Instagram is the new holy grail for brands, businesses, influencers and creators alike. It can attract so much attention by a few simple clicks, making it the perfect platform to advertise and communicate with technology users. Exploring this article will point out some of the most simple, yet effective, ways that you can utilise to promote your ideas and products. Although Instagram is supposedly about the imagery, engaging captions can really steal the show.
1. Ask questions to encourage engagement
Asking questions to your followers within your captions provides you with the opportunity to understand just who they are and what they like. Questions also issue a response: if users respond to your questions in the comments of your post, this will then increase your profile’s engagement. It also promotes a friendly, two-way relationship with them, promoting the ethos that their opinion truly matters to your brand and that you are interested in what they have to say.
Here shows Starbucks actively reaching out to users with the question, “What’s your go-to?”. This technique motivates its users to reply in the comments with their answers to the question, increasing engagement and getting people talking about their favourite Starbucks caffeine fix, keeping them front of mind. Happy, cared-for customers are returning customers; they’ll never miss their Monday morning cappuccino again!
2. Identify who you’re writing for
When pen goes to paper, thumb goes to keypad or finger goes to keyboard, it’s important to ask yourself: “who am I talking to?” Understanding the purpose of your captions is crucial, as it can influence the style and content of them hugely. This can be as easy as determining whether your caption will be written formally or informally? Detailed or simple? Brief or informative? If your desired audience is thrown off track or confused by your captions, you may be putting yourself at risk of a loss of consumption.
PrettyLittleThing (PLT) does a great job here of recognising exactly who their target audience is, using relatable terms which ‘Gen Z females’ are likely to be familiar with. While it’s important that the phrase ‘out out’ is used by PLT’s target audience of young women, it’s also relevant to the products that the brand offers, as it describes a late night out with friends, drinking and dancing in bars and clubs… and most importantly of course, incredible outfits.
3. Use relevant hashtags to attract your desired audience
We’re all guilty of using a good old hashtag – especially back in the 2012 days, when they would be under all of our Instagram captions. You know, #live #laugh #love, that type of thing. But sometimes we can underestimate the power of a hashtag, forget how it can land us straight onto our desired audience’s screen within a second of hitting send. You sell holidays in Greece? Hashtag #greekholidays under your post, and Laura from Birmingham has just had a hopeful glance at your £300pp offer. Amazing!
Whether you’re a hardcore LEGO fan, you thrive in the world of Toy Photography or you still dream about owning a brand new Porsche, this post has got your attention. LEGO has cleverly incorporated various hashtags within this caption to grasp the eyes and minds of someone that this product would excite.Still yet to be a proud owner of a Porsche 911? Build one instead! Exciting captions like these are likely to stay at the front of people’s minds, inspiring them to buy from them in the future and to also share their experiences with others.
4. Keep it short and snappy
When you’re passionate about something, of course you’re going to want to talk about it. And talk, and talk, and talk, and ta-
… yeah, we get it. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t enjoy reading long Instagram captions. Your caption should be able to grip your reader without them occasionally glancing up at coronation street and dipping their biscuit into their tea, forgetting what your post was about and completely losing interest.
Nothing says effective simplicity quite like a short alliteration. This two-word caption by ASOS is straight to the point and really doesn’t need amplifying. Sometimes the photo does all the talking; it doesn’t need a lengthy caption to take the credit. If your brand develops a reputation for lengthy, boring captions, it may not attract further attention and buyers. Bad rep, bad vibes.
5. Ask users to tag their friends or like and share
Social media may not always favour your business and its content, but what it does favour is your followers and their friends and communities. Just by asking your followers to share your post, you’ll reach more eyes who potentially convert into more followers, more likes, more engagement, and ultimately more sales. Before you know it, from a ‘like and share’ caption you’ve gained 11 more followers and 12 more likes. Izzy tagging their brother in your post just gained you 19 more likes and 5 more comments. It’s that simple, and super effective!
Whilst promoting the chance to win a cash prize for a hen party to their users, Missguided have also grasped the opportunity to promote themselves with both hands. Issuing a competition under the grounds that users entering must share and follow their page will largely expand their brand name amongst Instagram users, everywhere. Hopeful users will be unconsciously advertising the clothing brand and massively upping their engagement. Guilty? I know I am (although still yet to win a competition).
Although simple, these tips are sure to enhance your captions in a way that will be remembered by your audience. Following them will guide you through a stress-free caption-writing experience, ensuring you’re equipped with advantageous material to drive buyers in your brand’s direction.