As a business owner, you are surely aware by now of Instagram’s expansive reach. According to a report released last year by TechCrunch, the social media platform now has one million monthly active users, with that number only set to skyrocket by the end of this year.
If you’re already posting high-quality photos and videos on your business’ Instagram feed: congratulations, you’re halfway there! Still, if you’re neglecting to dedicate appropriate time to craft your captions, you’re missing a major opportunity.
It’s true that Instagram is a primarily visual platform, but posts have an entire area of real estate that can serve to increase traffic to your website, your number of Instagram followers, and even your sales list. A beautiful photo might make a user slow his or her scrolling, but a well-written and accurately pitched caption can go a long way in terms of your marketing and sales goals.
Here are some tips for writing a killer Instagram caption:
Consider Caption Length
Instagram captions can be as long as 2,200 characters and can contain up to 30 hashtags. Like most marketing strategies, the copy in your caption is all about quality over quantity. There is no right or wrong length.
Make the First Sentence Pop
Instagram shortens your caption after three or four lines, so make sure you include the most important details in the beginning. Indeed, lead with the hook to see better engagement; leaving your call-to-action until the last line is a risky move!
Include a CTA or Ask a Question
Each post should have a purpose and intention, so let that goal dictate the call to action. Do you want followers to visit your website or shop for a specific product? Share your post with friends, or enter a contest? Share user-generated content, or shop a promotion? The key is to encourage engagement and create a sense of dialogue.
Offer tips and tricks, or some kind of information to encourage your audience to share and bookmark the post.
Authenticity is king! In content and captions, write with a human voice. Be as strategic and intentional as you like, but make sure your captions read as natural, and like a friend to the viewer.
Don’t be neutral. Add personality to your captions, like sensory words, phrases or anecdotes that help paint a picture.
“Describe touch, taste, sound, sight, emotion, feel. Get specific,” says Ashlyn Carter at Ashlyn Writes. “Don’t just say ‘Tex-Mex.’ Say ‘salty corn chips dunked in guacamole washed down with tart margaritas.”
Instagram hashtags are an excellent way to properly leverage your posts. They function like keywords, as well as offering tracking and searching capabilities. Brands may group hashtags at the end of the caption after the first few lines, while others elect to sprinkle them throughout the caption to give it dimension.
When it comes to branding, make sure you are focusing on your potential customers. Keep your eyes on the prize, and forget about pleasing everyone. Once you have this in mind, writing punchy Instagram captions is as easy as pie.