Instagram is one of the most important social channels for ecommerce brands. When used well, it can be super influential for buying decisions, helps you build your brand and it can be a great source for user-generated content.
But you knew that already. And you know who else knows? Your competitors. With almost every DTC brand in existence using Instagram as a key part of their social media strategy, you’ll need to work hard on cutting through the noise and attracting your dream customer.
If you’re looking to revamp your Instagram content strategy, taking inspiration from what’s working for other brands is a good place to start. In this article, we’ll go through 30 of the best examples from the Instagram accounts of growing ecommerce brands like yours.
But before we get to that, here’s a few branding tips on how to best optimise your Instagram profile. After all, it’s important to get the basics right before you start revamping your posts.
4 tips to optimise your Instagram right now
Before you start refreshing your Instagram feed with lots of new content, make sure your profile itself is working as hard as it can for your brand. Here’s a few quick wins you can implement today which could help both your organic and Instagram advertising performance:
- Optimise your company bio - This is the first bit of information anyone sees when they land on your Instagram channel. Make sure it’s pulling its weight! Include a snappy description of your company. Then have your profile link point to a great (mobile optimised!) landing page or use a tool like Linktree to pull together a curated list of URLs and landing pages. If Instagram drives new customers for your brand, you could even include a discount code that visitors to your Instagram profile can use when they checkout.
- Collecting stories together - Stories are only viewable to your followers for 24 hours. But they’re still stored in your Instagram account! Collect them together into themes, like ‘reviews’ and ‘product tips’. This means they’re always viewable on your profile and can be a great way for new visitors to catch-up on the content they missed.
- Repost customer images you’re tagged in - Before you dive in to creating lots of new content, see if there’s anything about your brand your customers have posted on their own profiles. Most social tools, like Later or Hootsuite, let you regram posts from customers whilst giving them proper attribution.
- Promote your Instagram elsewhere - This one’s self-explanatory. Encourage your customers to follow you on Instagram by linking to your channel from your site and your email footers.
Inspo from the best ecommerce brands on Instagram
Right, buckle up kids! Here’s some of the 30 best growing DTC brands on Instagram, split up by sector, with a key takeaway you can use from each one. Let’s get started!
Food and beverage brands on Instagram
Canned cocktail maker, Moth Drinks, have grown rapidly in the past few years. And they’re not set to slow down any time soon! In fact, they’re continuing to add new cocktails to their range.
To build hype and buzz around each product launch, they turn to their Instagram feed.
Take these two posts from October 2022. First they announced they’ve got ‘big news coming’. Then, two days later, they announced that three new cocktails were about to launch - and offered a prize for the first 3 people to guess correctly which cocktails were about to drop.
Takeaway: Use your Instagram to build hype and drop hints about new product lines you’re developing.
The chocolate industry usually works seasonally, with specific products designed and sold at certain times of the year - like Valentine’s, Easter or Christmas.
Chocolate-maker Chococo’s Instagram gets this perfectly. In the build-up to key holidays, their feed showcases their new products and sets a vibe for the season.
In the week before Halloween, here’s what their feed looked like:
Source: Chococo's Instagram profile
Takeaway: Make use of seasonality, especially if that’s how your product cycles work. It keeps your feed feeling relevant and shows off your new seasonal products in the best light.
Good Pair Days
Wine subscription company Good Pair Days sends wines straight to your door, based on your likes and budget.
With their warm orange brand colours and characterful illustrations, their branding is strong and instantly recognisable. But they’re not afraid to mix it up a bit on their Instagram, throwing the occasional meme into the mix for some relatability and tongue-in-cheek humour.
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to use memes! As long as you get the humour right, and they’re related to your brand, it’s a good way to inject humour and familiarity into your feed.
Ethical, equitable spice company Diaspora Co sources the finest ingredients from across the Indian subcontinent, shortening the supply chain and paying spice farmers 6x above the commodity price while they’re at it.
Their Instagram stops you in your tracks with their eye-catching, bright, spice-inspired brand colours. They’re also making use of Instagram Stories to create useful collections.
Check out their highlights answering customer FAQs about their spices. By featuring these prominently they’re potentially dealing with any purchasing blockers prospective buyers might have.
Takeaway: Have questions your customers ask you all the time? Collect your answers together into a Stories Highlight. This makes sure your Stories can be viewed 24 hours after posting and helps visitors new to your brand find out more about your products.
There’s a lot to like about healthy snack food brand Misfit’s Instagram feed. And one thing they sure know how to do is launch a new product with a splash.
Here’s a collection of posts they did about their white choc lemon cheesecake flavour which dropped in June 2022.
The new bar took over their feed for a month with a mix of different types of posts to keep it fresh. From recipe videos to stylish, zesty product shots they made sure their new flavour started with a bang.
Takeaway: Give new product lines the attention they deserve, and don’t just settle for one announcement post. Think about different types of content you can post about the new product you’re launching, just like Misfits do.
Fashion brands on Instagram
Named one of the fastest growing ecommerce brands last year by Brightpearl, Passenger Clothing are certainly doing something right (including using Dash for their visual content by the way 😇).
Passenger’s customers are adventurous, outdoor-loving and stylish. They’ve curated their Instagram feed to perfectly reflect this. Not only does it show off their clothing, the wild locations they do their photoshoots in speaks to their customers' spirit of adventure.
Takeaway: Know thy customer. Your products never exist in a vacuum - they’re a means to letting your customer do or experience something. Make sure you capture this on your Instagram with top-quality lifestyle shots.
There’s a growing family of eco-conscious fashion brands who’d rather you buy 1 quality garment that lasts 5 years, than 5 poor-quality garments which last 1 year.
Swimsuit maker Youswim are one of them. Keeping an eye on their environmental impact is important to them. They help realise this through the after-purchase support they provide.
One of their Highlights on their Instagram profile is how to best look after your swimsuit. They offer helpful advice on how to wash, clean and store it so it lasts for longer.
Takeaway: Don’t forget about your customers after they buy something from you. Use your Instagram to educate on how best to look after the product once they’ve bought it. It’ll help them get more use out of it and support your sustainability goals!
Iconic clothing brand Filling Pieces specialise in luxury streetwear and sneakers. So it makes perfect sense that they partner with brands delivering different products for the same audience.
Take this collaboration they did with high-end watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen. Filling Pieces bought the forest green trainers, IWC bought the forest green watch, and both brands turned to their Instagram profile to promote it. Different complementary products meant for the same audience = a match made in heaven.
Want to find out more about Filling Pieces? Check out their customer story on how they manage their visual content using Dash.
Takeaway: Look for complimentary brands who are going after the same target audiences as you and make use of Instagram’s ‘brand partnership’ tag. Joining forces is a great way to get in front of their following and potentially attract new customers to your profile.
Lucy & Yak
Fellow Brighton-based business Lucy & Yak are famous for their iconic dungarees in vibrant prints and colours.
Their Instagram is a celebration of everything the brand is well known for - from bright jackets with sunflower prints to mushroom-embroidered dungarees.
One area their account particularly shines in is their use of Instagram Reels. This is a relatively new feature Instagram released in a bid to compete with TikTok. Lucy & Yak’s account takes full advantage of the feature, with their Reels showing off their colourful products and offering helpful styling tips.
Takeaway: Since launch, Reels are one of Instagram’s most popular content types - so don’t ignore them. If you’re creating TikToks already, then start with reposting these as Reels on your Instagram.
Menswear brand Wax London creates clothes “to unite and elevate the everyday – day in, day out".
Like most fashion brands, they work seasonally, launching new product collections every quarter. And to showcase their latest range on their Instagram, Wax uses a story Highlight collection to pull it all together. It’s a great idea, creating something like an interactive catalogue of your latest collection all within Instagram.
Takeaway: Dropping collections of products seasonally? Use a curated Instagram Highlight to show-off all your new items and create an interactive catalogue, all within your IG profile.
Furniture and home decor brands on Instagram
Australian furniture makers RJ Living take a lot of their own magazine-quality photography, so it’s no surprise their Instagram feels super slick and design-focused. But they also mix up their posts by regramming posts from their customers using their products. These posts give a great representation of how their products look in real homes, and seeing how other customers have styled their products acts as great inspo for those on the fence.
They're also a Dash customer! Read more about how they use Dash to get all their visuals organised.
Takeaway: Regram posts that customers tag you in featuring your products (with their permission). It’s a great way to show how your product looks ‘in real life’ and pairs nicely with more styled photography.
They curate their magazine-quality posts by colour pops. Take this section below, which showcases their orange and blueberry-coloured products perfectly. 🍊🫐
Takeaway: Curating and theming your posts by product and/or colours is a great way to give your feed an editorial feel - and makes scrolling through it a joy for profile visitors.
B-Corp accredited, eco-conscious paint manufacturer COAT are pretty cool in our books. And that’s not just because (ahem) they’re a Dash customer 😇. They aim to, in their words, “make it easy to create a stylish home in a conscious way”.
This shines through in their Instagram. They feature short how-to videos which give prospective customers inspiration for DIY projects they can do at home using their paints. Like this one on how to give your wardrobe a quick make-over.
Takeaway: Feeling inspired is a great motivator in a customer buying from you. Use videos to show how your product can be used in different ways - and you could be on to a winner!
Instagram is still the go-to place for influencers. So if you’re serious about the channel for your ecommerce brand, you’ll at least want to experiment with commissioning a few.
Takeaway: Work on your influencer marketing strategy. Sign up content creators with followings related to your brand. Try working with various types of creators with different-sized followings to see which works best for your brand. Use our free, editable influencer brief template to get started!
You hear a lot about using punchy Instagram content to stop users endless scrolling on the platform.
But you know? Forget that. Take a leaf out of MustardMade’s book and - instead - encourage the scroll!
Their cabinets and storage lockers are well-known for the bright colours they come in. They make the most of that on their Instagram by theming posts to feature one colour at a time. The result? One super colourful, rainbow experience when you scroll through their feed.
Takeaway: This requires dedication and discipline - but theming your Instagram posts to create a top-notch scroll could be a great way to maximise the time potential customers spend on your profile.
Cosmetics, beauty and skincare brands on Instagram
Refillable, natural deodorant brand Wild have grown a lot recently.
One of the key drivers of this has been word of mouth. Wild know this and make the most of it on their Instagram profile. Literally their first Highlight collection promotes their refer a friend programme and talks users through the process.
Takeaway: Word of mouth is one of the most convincing purchase drivers out there. Make the most of it and promote your refer a friend scheme on your Instagram
If you want to increase your sales, show prospective buyers people like them who are already using your product.
Why? It builds credibility. If you’re Starface, you’re asking people to put - well, stars on their face (for a reason, they clear up spots). It makes perfect sense they repost user-generated content onto their Instagram of happy customers using their products.
Takeaway: User-generated content (UGC) is your friend! Regram posts from happy customers and give them proper attribution. It reinforces customer loyalty (being reposted by a brand you like is a nice lil’ boost) and helps with social proof for prospective buyers.
US-based Dossier Perfumes make affordable scents based on top-end, super expensive perfumes. With almost 100 products to pick from, how do you make sure your prospective customers can find scents that will work best for them?
One answer? Fun content. Dossier’s Instagram experiments with a few fun, tongue-in-cheek posts which help users learn more about the scents they offer. Take this scrollable post, matching your star sign to one of their products 👇
Takeaway: Experiment! Test out different angles and types of content to keep your feed feeling fresh and engaging. Extra points if, like Dossier, you’re able to think of ways to aid product discovery and match your items with potential customers.
Beauty brand Go-To Skincare have two other siblings brands - Gro-To (for kids) and Bro-To (for men). They make sure the two smaller brands get the attention they deserve by featuring them in their Instagram bio.
Takeaway: If you’re part of a family of complimentary brands, make sure you feature them in your bio (and have them do the same for you).
Shake Up Cosmetics
Everyone loves a good before and after, right? For beauty brands, this is particularly relevant. Your customers are buying your products because they want to see some kind of immediate difference.
Takeaway: Focus on results your products have. Does your product make a noticeable and immediate difference for customers? If so, then turn that into content for your Instagram!
Pet care brands on Instagram
Appeal to your customers’ competitive spirit!
A winner is chosen every month, who, as well as getting a hamper full of Forthglade goodies, also gets a feature on their Instagram. Just like the adorable Otto, featured below, who was the winning entry for October 2022. It’s the attention your prize-winning pooch deserves!
They use an integration between Jotform and Dash for this. They ask for submissions on their website, which sends everything over to their Dash - where they can go through each one and pick a winner. Read more in their customer story.
Takeaway: Regular user-generated content competitions are a great way to build buzz around your brand and keep your customers engaged.
As any marketer will tell you, the ‘above fold’ part of your landing page - the bit a visitor sees before they start scrolling - is the most important. It’s what visitors use to make a split-second decision as to whether they want to bounce or continue reading.
It’s the same principal for social. That’s why Instagram introduced pinned posts, so you can better curate your profile and pin your best content to the top - regardless of when you posted it.
Cat-food brand Cat Person makes clever use of this. Two of their pins are instructional videos on how to use their products. And the other? A funny meme video of someone having a sushi night with their cat (honestly, goals 😻). It tells you who they are as a brand and introduces you to their products.
Takeaway: Pin your posts, people! Make sure visitors to your Instagram are presented with your best content before they succumb to another online distraction and bounce.
Fun fact, videos on Instagram get you twice as much engagement as regular image posts. So make sure you’re not forgetting about video content when you’re creating your Instagram strategy.
Take dog food brand Butternut Box, for example. Not only do they post clips taken from their longer YouTube videos, they also create video series specifically for their Instagram on topics like dog behaviour and training.
Takeaway: Long-form videos could be the answer if your engagement rate is flat-lining. Repurpose your YouTube content or post custom-made video series on your Instagram profile.
Every time you ask a customer to buy from you, you’re asking them to take a leap of faith. They need to trust that your product will do what it’s advertised as doing.
There are many ways you can help prospective buyers overcome this. One of them is getting reviews from happy customers, which you can then use as social proof to nudge potential shoppers on the fence toward checking out.
Takeaway: Regramming customer posts isn’t the only type of social proof you can use on Instagram. Try turning the reviews happy customers leave you into simple image posts. It’s a good way of adding credibility and educating profile visitors on the items you sell.
This will come as no surprise to any ecommerce brand worth their salt - but shoppers are increasingly driven by their values. It means they’re expecting the brands they buy from to support the causes they hold close to their hearts.
If you’re a brand with a strong social purpose, make sure you’re telling your Instagram followers about it. Take pet food brand Lily’s Kitchen, who pinned this video about their B Corp accreditation to the top of their profile. They were the first pet food brand to the certificate, so it’s only right they shout about it!
Takeaway: Shoppers aren’t just interested in your products. They want to know who you are as a business, and what the causes you believe in are. Make sure you use your Instagram profile to tell them!
Health and fitness brands on Instagram
When you’re deciding to buy something - especially when it’s a more considered purchase - you’ll want to know what you’re about to get is the best quality product for what you can afford.
Wetsuit brand Orca get it. Their wetsuits are used by athletes around the world, so getting across the performance, reliability and durability of their products is absolutely key.
One of the ways they do this is with their ‘OrcaLab’ story Highlights on their Instagram. Using product feature call-outs and cold hard data on the strength of the materials they use, they artfully handle any objections a buyer might have - and make them feel like a product expert as well.
(They’re also a Dash customer btw 😇 - check out their story).
Takeaway: If you have statistics on how your products help customers achieve their goals, turn them into posts for your Instagram. No-one can argue with science, right?
Everyone loves a giveaway! Take inspiration from fitness brand Crossrope. They teamed up with complimentary brands Hyperice and Fight Camp to give away over $6000 worth of products, and promoted it on their Instagram feed.
Takeaway: Giveaways are a great way to engage followers. Like the Crossrope example, they can also help you build mutually-beneficial relationships with other companies in your space.
It’s the day ecommerce brands both look forward to and dread - yup, we’re talking about Black Friday.
To maximise your Black Friday campaigns, promote it as widely as possible using content specifically created for each of your brand’s channels.
Take supplement brand Obvi. At the time of writing (a few weeks before the events), they’ve already put their Black Friday sales live and are promoting it on Instagram to their 115,000-strong fan base. They’re making it even more compelling to shoppers by highlighting the freebies you get with your orders, too!
Takeaway: Promote any sales you’re running on your Instagram. You could include a custom discount code for your followers to use when they check out, so you can measure how effective your sales promotions have been. A word of caution though - use posts like this sparingly and pepper them with other types of content. Followers might start to drop off if they feel like they’re being sold to constantly.
There’s lots of cool inspiration to be found in how fitness wear TALA use their Instagram profile. But one thing we particularly liked is how they use Instagram to promote a range they’re about to drop. Take the below example - they’ve created a mini catalogue of sorts, showing a whole range in a single image.
Takeaway: If you’re about to drop an entire new collection, try grouping your products together and posting them in a single Instagram image.
30 Instagram content ideas for your marketing
From the brands above, here’s 30 ideas you can use to level-up your brand’s Instagram content right now, categorised by tip type.
- Build hype around a product launch, before you launch it.
- Try showing a new range in a single Instagram image.
- Make a big deal out of new product launches.
- Working in a business with seasonal product drops? Theme your profile accordingly.
- Featured Highlights are a great way to show off new product collections.
- Educate followers on the issues your product is trying to solve - not just what your product does.
- Show off any statistics you have on how your product performs and solves customer problems.
- Use Instagram to educate customers on how they can best look after the item after purchase.
- Answer your FAQs in your Stories, and collect them together into a Highlight.
- Use videos to show off how your product can be used.
Sales and giveaways
- Partner with other brands to promote giveaways on your feed.
- Promote site sales on Instagram. Bonus points if you call special attention to any extra freebies customers can get.
Social proof and reviews
- Turn customer product reviews into Instagram posts.
- Customers want to see the impact your product has, so create before/after posts.
- User-generated content is a great way to show how your customers using your product.
- User-generated content competitions can build a community around your brand.
- Promote your refer a friend scheme to your Instagram followers.
- Experiment with using different types of influencers.
- Regram posts from customers who tag your profile.
Instagram profile optimisation
- Make use of Instagram’s pin feature and stick high-performing posts to the top of your profile.
- Curate and theme your posts by products. When done well it’ll create an eye-popping first impression that can stop an Instagram visitor from bouncing.
- Use colourful gradients and clever content scheduling to create a great scrolling experience.
Image and video content
- Talk about the social values and purpose of your company in your Instagram content.
- Post long-form videos on your Instagram, too! This is even easier if you’re already creating videos for YouTube - you can just repurpose them.
- Your product doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Use high-quality photography to capture the lifestyle you see your product fitting in.
- Look for brands in a similar space to you that you can partner with.
- Test out different angles and types of content to see what gets the most engagement.
- Cross-promote any sibling brands within your company.
- Reels are your friend! And you can repost any you create to your TikTok, too.
But before you dive head first into levelling-up your social media marketing and creating new content for your Instagram, make sure you have the right tools in place.
Dash helps ecommerce brands keep on top of all the visual content they’re creating - including Instagram posts. Use Dash to manage your content creator approval processes, organise all the graphics you’re creating and sort them by their performance when they finally do go live. It’s free to try and you don’t need a credit card, so set up a trial in seconds!