30 second summary:
- For B2B marketers, Instagram stories might not seem like the most obvious medium for creating content, but they can be very effective.
- B2B brands can generate 20 times more engagement on Instagram than on LinkedIn.
- Sumeet Anand, digital marketing strategist, uses examples from Salesforce, Oracle, Hubspot, Slack, and others to explain how B2B marketers can use Instagram Stories to generate leads.
Instagram is the hottest new social media channel for B2B marketing. In fact, one study found that B2B brands can generate 20x more engagement on Instagram versus LinkedIn. Sounds great, doesn't it? One of the best things about Instagram is that you can use it to publish stories and posts. over 500 million Instagram users see and post Instagram stories in the app every day. With this popularity, it is evident that users like this content viewing feature. What's more is that one of three The most viewed Instagram stories are from companies.
It doesn't seem like the most obvious medium for content creation for B2B marketers, but it can be very effective. For the uninitiated, Instagram stories disappear within 24 hours. Think of this as a dashboard where you can add GIFs, photos, and videos that add brand and business value.
While your content won't stay on the platform for long, it will appear prominently at the top of users' feed, increasing the chances of viewing and engaging with your brand.
Instagram stories are very versatile. You can use them to promote your latest products or just share an inspirational offer. That's one of the biggest "why?" Instagram Stories can be a great tool for marketing. If you're not using them to promote your brand, now is the time to get started.
How to Use Instagram Stories to Generate More B2B Leads
This section explains different ways in which you can use Instagram Stories B2B lead generation.
To give you a better understanding of the practical application, we have also included practical examples from B2B companies.
1. Publish shared content
The first part of the B2B marketing funnel is all about creating brand awareness. You are not directly trying to sell your services or products to a cold lead. The first step in getting them interested is to start a conversation about your niche or industry.
This is where Instagram stories come into play. You can post shared content that educates or is interesting to your audience. If you have your own blog, you can also promote your latest posts on your Instagram stories.
Salesforce uses this strategy to promote their posts and attract potential leads. As you can see in the screenshot below, Instagram users can swipe to be redirected to their blog.
It's about getting more website traffic.
But what about lead generation?
There is a prominent CTA at the bottom of the blog post on the website. So Salesforce uses Instagram Stories to Get more leads indirectly. It's a quick entry into the sales funnel.
The actual process of lead generation and conversion takes place on the website.
In other words, Instagram Stories is a great opportunity for you to increase your traffic and get more leads.
Dont miss it.
In addition to blog posts, you can share other resources like case studies, podcast episodes, and webinars through Instagram Stories. Since stories only stay in your profile for 24 hours, they are ideal for such short-term promotional activities.
The best part?
Instagram offers different stickers that you can use to make advertising more exciting. For example, Vancouver-based software company Unbounce used the countdown sticker to generate excitement for their new report.
To keep users interested, they also offer a sneak peek into the results of the next series of stories.
Here is a screenshot:
You can use a specialized one Instagram story maker Template tool to create beautiful designs without investing too much time or effort.
2. Have an AMA (Ask-Me-Anything) session
B2B buyers value brands that are transparent to them.
When you're ready to share knowledge and provide guidance, you can expect them to tune in. To build an authentic relationship with your potential customers, you can host an AMA (Ask-Me-Anything) session.
It can help you Build brand awareness and increase your lead generation efforts. In addition, it can establish your brand as an industry leader.
To get the maximum leads, you can invite an influencer or an expert. If they host an AMA on your Instagram stories, you can also attract their followers. This way you can increase your reach and get more leads.
You don't have a budget for it? There is still a way around it. Get inspiration from HubSpot's Instagram Stories.
They held AMA sessions with their staff, including social media video editor, blogging manager, email and growth manager, and others. Each of them shared what they were doing and gave tips to others.
This is also a great strategy for getting more engagement.
And anyone who understands the B2B marketing funnel knows that it paves the way for conversion.
3. Showcase your latest products
When you launch a new product or add new features to your product, announce it through an Instagram story. This can help you generate a buzz and let your audience know about the offer.
In addition, you can actually demonstrate what users can do with the new product or feature. Such content can be both educational and entertaining.
Buffer, a social media management tool, used this strategy to promote its new Remix app. Here is a screenshot from her Instagram profile:
As you can see, they casually introduced the app. In a series of stories that follow, they have used pictures and videos to explain how users work with it.
They show how users can seamlessly share content published on one social media platform with another using the app. Through such exciting stories, they provide a brief step-by-step guide on how to use the app.
Wondering how good it is to drive leads?
After all, they don't drive website traffic. For that matter, they don't even have one powerful call to action on these Instagram Stories. There is also no special offer included.
How is this strategy relevant for B2B lead generation?
As it turns out, providing information about your products and services is a top-of-the-marketing funnel. When people know more about your services and products, they will likely visit your website. This, in turn, can lead them to sign up and eventually make a purchase.
The point is it can help you Maintain lead. In short, it's a small step in the right direction.
4. Take quizzes
Another cool way to engage your audience is by hosting quizzes and polls on Instagram Stories. Find out what your audience is looking for with the Quiz and Poll sticker in Stories.
For those who are in the brand awareness phase of the marketing funnel, this can be a great way to take them to the next phase.
It can get them interested in you.
Because of this, it's a good idea to ask questions that are largely related to your niche or target audience.
For example, Oracle, a US-based computer technology company, offers cloud applications. They also have specific products related to Java. To raise awareness of them, they created the following quiz:
As you can see, they try to define the scope of their target audience in a very organic way. Since this is a question, some involvement from the reader is required. This in turn makes it more engaging.
You can also use the question sticker on Instagram Stories to ask for feedback. Video marketing software company Wistia asked its followers what would make it easy for them to create videos.
They even got multiple responses from their audience that they presented in their stories.
Here is a screenshot:
All in all, it shows how willing they are to have an open ear. At the same time, they get involved and can also attract more leads.
5. Present customer feedback
One of the biggest concerns for B2B buyers is whether their purchase is worth the money they are investing.
This is a legitimate concern.
Since they are investing a lot of money, it is understandable that they want to be sure of that. As a B2B marketer, it's your job to gain their trust and demonstrate the value you can offer them.
Where do Instagram stories come from?
It's simple: they provide a great platform for you to provide social evidence to your audience. You can present testimonials on Instagram Stories.
Positive reviews or affirmative words from previous customers can go a long way in generating more leads and conversions.
GetResponse email marketing software program presented testimonials on their stories. To ensure that it stays in your profile, you have saved it as a "highlight".
Here is a screenshot of such a testimonial:
In the long run, this strategy can help you build your credibility and attract more customers. Best of all, you don't have to put in a lot of effort to share testimonials about stories.
In the above example from getResponse you used text. But you can also experiment and exchange audio and video testimonials.
Don't be afraid to experiment.
The business communication platform Slack goes one step further. In the highlight “Slack Stories” in their profile, they share testimonials and links to case studies to show how their platform affects companies.
6. Show your support for a social cause
Marketing doesn't just have to be about showcasing your products. It's also about showcasing your brand values. Don't be afraid to take a stand on a social issue that aligns with what your brand and audience believe in. During the 2020 holiday season, Mastercard announced that 75% of consumers would prefer to shop from companies that share their personal values.
This has two advantages. It shows that your brand has a human side, personality, and cares about social issues.
Sprout Social, a social media management solution, published a series of Instagram stories on its platform supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
They even shared resources for anyone who wanted to ask for help.
Bonus Tip: Track Insights on Your Instagram Stories
For lead generation, it is recommended that you experiment with different types of Instagram stories. Quizzes, AMA sessions, surveys, and more – try them all! To find out what is resonating with your audience, you should regularly review the insights for your Instagram stories.
To see the stats for a story that is live on your Instagram profile, do the following:
- Go to the published story
- Swipe up to see your Instagram story
- Tap the icon that looks like a chart.
Instagram also lets you view insights into your previously published stories.
To do this, you can follow the steps below:
- Go to your Instagram profile
- Click the menu icon in the top right corner
- Tap the Insights menu icon
Reviewing the insights for Instagram Stories can help you see what kind of content is working well on your profile. Based on this, you can create more Instagram stories and refine your marketing efforts.
Instagram Stories offer B2B marketers many opportunities to increase brand awareness and generate leads. Not all of the above strategies might help you get leads directly, but they can help you move potential leads down the funnel.
For the best results, you should use a mix of these strategies. Also, remember that social media marketing requires patience. So don't expect instant results! This is one of the B2B trends to watch out for.
Do you have any questions about generating B2B leads using Instagram Stories? Please don't hesitate to ask questions in the comments.
Sumeet Anand is a digital marketing expert who specializes in SEO, social media marketing and content marketing. You can find him on Twitter @ Sumeetanand143 or connect with him LinkedIn.