Want more clicks and engagement on Instagram? Looking for tips on writing that converts?
In this article, you’ll find techniques for creating compelling Instagram ads, captions, and bios that deliver results.
#1: How to Write Instagram Ad Copy That Converts
Instagram ads are a powerful way to promote your products, drive sales, and grow your business. However, if your ad copy isn’t sharp, your ads won’t cut through the noise. Try these tips for writing great Instagram ad copy.
Ask a Question That the User Is Thinking
Joseph Sugarman, one of the world’s top copywriters, once said that you want the customer saying “yes” as much as possible because then they’ll be more likely to say yes to the sale.
That’s precisely why you should consider asking a question in your Instagram ad that relates to the customer experience. Not only will the ad resonate better and create a connection with consumers but asking a question will also improve the likelihood of them taking action.
WP Engine uses this approach in this sponsored post about WordPress. The question “Looking to start a new WordPress site?” will hook anyone who has considered creating a website recently. It then leads to a call to action (CTA) to download their lead magnet.
Clearly Offer a Discount or Lead Magnet
Who doesn’t want a great deal or something for free? Nobody! That’s also why 92% of consumers are looking for a deal when they shop and offering a discount will help convert them.
Consider offering a small discount, such as 5% or 10%, that doesn’t cut into your margins but generates more customers. After you’ve created a discount code, include it in your Instagram ad with a clear CTA.
Use Quotes or Testimonials
Social proof is everything. That’s why leveraging customer testimonials and reviews in your Instagram ads can help boost conversions. When customers explain how your products and services benefit them, people viewing the ad can relate to those stories on a personal level. A customer’s seal of approval also helps show you’re a trustworthy brand.
The first step is to generate testimonials. Send out an email to customers asking if they’d be kind enough to make a brief statement about their experience.
Once you’ve gathered enough testimonials, ask your customers if they’d be willing to let you use them for an ad.
Another option is to share internal quotes from your company in your ads. They can be just as effective as customer testimonials. Look how Ford uses a quote from their chief engineer to advertise the infotainment system being developed for their vehicles.
People want to work with people so it only makes sense to show the human side of your business.
Talk About the Benefits, not Just the Features
Product details are factual pieces of information. Think materials, color, and size. Yes, the customer needs to know this information, but is it really why people buy something? Not necessarily.
Generally, what triggers purchases are emotional and experiential reasons. Think of the deeper benefits of your product to get there.
In the case of SmileDirectClub, they know that two benefits of their service are a beautiful smile and cost savings, which is why they emphasized these points in their Instagram ad copy.
Create a Sense of Urgency to Make Users Take Action
If there’s a limited time to claim an offer, product, or discount, what do you think our natural human instinct tells us to do? Take action!
Nobody wants to miss out on a great opportunity, which is why fear of missing out, or FOMO for short, is such an incredible tool when writing ad copy. Creating a sense of urgency will make users more likely to click on your ad and ultimately achieve the goal of your Instagram campaign.
The chain restaurant Quesada pulled it off in this ad for pulled pork carnitas by including the statement “before it’s gone!”
Create and Use a Branded Instagram Hashtag
Sure, you can use the same Instagram hashtags that everyone else is using, but why not create your own branded hashtags? That way, there’s no competition and you help build recognition for your brand.
Look what Audi did in this Instagram ad for a throwback of an older model. They used the #quattro hashtag because that’s the all-wheel–drive system used in their vehicles. Anytime a user searches for this branded tag on Instagram, they’ll see this advertisement.
Answer Objections Ahead of Time
Seldom do customers flow through a sales funnel without having any questions or objections. It’s your job as a copywriter to understand your customers and that includes their objections. Answering these objections in your Instagram ads will help reduce resistance and promote users to take action.
Brainstorm answers to these questions:
- What does a customer want to know about your product or service? Think price, reliability, quality, etc.
- What would make a customer not interested in purchasing from you or clicking an ad?
- What’s preventing someone from becoming your customer?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can incorporate this information into your ads to successfully get past objections. When there are fewer objections, there’s less time for people to think or get hung up on the details and more time to get to the end result.
Make a Clear Unique Value Proposition
What makes your company or product different? This is one of the first questions that will go through a customer’s mind when they see your Instagram ad.
A unique value proposition, or UVP for short, is a sentence or two stating what makes your business different from your competitors. It can be a feature, material, or anything unique about your business.
Luxury car company BMW knew they had to identify a UVP when introducing a new car model in this Instagram ad. The ad copy, “Meet the first-ever BMW M2 CS,” conveys that this car is one of a kind. Emotionally charged power words leading up to this statement create further anticipation.
#2: How to Write Instagram Captions That Increase Engagement
Your Instagram bio is a one-and-done scenario. While you can continually update it to promote different services and products, most of it can be sculpted like marble and left untouched.
But captions are different. If you’re posting content on Instagram regularly, you need to know how to write captions that work.
Are you a business that leaves captions blank or makes a vague statement? Avoid that; it’s predictable, doesn’t entice engagement, and bores users. Instead, use these strategies to make your Instagram captions memorable.
Capture Emotions With Storytelling
One thing every human can relate to is a good story. That’s why using the caption to tell a story about the image you’re posting is so effective. Elaborate on how the photo came about. Was there an interesting event that sparked the photo to be taken? Did something exciting lead up to the photo?
Public speaking organization TED uses the large caption space to tell captivating stories in many of their Instagram photos and videos. This approach allows them to present detailed information, bring out emotions, and make their posts more personal.
Long-Form Content Is In
Instagram captions can be up to 2,200 characters long. How many are you using? You’re likely using only a fraction of the limit most of the time. Why not use more of it?
Long-form content isn’t just popular for blog posts and YouTube videos. Look at writing your Instagram caption as writing a mini blog post.
Heroic Public Speaking uses this approach in many of their captions.
You can create similar long-form captions on Instagram by:
- Elaborating on any tips or advice your photo touches on
- Sharing behind-the-scenes information about how the picture was taken
- Including quotes from team members or customers that relate to the image
Create a Viral Effect With Tagging and Sharing
Imagine being able to generate Instagram engagement and followers without spending a dime. That’s possible by achieving a viral effect. How can you boost your chances of that? By asking users to tag a friend.
Social media is meant to be social, after all. Many people will gladly tag their friends for fun if the content is relevant and high-quality.
Tourism account Visit Switzerland shares breathtaking visuals of their country on Instagram. In this post, they use the #tagafriend hashtag to entice users to tag friends they believe will enjoy the content.
Better yet, you can kick this up a notch by adding CTAs like:
- “Tag a friend who would like this.”
- “Tag someone who relates.”
- “Do you know somebody like this? Tag them!”
#3: How to Compose a Strong Instagram Bio
What’s the first thing that users see when they land on your Instagram page? Your bio! It’s the perfect place to explain how your business is different and stand out on the platform.
Here are some Instagram bio copywriting techniques to begin trying today.
Include a CTA
CTAs are phrases and words that—you guessed it—tell the user to take a specific action. They’re helpful to include in your Instagram bio because users need a reason to do something. Sure, you can say to follow your account or click a website URL, but what’s in it for them?
In Walmart’s bio, they use the quick and straight-to-the-point CTA “Shop it,” which pushes users to their website.
When creating a CTA, the first step is to determine what you want to achieve, such as:
- Promote a lead magnet to get users onto your email list.
- Drive traffic to a landing, product, or web page.
- Prompt users to send you user-generated content to post.
- Promote a branded hashtag for users to post.
Once you have a clear goal, add a CTA phrase to your bio such as:
- Visit our website.
- Enroll in this giveaway.
- Download your free eBook.
- Shop now.
You can further emphasize a CTA with emojis, which brings us to our next point.
Use Emojis to Enhance Your Bio Copy
Emojis are a language. If you see a single emoji, it can capture an idea, sentence, or emotion. That’s why they work exceptionally well when placed in your Instagram account bio.
Look at designer and illustrator Joanne Hawker as inspiration. She uses emojis that align with each statement, making the points more memorable.
Name-Drop Achievements and Big Clients for Social Proof
Don’t be afraid to boast about your business’s achievements. Similarly, name-dropping big brands and businesses that you’ve worked with will help you improve branding and trust.
This is what’s called association in psychology. If someone sees your brand along with other household names, you’ll instantly associate their quality and standards with yours.
FreshBooks claims to be the #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed individuals. Users who see this statement will be curious about why FreshBooks is so confident in their software, potentially leading them to try it themselves.
Instagram is a powerful tool for businesses to reach a wider audience and drive engagement. Although it’s a visual platform, clean copy is the backbone of your business’s success.
Think of your Instagram bio as a first impression. What does it say about your brand and what you offer? Include CTAs, hashtags, and social proof to make your bio unique.
Similarly, you can improve your Instagram captions through the use of storytelling, long-form content, and branded hashtags.
If you’re running Instagram ad campaigns, you can use a variety of tactics to better connect with your audience, such as asking questions, using quotes or testimonials, emphasizing benefits of your product or service, and clearly stating what makes you different as a UVP.
All of these tactics will help you improve engagement, promote your business, and connect to a wider audience on Instagram.
What do you think? Which of these Instagram techniques will you try in your ads, captions, and bio? Share your thoughts in the comments below.