Back in 2018, Instagram had reached one billion monthly active users, making it one of the most popular social platforms around the globe. Businesses of all sizes and shapes started using Instagram to reach the target audience, build brand awareness, and promote their products, so the community of businesses had also quickly grown up to 25 million.
But for most SaaS (software as a service) companies, Instagram has never been the most obvious marketing tool: Their customers don’t use Instagram for service discovery, it can be daunting to come up with content ideas for this platform, and Instagram won’t help to make a SaaS sale.
However, the SaaS market is growing fast: It must reach $623B by 2023 at a compound annual growth rate of 18%. This means SaaS companies need to seek out creative ways to promote their services if they want to cut through the noise. Luckily, Instagram has great potential for growing a SaaS company, and here’s why:
- With over one billion active users, your potential customers are definitely on Instagram
- Since 90% of accounts follow a business on Instagram, it’s no doubt that users are interested in brand content
- Over 70% of users discover new products or services on the platform and 75% take action (like visiting a website or making a purchase) after seeing a brand post, so Instagram helps to increase SaaS sales
As you can see, Instagram is an underrated social media platform for SaaS companies. Thus, it’s important to understand how to use Instagram marketing for growing a SaaS company and start getting business results.
How to Grow a SaaS Company with Instagram Marketing
Increase Brand Visibility
The number of software is constantly growing: an average SaaS company faces over 9 competitors in their first year. There are too many options on the market, so it's difficult for customers to make the purchase decision. For SaaS companies, this means the importance of brand visibility in their marketing strategy. Since Instagram has a solid user base, it’s a perfect place to promote your brand and let more people know about your service.
Let’s find out how to increase brand visibility for a SaaS company on Instagram.
Create a Cohesive Instagram Feed
The majority of people (65%) perceive visual information better, so having a cohesive Instagram feed is a way to grab their attention and increase organic engagement as people follow your account to stay tuned for more, like and comment on the posts, and share your profile on social media. In other words, an eye-catching Instagram aesthetic helps to improve brand recognition.
Although it’s difficult for most SaaS companies to come up with Instagram post ideas and create stunning visuals, being creative helps to produce engaging content that spreads awareness about your brand, and the email marketing SaaS MailChimp is a great example:
If you want to create a similar Instagram feed for your SaaS company, learn from MailChimp and use data from your reports to turn it into a series of posts. To make your Instagram feed cohesive, you choose one of the majority of social media scheduling tools that help to plan and preview your Instagram feed.
Use Instagram Stories
The idea of short-lived content isn’t new, but it has gained in popularity over the last few years. With a short lifespan, people spend much time watching this type of content as it creates a sense of urgency. Instagram Stories—Instagram’s version of the ephemeral content feature—have over 500 million users today.
And if you want to spread the word about your SaaS company, give Instagram Stories a try. Moreover, you can include brand hashtags or locations to reach a wider audience. Plus, it’s a good idea for SaaS companies to create Instagram Story Highlights albums to keep all important information about your company, services, and people behind your brand in one place, right below the bio section. Here’s how Workday does it:
Promote Offline Events
In the SaaS niche, offline marketing still works well. People attend offline events to learn more about products and services, listen to niche gurus, and find new solutions to their problems. It’s no wonder that many SaaS companies take part in events to promote their service, show expertise, and acquire new customers.
If you want to increase online brand visibility, it’s important to turn event attendees into your followers. Thus, it’s important to spread the word about offline events you’re taking part in, adding a geotag and hashtag, like how Microsoft did it:
When you include a geotag and hashtag, you make it easier for potential attendees to find your company on Instagram and learn more about your service. And if you want to show your Instagram visitors that you often take part in offline events, you can create a separate Story Highlights albums to add all Instagram Stories, dedicated to events. Here’s how it can look like:
Run Instagram Ad Campaigns
Back in June 2018, Instagram released the new algorithm. For now, users see more posts from the people and interests that matter most to them which means it prioritizes content from friends and family. For businesses, it’s harder to cut through the noise unless they run Instagram ads.
Today, 2 million advertisers promote their products and services on Instagram to reach target the audience fast. When it comes to SaaS businesses, running Instagram ad as part of their marketing campaigns can also help to reach potential customers and build brand awareness. For example, AppSee created dynamic Instagram Stories video ad to tell its target audience about the software and encourage interested users to sign up for a free trial:
The campaign resulted in a 3.4x higher click-through rate with ads in Stories, a 2x lower cost per click with ads in Stories, and a 25% lower cost per qualified lead with ads in Stories. If you want to create and run paid ads with ease, learn more about Instagram ads manager and make the most out of your ad campaigns.
Build Brand Loyalty and Trust
In the era of sponsored posts and paid ads, brand loyalty plays a key role in growing a company. Modern customers always buy from companies they trust, so it's important to build brand loyalty and trust. When people are loyal to your brand, they will be more likely to tell their friends about your service which means brand trust grows. Moreover, it can cost 7x more to acquire new customers than retaining existing ones.
There are several proven ways for SaaS companies to build brand loyalty and trust on Instagram.
Take Followers Behind the Scenes
Forbes claims that people crave authenticity, so it’s important for SaaS companies to humanize their brands on Instagram and taking followers behind the scenes is a proven way to do it. When you show your followers your company’s culture, management, staff, and customers, you build brand loyalty and give your potential consumers a solid reason to trust you.
Moreover, there are many behind the scenes content ideas your SaaS company can implement: introduce your staff members, publish your CEO’s interview, tell about your company’s values, or share customers’ success stories.
For instance, Adobe invites its customers to share their success stories with other people and therefore inspire them. Once the interview is published on the blog, Adobe creates custom visuals with quotes and writes a short caption to tell followers about the featured person, as you can see in the example below:
When you spread the word about your customers, you give them a great reason to share your post on their social media profiles which means attracting more potential clients and increasing brand trust. After all, Instagram influencer marketing brings wonderful results.
Prove Your Niche Expertise
If you want to convince Instagrammers to consider your SaaS company as an option, you need to prove your niche expertise. People want to choose the best software, so they pay close attention to experts who educate their audience and show actionable tips on using various services. In other words, niche expertise matters.
When it comes to building brand trust for SaaS companies, sharing educational content that helps your audience solve their problems is important and creating an IGTV channel is a must. Why? The current state of video marketing proves that people want to watch valuable brand videos. Not only does video content help to tell more about your niche or business in an engaging way, but it also hooks your audience’s attention.
Check out how Hubspot uses its IGTV channel to create long-form videos that educate customers and prove niche expertise:
It’s nearly impossible to create handy software that helps customers solve their problems if you’re not an expert in your niche. And if you want to prove your expertise without boasting, it’s a good idea to share educational content that shows your level of niche knowledge.
Increase E-commerce Sales
It’s no secret that modern Instagrammers use this platform for product/service discovery, so wouldn’t it be great if you could increase e-commerce sales on Instagram?
With a variety of business-specific features like clickable Instagram Story link and CTA buttons, SaaS companies can start selling in-app. However, it requires much time and effort to convince your followers to buy from you, and here are several ways to promote your software and encourage Instagrammers to give it a try.
Explain How to Use Your Product
To sell your SaaS products on Instagram, it’s important to ease the minds of your worried customers. When acquiring new customers, it’s more likely they don’t know much about your software or benefits of using it. Thus, it’s important to tell more about your service and explain how to use it. Moreover, 77% of people watch an explainer video before buying a product or service.
Simply put, people buy solutions, not products or services. Thus, it’s a good idea to explain to your potential customers how to use your software to get wonderful results, just like TailWindApp did it:
When you explain how to use your service on Instagram, you educate your followers and prevent potential customers from making frustrating user errors. As a result, it's easier for your followers to make the purchase decision.
Share Exclusive Discounts and Offers
Who else loves discounts and offers? It’s no secret that most people seek out discounts when shopping online. In fact, 38% of people follow brands on social media to learn about promotions or discounts. What is more, exclusive discounts and offers are a psychological push that encourages customers to make the purchase faster.
If you want to increase SaaS sales on Instagram, you can also share exclusive discounts and offers, available for a limited period of time. For instance, Later creates clickable Instagram Stories to share useful checklist from time to time:
Although followers can download a handy checklist for free, it helps to increase brand trust and interested followers in giving their software a try. Simply put, it helps to turn Instagram followers into customers.
If you don’t have product photos but you still want to create eye-catching visuals to promote your sale or offer, you can use a stock photography website like Depositphotos to find royalty-free background images—just enter your keyword in the search field to find photos related to your offer, purchase an individual photo, and use any free design tool to put text on the image.
The Bottom Line
Social media marketing is powerful for businesses of all sizes and niches, from Facebook to Linkedin, B2B businesses or B2C companies. But if you are going to start with one social media platform for your SaaS marketing, make it Instagram.
Instagram is one of the most popular social media networks with the most engaged user base, so it’s a perfect place for SaaS companies to promote their businesses, reach potential customers, spread the word about software, and increase downloads or sales.
Have you tried to use Instagram marketing for growing a SaaS company? What works best for your company?