Many B2B companies are wary of investing too much time and money into Instagram. It’s often seen as primarily a consumer-oriented channel that doesn’t lend itself easily to SaaS due to the highly visual nature of the platform.
Its wide reach and depth of targeting, however, means that creative Instagram marketing for SaaS solutions can yield significant benefits.
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1. What Is Instagram Marketing?
Instagram marketing is the tactic of using images and videos to promote your brand, product and page. Marketing on Instagram can be done in a variety of different ways, including through image ads, stories, video ads, carousels and reels. These can be used to increase brand visibility and attract potential customers at the top of the sales funnel, as well as keep existing subscribers engaged.
2. Benefits of Instagram Marketing for SaaS
- Huge user base – Instagram currently has 1.44 billion monthly active users, making it the fourth most popular social media network worldwide. By establishing a solid presence, you have the potential to reach an enormous audience.
- Build brand awareness – SaaS Instagram pages help create a distinctive, recognizable identity for your business, helping you to stand out in an increasingly competitive market.
- Encourage customer loyalty – By promoting your product where your clients spend a lot of time, you can have more frequent interactions and foster long-term relationships.
- Brand credibility – A thriving Instagram account shows other businesses that your SaaS is a serious competitor in the field with a robust following. The more interactions you have with other users, the more trustworthy your company appears.
3. Types of Instagram Ads in Instagram Marketing for SaaS
- Image Ads
Instagram’s most basic ad option is an image ad: a single, eye-catching picture accompanied by some descriptive text and a call-to-action (CTA) button, e.g., ‘Get quote’ or ‘Trial now.’ These appear in an individual’s feed but are distinguished by the ‘Sponsored’ tag. Image ads are best for short, simple messages, such as promotions.
- Stories Ads
Stories are posts that disappear after 24 hours and sit at the top of the Instagram homepage. They tend to have a higher engagement than normal images and create an aura of exclusivity around the content. Stories are a good choice if you want to create episodic content – say, taking users through a series of features of a SaaS product. Stories can be images, videos or carousels.
- Video Ads
Video ads, like image ads, appear in the feed but give you the opportunity to impart a bit more detail about your solution. They can be up to 60 seconds long, though it’s generally more effective to create shorter snippets if you want to keep the attention of your audience. Having a quick product explainer video or promotional video would work great for a SaaS company.
- Carousel Ads
Carousel posts have the highest engagement rate, which makes them an essential part of Instagram marketing for SaaS. A collection of 2 to 10 images or videos for users to swipe through, they are a useful way of marketing your SaaS product if you want to tell a sequential story or share different facets of a product. Bear in mind that only one CTA can be used across the whole carousel.
- Collection Ads
Collection ads feature one larger cover image with three smaller images beneath. Appearing in Instagram feeds, their unique feature is that any tap will direct users to a full-screen Instant Experience landing page designed to drive conversions. This can be a storefront, a customer acquisition page or a custom template specific to your company that drives individuals down the sales funnel.
- Explore Ads
More than 200 million people visit the Explore tab of Instagram daily to see curated content based on their likes and follows. While the Explore grid of images means you’re getting in front of a specific group of users looking for something new, it also means your ad post will only appear in full if users click on it to enlarge (as opposed to the feed, where full content automatically shows).
- Shopping Ads
Instagram offers companies the opportunity to create storefronts within the app for a more seamless shopping experience. Ads in feeds can then link directly to the sales portal. While this option is generally more applicable to B2C products, it’s worth noting it exists.
- Reels Ads
As with the Explore tab, the Reels section is designed to help Instagram users seek out new content from people they don’t already follow. Reels are a light-hearted aspect of Instagram marketing for SaaS, using timed text, stickers and other editing features built into Instagram to tell your brand story, explain a product or share customer testimonials in a snappy format.
4. How Instagram Marketing for SaaS Helps Promote SaaS Products
How you market a SaaS product on social media depends on the channel. Realistically, Instagram is not going to lead to immediate conversions, but it is a very useful way to build brand awareness as well as give your SaaS product some personality, making it unique and relevant over your competitors. With smart, fun content, it’s a good way to grab attention and pave the way for more serious marketing efforts via email or LinkedIn.
5. 10 Ways Instagram Marketing for SaaS Can Be Improved
5.1 Set SMART Goals
Digital marketing for SaaS companies should always begin with clearly defined objectives. One method of doing this is to set SMART goals: goals that are specific (clearly defined), measurable (results can be tracked), attainable (realistic based on available resources), relevant (related to the business and wider industry) and time-bound (have a deadline).
Having a set of desired outcomes at the start ensures everyone in the team knows what needs to be achieved, with the SMART methodology providing a lucid framework to work from.
5.2 Grab Attention with a Visual Feed
Instagram is the best SaaS social media for visual storytelling and engagement. Ensure you make the most of this by creating a compelling, well-planned feed for your Instagram profile that jumps out at visitors.
While it does require a bit more work, keeping your feed cohesive will make your brand appear more professional and deliver a more consistent message to potential customers.
5.3 Utilize IG Stories for Brand Recall Value
Instagram for SaaS companies shouldn’t just be about feeds, but about limited-time- stories, too. This feature creates a sense of immediacy and is great for building a narrative over several posts, which in turn increases brand recall.
If a particular series of stories seems like something you want to keep permanently on your Instagram profile, that’s also possible by creating a highlights album, which will appear below the bio of your Insta page.
5.4 Offline Events Are Still Relevant
As the world regains a sense of normalcy following Covid, Instagram marketing for SaaS should once more reference offline events. While virtual seminars have become increasingly popular, there is still a benefit to hosting in-person forums or having a stand at larger conferences where you can add a real-life face to your web-based brand.
Make sure you connect with people in the lead-up to the event through hashtags and follows, since this will help increase the individuals eager to check out your brand on the day.
5.5 Invest in Instagram Ads for Better Reach
There are numerous ways to advertise on Instagram today, from carousel to collection ads. The priority should be growing organic traffic and engagement for your brand, but investing in some of the paid options is helpful to reach a broader audience – particularly if you have a relatively young Instagram account.
Instagram offers the ability to target certain demographics and interests, so you can get your SaaS in front of the right people.
5.6 Create a Loyal Customer Base
The Instagram aspect of B2B SaaS social media campaigns is generally more about building a presence and keeping existing customers than directly fostering sales conversions. Creating a loyal customer base can be achieved through value-added content like product feature explainers and catchy infographics, as well as responding to customer comments on your posts.
All this helps foster your company’s relationship with your audience, which can be crucial when it comes to decision-making time.
5.7 Bring Niche Experts to Build a Reputation
Show off your brand’s knowledge of the industry by creating content that highlights your company’s experts – and their expertise – as part of your Instagram marketing for SaaS. Video content is particularly good for this, the longer format giving you time to delve into more complex issues that may be affecting your customer base
This will build up your company as a reliable partner and one who has the niche know-how to provide solutions to industry-specific problems.
5.8 Collaborate with Niche Influencers
Collaborating with an influencer in your niche is arguably the most targeted approach you can take on Instagram. If you’ve done your research, you should be able to gain instant access to exactly the kind of individuals and companies who are most likely to need (and purchase) your SaaS product.
Having the endorsement of a trusted influencer (or several) can give a significant, immediate boost to your profile, but as with paid ads, it’s best not to rely too heavily on this avenue unless you have a substantial budget.
5.9 Offer Seasonal Discounts
Discounts fit perfectly into any Instagram marketing for SaaS strategy. This is where a single image or a snazzy reel can come in handy, the brevity and succinctness crystallizing the offer.
Research suggests that as many as 38% of people follow companies to stay in the loop about promotions. Although that’s particularly true of consumers following brands, who doesn’t like a giveaway now and then?
5.10 Track KPIs for Progress
Rounding off the list is something any marketer should be very familiar with: data analytics. Instagram has features to help you measure quantifiable KPIs, such as accounts reached, accounts engaged, content interactions and plays.
Tracking KPIs ensure you stay on course with your SMART goals. More broadly, monitoring your Insta statistics can show you what posts land best with your customers and wider follower base.
6. Examples of Instagram Marketing for SaaS
6.1 Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud have cleverly turned their feed into a showcase for ways to utilize their solutions. They’ve essentially engaged their customers to create visually inspiring images for them by encouraging users who have used their suite of products to add #MadewithCC to their posts if they want to be featured.
Mailchimp has taken advantage of one of Instagram’s updated 2020 features, the Guides tab, to build blog-like entries drawn from existing posts. This approach can be used to display evergreen content that’s useful to followers who want to dig a little deeper into your SaaS offering through a combination of text and visuals