Take a cue from these five Instagram accounts and increase your B2B brand’s following
Instagram is a massive player in social media with over 600 million users, a number that is growing more rapidly.
But many B2B brands have come unstuck trying to figure out how to balance the inherently playful nature of the platform with informative, engaging content for businesses.
Instagram isn’t a natural fit for businesses – it doesn’t actively drive traffic to a website, nor does it support links. But to ignore it is to miss out on a relatively untapped well of potential new customers.
There are various ways your business can improve its Insta-output, and here are five thought provoking examples from B2B and B2C brands.
Personality – Grey Advertising
Advertising companies are in a clear position of strength when it comes to producing content for Instagram, thanks to their natural emphasis on creativity and the generally tech-savvy nature of their workforce.
True to form, Grey Advertising in London makes the most of its account by handing over the reins to an employee for a week at a time. They can then post the things that inspire them and what they’re up to.
A recent employee takeover saw digital producer Conrado Villazor post content such as a photo from his school days and a short video of how to make a great Irish coffee.
As a final flourish, each photo or video is in greyscale.
Grey Advertising has recognised that Instagram is a place for personality to shine through, and that making use of its workforce is the obvious way to make that happen.
Companies are never more engaging than when they don’t appear to be companies, but rather a collection of people. Which is where B2B brands can improve their content production.
Playfulness – MailChimp
Email marketing platform MailChimp is generally seen as having one of the best B2B Instagram accounts for portraying the business as an exciting, convivial place to work.
The mainstay of its output comes from company logo/mascot, Freddie. Multiple models of Freddie are seen on top on Christmas trees, on hats worn by pets and everywhere in between.
Like Grey Advertising, the brand has also recognised the power of a human face and introduces staff members using the hashtag #MeetMailChimp.
MailChimp has positioned itself as a leading light of start-up culture from its base in Atlanta. It knows its audience and reflects a lightness of touch with bright colours, self-aware merchandise and prominent adverts in front of on-trend media. (MailChimp bought the prime ad in front of podcast phenomenon Serial, creating the madly infectious “Mail…Kimp?” campaign.)
A corporate look is hard to pull off, because that’s not what Instagram is for. MailChimp’s technicolour landscape may not be suitable for your business, but keeping in mind the playfulness that can be portrayed can only help boost engagement.
Consistency – General Electric
Another regular in ‘top social strategy’ lists is the US conglomerate General Electric. As well as being a leading light in the world of corporate podcasts, its Instagram feed pushes out a steady stream of excellent photographs showing life at their factories and warehouses, energy turbines or pieces of equipment.
What GE has understood about Instagram is the power of the behind-the-scenes shot.
GE posts consistently and to a very high quality. People heading to the page can rely on being let backstage and seeing something that they normally wouldn’t – ideal fodder for Instagram.
If you’re creating an Instagram account for your brand, you have to commit to a regular flow of content and become a reliable destination for consumers while they’re browsing on their phones.
Curation – GoToMeeting
Although a constant flow of content is the best way to create a sense of loyalty and engagement with your brand, choosing wisely what you post can be equally important.
It may be a lack of resources, or it may be a set strategy, but there is no harm in posting a relatively small amount of content – as long as that content is of a particularly high standard.
GoToMeeting allows its users to schedule and join meetings, webinars and classes. The number of posts is so far limited, but effective.
There is a range of striking staff headshots along with an informal bio of what they do, as well as short videos with tips for companies on how to pitch to venture capitalists.
What does Javier Rojas, managing director at Kennet Partners, want you to keep in mind before going into your next pitch? It's all about how you get from point A to point B—your audience needs a starting point, otherwise they'll get lost on the journey. #FutureofWork #C100VentureNorth #VentureNorth #KennetPartners #VCPitchTip #CdnTech #entrepreneur #pitching #business #tech #funding #presenting #finance
Even in something as simple as a series of 15-second explainer videos, strong editorial judgement is required to oversee the project, as well as slick video editing skills. A consistent tone of voice from your business adds to the relationship built between company and audience.
Creativity – GoPro
On a platform where B2B has clear lessons to learn from B2C (particularly retail), creativity is an obvious area where B2B brands need to step up to the plate.
Take the example of GoPro: one look at its Instagram feed is to be blown away by the creativity of the photos and videos. For B2B content marketers, this should act as a call to arms.
Instagram is a place for new angles, new viewpoints and a focus on behind the scenes. Compelling photos portraying a global outlook, backed by a range of contributors. Not every business lends itself to panoramic, kaleidoscopic imagery, but there is always a way to present what you do in a more engaging way.
Could you end your meeting with a group photo? Is the view outside your office particularly nice today? Can you engage your workforce to act as ambassadors and human faces for your Instagram feed? With some editorial nous, technical proficiency and flair for imagery, your Instagram feed can quickly build up a following – adding yet another string to your content marketing bow.