Whether you’re in paid media or you’re after organic traffic, if you haven’t been using Instagram stories to generate b2b leads with Instagram, don’t panic; it’s never too late to learn.
When Instagram stories launched in the summer of 2016, it was anyone’s guess if years later it would become an effective channel for brand storytelling. But, surprise — it has!
Today, a whopping 70% of Instagram’s one billion users now watch stories on a daily basis. There are 500 million daily active stories posters on Instagram, about half of all scrollers, and roughly 86.6% percent of people using Instagram have posted on stories at least once. In other words, stories are where most of the action happening on Instagram and social media in general.
It has grown its own culture of gifs, memes, stickers, and filters that have revolutionized how social media marketing is done. It has more eyeballs than other platforms like Snapchat and if you are looking to generate leads effectively, there’s really no better platform at establishing a personal connection.
Yes, a lot of Instagram is typical “top-of-funnel” content, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for generating b2b leads. Especially once you have an official business account.
If you’ve tried and just haven’t seen results, then we’ve got a few techniques to help increase your business leads with stories. Either way, one thing is for sure, the traditional Instagram post is no longer the best way to generate b2b leads with Instagram.
Quick Recap: What Are Instagram Stories?
Instagram stories are photos, videos including Reels, links, and text that are visible to your followers and other users and others for 24 hours unless you add them to your stories highlights, found on your profile page. Stories are accessed by clicking on a profile’s icon.
With a more spontaneous feel than the feed and more options for content creation, it first attracted trend-driven early adapters who pioneered ways for businesses to make use of the platform. Today, it is a standard feature for most Instagram users and many businesses.
Want to learn how the pros create stories? Here’s how to create an Instagram story the right way
Stats That Show Why Instagram Stories Can Generate B2B Leads
We know you’re busy, so we’ll get right to the point. Incorporating Instagram stories into your B2B marketing strategy is backed by the numbers.
- Modern B2B buyers are Millennials and 45% of them are 25–34 years olds. About 25% of millennials and gen z use Instagram stories to find the latest products and services.
- More than 30% of businesses on Instagram use stories in their social media strategy.
- Businesses publish 1/3 of the most-watched stories.
- Between 15 and 25% of people click the call to action on branded stories.
- According to Instagram and gadget360, over 500 million accounts use Instagram Stories every day. Here is a direct quote “Instagram just passed 500 million daily actives on Stories,” said Zuckerberg, 34, in the earnings call.
While it’s always hard to pull out the hard statistics on B2B vs B2C, what is clear is that businesses who use stories are seeing results, and the people on the other end of that B are also Cs.
The right piece of content on stories has more chance of netting a measurable result than a photo on the Instagram feed across the board.
But it’s not just sheer numbers that make this platform useful for a B2B marketers plan vs other platforms…
Want more info read our previous post on Instagram feeds vs stories
What Makes Instagram Stories a Powerful Marketing Tool for B2B Marketers?
There are two factors at play at the same time.
1. More Human
Like most things in marketing, the power of Instagram stories is based on psychology. While there’s no one way to use it, the platform is thread together with an authentic, playful, and tasty trust-building vibe by giving your business a human side to the marketing efforts.
Whether you tell a story through a curated series of photographs or just a few outtakes from an event you attended, the more you are able to peel back the curtain on your brand, the more your target audience will create a human connection to you as if the time they spend with your stories is with you in real life.
Even curated Instagram ads on stories can delight viewers on a persona level in ways the still-life photography found on the feed just hasn’t been able to and give a human face to your business.
2. Better Placement
But there’s also cold hard code written into the “why” of stories. Instagram’s algorithm also increases your brand’s exposure to followers who are most engaged with your content. These are likely to be highly qualified prospects interested in your product.
It is a great strategy for keeping more customers within the orbit of your sales funnel. The more Instagram users engage with your posts, the more your latest posts will appear on their homepage.
Success is not only connecting with your customers on a personal level through high-quality content but making your brand a social media household name.
How to Generate b2b leads With Instagram Stories
The best way to connect with your target audience and other potential leads and customers is by posting the most relevant and engaging content.
That means staying on top of the trends, understanding how users interact, and knowing what and when to publish. As you probably already know, that’s easier said than done.
Instagram marketing is an ever-evolving world. The most viewed Instagram stories are always changing, but there are a few tools at your disposal.
The platform comes with tracking analytics so you can create informative reports on your efforts and make decisions based on data. But there are also tried and true types of posts that have proven effective for B2B marketing.
8 Ways To Use Instagram Stories For B2B lead generation
Expanding into a new medium and opening up a new station takes time and effort. You want to be sure it will help you meet your digital marketing goals and there are a few areas where you can leverage the power of Instagram Reels.
1. Sneak Peaks and Product Launches
Instagram stories are one of the best ways to build anticipation for the launch of a new product while simultaneously creating a way to generate leads for it.
Months, weeks, or even days before a product becomes available, you can drop tailored content to prime your target audience and boost your marketing efforts.
While releasing sneak peeks to garner up excitement, you can let interested parties know how to sign up for reminders about the launch and share the post. They even have a countdown gif.
2. Tips and Guides
The Instagram stories format makes it easy to share top-of-funnel lead generation tutorials that prospects can use in their everyday lives.
You get to show your brand personality, share helpful information, and get your brand name in the hands of someone who could one day turn into a sale.
Share a tutorial that details how users can perform a task your company does easily such as coding, making templates, or operating Excel (record your screen and upload!). You could even share Instagram tips.
3. Provide Social Proof & Share Client Success Stories
Ah, social proof. We don’t have to tell you that positive reviews are as good as gold, but have you considered how they could be used on Instagram stories to raise your business profile?
When you receive a testimonial worth talking about, create an Instagram story for it. Who better to tell your followers about your great product than the people who love and who have used it? and share information.
It’s a great way to engage and build social prominence for the company and its customers. It raises brand awareness, shares your successes, and builds credibility with your audience.
4. Meet the Company
Looking to strengthen your brand’s reputation or recruit applicants? Instagram stories is a great place for b2b companies to offer real, live, and genuine proof that your employees enjoy what they do behind the scenes with real people.
Upload regular team member spotlights. Have them answer a few questions on camera, or allow them to take over the account’s Instagram Story for a day to give the audience insight into their daily job tasks and schedule.
Highlight each of these stories to create one long piece that users can view at any time.
5. User-Generated Content
Chances are, your audience members are tagging your brand in Instagram posts each day.
Whether it’s sharing a photo of your product, thanking you for solving a problem, or simply sharing their customer experience, this is excellent content for you to share on your own story feed.
It’s a great way to build brand awareness and really shows your company is invested in the community it’s building.
6. Direct Interaction with Instagram Users
The ability to communicate directly with consumers is perhaps Instagram stories’ most groundbreaking feature…
While marketing has been a two-way conversation since the start of the digital age, stories gives you more ways to build authentic relationships than ever before.
- Ask-Us-Anything Session: Forget webinars. This is a lower effort way to demonstrate your expertise with just as big a reward. You post a simple custom sticker to your story asking for questions and then post your responses. You can enlist the business owner or even use individual employees as experts, highlighting company culture along the way. Not only do you help answer questions for a broad audience, but it helps establish a relationship with potential customers who you can DM on Instagram directly afterward.
- Quizzes: Creating fun ways to test your audiences’ knowledge is a fun way to grab their attention and offer subject matter expertise.
- Sliders and Polls: Using tools that get your audience’s opinions is a great example of how you can collect valuable information that can be used to drive sales or create future marketing campaigns to drive leads.
7. A Co-Branding Promotional Collaboration
Instagram stories is a great platform for working with brand ambassadors. Enlist the help of influencers and even micro-influencers (users with a niche Instagram following under 10K) to grab the attention of your target audience.
You can host a question and answer session with them on stories or have them write posts, take part in a marketing campaign or take over your feed. The perfect brand ambassador can help forge more authentic relationships and create momentum for gaining followers.
8. Instagram Stories Takeover
Instead of the standard Instagram posts, try Instagram takeovers. Much like a co-branding promotional collaboration a stories takeover is an effective way to boost your brand’s organic awareness, engagement, and conversions. And as a bonus a shot of adrenaline to your Instagram account. An Instagram Story takeover is basically a social media Hijacking giving influencers, brands, customers, team members, followers, fans, or anyone else full and temporary control of your Instagram account.
B2B Lead Gen from an Instagram Business Account
With a large enough following — 10k to be exact — feel free to upgrade your page to business.
Business profiles come with several advantages over standard accounts when it comes to lead generation and getting more engagement.
One number that might interest you is that around 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile a day. It pays to consider how Instagram stories play into your sales funnel.
1. Generate Leads that Go to A Landing Page
An Instagram business account allows you to build a sales funnel using Instagram stories by driving traffic and new visitors to your website, landing page, or an Instagram bio link directly through Instagram stories.
First, decide on a clear CTA for social referrals through the “See more” swipe up link, the function that appears at the bottom of a story.
Then, work backward and decide the best way to drive users to open the link.
Is it raising awareness about a specific fact?
A new blog post with valuable information? Relevant content?
Is it offering a solution to a common problem your target audience may have?
Using the bells and whistles Instagram offers, explain the why to your followers and make sure your CTA is clear.
Cisco does an excellent job using polls to promote their Annual Cybersecurity Report by raising awareness, offering a sample of the report, then a special offer in the CTA as a means to view the landing page with the report in its entirety.
2. Run Instagram Lead Generation Ads
Instagram lead generation ads have become an excellent marketing tool for businesses that want to promote their products and increase their marketing efforts.
Not only can you use the platform’s audience finder to locate new target audiences, but you can input customers directly you’d like to reach.
If you have a set group of people you’re trying to influences, you can create stories just for them. And with their lookalike feature, reach more people just like them as well.
Web.com ran online lead ad campaigns on the products page, where interested people could send the contact information back.
The lead generation ad received 24% less cost per click and a 39% higher click-through rate. You can now save time by incorporating these tactics into your market strategy by gaining more B2 leads with Instagram stories.
Instagram Marketing Success-Leverage Highlights
Highlights are a feature that lets you save important stories for longer than the standard 24 hour period and houses them in the most prime real estate on your Instagram profile page, just beneath the Instagram bio link.
Not only does this increase your ability to get more leads from each post, but it also is a great way to show users who are previewing your page the types of content they can expect you to consistently offer if they follow you.
Do you notice that your ideal audience consistently gives you new leads from a certain type of story?
Tip: Keep them around by creating highlight Feed
If most of your content performs about the same, you may have trouble deciding what to highlight. Here are a few of the different types of options of using Instagram stories various features.
- Product highlights
- Meet the team
- User-generated content
Instagram stories gives you an Instagram marketing edge to generate B2B leads, increase revenue and grow your business. Despite its popularity, surprisingly Instagram is not the most popular or well leveraged Instagram marketing option for B2B businesses to promote their services and products. When you start using Instagram for B2B, you can stay ahead of the competition and generate more leads with relatively low effort.
If you’re already using Instagram, then making the jump to stories isn’t hard. You just need to recalibrate your Instagram strategy and make room for new content creation needs.
If you’re new to Instagram marketing altogether, there’s never a better time to get started than now.