If you're a B2B marketer, you might be wondering - is Instagram actually effective for B2B Marketing when it comes to lead generation and conversions?
You'll be happy to know that since B2B companies are made of people like you and I, there's a high likelihood that your audience is part of the 1B monthly active users on Instagram. And if you're worried that Instagram is only for millennials, 63% of people on Instagram are over 25 years old.
So then it comes down to who and how B2B businesses are using Instagram to get results.
To give you some creative inspiration, below you'll find 10 examples of compelling Instagram Ads from leading B2B companies that can help you generate both leads and conversions.
To kick things off, we’ll start with a brief overview of the key components of an Instagram Ad.
What Makes An Effective Instagram B2B Ad?
The anatomy of a great Instagram Ad is similar to a great Facebook Ad. The same principles apply when it comes down to the following, with a few nuances:
- Content: As a platform with visual at its core, having ads with high quality creative is key for increasing engagement and conversion rates. In fact, Instagram won't even let you create sponsored ads for posts with low resolution images.
- 👥 Audience: The most visually appealing ads won't generate quality conversions unless you experiment with different target audiences to find who's interested. Link retargeting is one tactic we use to retarget Instagram Ads to anyone who's already clicked on our links.
- Timing: Tailoring your ad creative and content based on the different stages your audience is likely to be in (e.g. discovery, consideration, purchase), will ensure you can more effectively speak to their needs and convert them.
And to bring it all together, you'll want to measure your Instagram Ads ROI to make the most of your ad budgets.
You can do this with tools like Smart Attribution, to see which Instagram campaigns are most effective, and see how they compare with your other marketing channels.
10 Examples of Instagram B2B Ads That Convert
1. Launch Instagram Stories Ads
Instagram Stories are used by 500M people everyday, and they're equally effective for businesses - 33% of the most viewed Instagram Stories are shared by businesses. So it can be a great new placement to test for getting discovered by potential customers.
💡 Monday places video ads in Instagram Stories with a clear call to action at the end "swipe up to start free trial".
Video ads can be played for up to 15 seconds in Instagram Stories, giving you even more time to capture people's attention than images, which play for 5 seconds.
💪 Pro tips:
- Test video ads, image ads, and even carousel ads (native stories with 3 pieces of content, or expandable stories with up to 10 pieces of content).
- Tailor your ads for each platform across the Facebook family (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, etc.). You can automatically place your ads to run across all platforms, but it's a good idea to customize your ads for each individual platform to boost conversions.
- Include strong CTAs to encourage your audience to take specific actions.
- Add your company logo to image ads, to increase brand awareness and stay top of mind for people who may have noticed your ads but didn't engage with them right away.
2. Create Videos
Videos receive 38% more engagement than images on Instagram. So it could be worthwhile to see if your Instagram Ads with videos outperform images too.
💡 WordStream uses engaging videos that visualize content they promote. They bring to life key stats from their 2019 Google Ads Industry Benchmarks report, including the average CPC, CPA, and CVR.
💪 Pro tips:
- Keep ad headlines short 👼. We've seen many B2B companies use 1 to 2 sentences for their headline and text, but you can test different lengths and benefits to see what converts best.
- Test different ways to hook people in, like asking questions as Wordstream does.
3. Promote Product Launches
Similar to ads on Facebook, promoting new products and features you've launched is a great way to increase product adoption and educate people on your unique benefits.
💡 Moz, the leading SEO platform, promotes updated free tools they provide to help businesses check and maintain their online presence in multiple directories.
💪 Pro tips
- Test different images, such as including people in addition to images to differentiate from businesses who mainly use conceptual or product images.
- Similar to video ads, try including your company logo to boost your brand awareness.
4. Feature Customer Quotes
Using social proof in the form of customer testimonials is a great way to have your customers convince visitors why they should use your products and services. After all, you're more likely to pay attention to a friend or 3rd party reviewing a business than the company itself.
💡 Clearbit highlights customer testimonials from well known businesses like Drift in their lead generation ads.
💪 Pro tip: In the past, Facebook recommended not including more 20% text on your ad images. So when designing ads with quotes, make them simple and easy to read.
5. Build Credibility With Whitepapers
If your B2B company has a long sales cycle and involves multiple stakeholders, creating thought leadership pieces like whitepapers and eBooks can be a good way to validate your company and stay top of mind in the decision-making process.
💡 Datorama promotes whitepapers they've developed to show their expertise on topics like AI trends and how they're changing the marketing landscape.
6. Create Free Guides
Inbound marketing is one of our most effective strategies for converting free trial customers into paying subscribers. So to get more distribution and traffic for content and guides you've developed, you can also promote them with Instagram Ads.
💡 Intercom develops free sales handbooks and promotes them, along with featuring a quote from an industry Sales leader.
7. Highlight Social Proof
Another form of social proof to validate your company, is showcasing how many businesses use your platform and who they are.
💡 Lumen5, a video creation platform, includes stats on the 200,000+ businesses they've helped, and lists key customers such as Forbes, LinkedIn, and Dell.
💪 Pro tip: Use for emojis when needed to emphasize key parts of your ad text, such as replacing bullets ✅ and/or give extra emphasis to features you're highlighting💥.
8. Feature Images of People
A/B testing all components of your ads is one of the most foundational best practices. This includes testing different image types, such as images featuring people vs. product images.
For example, as part of their branding, Drift is known for using photos of their own employees across all their marketing materials and ads.
💡 Vidyard includes images of sales people as well as a product snapshot to promote their video marketing platform.
💪 Pro tip: Most B2B companies tend to use conceptual or in-product images, which are key for quickly showing the value you provide. To differentiate yourself, it could be worth testing different images to see which ones lead to the highest conversions, such as images that feature both people and your product, like Vidyard does.
9. Visualize A Problem You Solve
Customers ultimately use your services to address a need. So when targeting people who haven't heard about you, you can demonstrate how you solve a key problem for them. This can be done through a video or even images that show before and after scenarios.
For example, for our PixeMe platform, we'd have a "before" image with lots of spreadsheets and scattered marketing data 🤕. For the "after" image, we'd then show just one dashboard unifying all the data sources 📊.
💡 Google Pixel showcases the flash features of their new Pixel phone, by using a video to show the before and after of an image using their Night Sight flash.
💪 Pro tip: Add #hashtags to your headline or ad message if they're ones you created for your business or are using for a new campaign. Hashtags are clickable in ads, and give people more ways to discover certain features, products, or interesting details about your company.
10. Tell A Story With Carousel Ads
We've all heard how storytelling is the foundation of any good marketing campaign. Carousel Ads are a great format to tell a story through a sequence of images.
💡 B12 uses Carousel Ads to tell the story of how they redesigned Founder Collective’s site through 4 cards. They show the website before and after using B12’s services, a quote from Founder Collective's founder, and a clear CTA to get people to take the next step.
💪 Pro tip: Carousel Ads can feature up to 10 pieces of content, support both videos and images, and let you customize headlines per content. So you can mix up the media you use, and tailor each content to tell your story in a meaningful way.
As you can see, there's lots of creative ways to engage your B2B audiences with compelling Instagram Ads like other B2B companies are already doing.
It just takes some experimenting and patience to see what types of content and messaging resonate best with various target audiences.
Finally, to measure how effective your Instagram Ads are, using marketing attribution solutions like our new Smart Attribution can automatically show your Instagram ROI. So you'll be best equipped to optimize your advertising efforts and budgets 🚀.
Want to track your Instagram Ads ROI? Sign up for a free PixelMe trial 🎉. Or send us a message from the blue chat icon in the bottom right-hand corner! 💬
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