5 effective social selling tips for B2B companies on Instagram 

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Social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram have long been utilized by businesses, entrepreneurs, and private sellers to directly contact and connect with their target audiences in a B2C capacity, but many B2B companies seem to overlook such platforms in their own marketing efforts.

Though people tend to view Instagram as a service built around personal connections, that’s not to say that marketing doesn’t play a big part in some of the most effective content on the platform. In fact, as many as 39% of users claim to have developed an interest in specific brands as a direct result of exposure to marketing campaigns across in-platform features like Reels and Instagram Stories.

Companies engaged in B2B marketing must understand that although their products may be directed towards businesses, it’s still individuals within those organizations making vital purchasing decisions, and with an estimated 1.21 billion active users many are likely to browse Instagram in some capacity.

For B2B companies to truly benefit from Instagram’s massive active user base, marketers must take the time to understand how audiences commonly digest content on the platform. To help illustrate these ideas, this article will outline 5 effective social selling tips for B2B companies on Instagram.

1. Know your audience

Audience research is just as important to B2B marketers as it is to those directly selling to consumers, though the goal may be to position your brand as an attractive product to relevant businesses, to do this, marketing materials must appeal to the sensibilities of the individuals managing company accounts.

This means that successful B2B Instagram sales content will avoid targeting entire industries or types of businesses, and instead focus marketing resources on more specific audience profiles. For example, a business intending to sell office-related products should not be developing content aimed towards the business itself and should instead appeal to office managers in charge of ordering supplies.

In order to create an audience profile that can be used to tailor your marketing content to the right people, businesses must take the time to research the structure of the companies they wish to engage with. Efforts should be made to find out which roles are tasked with making purchasing decisions, the likely profile of employees in these positions, and the interests and needs that speak to these individuals.

Though this information can be used to develop highly targeted marketing content, for a B2B campaign an element of subtlety should always be deployed. For example, if you’ve learned that your audience commonly expresses frustration with poor-quality products that often break, choose to highlight things like building quality and rigorous product testing as key aspects of your business and your brand values.

2. Find your brand voice

Whilst many B2C Instagram marketing accounts choose to position themselves as fun and light-hearted by producing engaging and down-to-earth social media content, B2B marketers often decide to err on the side of caution by creating a brand voice tethered by the professionalism and corporate sensibilities.

This tactic makes sense if we assume that B2B companies are intending to target business entities, but as previously discussed, content aimed toward individuals is often much more effective. Research suggests that 80% of marketers find humorous content to produce higher levels of engagement, with short-form videos making up over 50% of reshared posts, B2B accounts shouldn’t ignore these stats.

Social media users tend to interact with marketing content in a very different way to traditional print media, with humanized posts generally helping to build a more meaningful relationship with potential clients, meaning B2B companies should consider injecting a little fun and personality into their posts.

In short, boring, bland, or overly cautious content can often become lost in the fast-paced medium of social media, so if your Instagram engagement appears low, try humanizing your output a little by:

  • Writing posts in the first person
  • Adding in some humor
  • Participating in popular trends
  • Creating a Face for your brand

3. Build relationships

B2B marketers wishing to become successful on Instagram must learn the nuances of the medium, unlike print advertising, social media is specifically designed to promote personal connections and meaningful communication. This idea is not limited to personal accounts and can be used to develop brand trust.

B2C companies are often structured to promote one-off purchases and multiple short-term transactions, though for B2B organizations providing long-term services and repeat contracts, dedicating some time and effort into building worthwhile relationships can help to create loyal customers and potential clients.

To do this, an effective B2B Instagram strategy will involve a high level of engagement between marketers and their target audience, this means regularly responding to messages, asking questions and answering customer feedback, contacting potential buyers, and maintaining a helpful brand voice across all media channels.

Essentially, B2B marketers should ensure that all style guides and content strategies describe a brand that actively engages with its clients and views every social media interaction as a two-way relationship, with these tenets stretching across all platforms for brands utilizing a multi-channel selling formula.

4. Aim to inform and educate

For B2B marketing content to truly engage and captivate Instagram audiences, efforts should be made to create highly shareable content. It’s a simple equation really, the more clients that feel compelled to introduce their own audiences to your content, the larger your view counts will become.

“Most B2B companies wish to position themselves as thought-leaders within their industry in order to promote a high level of trust between themselves and their clients, meaning most marketing content should be designed to inform and educate audiences in a quick, simple, and highly digestible manner,” says Ben Lack, CEO of Interrupt Media.

Choosing to create, upload and share bright, brand-coordinated, and industry-specific infographics has been shown to be one of the most effective methods of boosting Instagram engagement, with data suggesting that the posting of this content alone can increase eventual sales by as much as 80%.

In fact, almost all forms of direct, visual, and educational social media content are proven to have some degree of beneficial impact on both engagement figures and sales, with research indicating that consumers are 131% more likely to buy from a brand immediately after viewing educational material.

5. Monitor social media trends

Instagram, like any other social media service, can be an incredibly fast-moving and sometimes tricky-to-master platform. Often the zeitgeist for popular content is seen to change and evolve in direct response to world events, pop culture, or even meta-internet trends, with some brands struggling to keep up to date.

To ensure that your content remains relevant to your audience, and to retain your brand’s image as a knowledgeable entity, it’s essential that B2B marketers understand how to keep ahead of social media trends to continue producing media that feels fresh, thought-provoking, and appropriately engaging.

A good way to achieve this is to regularly monitor trending hashtags and make an effort to research links between these topics and popular search terms. Additionally, marketers should take the time to compare trending topics across multiple platforms and gather real-time data from services like Google Trends.

By adapting your content to fit current social media trends, a larger audience will be introduced to your brand, and if your marketing material is informative, easy to understand, and designed with your wider brand voice in mind, businesses can begin to form a loyal and attentive audience of potential clients.

Final word

At first glance, it can seem difficult for B2B marketers to successfully navigate a highly personal and fast-paced social media platform like Instagram, but by taking the time to develop a well-researched and directed content strategy companies can begin to use this platform to captivate their audience.

By speaking to the needs of the decision-makers in your target market, developing a brand voice that remains consistent across all media channels, and engaging with clients through educational content and meaningful conversation, B2B businesses are sure to find success in social selling on Instagram.

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