Your Go-To Guide to Selling More Products on Instagram

instagram marketing tipsIf you’re selling a product and you aren’t using Instagram to promote it, you’re really missing out.

Use Instagram correctly, and you’ll build your brand, draw in more loyal customers, and set yourself apart from your competitors. However, if you use it incorrectly, you could do just the opposite.

Check out this simple guide to learn a few of the best Instagram marketing tips, and you’ll be able to quickly understand how you can drive more business.

Remember the 80/20 Rule

First things first – you need to understand that your Instagram followers don’t want all of your pictures to include a sales pitch. If you pitch constantly, you’ll ultimately lose your followers, and that means that you’re likely missing out on sales!

So, remember the 80/20 rule: about 80% of your content should focus on engaging your audience and offering them something they’re interested in, and only the remaining 20% of your content should be used to aggressively promote your brand.

Define and Stick to a Theme

Instagram The DRIVE2

The DRIVE blog’s Instagram sticks to one common theme: small business!

You’re selling something very specific, and you should also have a specific target audience in mind. So, think for a second – what types of pictures would your audience enjoy seeing?

Once you’ve got an answer to that question, build a theme around it. For example, if you’re selling incense, tie-dye shirts, and bohemian jewelry, you can bet that your target audience includes people who have a hippie-ish, bohemian fashion sense. Knowing this, you can keep a “hippie/bohemian” theme in mind and make sure that every picture you post appeals to that specific audience.

By sticking to your theme, you’re sure to offer your target audience something that interests them. That way, you’ll gain happy followers who are willing to engage with you and buy from you!

Build Your Brand

Strategically using Instagram is great way to build your brand. Other than choosing and sticking to a theme, here are a few other ways to do this:

  • Share “behind-the-scenes” shots – By sharing photos of what goes on behind the scenes at your business, you add a human element to your company. This will make your company seem more relatable and approachable, so be sure to share these types of images regularly!
  • Write a good bio – Ditch the boring bio and write something that shows off your brand personality – it’s a great way to make a positive first impression on anyone who views your profile. Don’t forget to add in a link to your shop too!
  • Inject your personality in your captions – A good photo caption can be the difference between 1 like and 1,000 likes. Let’s face it – no one likes to read boring, bland content, especially on a social network. So, be sure to show personality in your captions to help drive engagement

Hashtag it up!

Instagram Fluff It2

Fluff It Marshmallows does a great job with their use of hashtags. (And at capitalizing on a current event — Teacher Appreciation Week!)

If you use hashtags strategically, you can draw in a lot of new followers. Use them often, and make sure they’re relevant to your target audience.

If you don’t want to use hashtags in your photo caption, you can simply put all of your hashtags in a comment on your picture. That way, the hashtags are still searchable and they don’t distract from your photo caption! 

Interact with Instagram Users

Once you’ve identified your target audience, try to think of what hashtags they would likely use. For example, if your target audience includes dog owners, they might use hashtags like “#ILoveMyDog” or “#BestDogEver.” Once you’ve identified these hashtags, you can search for them and interact with the users who are posting them.

Make sure that you aren’t just using an impersonal comment that you’ve copied and pasted for every person you’re interacting with. Take some time to write out a thoughtful, friendly comment that is tailored to the specific user you’re talking to.

What Instagram marketing tips have worked for you in the past?

About the Author

Jorden Roper

Jorden Roper is the founder of Cutthroat Copy, a copywriting team that specializes in helping IT/Tech companies reach their goals with strategic content marketing. Follow her on Twitter for marketing tips and more!


  1. says

    I think #1 should be: actually take good pictures 🙂

    Also, there’s a big space on on Instagram to be a content curator instead of curator. Here’s the standard strategy:
    1. Pick a hashtag that represents the community you want to engage
    2. Start following that hashtag, picking the best pics.
    3. Feature the best pics on your feed, of course attributing it to the account it came from
    4. Grow your gallery with the kind of look and feel you want
    5. Start your own hashtag
    6. Engage influencers and collaborate with them to grow your brand
    7. THEN, you can start selling and follow the 80/20 rule (or even better, 90/10) rule

    and even then, the selling should be done in the description, not the image. The only thing the image needs to do is get people to want to read the description. Do a hard sell on you image one too many times, you’ll lose followers.

    If all that stuff makes sense, check out the presentation my colleague made about Instagram Best Practices for Brands

  2. Judy says

    I have been on Instagram about 6 weeks and have no had a sale yet
    I am selling art prints and have 180 followers. No one buys. They say they love my art work. What I a doing wrong?

    • Jorden Roper says

      Hi Judy! Sorry to hear that you aren’t having much luck with Instagram. It can take some time to gain a following and get new customers. However, being persistent with your marketing and following the tips here should help you connect with your customers and encourage sales. Best of luck to you, and thanks for reading!

  3. says

    Great article! We like to share pics that our customers have snapped of our products. It makes them feel valued and actually shows other customers unfiltered “reviews” of the products. Check us out @brownsugarLR


    • Jorden Roper says

      That’s definitely another great way to build your brand and connect with your customers! I’ll be sure to check you out on Instagram. Thanks for reading!

  4. says

    I have been doing most of the things above. I’m sure I’ll pick up new followers if I follow the hashtag tips and be more consistent in posting. Thanks!

    • Jorden Roper says

      Thanks for reading, Diane! I’ve noticed that finding people on Instagram by searching for relevant hashtags and then interacting with those people on their posts has been a great way to gain followers. I’m sure you’ll get some new ones too if you try it out!

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