Instagram Captions are next in line behind the quality of your photo both being judged by your audience and the Instagram app itself. This is where you reach a potential customer or client in the text version of the photo you posted in more detail with the hopes of reaching an eventual customer or loyal follower. There are a few tactics you will need to implement in order to be successful and to grow on Instagram.
- Develop and Maintain Your Brand Voice
- Include a Call-To Action in Your Captions
- Include an Emotional Trigger
- Add Hashtags to Your Caption
- Ask a question
- Tag a Friend Strategy
A. Develop and Maintain Your Brand Voice
Your brand's voice is the personality that communicates with your audience so you can sell products or services on Instagram. It doesn't matter if your brand's voice is funny, sarcastic, profanity if you choose (google Gary Vee) or even formal-it should remain consistent. This will help you to develop an emotional connection with your audience, which is extremely important. Being yourself is always the go-to when choosing a voice. We mean the real you, this is how you will be able to find others like you, those with similar interests and as you or looking forB. Include a Call-To Action in Your Captions
People want to be told what to do. If you don't effectively direct your followers to take action, they likely won’t. In most cases, the call-to-action directs customers to visit your checkout page and hopefully get them to purchase your product/service.
Some examples are Call-To-Actions are:
- “Visit the link in our bio to learn more.”
- “View our newest collection by clicking the link in our bio.”
- “(your item) is on sale now. Link in bio!”
Your motivating call to action should be placed near the top of your caption since Instagram only displays the first three lines (or 125 characters) of captions before displaying the “read more” link in the feed. Your audience might not always click to “read more” so be sure to grab their attention in the first few words if possible.C. Include an Emotional Trigger
Emotions heavily influence what we buy, therefore, tapping into your audience’s emotions through a caption can lead to a sale.
DID YOU KNOW? Research shows that customers are four times more likely to buy from a brand they are emotionally connected to.
Now let's dive into a few emotions:
Fear (or Fomo - Fear of Missing Out)
This is not a real medical term, but we all know have experienced the feeling of something we want badly before it runs out or go out of stock. With social media, you probably have seen celebrity endorsed products sell out within hours. Not only to be the first but to not miss out. You can do this by suggesting that the product/service you are selling is in short supply or limited quantity. Run a contest or giveaway of a 1 of 1 item or service or "limited to 5 people" to get people going. This can ultimately drive your followers to purchase your product and at the least get you more engagement and possibly grow your followers.
DID YOU KNOW? Research suggests over 60% of millennials have made a purchase within 24 hours of feeling FOMO.
Speaking to your followers as if they are a part of your tribe (or gang) can help develop a sense of belonging with your brand, thus helping you sell products. Develop a name for your customers or audience and create a hashtag to represent it. This can make others feel like they are not alone and depending on your business niche, you won’t feel alone with a dedicated tribe that interacts with you.
Why not highlight reviews in your photo and caption so your customers won't have to search for them or provide a testimonial to help build trust between you and your audience? Reposting user-generated content also helps your followers and potential customers see others giving their stamp of approval.
DID YOU KNOW? Nearly 70% of consumers use online reviews to help them make a purchase.
The most challenging aspect to e-commerce or "in-person" business is that your potential customer can not physically hold the product before they buy. Your caption should be used to describe to followers how their lives can be changed by this product or describe what the product looks/feels like in detail or up close.D. Adding Hashtags to Your Caption
The right hashtags will help you extend your reach, thus getting your posts seen by more potential customers and help to grow your followers. You are allowed to use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram. Your goal is to find the right hashtags (keywords) for your target audience and specific to your niche. Once you have figured out what works for your brand, make sure to save them in a notes app on your phone for easy future use.
DID YOU KNOW? Using emojis in your caption can increase your engagement by nearly 43%!
Hard-selling your customers is not always the option when you are trying to develop an audience. Sometimes posting or discussing things that do not involve a sale can indirectly get you a sale. This also keeps you from coming off as overly-promotional AND can help you learn a thing or two about your customers. Question-based captions are also a great opportunity to encourage likes and comments on posts that otherwise might not receive much love. At the end of the day, people LOVE to talk about themselves, so ask them something. Even as simple as What are they up to? What did they do yesterday? What’s their favorite ice cream flavor? The sky’s the limits tbh.
F. Tag-A-Friend Strategy
The goal is to get as many people to your page as possible and a great way to see if your audience really cares about your content is by crafting a “tag a friend” post. This is basically another form of "word-of-mouth". Tag-a-friend posts are usually used in a playful way to encourage your current followers to introduce friends and non-followers to your business. This works best with comparisons or giveaways.
In conclusion, Instagram captions are critical to your success on the platform, yet they are often overlooked or not being used “profitably”. Great captions help you sell your products and/or services on Instagram because they increase engagement, create a two-way conversation between your brand and your followers, and the ability to direct your followers to a checkout page with a simple, yet powerful call-to-action. On top of sales, there is no better feeling than obtaining an audience you created yourself based on the content you have posted. You will feel personally connected to your brand as your engagement increases and eventually be able to predict your audience’s behavior.
Good Luck and thanks for reading!