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From industry to story: 5 tips for B2B success on Instagram
Communications – PR, Social Media, Content Digital B2B 9 July 2024

From industry to story: 5 tips for B2B success on Instagram

Instagram is like an infinite shop window through which millions of people look every day. But instead of mannequins and displays, you will come across a multitude of images and videos that tell stories, present brands and show products in the best light. It may come as a surprise to B2B companies that they too can find a place in this creative mecca. Instagram offers surprising opportunities for branding, network expansion and, in particular, employer branding. In this blog post, we discover how B2B companies can use the photo platform to not only convince, but also inspire.

The Instagram icon
Unexpected match made in heaven: B2B companies and Instagram. © Alexander Shatov / Unsplash

1. Understanding the power of visual content

Instagram thrives on visual content. Images and videos are the language spoken here. For B2B companies, this means rethinking their own brand in this aesthetic context. Instead of dry product photos or complex diagrams, the focus should be on appealing, high-quality and story-driven content.

For example, a manufacturer of industrial machinery could present its production process in a series of behind-the-scenes videos. Such insights convey authenticity and create trust by showing who is behind the product and how carefully it is manufactured. A B2B software company, on the other hand, can use its Instagram feed to share customer success stories. Well-designed graphics and short video interviews show how their software solutions solve concrete problems and bring about significant improvements in the workflows of their users. Such content is not only informative, but also inspiring, as it illustrates the real benefits of the products. One particularly creatively designed account in this area is that of the chat company Slack.

A screenshot of Slack's Instagram page
Slack uses interviews with customers to demonstrate its added value. Screenshot:

2. Telling exciting stories with high-quality images

For successful implementation, it is crucial to invest in high-quality content. The use of good cameras and professional photography ensures that images and videos look appealing. The focus should always be on storytelling. It’s about telling stories with the images and videos and showing not only the end product, but also the process, the people behind it and how it is used in practice.

A consistent visual presentation is also important. The use of a uniform CI concept, which includes colors, fonts and image styles, creates a recognizable brand image. In addition, Instagram Stories and their interactive features such as polls, questions and quizzes offer the opportunity to actively involve the target group and receive feedback.

Cisco, for example, uses Instagram to present technology projects and innovations. Short videos and appealing graphics show their solutions and their impact on the world. Another example is HubSpot, which shares marketing and sales tips and tricks on Instagram, presents customer success stories and provides insights into the corporate culture. This mixture of informative and human content makes their feed particularly interesting and varied.

A screenshot of Cisco's Instagram page
Cisco shows in a reel how its technology supports McLaren in Formula 1. Screenshot:

3. Successful employer branding through authentic insights

Instagram offers an excellent platform for presenting not only products and services, but also the corporate culture and working environment. This is particularly valuable for B2B companies, as it enables them to position themselves as attractive employers and earn the attention of potential talent. By using Instagram Stories and IGTV, authentic stories can be told directly from employees’ everyday lives. These formats are ideal for showing how the team overcomes challenges, celebrates joint successes or takes part in further training. Such insights not only convey the corporate culture, but also the dynamics and commitment within the team.

In addition, dedicated posts on career opportunities, employee presentations or milestones in the company’s development offer valuable insights for potential applicants. This content is not only interesting for current colleagues, but also radiates outwards and strengthens the employer image. For example, a post that introduces a new team member and describes their role and career can show potential applicants how they can develop within the company.

Another important aspect is the presentation of special services and initiatives that make the company attractive as an employer. These could be posts that refer to company health programs, flexible working time models or team-building events. This information helps to convey a comprehensive picture of the company as an employer and inspire potential new colleagues.

Salesforce is a good practical example of this. The software company uses Instagram for the DACH region to present the corporate culture and working environment. With regular posts about the stories of the people behind the company, team events and social initiatives, Salesforce shows how it acts as an employer. The contributions range from photos of the events to videos highlighting the professional development and successes of the employees. These authentic insights strengthen employer branding and make it an attractive place to work.

A screenshot of Salesforce's Instagram page
With pictures of exciting events, Salesforce shows how varied the working day is there.

4. Inspiring the target group with stories, feed posts and reels

The art of reaching the right people at the right time with suitable content is crucial for success on Instagram. With its various functions such as stories, feed posts and reels, the platform offers numerous options for addressing target groups. Instagram Stories are ideal for quick, up-to-date content that remains visible for 24 hours. They are perfect for providing brief insights into the company’s day-to-day operations or highlighting events. Feed posts offer the opportunity to share high-quality images and more detailed descriptions, while reels are ideal for presenting short, dynamic videos to capture the attention of your target audience.

Interaction is the key to a successful Instagram presence. For B2B companies, this means not only posting content, but also actively communicating with the community. By commenting, liking and replying to messages, relationships are built and strengthened.

Regular Q&A sessions in the stories or live videos can answer questions directly and show that the company is accessible and transparent for its customers. This form of interaction promotes trust and loyalty among followers, which leads to greater loyalty and higher engagement rates in the long term. By strategically combining these elements, B2B companies can build an engaged community on Instagram and effectively reach their target audience.

5. How KPIs and data analytics optimize the Instagram strategy

Without a clear roadmap and regular evaluation of the results, the Instagram presence can quickly become an end in itself. It is therefore essential to keep an eye on important key figures in order to understand which content is working and where there is still potential for improvement. The central KPIs include reach, engagement rate and conversion rates. These metrics provide information on how many users are reached, how intensively they interact with the content and how many ultimately become customers.

Tools such as Instagram Insights or third-party apps offer in-depth analyses that help to monitor performance. With Instagram Insights, it is possible to analyze the demographic data of the followers, compare the performance of individual posts and see when the target group is most active. This data is essential in order to continuously adapt and optimize the content strategy.

In addition to the basic metrics, specialized tools offer additional insights. For example, heat maps can show which parts of a post or video receive the most attention. A/B testing can be used to test different content against each other and find out which performs best. Sentiment analyses help to capture the general feedback and sentiment towards the posted content. A regular review and adjustment of the strategy based on this data is crucial. For example, it is possible to determine that certain types of content, such as behind-the-scenes videos or success stories, are particularly well received and should be shared more frequently. At the same time, it is possible to identify which content is less successful and should possibly be adapted or deleted altogether.

Adapting the strategy also means reacting to current trends and changes in platform dynamics. The rapid growth of formats such as Reels shows that it is important to remain flexible and integrate new functions into your own strategy at an early stage.

Conclusion: If you know how, Instagram is a perfect medium for B2B companies

Instagram is not a B2C-only playing field. B2B companies also find a valuable channel here to present their brand, build a community and ultimately increase their sales figures. The platform opens up new opportunities to position the company as an attractive employer, particularly in the area of employer branding. With the right strategy, Instagram becomes an effective part of the digital communication mix

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