Two things have become universal truths in modern advertising and marketing:
- People infinitely prefer images and videos over written media.
- Nearly everyone owns a smartphone and uses social media.
So, is it any wonder that Instagram as a platform is popular, active, and useful to businesses? With its business account feature, it is even optimized for the task.
Many successful brands are thus leveraging it for sales, leads, and building brand awareness. A picture is worth a thousand words, and those words could all be singing your praise. You have to go where your customers are, and millions of them are on Instagram.
You may have the perception that B2B businesses cannot benefit from this. When you think of who succeeds with Instagram, you probably visualize lifestyle brands, fashion companies, and media and streaming sites. You might also picture a demographic of teenagers, which isn’t useful for B2B.
But that’s not the case. Instagram has users of all age groups, including entrepreneurs and the people who work for other companies. If you’re a manufacturer needing a seller, for instance, an ideal retail branch manager will also be on the platform.
So, then, how do you reach those people?
There are several ways to make your business seem appealing. These are six broad avenues to explore: Posts, Reels, Stories, Advertisements, Direct Messaging, and the Comments.
Let’s start with the easiest: Commenting. How do people find you on Instagram? Hashtags? Sure, those are good. Others sharing (re-posting) your posts? Excellent, but how do you get them to look in the first place?
Well, though you must avoid seeming like spam, simply commenting on posts connected to your industry, and doing so with thoughtful and relevant comments, can lead people to look at you. That’s an easy step one.
Now that they are looking, we have Posts. These are a portfolio of sorts for you. This is where you can put enticing images of your product or service. You can share pictures of your location, and your staff – you’ll typically want these to be more professional, cleaner, and aligned directly with your overall brand.
The Reels and Stories though, those can be rawer. More personal and humanizing. A Reel is a short, very short video, and you can use it to get across more personal moments of your company’s culture. Instagram Stories are similar. They can be videos or photos and are very ephemeral. They delete themselves after 24 hours. You can use this as a great opportunity for content that is timely and not evergreen.
And then we come to Advertisements. Instagram is tied to Facebook, so it has a powerful advertising backbone. This costs money, but if you’ve found the right niche of other companies on Instagram, then budget something to target them. It won’t take much to see results in very short order.
Once you have gotten them interested, there are Direct Messages. If people are direct messaging your business page on Instagram, then they are truly engaged. This is great news! Talk to them as you would any other prospect in person.
That’s Instagram in a nutshell. There’s much to learn about the application, but the best advice is to get out and start using it to grow your footprint.
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