Instagram is a valuable marketing tool for brands, but choosing the best images to make the most impact isn't always easy! Most brands focus on two rewards from their Instagram investment: engagement or sales. Unfortunately not all images are created equal. Some images draw more engagement and others more sales. By optimizing images meet your specific campaign goals, you can improve your ROI on Instagram.

It's known that color can impact mood and colors in your Instagram images are no different. Images intended to drive engagement, for example, should include green. A nice mid-tone green, something pleasing to the eye but not neon should do the trick. However, images that drive sales usually feature blues and yellows. Again, these colors shouldn't be bright! Sorry neon color lovers, those colors might not be best for your marketing! Choose your colors wisely to optimize your Instagram image performance.

While keeping in mind the image is important, don't overlook the caption. Writing the best captions can help drive engagement or sales. If it is engagement you are looking for, ask a question! People love to participate, so ask away!  If you are looking for sales however, steer clear of questions and stick to longer copy. Exclamation points should also be avoided.

What about filters? Filters are part of what makes Instagram, Instagram after all! Well, filter lovers, it seems there's one thing that images geared for engagement and sales both agree on: #nofilter is the best filter. Steer clear of filters to increase your engagement and sales. Let your products speak for themselves in all their #nofilter glory.

Posting frequency is key on any social network; Instagram is no different. If you are going for engagement you should be posting at a higher frequency. If you want engagement you simply need to deliver more items that drive conversations. If your current focus is sales your images are should direct your fans elsewhere, whether it be to your site or brick and mortar shop, to guide their purchase.


No matter if you are looking for more brand engagement and brand awareness or to drive more sales, Instagram can play an important role in your social marketing plan. Engagement, sales, or both — your images need to inspire action. Do you follow these guidelines on your Instagram account? If not, do you think they might help focus your Instagram usage? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Image courtesy of Olapic.