How do you write scroll-stopping Instagram captions?


I’m going to share six copywriting tips with real life examples that you can use to skyrocket your engagement.

Instagram captions need to follow the ABCs of copywriting

Like all types of copy, Instagram captions need to follow the ABCs of copywriting.

You need to get attention with a great graphic and a compelling headline.

Second, they need to provide a benefit or some sort of value in the form of education, entertainment, or inspiration.

And lastly, they need a strong close.

They need to give people one clear and concise call-to-action.

Six tips for writing killer Instagram captions.

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Tip number one

To get more likes, share a relatable story.

It is a known fact that actual photos of people do typically get more likes.

So, yes, while this photo did help me grab attention, I opened the caption with a very strong and relatable question.

What if my client doesn’t like my copy?

This speaks to one of the biggest insecurities that copywriters have no matter how long they’ve been doing this.

Trust me on that and it’s a question that I get a lot.

In fact, this post was inspired by one of my Copy Posse Launch Pad students, who was feeling a little bit derailed after a client sent back her work with a bunch of slashes, edits, and comments.

So I shared our quick exchange with my Instagram community because let’s face it, it was real, it was authentic, and it was 100% relatable.

I knew other people would benefit from hearing that even experienced copywriters like myself and my high-level coaching students have doubts sometimes.

So rather than trying to pull content out of thin air, as much as you can, share real stories and be as specific as possible.

Remember, the more specific the story, the more relatable your copy.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to create polarity, take a strong stand for something you believe in, or own up to your own imperfections.

Nothing engages people more than a story that validates their own concerns, doubts, and fears, or speaks to a shared cause, mission, or belief.

Tip number two

To get more saves, share your favorite tips and tools.

Post short educational lists of your top copywriting tools, courses, and books.

Do a quick top five or top 10 list and provide insider tips and invaluable shortcuts on a topic that is highly relevant to your followers.

It’s actually scientifically proven that we love lists because they’re simple and they provide easy frameworks for us to process information quickly in an otherwise oversaturated and overwhelming information age.

So now you’ll see in the caption that on top of a compelling headline and a detailed list that supplements the graphic, we also have a clear CTA that says, “Comment yes below for us to DM you the links.”

And sometimes we even include a save for later call to action in the graphic directly above the save button.

That makes it really, really clear and easy for a follower to just click once, save that to their archive, and then they can refer back to it later whenever they want.

Tip number three

To get more shares, post a thought-provoking meme or quote.

Oh yes, the biggest crowd pleasers of them all, memes and quotes, both are punchy, straight to the point, and offer a quick burst of fun, just like a tequila shot.

Memes have the ability of uniting us using the universal emotion of humor.

There is no better way to do this than through satire of real life.

And while quotes may have gotten a bad rap lately, thanks to those spreading oversimplified, stolen, and sometimes painfully cliche wisdom, the numbers do not lie, people love quotes.

The bottom line is this, both quotes and memes are indisputably powerful and share worthy, especially when they are relevant to your audience and speak to their sense of identity, or a common belief system.

While memes and quotes are punchy, you don’t want to overdo it.

One of the best ways you can distinguish yourself from just another random quote or meme account is to mix up your content and when you do share a quote or meme, use copy in your caption that provides context and even more value to your followers and whatever you do, don’t forget the call-to-action.

Tip number four

To get more comments, ask a simple question.

One of the best ways to get your followers to comment on your posts is to ask them a question, of course, but here’s the thing, you want to keep it quick and ask a question that requires very minimal effort.

I like to include the question in the graphic itself as well, because don’t forget, we are in the scrolling generation so you can ask a multiple choice question like I did in this post where I asked my followers to let me know where they’re at on their copywriting journey.

Or if you do want to keep your question open-ended, that’s cool too.

Make the question painfully easy to answer, like in my most commented post of all time, where I simply asked my followers to tell me where in the world they’re from.

It requires very little effort to answer, and it evokes a strong sense of pride and identity.

These types of posts are great to easily engage your audience as Instagram’s algorithm tracks and monitors your engagement rate.

The higher your engagement rate, the more likely your posts are to be seen by more people and the faster you grow.

You do not want your entire account to just be these types of posts, because then you’re not adding a lot of value for your audience.

They are a great way though, to get conversation going and have a little fun between your heavier content posts.

Tip number five

To get more leads, provide valuable resources.

Because Instagram prohibits hyperlinks in the captions themselves, it can be really challenging for brands to send their followers to their website.

It requires a lot of interest and serious manual effort from the reader.

Those three little words, “link in bio” require a surprising amount of work, which means you better be giving people a damn good reason to stop their scrolling, go to your profile, click the link in the bio, then to leave the Instagram app altogether to access your website, and then take the desired call-to-action, which is to sign up or buy something.

With that being said, social media can still be a great source for leads, but see this as an opportunity to put on your marketing hat and ask yourself this question, what can I give my followers that is so good that they’ll want to stop what they’re doing right now, leave Instagram and go get it?

The answer to that is to share a highly valuable and relevant resource that helps them solve one of their most pressing problems.

For example, a visual representation of my hot offer checklist and while the video does offer a tangible preview of what you’ll get when you click the link in bio, I did not stop there.

The caption brings the heat.

I opened with a strong question headline, and then I offer tips on how to get the most out of this free resource and then of course, I end with one clear and concise call-to-action, to click the link in bio.

Tip number six

To get more followers, make it playful and have fun. 

So the best posts of them all are the ones that get a lot of likes, comments, shares, and saves because those are the posts that keep people coming back for more and boost your following like crazy.

My most engaging posts of all time across all metrics was this power words post.

Power words are a copywriter’s secret weapon when it comes to giving your copy some needed pizazz.

So in this good old fashioned word game, we listed down some common adjectives and offered alternatives that can evoke more emotion and action in your copywriting.

We then asked our followers to fill in the blank and find a better word for “increase”.

So these kinds of posts are really fun and easy to answer, but they also evoke our human competitive nature, add a ton of value, and provide a unique opportunity for your audience to interact with you in a fun way.

By mixing up the style, format, and design of your posts, while of course always following the ABC copywriting rules in your captions, you’ll boost your engagement and following in no time, plus you’ll have a fun, creative, and exciting feed that keeps people coming back again and again and again.

 

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