How to use Instagram for B2B content marketing
Social media is a constantly changing landscape for marketing professionals. Algorithmic updates on both Facebook and Twitter – which affect how corporates promote themselves on these platforms – show that marketers need to be aware of the wider social network opportunities available.
One of these is Instagram. Launched in 2010, this is a platform that has grown increasingly popular with brands and marketers. A big reason for this is an algorithmic change in 2016. Before this the site would show your posts in chronological order. Now the algorithm tailors your newsfeed in response to the posts users engage with; this means that the posts people like, comment on and share are more likely to be seen by a bigger audience.
At first this change was unpopular with users, but the platform now reports that people are “engaging with the community in a more active way” following the update. What this means is that Instagram offers untapped potential for brands to explore, so here are some tips to help you get started.
What to post
The difference between Instagram and other social networks is that you are not able to include links on posts, so the focus of your content is photos and videos rather than text. While it is easy to think such posts are not well suited to corporate brands, with the right strategy you can make them work for your company.
Types of content that do well on Instagram are:
- Photos – Brand-relevant pictures can help tell your story. General Electric’s content may seem dry, but its photography has created a following of over 300,000 users.
- Videos – You can upload videos that run for up to a minute in length. While this does not allow for long-form content, GIFs and short videos tend to receive a lot of engagement. WaterAid posts a variety of attractive short videos that last between a few seconds and one minute.
- Graphics – Graphics can be an eye-catching alternative that allows you to get important information across while remaining distinctive. ONE Campaign uses graphics for facts and quotes that clearly show the brand’s message.
Choose a theme
At first sight, your Instagram profile can seem a confusing place as it displays all your images at once; so it is important to think carefully about how your visuals work both individually and collectively. The crucial thing here is to have a posting strategy and plan what events or announcements you want to place on it and when.
Alongside this you might want to consider how background themes and reoccurring motifs in your posts can help to bolster your corporate identity on the platform. For example, (RED) uses pastel backgrounds that give all of its images a gentle brand identity while UNICEF mostly posts photos of people and children, which reinforces its emphasis on young people and families.
Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more user engagement on Instagram. The more that people interact with your content, the more chance your posts have of being featured on a hashtag page, which increases your potential reach.
People who follow the hashtags will then be able to see your post, giving you the chance to reach a new audience.
Stories and Live
Instagram Stories – used by more than 300 million people a day – are short videos or photo sequences that can provide insight into one topic. These live on the platform for 24 hours and, if you have a verified account with more than 10,000 followers, you can add links that can gain traffic, generate leads and increase sales.
The kinds of stories that brands can produce varies enormously. One method is to use them as a type of video. National Geographic, for example, uses them to tell a narrative that makes great use of wildlife and natural photography that is clearly aligned to the brand’s core identity.
Others use Instagram Stories to give behind-the-scenes views of an organization; NASA uses them for events but also to explain what employees do.
Meanwhile, Instagram Live is a real-time streaming service that can be particularly useful for event coverage and generating a conversation with your audience. Like the stories, these are available for 24 hours after the livestream has ended.
While instagram does not follow a similar pattern to Facebook or Twitter, the potential for promoting corporate content should not be ignored. By using all the available features, and having a carefully planned posting strategy, you will be able to reach a new audience on a platform that is rapidly growing in popularity.
If you’d like us to help you get the most out of your social media strategy, get in touch.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call our team on +44 (0) 20 7206 2687.
Enjoyed this post? Read How to curate quality social media content
Laura Nash is a Content Producer at Formative Content and specialises in digital content and writing for social media.
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