Can Your B2B Dump Email Newsletters for Instagram?
Using the Internet nowadays feels like nursing a hangover while wandering through Times Square as social media sites, blogs, shopping and news sites, and apps take the term “call to action” to the extreme.
Instagram undoes the blinking, flashing, popup- and drop-down-slapped, ad-festooned, aneurysm-inducing bloat of other sites and apps. Its minimalism seems elegant by contrast—its lack of variety, its open access to followers, its forgiving text space (2200 characters!), geotagging function, and unlimited hashtagging capability.
Instagram returns us to our social media roots, when you could actually—gasp!—get your content in front of your connections, fans, and followers.
New York Magazine released an article in November citing ways in which Instagram has replaced blogging.
People are increasingly turning toward Instagram not just as a place to post filtered photos, but to spill their lives and thoughts into the captions as well. Why is this happening? For one thing, if you’re already posting pretentious, evocative images, you’re more likely to be in an artsy-musings state of mind. But it’s more than that: Facebook, at 1.5 billion users, has felt cacophonous and impersonal for a while. Many of us use it as an address book more than a means of communication; with its sheer density of information, writing a sincere post there feels a little like shouting on the streets of Manhattan.
Instagram might eventually grow as large as Facebook, but its uncomplicated design and tightly curated feed make it more than just a photo app—it’s also one of the more potent blogging spaces around.
I’m on board.
Effective marketing strategy is about tunneling through the hundreds of possible tactics and identifying the correct set for your business—and then launching creative, witty, wise, and memorable messaging that entrances fans and followers into becoming leads and customers.
In planning lead-generation strategies for our business for 2016, I have gone back and forth on whether or not to reinstitute my email newsletter. While the overall click-throughs and opens have been fairly high for our industry, it is not much of a lead-generator and takes a fair amount of time to compile.
Personally, I’m prone to pop open an app and scroll than to open an email newsletter. Reading email vs. scrolling in an app simply feels like more work.
Part of this, too, is about fine-tuning the sales cycle: How do services-based / B2B businesses find their ideal target audience?
- Are they apt to be social media aware or email newsletter readers? Sometimes this is an age or gender distinction, depending on your specific market.
- If they’re social media aware, which sites are they using?
- If they’re email newsletter readers, how much time are they apt to have? For B2B leads, time is money and prioritizing / focus can be a constant struggle. How likely is it that the email newsletter will be sifted into their Gmail Promotions tab, spammed, and/or ignored?
- Are the people signing up for newsletters or on social media the actual decision makers, or someone else within the organization assigned the task?
If the sales cycle is: (1) write content, (2) craft newsletter, (3) promote content on social media, and (4) correspond with leads, then isn’t it far more efficient for a fast-moving, services-based, B2B company to skip #2 and focus instead on #3?
I’ve always been a big proponent of multiple-stream income for B2C companies, but with the number of social media platforms now available, email marketing for a services-based business feels stale. And if it’s not generating leads, then it’s also a waste of time.
Yet Instagram offers a clean, direct way to promote content akin to how businesses used to use Facebook pages. It’s simple enough that people at any age can figure it out. And the fact that it’s device-based should (fingers crossed) keep it from attracting bloat as well.
I welcome you to follow us on Instagram @816nyc as well.