- For B2B marketers, Instagram Stories may not seem the most obvious medium for content creation, but it can be a very effective one.
- B2B brands are able to generate 20x more engagement on Instagram compared to LinkedIn.
- Digital Marketing Strategist, Sumeet Anand details on six ways B2B marketers can use Instagram Stories for lead generation with examples from Salesforce, Oracle, Hubspot, Slack, and more.
Instagram is the hottest new social media channel for B2B marketing. In fact, a study found that B2B brands are able to generate 20x more engagement on Instagram compared to LinkedIn. Sounds great, right? One of the best parts about Instagram is it gives you the ability to publish Stories along with posts. Over 500 million Instagram users view and post Instagram Stories on the app every day. With such popularity, it’s evident that users like this feature to view content. What’s more, is that one in three of the most viewed Instagram Stories is from businesses.
For B2B marketers, it may not seem the most obvious medium for content creation, but it can be a very effective one. For the uninitiated, Instagram Stories disappear in 24 hours. Think of it as a dashboard where you can add GIFs, photos, and videos that add brand and business value.
While your content doesn’t stay on the platform for long, it gets displayed prominently at the top of the users’ feed amplifying the chances of viewing and engaging with your brand.
Instagram Stories are very versatile. You can use them to promote your latest products or simply share an inspirational quote. That’s one of the biggest “whys?” Instagram Stories can be a great tool for marketing. If you are not using them to promote your brand, it’s time to get started now.
How to use Instagram Stories to generate more B2B leads
In this section, let’s discuss different ways in which you can leverage Instagram Stories for B2B lead generation.
To give you a better understanding of its practical usage, we’ve also included real-life examples from B2B companies.
1. Publish share-worthy content
The first part of the B2B marketing funnel is about creating brand awareness. You don’t directly try to sell your services or products to a cold lead. The first step to get them interested is to initiate a conversation about your niche or industry.
That’s where Instagram Stories come into the picture. You can publish share-worthy content that educates your audience or is interesting. If you have your own blog, you can also promote your latest posts in your Instagram Stories.
Salesforce uses this strategy to promote their posts and engage prospective leads. As you can see in the screenshot below, Instagram users can swipe to get redirected to their blog.
There’s all about getting more website traffic.
But what about lead generation?
On the website, there is a prominent CTA at the end of the blog post. 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 happens on the website.
In other words, Instagram Stories provides a great window of opportunity for you to boost your traffic and get more leads.
Don’t miss out.
Not just blog posts, you can also share other resources like case studies, podcast episodes, and webinars via Instagram Stories. Since Stories stay on your profile for only 24 hours, they are great for such short-term promotional activities.
The best part?
Instagram provides different Stickers that you can use to make the promotion more exciting. For instance, Vancouver-based software company, Unbounce used the countdown Sticker to create buzz about their new report.
To get users interested, they also provide a sneak peek into the findings in the next series of Stories.
Here is a screenshot:
You can use a specialized Instagram Story maker tool with templates to make visually appealing designs without spending too much time or effort.
2. Conduct an Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session
B2B buyers value brands that are transparent with them.
If you are willing to share knowledge and provide them guidance, you can expect them to tune in. In an effort to build an authentic relationship with your prospects, you can host an Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session.
It can help you build brand awareness and boost your lead generation efforts. In addition to this, it can also establish your brand as a leader in your industry.
To get the maximum leads, you can invite an influencer or an expert. When they host an AMA on your Instagram Stories, you can attract their followers as well.This way, you can boost your reach and get more leads.
Don’t have the budget for it? There is still a way around it. Take inspiration from HubSpot’s Instagram Stories.
They conducted AMA sessions with their employees, including social media video editor, blogging manager, email and growth manager, and others. Each of them shared what they do and shared tips for others.
This is also a great strategy to get more engagement.
And anyone who has an understanding of the B2B marketing funnel knows that it paves the way for conversion.
3. Showcase your latest products
If you’re launching a new product or are adding new features to your product, announce it via an Instagram Story. It can help you create some buzz and inform your audience about what’s on offer.
Furthermore, you can actually demonstrate what users can do with the new product or feature. Such content can be educational as well as entertaining.
Social media management tool, Buffer used this strategy to promote their new app, Remix. Here is a screenshot from their Instagram profile:
As you can see, they have introduced the app casually. In a series of Stories that follow it, they have explained via images and videos how users it works.
They demonstrate how users can share content posted on one social media platform to another one seamlessly with the app. Through such engaging Stories, they provide a quick step-by-step tutorial on how to use the app.
Wondering how it is a great strategy to drive leads?
After all, they aren’t driving any website traffic. For that matter, they don’t even have a powerful call-to-action phrase on these Instagram Stories. There isn’t a special offer included either.
So, how is this strategy relevant for B2B lead generation?
As it turns out, providing exposure to your products and services is a top-of-the-marketing funnel. When people know more about your services and products, they are likely to check out your site. This, in turn, can get them to opt-in, and finally make a purchase.
The point being, it can help you with lead nurturing. In a nutshell, it is a baby step in the right direction.
4. Conduct quizzes
Another cool way to engage your audience and get them interested is to host quizzes and polls in Instagram Stories. Using the Quiz and Polls Sticker in Stories, you can find out what your audience is looking for.
For those who are in the brand awareness stage of the marketing funnel, it can be a great way to lead them onto the next stage.
It can get them to engage with you.
For this, it is a good idea to ask questions that are broadly related to your niche or target audience.
For example, US-based computer technology company, Oracle offers cloud applications. They also have special products related to Java. To spread awareness about them, they created the following quiz:
As you can see, they are trying to define the scope of their target audience in a very organic manner. Since it is provided in the form of a question, there is some participation required from the reader. This, in turn, makes it more engaging.
In addition to this, you can also use the “Question” sticker in Instagram Stories to ask for feedback. Video marketing software company, Wistia, asked their followers what would make it easy for them to create videos.
They even received multiple replies from their audience which they showcased on their Stories.
Here is a screenshot:
All in all, it shows how they are willing to lend a listening ear. At the same time, they get engagement and can also attract more leads.
5. Showcase customer feedback
One of the biggest concerns for B2B buyers is whether their purchase will be worth the money they are investing.
It’s a valid concern.
Since they are investing a lot of money, it’s understandable that they want to be sure about it. As a B2B marketer, it is your job to win their trust and showcase the value that you can provide them.
In all of this, where do Instagram Stories come into the picture?
It’s simple — They provide you a great platform to provide social proof to your audience. You can showcase testimonials on Instagram Stories.
Positive reviews or words of affirmation from past customers can go a long way in getting more leads and conversions.
Email marketing software program GetResponse showcased testimonials on their Stories. To make sure that it stays on their profile, they saved it as a “Highlight.”
Here is a screenshot of one such testimonial:
In the long-term, this strategy can help you build your credibility and win more customers. The best part is you don’t need to put in a lot of effort to share testimonials via Stories.
In the above example from getResponse, they have used text. But you can experiment and share audio and video testimonials as well.
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Business communication platform, Slack takes this a step further. In the Highlight, “Slack Stories” on their profile, they share testimonials as well as links to case studies to showcase how their platform is making a difference to businesses.
6. Show your support for a social cause
Marketing doesn’t have to solely be about showcasing your products. It’s also about showcasing your brand values. Don’t shy away from taking a stand on a social issue that aligns with what your brand and audience believe in. In fact, during the 2020 holiday season, Mastercard shared that 75% of consumers intend to prefer shopping from businesses that share their personal values.
There are two benefits to this. It showcases that your brand has a human side to it, has personality, and cares about social causes.
Social media management solution, Sprout Social published a series of Instagram Stories on their platform supporting the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
They even shared resources for anyone who wanted to reach out for help.
Bonus tip: Track insights from your Instagram Stories
For lead generation, it is recommended that you experiment with different types of Instagram Stories. Quizzes, AMA sessions, polls, and more — give it all a try! To find out what resonates with your audience, make it a point to regularly check insights for your Instagram Stories.
To view the stats for a Story that is live on your Instagram profile, you can follow these steps:
- Go to the published Story
- Swipe up to see insights for your Instagram Story
- Tap on the icon that looks like a chart.
Instagram also allows you to view insights for your previously published Stories.
For this, you can follow the steps mentioned below:
- Go to your Instagram profile
- Click on the menu icon given in the top right corner
- Tap on the icon for the Insights menu
Checking the insights for Instagram Stories can help you determine the kind of content that is doing well on your profile. Based on that, you can come up with more Instagram Stories and refine your marketing efforts.
Instagram Stories offer a lot of opportunities for B2B marketers to build brand awareness and generate leads. Not all of the above-mentioned strategies may help you get leads directly, but they can help you move prospective leads along the funnel.
For the best results, you should use a mix of these strategies. Also, keep in mind that social media marketing requires patience. So, do not expect immediate results! It’s one of the B2B trends to watch out for.
Do you have any questions about generating B2B leads using Instagram Stories? Please feel free to ask questions in the comments section.
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 on LinkedIn.