the detailed demographics of your followers – their gender, ages, locations by cities and countries, and when they are most active.
Instagram Insight also lets you a view of your historical posts by engagement and impressions over a time period you set, up to two years.
2. Ability to Add a Contact Button
A useful addition to the Business Profile is the ability to add a Contact button to your profile. When somebody clicks on the button, you can set so that they can send you email, dial a telephone call with you, or provide them with a map showing your location.
3. Your Industry Will Show on Your Profile
When you created your Facebook page, you were asked to select the business industry that you operate. So, when you connect your Instagram Business Profile to your Facebook page, this information transfers to your Instagram marketing profile. You can modify this information directly within Instagram if you want to in the future.
4. Ability to Add Links to Instagram Stories
From a marketing point of view the most annoying thing about Instagram, is that you generally can’t use clickable links. If you operate a personal profile the only link you can use is in your profile.
Instagram Stories provides another option and the option for some Instagram accounts is the ability to add a URL to your Instagram story.
The ability to add links to Instagram Stories isn’t available to all businesses account, however. You need to have a business profile with minimum 10,000 followers before Instagram gives you access to this feature.
5. Able to Advertise on Instagram and Make Promoted Posts
If you have the budget to promote your Instagram posts and advertise on the platform, you will need to have a Business Profile.
This is another area where the connection between Facebook and Instagram business account is obvious. You build your ads on Facebook and choose where you want to place your ad. Instagram sales app is only one of the options Facebook gives you – the others are various positions on Facebook and Messenger.
How To Use Instagram to Sell Products [Infographic]
Visme published a infographic on how to use Instagram to sell products.
Let’s have a look of the infograph.
1.Offer insight into your company’s values and culture.
Your Instagram followers will want to see who you are and what you have to offer in terms of corporate values and culture before buying your products.
Here are some of the questions Instagram users may ask without even knowing they do it:
- Who are you?
- What are you talking about?
- Who are your partners?
- What are your employees like?
- What are they working on?
A good example to give all the above questions is from Adobe.
2. Make it branded
Branded content is always a good choice when it comes to B2B marketing. Why? Because you need to be clear about who you are. You can use your logo, branded colors and designs, and visual imagery and visual data.
For example let’s have a look at Mailchimp Instagram account.
Another example of IBM Instagram account.
3. Make it look professional
Hire a graphic designer to create your visuals or use professional tools that are easy to use for marketers like Visme or Bannersnack.
4. Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are great because they allow marketers to be spontaneous and true rather than spend his or her time designing a perfect visual. You can share content that showcases your company’s culture, values and products.
Here’s an example of the use of Instagram stories, published by The North Face, via CoSchedule:
5. Create Podcasts and Advertise them on IG
You can promote your products or services with a podcast and at the same time, promote your podcast as a content marketing source for branding with Instagram. How?
- Post relevant images from your recording sessions
- Post behind the scenes images with your important guests
- Create short audio/video trailers for your upcoming episodes
- Feature well-known guests and their best quotes
Gary Vee, one of the most popular entrepreneurs who uses Instagram Stories to promote his podcasts:
Another example from Kevin Rose, who creates inspirational posts by using quotes from his guests and promotes them on Instagram:
6. Encourage user-generated content
User will more likely have more trust in their peers and their reviews. With user-generated content, your products come to life through real-life stories posted by real people who use them.
A great example, on such scenario comes from the UPS Store. They have created a branded hashtag named as #theupsstorecustomer, which encourages customers to post their own content and contribute to the company’s branding campaign.
7. Use Instagram’s Shoppable Posts
How to get started with this features.
1. Create a business account.
2. Make sure you are selling physical goods that are compliant with Instagram’s merchant agreement.
3. Connect your Instagram business account with your facebook catalog.
Enable product tagging:
- Go to your Profile
- Tap the ‘Get Started’ alert
- Tap ‘Products’
- Select a products catalog to connect to your business profile.
- Hit ‘Done’
4. In order to tag products in your Instagram post:
- Select your image and adjust it to your convenience (with filters etc.)
- Tap on ‘Tag Products’ from your share screen.
- Tap the products you want to tag, enter your names and Tap ‘Done’.
Use Instagram to Sell Products
When it comes B2B business companies things can get a little challenging when it comes to digital marketing. As you learned from this article, how to sell on instagram without a website. Instagram is a great platform for showcasing products and you should use it as your sells strategy.
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