You might notice that some of the brands you follow on Instagram write long-ish captions, and it is very likely they are doing it on purpose. You see, as an Instagram user, you have 2,200 characters (roughly 400 words) at your disposal. Why not use that space to your advantage?
Whether you are a B2B or B2C business, it’s not hard to use Instagram captions for marketing. Here are four ideas to get you started:
1. Tell a story
Four hundred words provides you with plenty of room explain much more than what someone sees at first glance. Provide detail about when and where the photo was taken, or why you took the photo, or how you managed to capture the image. Then tie everything back to your brand by explaining what the photo means to you.
Take the photo of the four hikers I included with this blog post. Is that your line of backpacks going through their first, real-life test run, or is that your team celebrating a stellar year during a retreat? There is so much you can share in that caption to get people excited about – and help them feel more connected to – your brand.
2. Start a conversation
Don’t forget that Instagram is a social media network, and thus a great place to start a conversation, really interact with your followers, and get to know them better (and vice versa). The easiest way to start a conversation: simply ask questions. You could ask how a photo makes someone feel, what they saw at first glance, if they agree or disagree with you, etc.
A big trend on Pinterest is creating images that teach, step-by-step, how to do something. On Instagram, you have even more room to do that, so get creative. You can create mini-tutorials that explain anything, like removing paint from clothes or manipulating fondant for cake decorations or how to get through a gatekeeper to a decision-maker.
Yes, you can use Instagram for selling, but I would tread lightly here and not ask for a sale outright. If you have products, obviously you can share pictures of them – every once in a while (ahem, not every day) – or your products lined up on shelves at a retailer.
If you are a service provider, you need to get a little creative! share photos of promotional products you give out or the cover of your ebook. You can also share photos of you or someone on your team giving a big presentation.
Have you used any of these tactics? How have they worked out? What else do you do on Instagram to generate engagement?