From image building to employer branding: How Instagram for B2B pays off
Instagram is probably the most successful social network of recent years. Founded in 2010 as a check-in platform, the service quickly became a user magnet, especially thanks to free photo filters. After just eight years, the network now has 800 million monthly active users, which means it’s no longer just exciting for foodies, travel nuts, and beauty bloggers. Quite the opposite: 25 million brands worldwide are already on the platform. 80 percent of global users follow at least one of them. That’s huge potential that companies can exploit for themselves. And not just lifestyle brands. The B2B sector in particular offers many opportunities, even if at first glance the channel may have little to do with day-to-day work. The overview shows the areas in which Instagram for B2B companies is worthwhile.
Insta-Image: Brand building in pictures
Before organizations get involved with Instagram for B2B, it’s important to realize that it shouldn’t be primarily about sales. With its poor linking options, the channel lags miles behind other networks. In terms of image building, however, it is unbeatable. Instagram is about inspiration, identification, and likeability. No one opens the app to browse through offers. People want to be entertained, find new impulses, and take a look behind the scenes. B2B companies have the chance here to polish their external image square by square and to link themselves with appropriate values and passions. A few application examples:
In good company: acquisition through inspiring customer stories
Many B2B suppliers are hesitant to show themselves on Instagram because they simply assume their product is not visual enough. Of course, successful communication on Instagram for B2B always requires good visuals, but this can vary greatly from company to company. The big opportunity: The content feed of users on Instagram is not only shaped by the pages they follow. Through hashtags, brands sometimes become visible to users who would never have become aware of them through other networks.
No matter how technical or abstract your own service is, at the end of the day it provides an essential solution for other companies whose work may be much more tangible than your own. So why not shine the spotlight on your own clients and partners? The benefit: By showcasing existing clients and their individual and exciting business stories, B2B brands can build bridges to potential new customers who may be operating in a similar field and have not yet found a suitable solution.
Shopify provides a nice example of successful customer stories. The company, which offers simple cloud store systems for sales online, in social networks or in retail stores, can’t instaworthyin stage its product itself – after all, no one likes to look at screenshots of user interfaces. Instead, those responsible do something much more effective: they present the users to whom the service enables their daily work. In this way, the technical product quickly becomes an emotional mentor that supports its customers in realizing their own personal business dream. The beauty is that the featured companies become brand ambassadors and, of course, are happy to share their story. There is no more credible marketing.
Next stop: next job – Employer branding via Instagram
Especially in very technical disciplines, the war for talent is extremely brutal. The search for qualified employees is often difficult. However, the chances of finding them on Instagram are high, given the huge user base. For young employees in particular, it’s not just the job advertised that’s relevant these days, but above all the atmosphere and corporate values of potential employers. It is therefore becoming increasingly important for brands to build a convincing employer brand in order to stand out from the competition. Talents no longer just want a job, they want to identify with a company. Instagram offers B2B companies the opportunity to communicate their brand values to the outside world through exciting employee stories and behind-the-scenes looks.