Instagram is big brands’ all-time favourite social networking tool. In this piece, we have benchmarked four marketing B2B and B2C strategies on Facebook’s social photography platform. For the sake of clarity and fairness, we have matched each Instagram strategy we have studied with its objectives. This brief and deliberately non-exhaustive study allowed us to confirm that B2B social marketing can be just as exciting as B2C on Instagram. As with YouTube with our VMware example, dealing with an in-depth topic is far from being a deterrent; on the contrary, it can be turned into a competitive advantage.
Instagram: 4 brand strategies in B2B and B2C under the microscope
Social networks, as we predicted a long time ago, have become a must for all businesses. And even if we witness much-heralded one-off efforts to suppress one’s Instagram account, or to put it on hold instead, blaming hate speech, the vast majority of brands remain loyal to the social web platform.
Disclosure: This article was produced in partnership with InterPromoUG, the company behind the 4K Stogram software utility. 4K Stogram makes it possible to download stories, hashtags, images, and videos from an Instagram account (including one’s own account) and make a local backup. We used this piece of software to enhance this post with original stories from the social media profiles we benchmarked. Please read the notice at the end of the article.
For the past decade, big brands have gotten used to communicating on social media. For better or worse.
In this post, we investigated the use of Instagram by a few large businesses.
This social platform was founded by Kevin Systrom and later acquired by Facebook. With its billion monthly active users, 500 million each day, it now attracts major brands, be they B2C or B2B. However, Instagram strategies vary considerably from one brand to another.
Instagram, young, alive and kicking
We can assume that, since it has only been around for 10 years, Instagram is still relatively new to large brands. There is, therefore, no silver bullet strategy to achieve success with this social platform.
To create this post, we used the 4K Stogram software from our sponsor InterPromoUG.
We will not cast too critical an eye on these accounts since each has a different objective. A brand might have generated low engagement on Instagram and yet, be successful with its aims (e.g., engage with a Market definition in B2B and B2C - The very notion of "market" is at the heart of any marketing approach. A market can be defined... niche, facilitate a brand ambassador program, nurture its community, etc.) Nevertheless, here are four examples of Instagram accounts from large international businesses.
The Tanke tool was used to produce our engagement rate numbers, and they are published for information purposes only. It should be noted that, as a rule, the greater the number of followers, the lower the commitment rate (whatever the community).
2 sample Instagram B2B brand strategies
3DS: nurturing its community
First post: 10 April 2018
Content-type: UGC (User Generated Content), video documentaries
Engagement rate: 5.04%.
How 3DS made it possible to build makeshift hospitals in China in just a few weeks (3DS story downloaded with 4K Stogram)
Analysis: 3DS is a software vendor that sells cutting-edge software whose complexity requires know-how that is not within everyone’s reach. Its communication on Instagram nevertheless succeeds in sharing the creativity and talent of its community. On this account, we found a great video showing the simulation of air circulation around the undercarriage of a flying aeroplane. The video was made by Nasa and Boeing.
Capgemini: Their coworkers in the spotlight
First post: 6 May 2015
Content-type: internal communications
Engagement rate: 1.25%
IT services companies, and especially those selling strategy consulting services, often have a hard time linking their services to the kind of content on a platform like Instagram. This is why Capgemini did the right thing. They focused on the human factor instead, constantly putting their employees (the real strength of a services company) in the spotlight.
Here, there is an internal communication bias, but one which is natural since the strength of a consulting business is its workforce. Seeing happy employees and close-knit teams is a strong argument in the eyes of a potential candidate or even a prospective customer as long as authenticity is part of the equation.
Let’s now move on to B2C with two other examples
Renault: An additional channel for showcasing one’s cars
First post: 6 February 2013
Engagement rate: 1.27%
Analysis: Renault seems to have chosen to consider Instagram as a channel for product promotion on the Internet. It is nevertheless worthy of note that Renault already enjoys strong visibility with its Formula 1 presence. The Instagram RenaulF1Team account is indeed on another planet with its 1.5 million followers! We can only assume that Renault has chosen to focus its community work around the Formula 1 account to further direct its audience towards its product-oriented Instagram profile.
Axa: football, sponsorship and brand image
First post: 8 February 2019
Content-type: sponsorship, quotations
Engagement rate: 2.25%
Creating emotion around the subject of insurance and banking is not easy. This is why Axa has chosen to place itself directly at the heart of what most people around the world are passionate about: football. And to do this, Axa has aimed directly for the top of the range: Liverpool, 2019 Champions League winner, and current English champion. Worthy of note: cha
nging subjects is pretty common in B2C, where it is difficult to talk about one’s favourite product topics without sounding dreadfully promotional. In B2B, it’s a very different kettle of fish as most B2B subjects are, in themselves, enough to attract small — or even large — passionate communities. As we have often explained, B2B lends itself very well to social media, despite what most people think.
With its sponsorship initiative, Axa finds an easy way to engage with its customers and prospects. Probably an expensive way (we couldn’t find the exact number but the previous contract was around 17 million euros) but an effective one to avoid bland corporate content. One which is not conducive to passion, except for iconic brands maybe.
These four brands have chosen very different strategies for the same communication channel. Based on the industry, activity, positioning, and history of each of these brands. Moreover, it must be pointed out that the more they practice, the more they evolve their editorial angle, through trial and error.
This benchmark also proved once again that B2B marketing could be just as exciting as B2C marketing. B2B content can be just as compelling, and the engagement rates in these examples are at least as satisfactory (or even better) in B2B than B2C. However, engagement rates are linked to the size of the communities. And it is worthy of note that the larger the community, the lower the engagement rate, as a rule. At the end of the day, on Instagram and social media, things are not always easier for B2C businesses.
4K Stogram practical and ethical guidelines for the use of 4K Stogram
InterpromoUG has designed a mini video instruction manual for the 4K Stogram software utility, which we recommend.
4K Stogram is a piece of software that allows you to download Instagram photos and videos with their captions in one or several sessions. All types of Instagram content is thus available via the software. Simply enter the Instagram user name, hashtag, or location in the entry box and click the download button.
We also wish to stress the importance of ethics in the use of 4K Stogram. In particular, users are requested to respect the Copyright of the content they are using, stick to the personal use of the videos or images they have downloaded, and always attribute these contents to their authors, clearly citing their sources. It is advised to use this software for personal purposes and to avoid circulating information that does not belong to you. With these rules in mind, you will be able to take full advantage of this very convenient piece of software, especially for lecturers.