Over the past few years, B2B companies have increasingly started to see Instagram as a potential channel to build their brand name, generate leads, and build revenue.

There are countless examples out there of how B2B companies can leverage Instagram marketing efforts to reach out to a vast and engaged audience. 

Despite the fact that you are not marketing to customers but business owners, the principles of successful Instagram marketing remain the same: providing interesting, eye-catching and valuable content.

Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash 

But that’s not what we’re focusing on in this article. We want to narrow the scope a little and answer this question: How B2B companies can use Instagram paid advertising to gain excellent results?

We’ll take a look at why it works and offer some of the best practices based on some successful examples. So without further ado, let’s get started:

Why Instagram for B2B?

Simply put, now is the perfect time!

As with almost all social networks, Instagram started up as a C2C platform. Gradually, brands began to move into this B2C opportunity – and the platform let them monetise, while claiming their own share of the spoils. The exact same had happened to Facebook before.

Once these B2C brands had established themselves, B2B brands could begin to slot into this hierarchy – using the existing brands as their target audience. 

As mentioned above, creating a solid presence on Instagram has proved to be an effective strategy. Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs conducted a study and found that 30% of the B2B companies they studied now maintain a successful presence on Instagram

Instagram has a huge and rapidly growing user base, regardless of the audience you are trying to reach. In 2012, the platform had 50 million monthly users – and in March 2018 it surpassed 1 billion. 

Graph above shows the increase in Instagram’s monthly active users from 2013-2018 (Statista).

Sure, some of the features of Instagram’s brand and ads may be more suitable for B2C. After all, you are marketing to savvy business owners – and not ‘traditional’ ecommerce consumers. 

However, fact is that 62% of people do use social media when deciding on where and who to buy from.

In short, if you create ads that people engage with, you are undeniably going to boost your sales.

What can B2B companies do to boost their sales using Instagram Ads?

We outlined a few ideas to give you a glimpse of how B2B marketers can engage and attract their audience on Instagram just as successfully as a popular B2C:

1. Tell your customer stories

As you would do in any successful marketing strategy – build your credibility through customer stories.

The example below from Canva shows how a Single Image Ad (an Instagram Dynamic Ad format) draws the viewer with relevant images and ad text, with a Call-to-Action driving sign-ups.   

2. Announce new products 

Announcing new products can be a great way of building engagement and brand recognition through Instagram. 

You can also use a partnership with another well-known brand to push their B2B target audience to ‘Learn More’ about what the new change means for them. 

Adobe InstagramAd 300x575
Example: Adobe mentions partnership with Microsoft to push their audience to read more

3. Offer valuable content and build brand leadership

Instagram Lead Ads let you acquire leads through pushing relevant, downloadable content. They come with built-in contact forms that make converting prospects to leads via Instagram as straightforward as possible. 

These two examples from Asana and Numetric provide valuable insights and appeal to B2C marketers. They can click through and download the guides.

4. Remind your customers across channels

It doesn’t matter what you’re buying, sneakers or a new lead generation tool – in the end, you still make the final purchase decision the same way.

Therefore, it’s essential to be present and constantly remind your customers of your service. The more frequently they see you, the more likely they are to choose you.

The example below shows how Salesforce is using smart retargeting to display a simple ad that drives awareness.

Salesforce InstagramAd 300x575

5. Explain complex processes

As I mentioned above, the process of Instagram marketing can be more difficult for a B2B brand selling a data feed marketing tool than for a B2C brand advertising photogenic watches, vacations or fashion apparel. 

But that’s not to say it should be avoided. As we’ve seen, there are multiple ways to get your message across in a professional but interesting way that isn’t overly complex. 

For example, the ad below from Sentient Technologies simplifies a relatively complicated AI-Powered Conversion Optimization & A/B Testing into a simple value proposition for their ad.

Sentient InstagramAd 300x575

Utilize Instagram Ads for your B2B marketing efforts

Instagram advertising can help you stay relevant in your customers’ journey towards a purchase, build your brand image, and generate leads through high quality content downloads. 

Regardless of how you choose to reach your audience through Instagram Ads, there is without doubt a huge potential for increased traffic, leads and revenue waiting to be claimed.

Ben Culpin

Ben is a content marketer for WakeupData, a company driven by its mission to help empower e-commerce businesses by optimizing their data for channels like Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping and Amazon.