And not just followers.
If you have a business you should seriously think about your strategy on Instagram.
This social platform is gaining ground to others, although it’s still far behind Facebook and YouTube.
The fact is that we can’t ignore it.
Instagram is above all a visual platform where images are most important. In fact most people check Instagram to look at photos of friends and celebrities.
Many brands like yours are there because their ideal customer is also there.
People are willing to follow these accounts if they bring something of value to their life.
Although images are critical, you must not let pass the opportunity to sell your product or service with the help of some juicy copy.
Good copy enhances good photos. As simple as that.
Instagram’s algorithm is designed to show first those posts that have a lot of interaction with their followers.
Posts that not only have likes, but where people also leave comments.
There are many accounts that buy false followers, as well as likes, and Instagram knows it.
Your Instagram captions need therefore to be strategically designed in order to produce that interaction you are looking for.
To be honest, I haven’t used much Instagram as a marketing tool.
I have an account, obviously, but I rather use it to post cool photos, since I like photography.
However, I’m studying lately a lot to see if I can also get some results for my business.
I have done experiments and read a lot about the subject and I have come to the conclusion that Instagram captures are increasingly important to achieve good results.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend hours on Instagram to have only likes that won’t serve me at all.
I want my efforts to be rewarded; to just pass the time I rather read a good novel.
If you also want your time on Instagram to be profitable let’s see how you should write your captions so they bring you more sales, which in the end is what we all want, right?
Short or long Instagram Captions?
The old belief was that Instagram was purely visual and therefore you didn’t have to take much care of the text.
This has proved wrong.
Many accounts such as the iconic National Geographic are writing real books on their captions.
And you know what?
That people do read them.
There’s this other old belief that people don’t read, but nothing could be further from the truth.
People read if they’re interested in the text and accounts like this one show it.Instagram not only rewards posts with comments but also those in which people spend more time reading. Click To Tweet
With this I don’t mean that you should write a book every time, if you don’t have anything to say.
Make sure the text you write is interesting to your buyer persona.
And how do you make sure of that?
If you have done your homework, you will already have a fairly clear picture of who your ideal customer is and what kind of desires and problems they have.
Your text adds value when it answers those questions that are on your ideal customer’s mind.
If he feels identified with what you write he will read it with great interest.
Download the free guide here!
Having many followers doesn’t necessarily translate into sales, but if you do it well, this little window to the world can convert more followers into customers.
Add always a link to your website in order to increase traffic
If your followers stay on Instagram and don’t go to visit your website you won’t be able to increase the organic traffic and therefore you won’t improve your ranking on Google.
Organic traffic is the most valuable thing you have, these are prospects who visit your site already with an interest.
Either because they have done a Google search with a few keywords and you have appeared in the top positions, or because you have prompted them to visit your site from your Instagram account.
On paid ads you can add a call to action button that directs prospects to a page on your website, such as View more, book now, etc.
You can’t add a call to action button on organic publications so you have to direct people to click on the link on your bio.
Create curiosity, talk about your latest blog post, or about a new service you offer so people will want to know more by visiting your website.
Think always about your audience and how you can help them.
The types of Instagram posts that work best
Sharing useful advice
Sharing practical advice or teaching something to your audience that you have recently learned through experience raises your profile, gives you credibility and authority in your field.
Create a tutorial or share something you’ve recently found that you don’t think others know, talk about the results of something you’ve been testing, or new applications you’ve found, etc.
All these things help your ideal customer solve her own problems and she will thank you by reaching to you when she needs a product or service like the one you offer.
Share with the world the great things other people are saying about your work.
Use quote formats you can find for free on platforms like Canva, or even better, share a picture of the person who praised you and include his words.
Don’t forget to add information about how someone can contact you if they also want to get what that person has achieved with your help.
Behind the scenes
People like to see what’s going on behind the scenes. Sharing photos from your day to day, in your studio or workshop will be like letting them look through a little window at how you work.
If you work in a team, post photos of your colleagues working together on a project.
These types of posts bring your audience closer; in the end people want to buy from brands they identify with and can trust.
To bring your audience even closer together think about creating a sense of community.
Share something you are struggling with, something you have observed, ask for help, reposition someone in your community, share a victory with your followers and always speak in a modest and honest way.
This is the most popular of all Instagram publications.
These inspiring posts provoke an emotional response in the audience, suggesting them to imagine themselves enjoying your product or service.
“Can you imagine…?”
“Have you ever tried….?”
Create quotes that share wisdom with your audience and serve as inspiration too.
Write on a different platform and then copy the text
Don’t ever skip this step!
Typing directly on your phone can be disastrous.
To make sure you don’t include spelling mistakes and the text is well structured, you can simply write it on OneNote or Evernote on your computer first and then copy it from that same application on your phone and paste it onto Instagram.
Nobody wants to read a messy text with grammar mistakes.
Call to an action
As we have seen before only paid posts can include a CTA (call to action) but you can bring traffic to your website by encouraging people to click on the link on your bio.
You can also encourage people to leave comments in order to increase your visibility.
These are ways to encourage people to do an action:
That people are encouraged to answer because they feel the topic touches them emotionally.
A conversation takes place, not only between you and that person but also with others.
These posts work really good.
Inviting people to tag a friend
This technique is very common and serves to attract more visits to your profile.
Things like: “Tag that friend who needs coffee in the mornings.”
“Tag that friend who wants to travel alone.”
Include captions that match the wishes and concerns of your target audience and that you know will be followed up.
Encouraging people to comment or share
If your text adds value, if it appeals to people’s emotions you will encourage people to leave comments and share.
It’s important to create a sense of community:
“those who like to travel alone” “People who like animals more than people” “solo entrepreneurs”.
It’s important to define yourself in order to create a community.
Let me explain.
Define your personal brand
Instagram is a very powerful tool which can help you to create your personal brand.
It allows you to spread the message; that WHY which defines your entire strategy.
If you are able to establish your personal brand, your ideal customer will feel identified with your WHY and will be part of your community.
You can’t be liked by everyone and there will be always people who think you’re a pain in the neck.
Those people are not your ideal customer.
Your ideal customer is that person who appreciates the value you bring to her life with your publications.
What’s more, when she is on Instagram she looks forward to seeing your posts.
And if she doesn’t see any, she wonders why and feels like she’s missing something.
These are the kinds of posts you want to share.
Tell a story
The best way to reach that group of people who will identify with you is by telling compelling stories.
Use the power of narrative (in this article I tell you in more detail how to use storytelling) to get the attention of your target audience and bring them closer to you.
Nowadays people buy brands they feel a certain connection with.
Not only do they like the product itself, but even more what that brand stands for.
Empowered women, people who respect the environment, athletes, people who love travelling, entrepreneurs.
If you tell stories that resonate with the desires of your target audience, they will respond.
Emoticons? Yes, but not too many
People use too many emoticons.
Ok, sometimes they help us to express an emotion or to add some humour.
But when you use them too much, 3 things happen:
- It gives the impression that you can’t express yourself properly and that’s why you need emoticons
- The text is too busy and makes it difficult to read
- You don’t sound serious
Being funny is ok, after all most people are on SM to distract themselves from their problems.
This aspect could also be part of your personal brand.
If you’ve decided to be that funny brand that makes people laugh all the time you may NEVER need to sound serious.
But if you’re a brand that doesn’t just want to be entertaining, and from time to time you wish to sound serious, you shouldn’t make too much use of emoticons.
Improve your written language instead.Express with words what you want the reader to feel instead of using, out of laziness most of the times, an emoticon. Click To Tweet
Don’t be a pain
There are people who publish something, not just every day, but even several times a day.
This seems excessive to me.
But it depends on you and above all on your buyer persona.
If your ideal customer is continuously on Instagram and doesn’t have a life of his own, well, maybe you should publish several times a day.
But I think the tendency is for people to worry more and more about not spending too much time on SM.
I firmly believe that the opposite effect will occur and that spending too many hours glued to the phone screen will be a reason to be ashamed of.
Be a pioneer on this and use SM with moderation, even incite your followers to do the same.
You don’t have to tell people constantly what you’re eating or how you’ve been served that coffee, which is by the way, just average.
Reply to people’s comments
It seems obvious and still many people don’t do it.
Show respect for your audience by responding to people’s genuine comments.
Sometimes you will get criticism, but if it comes from a person who has expressed it in a correct way, it’s better to reply.
When we expose ourselves to the public eye we run the risk of being criticized, not everything is going to be compliments.
People like to express their opinion and sometimes they may not agree with us.
We must receive these criticisms with an open heart and see if they have any constructive feedback we can use to improve ourselves.
It’s an exercise of self-reflection.
If the comments are rude, or even offensive, then that person is not worth your time.
Instagram is a very useful tool to promote your brand and increase traffic to your website.
In this article we have talked about the importance of captions and how we should write them in order to engage our followers.
I must add as a final note, although I think it’s obvious, that images are vital, so you must take care of them if you want to be successful on Instagram.
A cool image accompanied by a text that appeals to emotions is the perfect combination.
See you around!
I write web copy and engaging content for businesses without borders. I live in the Netherlands, I write everywhere. I love arthouse films and books that make me think. Tolstoy and Chekhov are my life coaches.