Instagram is one of the most booming platforms used for brand promotion and e-commerce today. When this platform first appeared in 2010, not many specialists were considering it suitable for marketing promotion strategies. Moreover, no one could predict such a growth of app users all around the world.
But now, marketers admit that Instagram is worth putting the effort into, as it boosts revenue and brand awareness. For example, 72% of app users admit they have purchased at least one item that they have seen on Instagram.
So, if the effectiveness of Instagram brand posting is quite clear, the way to do it properly sometimes is often hard to see. For example, should you use stories? What hashtags are more effective? And, lastly, is a copy as relevant as pictures themselves? Let’s dive into this topic and find out what tricks you should use when writing a powerful copy for your Instagram.
A Profile Bio
Let’s start with the first thing that a user can see – your profile bio. A bio is a brief description of your brand and your business sphere. For example, you can write a few words about your products, e.g. “Cruelty-free cosmetics,” or “Biodegradable packaging manufacturer.” This is the most important information block, as it explains who you are and what you offer.
But there is another important thing about your bio – this is the only place on Instagram where you can attach a clickable link. If you add a link to post or comment – it will be shown as a plain text which can’t be copied and pasted to an address bar via the app. That’s why your bio should contain a direct link to your website, and which you can refer back to in your posts, so as to lead your users to your website (for example, “click the link in the bio”).
So, if you want to write a perfect copy for your bio, check out some useful tips for it:
- A bio is limited by 150 characters. This means that it has to be laconic, or written in as few words as possible.
- Think of the strengths, significant achievements or advantages of your brand. Think of them as a chance to impress someone in 10 seconds.
- Change your bio information to draw attention to events or sales that you are having. Simply edit your bio and write something like, “Seasonal sale up to 50% off till May 15th, 2019,” or “Meet the Pulitzer Prize winner at our conference on Friday the 15th, at Kasbeer Hall.”
- Keep your target audience under consideration, and write your bio according to the age group, preferences, interests or occupation of your prospective followers. Are they students or maybe first-time moms? Choose the tone and words that speak to them.
- If the majority of your target audience uses slang, jargon or specific vocabulary, use it in your bio: “Clothes from a fashionista’s daydream,” or “Indie comic book shop of the weird and strange.”
- Add CTAs, such as: “Follow the link,” “Listen to our latest podcast,” or “Shop now.” This will attract more attention to the link that you have attached.
- Use hashtags and emojis right in your bio.
- Mention your benefits like, “free USA shipping,” or “every third box of candy is free.”
- Mention the location, address or region that you work in and for.
Pay attention to your bio and don’t consider it as an unchangeable part of your profile. Many brands change their bios in order to make them suitable for current trends or brand development.
You might be trying hard to make a great post while having a full stack of decorations on the set, organizing a 1.5-hour long photo-shoot of your new product, hiring the best specialists, and adjusting your shots in Photoshop. All this just to pick a photo that delivers your message, showcases your benefits, and makes your product look like a diamond – only to get no user reaction at all?
But how is it possible? Well, if you want users to see your post among the millions of photos that are posted every day, you need to work on something other than the photo itself – its caption.
Tips for writing engaging and compelling captions:
- Highlight the importance of your customers. Let them be the ones who choose how you make your product for them – like Adidas does in making their shoes a tool for human self-development.
- Talk about your product more. Every item that has a story behind it becomes more attractive to a buyer and more interesting.
- Stimulate interaction. Ask questions to get more comments, suggest saving or sharing your posts, and more. Have the conversation around your products or followers’ preferences look unconstrained and natural. Moreover, this communication will allow you to learn more about your followers.
- Imagine all of your captions having a 120 character cap on them, or three lines maximum. So you want to make them catchy and compelling. All the other information (the more detailed description or guidelines on how one can make a purchase) can be placed further away and viewed after hitting the “More” button.
- Use hashtags. Hashtags can be a whole other special science course to study. Many brands don’t hit the right hashtags that their audience follows. But you can avoid making such a mistake. For example, you can use tools like AllHashtag or RiteTag to find suitable, related or trending tags to use. Make sure to look at the images in each tag gallery, so as to make sure they are right for you.
- Use slang to make your brand closer to your audience and show them that you are on the same wavelength.
- Use mentions (type out the account name after @ to insert it into a caption) when collaborating with influencers or posting user-generated content. This way, you will increase the number of people seeing your posts. By the way, user-generated content is a great way to promote your brand, as it shows that other people buy your products, and enjoy them.
- Pay attention to the details. Make the intentions of your post clear. Is it a product advertisement? Then you should provide all the details, characteristics and price. They can be either in the caption, or on your website. In this case, you should guide your users with words like, “for more details follow the link in our bio.” If this is a campaign or informational post, you can add suitable hashtags or make specific hashtags yourself, such as, #brandnameinfo.
- Use CTAs to stimulate user engagement. Leda Northing, a copywriter of Take My Class says, “Some people underestimate the power of words that can really change a situation for you. Use words like, follow, shop, learn, visit, or comment to draw attention to a desired action. But avoid using words like pay, make, and decide, as they are associated with responsibility and deliberation.”
- Keep your captions clean. Make your text readable, especially if you have a long caption. Use spacing to separate the hashtag section from the text or break a big part of text into smaller ones.
Every caption is a little story behind your photo (or illustration). It’s your choice whether it is a simple description or advanced promotional content that builds a strong and attractive brand image on social media with its unique style.
Stories are a feature that is widely used by brands, specifically for brand promotion (more specifically, 36% of all stories posted by brands contain product promotion content). They lead users directly to product buying pages, so that they can increase the probability of impulse purchases being made or content being shared.
Tips on copywriting for Instagram stories:
- Elaborate on product features. Not every customer pays attention to product characteristics written down in long paragraphs or lists. But talking a little about the main features of the product, and its details might draw more people.
- Highlight the benefits of your product. If you have some apparent advantages, use them to make your product stand out.
- Talk about your product’s use. You can post user-generated content, or even show the usability of your product yourself, just don’t forget to write a few words on why your product can satisfy the needs of your target audience.
- Add links to the review pages, blog posts, researches, infographics or any other sources, if you think that they will complement your products. Add a signature like “Swipe up to know more” to help guide users.
- You should also add links directly to the product pages so that people who are interested in the product can instantly buy it without looking for it on your website.
- Show what’s “behind the stage” of your business. It shouldn’t be polished, as people will relate to unpolished stories a lot more. Write about the obstacles that you overcome or your business routine.
Use your stories to establish a connection with your target audience and have an opportunity to use features that are not available for regular posts. Keep an eye on this trending feature that gets increasingly popular.
Writing a convincing and powerful copy for your Instagram isn’t simple at all. You can’t perfect it in one day, just like you can’t build your brand image or unique style in one day. After some time, your experience will show you what type of posts draw more attention or engagement. Sometimes, it’s not even about the images or captions – it’s about overall brand charisma.
Regine Ward is a freelance blogger and a content creator who currently works for Take My Class service. She creates a lot of educational content which contains useful tips and pieces of advice for everyone who is interested in social media marketing and copywriting. She is also fond of yoga and photography.