How do you convert your manufacturing Instagram feed into a powerhouse of engagement?
Instagram has grown and has become one of the top social media platforms out there. And it shows no signs of slowing down.
A report by eMarketer and Insider intelligence shows that there are about 1 billion active Instagram users worldwide.
Also, the same report says that in 2021, Instagram is the 3rd social media platform that U.S. active users use, only 4 minutes less than Facebook.
With an engagement rate that supersedes Facebook 4 times more, it is no wonder why 71% of US businesses,1 including manufacturers, choose to use Instagram for their company.
Why Instagram is an excellent platform for industrial and manufacturing companies
Let’s explore further and understand why Instagram is worth the try for manufacturing and industrial companies.
Instagram is one of the top social media platforms that manufacturing companies use when distributing content organically. Who doesn’t want free word-of-mouth advertising?
So, as you can see, manufacturers don’t just use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Since Instagram is visual content focused, manufacturing and industrial companies can show, not just tell, its audience a different side of themselves that their active users wouldn’t have known otherwise.
Manufacturing and industrial can use these to distribute their content:
- Instagram reel
- Instagram live
- Instagram stories for business
- Instagram shopping
- Instagram TV
- Instagram Ads
… and other option for users that are currently available.
Also, it gives a manufacturing business an opportunity to let its audience get to know the business as being powered by humans rather than just another “automated entity” online.
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” This proverb is a reminder to manufacturing marketers that visuals have weight for content marketing, especially in Instagram. It doesn’t matter if your product is not sexy!
On top of the visual requirements, your posts in Instagram should be well-planned and organized. Meaning that it is all working in harmony to communicate your company’s message and achieve your business goals.
This leads us to the importance of working on your Instagram Feed.
What on earth is an Instagram feed?
An Instagram feed is a collection of all the photos and videos you post on Instagram.
These photos appear in chronological order, from newest to oldest, at least, at the moment of writing this.
Your manufacturing Instagram feed gives your active users access to what kind of content you share.
If your target audience finds it remarkable and relevant, they will follow you back – and stay engaged.
Content Marketing Institute said that your Instagram feed is like your Instagram homepage where you showcase what your brand stands for. Also, they said, that “it provides new people an at-a-glance sense of your message, product, or services. It’s also the source of ongoing curated content for followers and fans to visit and revisit, hopefully, many times.”2
Pulling off a nice, attention-grabbing Instagram feed is THAT important.
Let’s get into it!
10 tips to create a better manufacturing Instagram feed
Creating a manufacturing Instagram feed is a lot like creating any other Instagram feed.
The key is to create content – and engage in relevant conversations with other users.
With Instagram, the challenge of finding relevant posts for your audience is never ending.
And so, if you are a manufacturing industry looking for some Instagram feed ideas, here are tips to keep your company looking professional on Instagram.
I. The business side of your manufacturing Instagram feed
Instagram business goal | 1
Before starting any sort of social media marketing campaign, it’s best to determine what exactly you’re trying to achieve from your Instagram account. Are you aiming to increase sales? Or maybe you’d rather focus on increasing leads?
Once you have established your goal, there are several ways to measure the success of your Instagram campaigns.
Here are three common metrics:
- Engagement Rate – Engagement rate measures the amount of likes, comments, shares, etc., compared to total impressions. In other words, it tells us whether our posts were liked/shared enough among the targeted audiences.
- Reach – Reach refers to the size of your audience base. To calculate this figure, divide the total number of followers by 100. So, if you have 500 followers, then your reach would be 5%. However, remember that reaching only means having people follow you back. Having high numbers doesn’t necessarily mean that they actually like your brand; check engagement rate for that.
- Conversion – This is calculated by dividing the number of conversions made after following your Instagram business page by the total number of followers. Do you have helpful guides for download? Do you want to grow sign-ups to your webinar? Then you can use this metric to measure your goal.
Once you’ve determined your social media marketing goal for this network, then comes identifying your audience.
The target market and their needs | 2
Before creating any form of social media marketing strategy, manufacturing businesses and industrial companies must need to know who their audience is to identify what to post on Instagram.
Do you know your target audience? Who are they?
You can find answers to these questions by analyzing data collected via analytics software. These programs allow you to see what topics your audience searches for, what products they buy, etc. They help you understand your audience and what makes them tick.
Google analytics, for example, is a free tool that allows you to track keywords used within search engines and social networks. You can also monitor your Instagram Insights if you are hitting or missing your audience.
Why is this very important? If you don’t do this step right away, you might end up targeting too broad of a group of customers.
Once you have done this, you can start building your social media and content marketing plan around those specific audience groups.
Identifying an audience will give your company a chance to captivate and engage the RIGHT followers and reach potential customers. Once you have done this, you can start building your marketing plan around those specific audience groups. Then design contents that appeal to a more specific target group.
The more certain you are about your target audience, the easier it is to come up with things to posts on your social media feed. From content, to design, to the colors you’ll use and the theme you want to apply.
You’ll notice that each type of person prefers different content. For example, millennials love sharing selfies while baby boomers enjoy reading stories. Knowing which demographic you want to reach belong helps you create better content.
We will talk about more of these things as we go through the list.
So, before doing anything, make sure you know your target audience first!
Settle your brand voice and tone | 3
Now that you know who your audience is, how should you present yourself online? What does your brand say? Is it professional or casual? Are you funny or serious? Should you share photos of your employees in action? Or maybe you’d rather focus on showcasing your work space?
There are so many ways to approach branding, but here are some tips to get started.
First off, decide whether you’re going to be formal or informal when presenting your brand. A lot of companies opt for a mix between both styles. But if you really want to stand out from others, stick to one style. This way, people won’t confuse your brand with other brands.
Next, think about the tone of your brand. Do you want to convey professionalism or fun? Maybe you want to portray a sense of humor? Whatever you decide, keep it consistent throughout your entire brand identity. And, no, you don’t have to become like Wendy’s. I am a fan of their mad social media skills, but it is something that you cannot replicate. I stick to what I can do best.
Establishing your brand voice and tone will not only help you solidify your relationship to your followers. It will also when you step into the creation of your images.
Why? Your visuals should reflect your business.
Need done-for-you social media images?
Kick boring graphics out of your social media marketing toolkit.
II. The visual identity of your Instagram manufacturing feed
Once you’ve determined what your manufacturing company wants to accomplish on Instagram presence, you will need to figure out your visual identity.
This will be reflected in the images you share.
Images speak louder than words in Instagram marketing and other social media networks. So, let’s make sure that yours stand out.
Have a clear vision of how you would like your Instagram feed to look like.
Decide on an Instagram color palette | 4
The next step is deciding which colors you want to use. You can either pick something based on your logo or create your own custom color scheme.
The color palette offers a unique feel. It also creates a distinct look for your brand and company aesthetic.
Sticking to a set of color palettes is one way to create consistency when creating any interesting content across your Instagram feed.
If you don’t already have a strong brand image, consider using a few basic colors such as black, white, red, blue, green, yellow, orange, purple, pink, brown, gray, silver, gold, copper, etc. These colors are easy to remember and they represent all kinds of emotions. They are universal enough to fit any industry – including the manufacturing and industrial industry.
Either way, once you have decided on a color scheme, you need to find a balance between being creative and sticking to your brand guidelines. That one is hard.
Check out how Pooki Presses, a UK based company that designs and manufactures presses, stayed true to their color palette in this Instagram post:
Your Instagram manufacturing theme | 5
Having a theme is helpful to stay consistent with your content creation tasks and to help your business stand out from the competition.
Consistency is king in any type of marketing.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling products, services, or information — consistency is essential. If you plan to grow your following organically, stick to a theme so people know exactly who you are and what you do.
You can set yourself apart from other manufacturing companies by creating a theme for your account.
That way, you’ll know what types of content to post to your Instagram manufacturing feed. For example, if you sell industrial equipment, you can come up with themes such as “Industrial Equipment,” “Machinery” or even “Heavy Industry.”
When deciding on a theme, it is important to choose one that will, of course, best suit your business goals.
On Instagram, Caterpillar has a great feed. Their content theme? It is all about people, family and heavy equipment!
Fonts and Typography matter | 6
Career Foundry defined typography as, “the art of arranging letters and text in a way that makes the copy legible, clear, and visually appealing to the reader. Typography involves font style, appearance, and structure, which aims to elicit certain emotions and convey specific messages. In short, typography is what brings the text to life.”3
Using fonts that align well with your manufacturing products’ design and style will make them easier to read.
The minimum font size should be at least 16 pixels.
There are many fonts available online. Choosing the right font for your manufacturing Instagram feed is crucial. Yes, that the devil is in the details is true.
Decide whether you want to go with a serif or sans-serif font. Serif fonts add weight and depth to your design while sans-serif fonts make things appear lighter and cleaner.
Also, it is important to be mindful of how you use texts in your manufacturing Instagram feed, especially if you are delivering an important message to your audience.
Typography helps your brand become more recognizable. Aside from the fact that it enhances your audience’s visual experience, Career Foundry further explains that it influences decision making and also often responsible for keeping the attention of your readers.
Notice how IPG (Intertape Polymer Group) used typography to communicate with their clients in this Instagram post. IPG is a known leader in development, manufacture, and sale of tapes, films, protective packaging and machinery in the industrial and retail industry. It’s clean and easy to read.
Your Instagram layout and patterns | 7
Aside from posting images of your physical products or services, why not take your social media marketing up a notch by following a layout or pattern as you schedule your Instagram posts?
This type of content can add pizazz to your Instagram feed.
Also, most likely, help you stand out from the rest of B2B manufacturing company because only a few uses it.
Here are some layouts and patterns that you can use for your manufacturing Instagram feed:
- Checkerboard: Alternating a photo and a plain colored content containing texts. This kind of arrangement creates interest because we see something different in every other image.
- 6 and 9 Grids: Using grids to create interesting layouts. You can either have two columns or three rows. This layout contains a single image that is broken down into pieces. You can divide it into 6 or 9 depending squares. This layout can emphasize an important message as it takes a large space in your feed and thus, grabs your audience’s attention once they visit your Instagram business profile for your manufacturing company. Note: You will need an app to do this.
- Photo collage: Creating a collage of several pictures together.
- Line: Using lines to separate each section of your Instagram feed.
- Rows: If you like to incorporate repetition in your feed, you can do a series of three posts with which the content in the entire row is somewhat identical with each other. This pattern is perfect if you are doing a product launch or a product launch teaser.
Try out either of these unique patterns and layouts just as long as it suits your brand and business goals.
Quality photos on your manufacturing Instagram feed | 8
Having high resolution photos (as opposed to pixelated photos) makes your manufacturing Instagram feed look better.
It does not matter whether these photos are shot in your manufacturing plant or outside the office; all that matters is that they are well-lit and well-exposed.
Avoid taking photos under low light conditions such as dimly-lit rooms or poorly illuminated areas. Also, ensure that the lighting condition is consistent throughout the entire picture.
Check out how Zippo, an American Manufacturing brand that produces quality lighters, showcases the designs of their product in this high-quality photo.
Manufacturing videos on your Instagram feed | 9
Videos are great at capturing audiences’ attention. They provide visual aids that cannot be done through text or image. Videos allow you to tell stories about your manufacturing products and services.
In addition, they give you the opportunity to showcase your manufacturing employees and customers who work hard behind the scenes.
You can even highlight a process or steps by posting video clips of it on Instagram. The possibilities are endless!
Besides posting video clips, you can add live streams to your Instagram business profile. Live streaming allows you to interact with your customers while broadcasting your products’ features through real-time updates.
This method is perfect when you need to showcase new products or services being offered.
For example, if you sell industrial equipment, you could stream a demonstration of its operation – live!
How to create do a live broadcast on Instagram
Step 1: On the lower right hand of your Instagram feed, tap your Instagram icon.
Step 2: On the upper right hand, tap the “+” symbol.
Step 3: On the “Create” dialog box, tap “Story.” Then, follow all prompts to go live – including enabling your camera, your microphone and adding title to your live stream.
User-Generated Content (UGC) for your Instagram feed | 10
User generated content (UGC) refers to any type of content created by someone other than yourself.
Any manufacturing business should use UGC whenever possible.
UGCs prove to lend its effectivity in increasing sales and driving traffic to websites. According to studies, user-generated content has a 4.5% higher conversion rate.4
Your manufacturing audience can see the authenticity of the message coming from someone other than a marketing department.
This helps establish a personal connection between your manufacturing company and its active users.
You can also ask your staff to send you photos and/or videos of their favorite moments at work.
These types of posts are especially effective since they allow you to connect with your audience without having to pay for advertising space.
With your customers and staff as your brand ambassadors, the amount of social proof that goes with it will help your company rise above the competition.
When you post UGC with a killer hashtag, it can help widen your reach, connect with your audience, and build relationships.
Don’t forget: Ask permission and credit the original owner of the content that you’ll be re-posting. Okay?
Keep your Instagram feed shiny
As we’ve seen throughout this article, Instagram offers many benefits for manufacturing and industrial companies, and there are many ways to make it work for your business advantage!
The social network offers manufacturing business profiles a way to engage with their target market, promote their company, and generate leads. The key here lies within understanding what works best for each individual manufacturer. You don’t need to follow every single thing listed here; instead, focus on those that resonate most with your industry.
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- Oberlo. February 2021. “10 INSTAGRAM STATS EVERY MARKETER SHOULD KNOW IN 2021 [INFOGRAPHIC].” Accessed September 23, 2021 https://www.oberlo.com/blog/instagram-stats-every-marketer-should-know/
- Content Marketing Institute. October 2020. “The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Features: Stories, Feed, IGTV, Reels.” Accessed September 18, 2021. https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2020/10/instagram-stories-feed-igtv-reels/
- Career Foundry. July 2021. “What Is Typography, And Why Is It Important? A Beginner’s Guide.” Accessed September 9, 2021. https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/ui-design/beginners-guide-to-typography/
- Social Tables. “8 Instagram Event Marketing Ideas That Drive Record Registrations.” Accessed September 5, 2021. https://www.socialtables.com/blog/event-marketing/instagram-promotion/