As Instagram use continues to rise, B2B brands are finding themselves asking whether they can benefit from this platform.
The short and only answer is yes, absolutely.
Research shows that the platform influences almost 75% of user purchase decisions. On top of that, 80% of users follow at least one brand on Instagram. So, if you’re not tapping into this goldmine, you really need to start.
The biggest area of growth on the platform is the “Stories” feature, where brands can share behind-the-scenes snapshots and vignettes that live for just 24 hours. They’ve proven to be a great way to create deeper connections with customers and effectively increase sales.
In fact, reports have suggested that links from brands in Instagram Stories were generating swipe-through rates of up to 25% within the first month of the feature being rolled out.
So, how do you even begin to leverage this powerful feature?
Here’s a look at how some of the world’s most inspiring brands are using Instagram Stories.
1. General Electric’s Incredible Moments
General Electric isn’t exactly the most exciting brand in the world.
They could have played it boring with their Instagram Stories campaigns and churned out run-of-the-mill content that was neither inspiring nor enlightening.
Instead, they did something different.
They shared the extraordinary, behind-the-scenes, moments like when their team abseiled into a volcano or when they dissected a giant jet engine.
Sure, not every B2B brand has a wealth of jaw-dropping moments to share, but you can probably find a few fun and original moments to share with your followers.
2. Buffer’s Story Takeovers
Collaborating with influencers and other industry-famous brands is a great way to boost brand awareness and skyrocket your credibility – and this is exactly what Buffer aimed to do with their Instagram Story takeovers.
They paired up with influencers, team members, and even some of their customers to create interviews and an “Ask Me Anything” series they shared as Stories.
You can take a page from Buffer’s book and partner up with influencers to grow your follower count quickly. Alternatively, you can use your Instagram Stories to share tutorials and product reviews from past customers or industry experts.
3. CISCO’s Lead Generation Tactic
CISCO turned to Instagram Stories to help grow their email list. They leveraged the handy “Swipe Up” function to promote their latest annual report (that users had to sign up to receive).
However, they didn’t just jump straight into promoting it.
Instead, they crafted an entire series around it that worked to garner engagement and consumer buy-in before they pushed for the download.
The series starts by raising awareness of the topic, then it switches to a couple of question-and-answer slides to get followers involved, and finally, it jumps to a call-to-action that encourages users to download the report.
Stories are a great way to create quick funnels to promote a specific product or downloadable asset and are well worth experimenting with.
4. Google’s Storytelling Series
Google doesn’t really need to advertise itself.
Instead, it uses the Stories feature to tell incredible real-life stories that resonate with its users. The brand shares short vignettes and touching narratives to show the inspiring ways people have used Google to find solutions.
Each story is laid out over a series of slides that build-up to the finale. They work to create and build up anticipation, ending in a call-to-action that encourages viewers to either dig deeper into the story or use one of the brand’s products.
5. IBM’s Episodic Solutions
Like we mentioned before, Instagram Stories lent themselves perfectly to creating episodic content that guides users towards an end result.
IBM tapped into this to create a solutions-focused series that showcased how their emerging technologies are solving real-world problems. The content works like an episodic case study that builds up anticipation and gets the viewer fully invested.
The slides are incredibly simple, too. The brand simply gathers a series of great images that relate to the content and overlays questions and facts, making it an easy tactic for other B2B brands to replicate.
Instagram Stories Are Inspiring Creative Content
B2B brands are tapping into the power of Instagram Stories to creatively showcase products and solutions.
The fast-paced nature of Stories and their leaning towards episodic content makes them the perfect for introducing new concepts, delving into storytelling, and inspiring action.
So, who will you take inspiration from? Will it be Google and their real-life stories, CISCO, and their successful lead-generating tactic, or Buffer and their partnerships with influencers and brands?
Whichever method you choose, we highly recommend you start experimenting with the different ways your brand and customers can benefit from Instagram Stories.