THE INSTAGRAM BUSINESS FAST TRACK
DAY 3 - CAPTIVATING CAPTIONS
- Why Do Captions Matter?
- Your Brand
- Brand Attributes
- Brand Voice
- Your Audience
- Who Are Your Writing To?
- What Are Their Pain Points?
- Captivating Captions
Yesterday you gave your Instagram Bio some love. You learned that you have one shot to make a great first impression when a potential client visits your home page.
Today, we are going to talk about HOW to get them to visit that great home page. And if I've said it once, I've said it 1,000 times in my own business: "Content is King (or Queen in my case)."
"But Lori, I don't know what to post. I'm blocked. Stumped. I have noooo ideas."
It's OK friend, I've got your back.
Today I'm going to show you all of my own tips and tricks that I not only use for my own social media, but also, my clients'.
OK, let's get to work!
Why Do Captions Matter?
Why do captions matter on Instagram? I mean, Instagram is a VISUAL platform, so why should I worry too much about my captions? Glad you asked.
- Relationships. Your captions on Instagram is how you actually start and engage in conversations with your audience.
- Organic Reach. Instagram wants to see high quality content on its platform. To organically boost your post and meet Instagram's algorithm requirements, you have to have engagement on your posts. A "Like" is great, but a comment or conversation is ALGORITHM GOLD.
- Differentiate. I don't want you to go to Instagram to search for other products and services like your own (you might need a bottle of wine if you do). But I've done it for you. And let me tell you, there are A LOT of website designers. Like, A LOT. But what captions can do, is set me a part from my competitors. If a business owner has seen and engaged with me on Instagram (and in turn I've engaged with them), I will be one of the first people they think of when they need my services. This goes back to point number 1. Captions create conversations, which build RELATIONSHIPS.
The point of captions is wrapping your products and services into a story that also lets your customers get to know you. It builds the Like + Trust factor. Being known as "that girl that builds websites" is great.
But what I want is to be known as "that girl that builds websites and gives TONS of great business tips, and OMG her dog is soooo cute."
The tone that you use in all communications whether they are on social media, email, or your website is considered your brand personality. Sometimes it's easier to think of your brand as a human.
5 minute task: Take a moment to assign 3 personality traits to your brand.
Lori Ivey | Website Design is knowledgeable, creative, and authentic.
Your brand voice is very important and worth you putting time and effort into discovering.
Using those personality traits from above, let's now consider your brand voice. Are you quirky? Creative? Passionate? Professional? Part of your brand is being consistent. You don't want your followers to feel like you have schizophrenia. Your voice should be a good mix of who you authentically are, and what resonates with your people.
One exercise that can be helpful is finding where your brand sits on the scale between the following attributes:
Very much like a real human, your brand voice may change a bit depending on the outlet, audience, and situation, but be sure you are still withing the scope of your high level brand values and attributes.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Before you can start writing killer captions, you need to know your audience. And to do that, you need to know WHO are you speaking to. Are your followers stay-at-home moms? Solopreneurs? Creatives? A mixture of several demographics?
FIND THEIR PAIN POINTS
Now that you know WHO you are speaking to, it's time to find their pain points. What problems do you solve for your audience with your products and services? You aren't selling your products. You are selling the solutions to problems.
Here is an example from my own feed.
The great thing about owning your own business is FREEDOM. Outsourcing your marketing or hiring a virtual assistant means you can have a glass of wine in the backyard and tell your pup how incredible and fast he is. 😍 #marketing #socialmediamanagement #branding #storytelling #workfromhome #goals #entrepreneur #workfromanywhere #financialfreedom #bossbabe #success #businessowner #smallbusiness
My target audience are small business owners, solopreneurs, and creatives. OR, they are stuck in a 9-5, but WANT to be those things.
Their biggest pain point is their lack of time and the desire for more freedom.
In this post I remind them that out-sourcing can solve that pain-point and I share a video that shows me taking a break because when you're your own boss you can do just that.
I used to following hashtags to reach that audience:
#workfromhome #smallbusiness #bossbabe #workfromanywhere #financial freedom
Now, it's your turn. Download the guide I have provided and work through these questions to find your audience, voice, and the pain points you are solving for your audience.
Now that you have identified your brand’s personality and voice AND identified who you are speaking to and what their needs are, it’s time to begin writing those captivating captions.
Writing copy that converts is a skill that gets better with practice. Just like you, I’m still learning to write killer captions. But not all my social media posts are going to win an award for copywriting.
But I’ve begun to slowly inject my captions with some copy formulas and they really do work!
Here are a few, simple formulas that I love to use for myself and my clients’ social media and website copy.
MY Killer caption tips
Copy Formula: Before – After – Bridge
When the purpose of your post is to promote a product or service you offer, this tried and true copy formula connects with your audience and converts. I'll break it down for you:
Before: Here is your current reality
After: Imagine what it would be like if…
Bridge: Here is how you can get there
This formula is simple, succinct, and works great for social media, introductions to blogs, emails, and more.
Example: (Before) You’re late for work again, staring at the mess in your closet with nothing to wear. (After) Imagine what it would be like if your mornings were peaceful, and you felt good walking out the door? (Bridge) Our professional stylists can make your mornings bright again.
Example: (Before) Your inbox is overflowing and your To Do list is growing by leaps and bounds. You know your website doesn't represent you or your brand, but you are just treading water with the daily business of your business. (After) Imagine a website that converts traffic to customers. A website that exudes your brand personality from every page. A website that saves you time because it communicates your client's most common questions and addresses their concerns. (Bridge) Send me a DM and let's chat about how we can make that happen!
Example: (Before) You're staring at a blank blog post again. (Bridge) Don't let writer's block win again. (After) I can show you my easy 3 step system for writing that will banish writer's block for good.
Tell a Story
You don't have to write a novel, but when you are writing a post to engage and connect with your audience, a story is a great option. Be sure to include a beginning, middle, and end!
Include a CTA
The best way to increase engagement on your post is to include a call to action. This simply means using action verbs asking your audience to take some kind of action instead of scrolling by.
“Double-tap if you agree”
“Share your story in the comments”
Ask a question
Direct people to that awesome link in your bio that you set up in the first lesson.
Moodboard Monday. Photo Credit: @jeremyvessey Can you feel? It's right around the corner. A cool snap on the breeze. The smell of chimney smoke and burning leaves. It's time to break out the plaid blankets for sipping hot cocoa. . . . #brand #brandidentity #theeverydayproject #dowhatyoulove #sayyestosuccess #makeithappen #thehappynow #designerlife #creativeprocess #buildingbossladies #onmydesk #handsandhustle #dontquityourdaydream #goalgetter #womenwhohustle #communityovercompetition #girlboss #goodvibetribe #createcultivate #moodboardmonday
Use All 5 Senses
Bring your audience into your world by writing a caption that includes all 5 senses. Your audience loves to image an idyllic scenario.
Tapping into their 5 senses can bring them back to childhood, their favorite memories, or holidays.
Today you learned about how to write captivating captions that convert.
You have identified who you are speaking to, as well as your brand traits and voice.
You learned tips for writing captions, including some tried and true copy formulas and techniques that will engage your followers.