There are a billion monthly active users on Instagram — which is why creating impactful Instagram content needs to be a priority for B2B brands.
Here are five methods brands can employ to create amazing content that will boost engagement, follower numbers, conversions and your client portfolio.
Build Your Instagram Community
Brands need to acknowledge one important aspect of Instagram marketing: it isn’t a one-way conversation.
Posting content about your brand and products should not be your focus. You need to create content that gives your audience some value.
This is the best way to engage your audience — and by engagement, we mean getting more than just vanity metrics such as ‘likes’.
Your content needs to encourage users to comment on your posts, so that you can then engage with them, thus building a community.
You can also take proactive steps to boost engagement: commenting on the posts of users, influencers and even competitors is a great way to reach more people.
The more you comment and encourage commenting, the better your chances of creating high quality posts like user-generated content, which has become popular on Instagram.
You can also repost Instagram content from other users and businesses — with their permission — so that your account looks more diversified.
Tag people when you mention them or use their content, so they feel closer to your brand. Your word-of-mouth marketing will also improve this way.
Optimize Your Best Content
Look at the content that is doing well on your channel. You will rarely find sales-focused posts performing better than informative, educational and entertaining posts.
You would also do well to conduct some competitor analysis. What are your biggest competitors doing on their Instagram accounts and which of their posts are doing well?
Once you have that information, you are well-positioned to keep making the best kind of content for your Instagram account.
With an image-heavy platform like Instagram, high quality photos are always going to be a best-seller. The better your imagery, the more engagement you will see.
But mixing things up also helps. Alongside photographs, post templated content like graphics or charts that have some educational value.
Illustrations are another great addition to your Instagram profile. They’re fun, unique and diversify your account.
Videos and live content are another way to engage audiences, just remember to add captions to your video content so it is more inclusive.
Host Instagram Contests
The best way to create amazing content is by engaging more users. And one of the methods that has worked for brands is hosting an Instagram giveaway or contest.
The contest can be something simple, an image with a call-to-action asking people to comment on the post, tag co-workers and follow the channel.
It can be something more elaborate, encouraging followers to use a dedicated hashtag to post content that is then entered into a draw for a prize.
And the prizes needn’t break the budget either: discount codes, swag or even the opportunity to be featured on your channel is enough.
Trends and Hashtags
If you want to create killer Instagram content, you need to know what people are interested in on the platform.
Researching relevant hashtags will help you find posts that you can comment on for community building (as mentioned in point one) and to tap into the larger conversation around your industry.
One of the ways to find that out is by following the hashtags that competitors, influencers and users employ in their posts.
You can manually search for relevant hashtags. When you type in a hashtag on Instagram, several suggestions appear, along with the number of posts associated with it. There are also hashtag tools that will list popular hashtags related to your niche.
Hashtags are a great way to understand the prevalent trends on Instagram — trends that you can exploit to create content that will become popular on the platform.
However, when searching for trends, it is best to avoid anything that could be short lived, unless you can create excellent content within a short span of time to exploit the trend. Instead, create content for long-standing trending hashtags like #ThrowbackThursday #MondayMotivations or worldwide celebrated events like the holiday season.
Instagram Influencer Marketing
B2B hasn’t put as much effort into influencer marketing as B2C businesses, but this is an area that can have a long-lasting impact on your bottom line.
Influencers are a massive part of Instagram, and whether you are a small or large business, you should be looking to tap into influencers in your niche if you want to attract more clients.
The reason for the popularity of influencers is because they create excellent content on a regular basis. A partnership with an influencer could guarantee high quality posts for your account, which equates to a boost in engagement and eventually broadening your customer base.
The important thing to remember is that you don’t need to partner with mega-influencers who have over a million followers. They are often highly sought-after and expensive.
Smaller influencers, with less than hundred-thousand, or even ten thousand, can offer amazing visual content while fostering stronger and more intimate engagement with followers.
When looking for B2B influencers, focus your efforts on people who have more educational content. In the B2B environment, learning from others is always a priority.
And it goes beyond the content you can achieve; collaborating with the right influencer will boost your brand name in your niche.
Creating effective Instagram content isn’t only about the kind of visuals you post. It’s about the process you use to define the content you need to create.
This requires you to invest time and energy into building a community on the platform for users who need to see your content and who will engage with it and your brand regularly.
Learn what content is doing well for you and for others in your niche. This will help you decide which kinds to create more often.
Instagram contests and giveaways needn’t be the most elaborate kind of content you create but can still improve engagement and increase your follower numbers.
Follow hashtags and trends to find out what kind of content you should be posting.
And finally, tap influencers who can create amazing content for you and bring you a host of new followers.
These five methods require strategy and planning, but they will help you build a stunning Instagram account.
Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at Venngage, a free infographic maker and design platform. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, sharing productivity tips, examining pop culture, and championing the need for representation.