Since Instagram was created in 2010, the social media platform has amassed over 500 million active users monthly. It wasn’t long after the image sharing platform got its start that businesses began to use it for branding and outreach.
Instagram is an image-based sharing platform – every post must contain an image or video. This presents an excellent marketing opportunity for brands with exciting products and a story to tell. Conversely, businesses without much cause for visual marketing are limited by Instagram’s posting requirements. B2B brands don’t always offer products and services they can easily market using images and videos, for example.
Despite Instagram’s obvious limitations, there are effective ways you can use it to visually brand your B2B company. User-generated content (UGC) could be the answer to your Instagram-marketing woes – by using content your audience has created, you can build credibility and kickstart engagement.
What is User-Generated Content (UGC)?
User-generated content is any content created by people on the web. This can include:
- Social media posts
When you promote user-generated content, you are actively engaging with your audience. You obtain UGC by asking for it – one way is to run a promotional for images or reviews online, promising to share some of the content you receive on Instagram. We took a look at six B2B brands that effectively use UGC on Instagram to reach their audience and analyzed their methods to bring you the best B2B Instagram marketing tips on the web.
Top 6 B2B Brands Making the Most of UGC on Instagram
Buffer works with its audience to bring beautiful, effective UGC to its Instagram profile. The ‘Buffer Community’ submits content for Buffer to share, then the best content is carefully chosen to share. They maximize their engagement by actively communicating with their audience – they respond to every comment, asking questions to encourage further engagement. We’ve included photos of Buffer’s account to show exactly how they’ve used UGC to build an empire on Instagram.
IBM doesn’t actively ask for UGC like Buffer, but they make an effort to share user-generated content their audience sends to them. Many times, customers of IBM will share photos or videos with the company to eventually find the content posted on IBM’s Instagram page. IBM’s user-generated content posts have amassed thousands on likes on Instagram – a strong incentive for other IBM customers to share their photos with the brand.
Hootsuite specializes in social media marketing, so it’s no surprise their Instagram account has amassed a huge following. Using hashtag campaigns like “#IWorkFromHere,” Hootsuite prompts its audience to share UGC with the brand. Interesting hashtag campaigns allow Hootsuite to obtain interesting, quality UGC for their Instagram page, giving them phenomenal content to represent their brand.
4. The UPS Store
The UPS Store serves many different clients, making them part-B2B, part-B2C. Their marketing campaigns must appeal to a wide variety of customers, and they make this happen with user-generated content. Customers send them photos of the products they ship using their services, which the UPS Store shares on their Instagram page. This practice has helped them quickly gain a following, as well as an engaged following.
CBRE offers commercial real estate around the world, which gives them an extraordinary opportunity to collect user-generated content. They feature beautiful architecture on their Instagram, and many of their photos are actually UGC. The brand posts content that appeals to their audience, by their audience, which promotes customer engagement. CBRE carefully selects unique images to share, giving their customers a reason to follow them on Instagram.
Adobe is a familiar brand to many, thanks to their highly-effective software and marketing tools. They serve customers from around the world, and their marketing must appeal to a very wide range of customers. Their Instagram page boasts hundreds of thousands of followers, and most of their posts see thousands of likes each day. Adobe receives plenty of UGC – in fact, most of the UGC they receive was created using their software. When Adobe shares UGC that was created using their software, they not only prompt engagement, but show-off the capabilities of their product.
Do you use UGC to represent your brand on social media? What are your tips for visually marketing B2B brands on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below!