With more than 800 million active users, Instagram is rapidly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms right behind Facebook and YouTube.
Instagram is a social media platform that focuses on photo and video sharing in a creative and unique way. It is most popular with teens and young millennials but is becoming more and more popular within all age groups. In the United States, more than half of Instagram’s user base is between 18 and 29 years old. And just to give you and idea of how popular has become, Instagram now has more than 1 million monthly active advertisers.
In 2016, the company announced Instagram Stories. This is a bit like Snap Chat stories where you can share multiple photos and videos in real time, and they appear together in a slideshow format. It allows you to bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools like stickers and effects. The photos and videos disappear after 24 hours and will not appear on your profile grid or in your friends feed. Instagram’s Highlights feature lets you combine multiple Instagram stories into long-term content your audience can discover at their convenience.
Fashion and food brands have flocked to Instagram. Does that mean it is right for B2B brands? Maybe. Here are three reasons you may want to consider using Instagram.
- Visual Content is More Effective – Studies have shown that humans prefer to gain information using visual sight. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual. This is why visual marketing has taken off.
- Mobile – Instagram is designed to be mobile. It is super easy-to-use so that you can quickly share photos.
- Millennial Reach – If your target audience includes millennials, then this is the platform to reach them. Although they may have Facebook and Twitter accounts, their preferred platform is Instagram.
Is there a downside to using Instagram? Like anything, yes, of course. Not all platforms can be everything to everyone. The biggest downside is that Instagram does not allow you to create backlinks; therefore, it does not directly drive website traffic. There is a workaround by posting links in your profile but its functionality is limited.
Highlight Corporate Culture – Is your company hiring? Instagram is a great way to highlight company culture. Post pictures of company outings, community service, and of everyday culture. Does your company have pizza and beer on Friday afternoons? Do they have bowling night or a softball team? Do you have a unique workspace? Does your company have a fabulous cafeteria? When millennials look for jobs they carefully consider culture and they will turn to social media to see if they are interested in what you may offer.
- Show Participation in Industry Events – Post pictures of your trade show booth, an executive speaking at a conference, or employees attending an industry event. These visuals paint a picture of how active your company is in the broader industry.
- Showcase Physical Products – Some products are just meant for Instagram. For example, WeWork leases innovative office space and does a great job highlighting people working in cool office space. However, even the most mundane products can have visual appeal with the right lighting and setting. HP is very popular on Instagram and has done a great job showing off their printers as well as other products.
- Showcase Customers – Think about how your customers use your products. For example, OSRAM sells commercial lighting systems and they have done a great job at taking visually appealing photos of how their customers are using their products. Check it out here.
Is Instagram Right for You?
As of December 2017, twenty-five million businesses are on Instagram. Thirty-three percent are B2B businesses. Depending on you objectives, Instagram may be a great addition to your strategy.