Instagram is a B2C marketer’s dream, but did you know it’s a potential goldmine for B2B as well?
It’s true – Instagram can be an extremely effective channel for B2B marketers to generate leads and brand awareness.
I’m going to show you how to do it.
B2B Marketing on Instagram? Here’s What You Need to Know
Instagram is owned by Facebook, and both of them use the same ad platform and infrastructure, so the tips in this article generally apply to both platforms.
In fact, I recommend using the automatic placements setting, which will run your ads on both Facebook and Instagram. The system will automatically determine where your ads will get the best results and engagement, and place them there.
This is a great way to easily gather data on what platform works best for your business. Once you get a clear idea of where your ads are performing best, you can focus your efforts there.
Determining Your Audience
Unlike Google Ads, Facebook/Instagram ads aren’t based around keywords. Instead, you need to configure audience settings that will determine who your ads get shown to.
There are two main ways of determining your audience. You can create a lookalike audience or a custom audience.
A lookalike audience is based on a list of contacts that you upload, or on an audience you’ve used previously. You can change the size of this audience to impact your reach by telling the algorithm how loosely you want your lookalike audience to resemble your uploaded contacts, ranging from 1% to 10%. Think of this percentage as the “wiggle room” you’re giving the algorithm.
At 1%, your lookalike audience will be restricted to people who are extremely similar to your source list. The higher you set this, the more loosely related your audience will be. My suggestion is to set it to 3% to start with, and adjust as needed.
A custom audience, on the other hand, is an audience generated based on parameters you configure. You can create interest-based and behavior-based audiences, and can drill down into great detail about who should see your ads.
This means that you can configure audiences according to your buyer personas, for example. Another idea is to create audiences of people who have engaged with similar brands or products to your offering.
There are a range of ad types you can use, and it can be challenging to decide which ones to try out.
You’ll definitely want a variety of them. I suggest having at least one of each of these types: video, image, and carousel. Ideally, run A/B variations on all of them as well – not only does the algorithm seem to like that, it will also give you valuable insight into what works best on your audience.
What content will work best is very dependent on your industry and audience. This is where experimentation really comes into play – try all kinds of different strategies for your content, iterate on what works and cut what doesn’t.
Don’t be afraid to try something that seems counterintuitive. For example, since we’re talking about social media, you’d expect people to have a short attention span – so short content copy should work better, right?
I’ve seen some great results with longer copy. The people who take a second to expand your post and actually read it are, generally, more interested – and therefore more likely to click and convert.
Experiment with emojis, bullet points, and different angles with your copy.
Try different creative styles too – you never know if a particular audience will respond better to a cartoonish vector graphic than to a stock photo, or vice versa.
Getting great results is all about experimentation and iteration.
Diagnosing and Treating Issues
Nothing lasts forever. It’s inevitable that even your best-performing audiences and ads will slow down, but don’t worry – you can do something about it.
The ads manager now has an audience inspection function. It gives you a graph-based snapshot of your audience’s performance. This includes first-time ad impressions – if you see this starting to dip, it’s an indicator that your ads have largely been served to everyone in your configured audience.
This means that people are seeing your ad repeatedly, which causes audience burnout. There’s an easy fix for this.
If you’re using a lookalike audience, try loosening up your lookalike similarity a little. This will cause your audience to expand past your current limitations, meaning your ads will start being served to more people.
If you’re using a custom audience, change something about your configuration. You don’t need to go wild with this – just changing a few things might be enough.
For example, if you had an audience that was configured in detail right down to age range, changing that age range means your ads will start being served to an entirely different set of people that still meet all the other criteria you already set up.
Make Sure You’re Keeping Track
If your campaign’s goal is to generate leads, you’ll want to make sure you’re set to optimize for conversions. If your campaign is intended to create brand or product awareness, optimize for page views instead.
Don’t Neglect Your Landing Page
Once you’ve got all your ad creative and copy and audiences ready to go, you should make sure your landing pages are on point as well. If you’re trying to collect leads, it has to be convincing.
A nice powerful headline, clear value propositions, and a strong call to action are all crucial. You need to convince the user that they should fill out your form and hand over their information, and that what they’re getting for doing so is worthwhile.
Take some time and create a landing page that uses the same messaging as your ad, and ideally uses the same or similar graphics as well. You want the transition from Instagram (or Facebook) to the landing page to feel natural and frictionless.
It’s Not Just a B2C Platform
When done correctly, B2B marketing on Instagram is not only possible, it’s powerful. Don’t be fooled by how B2C-centric it seems – your target audience is human too, and most humans these days can be found on social media.