If you browsed the tech headlines yesterday, you may have heard that the mobile photo sharing application Instagram became the first Facebook aquisition of 2012 (there were six in 2011). The price tag: $1 Billion. Facebook reported that they would be purchasing the start-up for that sum in cash and stock, a record amount for such an acquisition.

This deal makes Instagram one of the fastest rises to a billion dollar valuation in history and the biggest acquisition on record for Facebook. So what can this deal between two consumer-facing startups teach B2B marketers? Plenty. Here are a few key points:

Do More With Less
Up until last year, Instagram had a total of four employees on the payroll. That includes its co-founders, two recent Stanford graduates. With this small team, Instagram was able to grow to 30 million active users in its short two year tenure. How do they accomplish so much while staying so small? They do more with less.

B2B Tip: Marketing departments in any industry can achieve similar success. All you need is the right tools. There are a number of services tailored to smaller marketing teams to help maximize output. Tools like marketing automation can help you automate common tasks — including lead nurturing, prospect qualification, alerts, email marketing and more. With these everyday items taken care of, your team can maximize their time and focus on more strategic initiatives.

Keep it simple
Instagram didn’t earn its billion dollar payday by expanding their business into new areas or by looking for ways to monetize. They set their goal — quick and easy photo editing and sharing — and worked hard to make the process dead simple for their users. This focus has allowed them to outperform dozens of competing products and earn a cult-like following.

B2B Tip: For every marketing initiative, you should ask yourself, “Does this complement our company’s mission and stay consistent with our goals?” Whether it is a blog post, white paper, or webinar, you should always have a focus and a defined measure of success. Authenticity is a very real currency to brands in the social age. Just ask Instagram.

Find the right partner
Being acquired by a company like Facebook is the dream of just about every Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor, but prior to yesterday’s deal, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom had turned them down… twice. Mr. Systrom was picky about potential buyers and only signed yesterday’s deals when the terms aligned with his long-term goals. In separate blog posts, both Mark Zuckerberg and Kevin Systrom stated that, at least for the time being, Instagram will remain independent.

B2B Tip: The B2B environment has hundreds of potential vendors and partners vying for your business. Be picky. Do research, read reviews and compare your options. Finding the right fit for your long-term strategic goals can dramatically improve your long-term performance and open doors that were previously closed to you.

What do you think of the Instagram purchase? Is it a good move for Facebook? Let us know what you think.

2 responses to 3 Things Instagram’s Billion Dollar Payday Can Teach B2B Marketers

  1. Both Facebook and Instagram will benefit greatly from the purchase. Because Facebook is allowing Instagram to be independently managed and keep their entire team, Instagram employees will be able to focus on what they do best. Instagram can continue to do what it has always done and Facebook can now share in the reward.