Overcoming the Challenges of Instagram for B2B Companies

Brian Powers
Brian Powers

Instagram's visual-centric nature, so traditionally associated with beautiful people, gorgeous settings, and a human feel that appeals to consumers, has been the playground of B2C companies since its unveiling.

The nature of IG often poses a unique set of challenges for B2B organizations, particularly those accustomed to traditional business communication methods, such as newsletters, press releases, and white papers, or more business-centric platforms such as LinkedIn.

While Instagram remains a platform celebrated for its aesthetic approach to social media, the real key to using Instagram for B2B marketing lies in strategic storytelling and value-driven content.

Let's explore how business-centric organizations can leverage Instagram effectively, better reach their audiences, and leave their mark on this challenging platform.

How to use Instagram for B2B marketing

B2B companies often grapple with the notion that Instagram is too "consumer-focused" and struggle to find a visual representation of their services or solutions that meets the high, exacting standards that IG users have expected.

The key to this problem is shifting the perspective from product-centric to story-centric.

There are two main ways to do this:

Craft a compelling narrative

Storytelling is not always easy to wrap your head around in a business context. It generally does not entail sitting down to tell a story in the traditional sense. Instead, it's about communicating value or purpose in a connective way.

To do this on Instagram, focus on the impact your product or service creates rather than just the product itself.

If you're a marketing manager yourself, how would you want to be approached by other businesses? If you're anything like me, you receive dozens of emails pushing services like SEO, social video, and countless others every week. Most of them go straight into the trash because they do not connect instantly. Why would they when they're all the same?

Instagram isn't all that different, and this initial connection makes all the difference between grabbing yourself a follow or a clicked link or, sadly watching your user scroll on without a second thought.

So you need to connect. Build visuals that are exciting, even if your industry might not be. Find a way to harness humor, and think of ways to connect with followers who are in a rush.

Some story ideas can include innovation, customer success, and how your solutions solve real-world problems. 

Video can be a great way to tell your stories, and it doesn't have to be super expensive. Take a look at our guide to creating great short-form videos!

banner CTA for short-form video guide

Humanizing the Brand

People connect with people, not faceless corporations. Showcase your team, your culture, and the human element behind your brand. This approach builds trust and reliability. 

This is where you can break out your corporate influencers and demonstrate to the world that your product has a human side. Facelift's Social Share tool (now with unlimited users!) allows employees throughout the company to share curated content quickly and easily on their own social media pages with just a few taps. 

Furthermore, employer branding can be incredibly effective on platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn. We've got our own story to tell about how one of our B2B clients, HDI, found success on social thanks to a strong employer branding strategy, and you should go read it!

We've written a complete guide to employer branding on social media, which you can check out for free right here, no download required:

Banner CTA to click here for our guide to employer branding

Instagram strategy for B2B companies

Leverage educational content

One of the cornerstones of B2B marketing is establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. You want to be known not only as having the best product or service but also the knowledge and skills to properly explain these products, apply them, and understand your own industry.

You may already be doing this with other forms of content, such as your blog or other publications and videos you release, but you can demonstrate all of this on social media, too! 

Create informative content like mini-tutorials, industry insights, and thought leadership pieces that demonstrate that your team knows what it's talking about. This positions your brand as a knowledge leader and provides value to your audience.

Not to mention, content reuse across platforms is a part of any healthy content strategy.

Embrace user-generated content on Instagram

Encourage your clients to share their experiences with your product or service. Reposting their content adds authenticity and demonstrates the real-life application of your solutions. 

And UGC doesn't have to be a complex process with exhaustive campaigns and a lot of overhead. 

Did you really think we'd leave you out in the cold without any direction? If you want to improve your UGC, find out how to get more and capitalize on your followers, we've got guide to UGC on social media right here.

Too busy to read? We've also got a free webinar that we did with squarelovin that you can watch or listen to right now.

Screenshot of user generated content webinar showing that consumers trust UGC more than brands

Utilize Instagram's diverse features:

Instagram is famous for rolling out lots of new features all the time, whether they were asked for or not. This is particularly clear in the abundance of video formats that they have released over the last several years. These have included:

  • Stories: Great for sharing short-form, ephemeral content, updates, FAQs, and more! 
  • Reels: Ideal for creating engaging, educational, or behind-the-scenes content. These are longer videos and comprise a large portion of Instagram today.
  • IGTV: Perfect for in-depth discussions, interviews, or detailed product explanations. This was deprecated in 2021 in favor of Reels, which appear in-feed rather than on a separate tab.
  • Instagram Live: As the name implies, Instagram Live lets you go, well, live on Instagram, which is great for engagement and showcasing your brand in real-time. 

These features come with their own analytics for performance updates, are great for generating engagement, and appear more frequently in feeds and in searches than they ever have in the past. 

Collaborative partnerships on Instagram for B2B marketing:

While influencers in B2B sectors aren't as common as those in fashion, travel, or other consumer industries, that doesn't mean you're out of options, and a solid influencer presence in your Instagram strategy can be invaluable.

Partner with complementary businesses or influencers in your industry. This can expand your reach and lend credibility to your brand via social proof. 

And partnering with influencers isn't your only option, either. You can also work directly with complementary brands operating in your industry but not competitors.

For B2B companies on Instagram, it's important to focus on synergies where both parties can benefit from each other's audience and expertise.

For example, an energy company can do a collaboration with an environmental group or agency. Content that addresses social and global issues, such as the climate crisis, is often extremely popular on social media, and can be made highly visual in nature.

How Facelift helps with Instagram for B2B marketing

Incorporating Instagram into your B2B marketing strategy can be seamless with Facelift's many features. Our platform is designed to address the unique challenges faced by B2B companies on Instagram at scale. 

If your organization manages multiple accounts, has high regulatory requirements, or operates across teams with different locations, including internationally, that's where we shine.

Facelift features for B2B Instagram success: 

  • Advanced scheduling: Plan and schedule your content to maintain a consistent and strategic presence on Instagram.
  • In-depth analytics: Track engagement and performance metrics to refine your strategy.
  • Interactive engagement tools: Streamline interactions and maintain a responsive presence with Facelift's all-in-one Care solution that unifies your inbox and allows for community management role assignments.
  • Social Share: Our unique add-on Social Share, which is free with all Facelift plans for the first time, and with unlimited users, allows you to activate your own employees to become brand ambassadors. Learn more here.

Conclusion 

Instagram offers a fertile ground for B2B companies to grow their brand presence, connect with decision-makers, and tell their stories in a compelling way. The key is to adapt and embrace the platform's strengths - visual storytelling, engagement, and community building.

With Facelift, navigating Instagram's landscape becomes intuitive, allowing B2B and B2C companies alike to unlock their full potential on this dynamic platform. 

Give Facelift a chance with our two-week free trial. No credit card is required! If your organization is large and has complex social media needs, schedule a demo with our experts and we'll walk you through the process of getting started with your next social media management tool.

Schedule a free Facelift demo with our experts

Brian Powers
Brian Powers

More about the author

A New Yorker in Hamburg, Brian is facelift's content marketing manager. With over a decade of experience in content and social, he is responsible for creating much of facelift's English digital content, in particular the facelift blog, guides and downloads, as well as the writer and co-director of facelift's YouTube series "The Socials".
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