Top 14 Instagram Photo Ideas to Drive Sales This Summer

Considering its visual nature and its highly engaged users, it’s no surprise that Instagram influences purchase decisions. In fact, Instagram helps 80% of consumers to decide whether or not to buy something. And 46% have bought a product or service after seeing it on Instagram.

While these numbers speak volumes, that doesn’t automatically guarantee that you’ll get sales from Instagram. You have to be really strategic about the content you share and how you share it if you want to convince people to buy. Here are 14 Instagram photo ideas that will help you drive sales this summer.

Top 14 Instagram Photo Ideas to Drive Sales This Summer:

1: Close-Up Product Photos

Share photos that zoom in on the finest details of your product to highlight its craftsmanship and superior quality. This is a great way to show your audience that your products can withstand closer inspection and that they look just as good close-up as they do from far away. So you can establish credibility and alleviate purchasing anxiety.

You could share close-up photos of the material and texture. Or you could zoom in on the hardware and features that make your product unique and high-quality. For example, Themoire shares the following close-up photo to put a spotlight on the highly sustainable plant-based material that they use for their bags.



2: Photos Showing Your Product in Action

Photos featuring your product being used in real life are another excellent way to relieve buying anxiety. It proves to potential customers that your product looks just as good in real life as they do in your product photos.

Additionally, it provides them with some inspiration on how to use the product if they were to purchase it themselves. This helps them to visualize how a couch would look in their living space or how they could use an eye shadow palette to create amazing makeup looks. As such, it could entice them to buy the product so they could bring that vision to life.

For example, Pottery Barn regularly shares photos from customers where their products are shown in actual home settings. This is a great way to help their audience visualize how they could use the products to transform their own living space.



3: Before and After Photos

For some types of products, before and after photos are the best way to showcase the potential results. This is particularly useful for skincare products, hair care products, cleaning products, and other products that can transform the physical appearance of something.

Before and after photos help to show potential customers that your product really works. Bonus points if the photos depict results from actual customers as they can further help to strengthen the trust consumers have in your products.

For example, Frank Body often shares before and after skin transformation photos of people who used their products. These photos clearly show the skin issues that customers had before using the products and the improvements that they experienced after.



4: Photos with Text Overlay Highlighting Top Features/Ingredients

Photos alone are sometimes not enough to share your entire message. They may be unable to properly highlight the ingredients that you use or the best features of your products. This is especially true if your product packaging doesn’t immediately specify those details. Using text overlay to highlight these details is a fun and excellent way to get your message across more clearly.

You could use text overlay in your photos to showcase the product’s top ingredients, best features, or top benefits. For example, Honest uses text overlay to highlight some of these key details about their range of hand-care products.



5: Photos with Fun and Creative Graphics

Alternatively, you can use fun and creative graphics to turn regular photos into something unique and eye-catching. The graphics could be used to highlight some of the key features of the product. It could also just act as decorative elements to make the photo pop.

With the following photo, SAYE used fun graphics to highlight the sustainable materials used to make their latest sneakers. Instead of just showing a standalone photo of the product, they add drawings of cacti and corn to showcase how they source the material.



6: Memes Specific to Your Brand/Industry

Memes make the (social media) world go round. And if you want to reach an Instagram audience, you can’t afford to not use them, provided that memes align with your brand personality. Create original and funny memes that would resonate with your target audience. This would mainly be memes specific to your industry that your audience would find relatable.

What’s even better are memes that are highly specific to your products or brand such as a meme about a sale or a gift card–things that would ideally drive your audience closer to a purchase. For example, Cult Beauty regularly shares memes about the appeal of their 20% off discount and their gift cards.



7: Photos of Your Products Being Made

Another great way to earn the trust of your audience is by sharing photos of your products being made. For example, you could share a photo of textiles being woven, ingredients being sourced, products being bottled, bags being stitched, etc. You could even share a series of photos in a carousel format to take your audience on a journey through the typical process of crafting your products.

This allows you to take potential customers behind the scenes and follow your product journey. It helps to build transparency in your production and manufacturing process, which enables you to establish credibility and trust.

For example, Pedro Garcia regularly shares carousel posts in which they share a series of photos showing how their products are made. These photos help the audience follow the journey of the brand’s products from the drawing board to the store. Each photo depicts how the products are carefully crafted in their factories, helping to establish their exquisite craftsmanship.



8: Carousels of Products in Different Angles

With people using Instagram to research products, it should serve as a digital storefront where potential customers can get a good look at your product. That means you should leverage the visual nature of the platform to visually guide your audience. Use carousels to showcase a specific product from different angles much like how you share multiple images in your product page.

Allow your audience to look at your product from different angles so they can decide if they really want to buy it. You may include close-up shots, front photos, and side photos that help potential customers visually explore the product before they make a decision. This is particularly useful to drive sales for your newly-launched products.

For example, VEJA shared the following carousel post to introduce their audience to the new VEJA x Sea Shepherd collaboration. Each photo in the carousel allows people to see the shoes from a different angle to really get to know the product.



9: Photos that Evoke a Certain Mood

Your Instagram photos should be able to get your customers in the mood to buy your product. This “mood” could be anything from excitement to relaxation–anything that gets people closer to making a purchase. So it’s important that you share photos to evoke the mood you want to create that would eventually get people to buy your products.

For example, Peach Not Plastic regularly shares photos of inviting bathroom settings to get people in the mood to take a relaxing bath using their products. Even if the photos don’t specifically feature the brand’s products, they’re very effective at reminding people that they deserve to unwind in the tub.



10: Customer Spotlight Photos

Photos of real people with your products are highly effective for building trust with your target audience, especially when it comes to clothing. Seeing your products on people who look like them can convince potential customers that your clothes would look good on them too. So customer spotlight photos should be a part of your content strategy if you want to drive sales through Instagram.

Even outside of the apparel industry, photos of real people using your products can act as social proof and win the trust of your target audience. These user-generated photos show people that your customers trust your products, which could relieve their buying anxiety and convince them to finally make that purchase.

ABLE is an ethical clothing brand with inclusive sizes to cater to all types of women. The brand often shares customer spotlight photos, where real women of all shapes and sizes rock their products.



11: Photos from Influential Content Creators

Alternatively, you can also leverage photos where relevant and influential content creators are using your products. Since these creators have an established presence in your industry, having them vouch for your brand could convince many of their fans to buy your products.

Moreover, you can trust them to creatively showcase your products in a way that appeals to your target audience and inspires others to try the products for themselves. This could involve creating a unique makeup look, putting together a stunning outfit, or turning your condiment into a mouth-watering dish.

Wacom, for instance, shares artwork created by influential artists who use the brand’s product. These photos help not only showcase the artist’s talent but also highlight the potential that Wacom pens have for artists.



12: Photos Featuring Complementary Products Together

Do you have products that work extremely well together? Or are there products that just look great together? Make the most of Instagram to share eye-catching photos featuring these complementary products together and entice buyers.

This may involve putting together an outfit from your clothing collection or creating a makeup look that uses complementary products. Or it may even involve a set of products that should be used one after the other to get the best results. The idea is to put a spotlight on how multiple products complement each other so that potential customers are enticed to try out all of them.

For example, BUXOM Cosmetics created the following makeup look incorporating multiple products. In addition to sharing a close-up photo of the look, they provide a list of all the products used in creating the final look.



13: Carousels of Products in a Specific Collection

Another great way to use carousel posts is for sharing photos of multiple products from a certain collection. Perfect for teasing an upcoming launch, these photos can help the audience take a closer look at the different items they can expect in your product collection. It helps to build excitement for your upcoming launch and get your audience geared up to grab their favorite products once the collection launches.

Colourpop, for instance, shared the following carousel post to give their fans a closer look at the new Avatar: The Last Air Bender collection. It included two images - one that clearly showed all the items in the collection and one that gave a close-up of the palette. They also listed all the products in the caption. 

The post was shared on the day before the launch after several teaser Stories and Reels. It allowed people to get a closer glimpse of the products included in the collection so they can plan what to buy as soon as it launches.



14: Photos with Strategic Use of Color

Colors, when used strategically, can create visually appealing images that entice people to buy a product. In fact, 75% of snap judgments that people make about consumer products are based on color. So it’s important to plan your photos carefully to showcase your products with backgrounds and elements that complement the product’s colors.

For example, Jeffrey Campbell takes great care in portraying their shoes with colors that either match or complement them. This may be pink shoes with a shimmery pink gown, green shoes on a green background and with different shades of green clothing, or even orange boots against an azure sky. Each color combination is used for highlighting the products in the best light possible and making sure that fans are enticed to buy their shoes.



Get Your Photo Game On

These 14 Instagram photo ideas not only give you inspiration for your content calendar but also show you how you can depict your products in the most appealing way possible. The goal is to use these images to entice people to buy your products through close-ups, before-and-after transformations, customer spotlights, and memes. Make the most of them to drive more sales this summer.  

About the Author
With over 15 years in content marketing, Werner founded Influencer Marketing Hub in 2016. He successfully grew the platform to attract 5 million monthly visitors, making it a key site for brand marketers globally. His efforts led to the company's acquisition in 2020. Additionally, Werner's expertise has been recognized by major marketing and tech publications, including Forbes, TechCrunch, BBC and Wired.