As an Instagram marketer how many hours per week do you tend to work on average? I believe it is a lot. And how much time do you spend on writing your captions?
If you are like most people, it is probably less than you should.
Even though captions are not more important than the content itself, they can be super-powerful when it comes to driving traffic to your website and increasing your engagement.
But, how do you write a caption that does all of those things?
Well, it is not easy. You NEED to have a great system that you can follow.
And that’s exactly what I am going to show you today. So, turn off the Facebook, lock yourself in a room, take something to drink, and let’s dive in…
The Killer Instagram Caption Formula
“What Filip? You are getting straight into it? No fluff in before that?”
That is right! Time is the most valuable asset we have, and I don’t want you to lose any second. That is why I am not going to wait any longer and I will show you the formula right away.
So, here it is.
(You can download the infographic below.)
Well, it all starts with a hook.
You can’t write a great Instagram caption if the hook sucks. In this case, I mean the first sentence of the caption.
That is why you want to be super-careful about how you create it as it is the difference between a person that reads the caption and one that forgets about it.
I’ll dive deeper into how to create it later.
Then we have the second step, and that is the transition.
If you want to write a caption that holds people’s interests, you must be able to transition into the main message of the post and dive deeper into it.
For example, if you are posting inspirational stuff like this:
When you dive deep into the topic that the post is about, people will find the caption valuable…and that is what matters.
It will “warm them up” before you ask them to take action, and also they will start reading all of your captions in the future.
It is a recipe for success.
And last but not least, there is a call to action. If you want to get more engagement and drive more people to your website, your Instagram captions must have a call to action.
Without it, nobody will do the thing that you want them to do – because they won’t even know that you want them to do it.
I will also dive deep into that later, but now keep in mind that if you will follow this formula, your engagement and the amount of Instagram traffic you will drive to your website will go through the roof.
Finally, let’s take a look at each of the steps separately and more into depth.
How To Create A Killer Caption Hook
As I already told you, you can have the best caption on the planet. It can have a perfect message, a groundbreaking call to action, but if nobody is going to read it, does it really matter?
And that is why your hook needs to be as strong as possible to make sure that every person that sees it will read your caption.
There are 3 main ways to craft a powerful Instagram caption hook:
1. Arouse Curiosity
This is one of the most powerful ways to make your grab their attention.
We are curious based on our human nature. We pop sticks into things, try to figure out what is hidden between the curtains, travel to new places, etc.
Every human wants to discover more, and if you will arouse curiosity with your hook, you will be able to make a ton of people read your caption.
Here are some examples of curiosity caption hooks:
- You won’t believe this…
- This is what I figured out…
- Do you know this secret?
When you will use hooks like these, a ton of people will read your captions. So, arouse curiosity at all costs.
2. Use How-To Hooks
When you begin the first sentence with the words how-to you can’t fail. The words how-to promise a benefit for reading the caption and if it is relevant, it will work like crazy.
Copywriters use it all the time. And there is a reason for it.
Here are some examples of “how-to” headlines:
- How to create a killer carousel
- How to get more engagement
- How to monetize your Instagram
You see, you just cannot fail when you use this Instagram caption hook.
But remember that the benefit has to be relevant to your audience, otherwise it is not going to work well.
3. Ask A Question
When you ask a provoking question people will be immediately fired up to think about it and then figure out why did you ask it in the first place.
And that is the reason why they will click on the “read more” button and read your whole caption.
If you don’t know how a provoking question looks like, here are some examples:
- Are you using Instagram insights?
- What gets you excited about life?
- What’s Your Personal Heaven?
When you ask a question like those few, it is an amazing hook that you can use for your Instagram captions.
It works really well. However, now when you know how to hook them in, we need to move to the second step of the elite Instagram caption formula and that is the transition.
Your caption has to transition into the main message of the post and dive deeper into it to make the caption valuable and interesting.
I have already shown you the Dan Lok example in the beginning, but here is another one that will help you see it as well…
It is essential, and while you are transitioning into the main message of the post, you have to keep few things in mind.
1. Go More Into Depth
This is especially essential if you are creating a single-image post. You want to dive deeper into the topic that you have made the post about.
If you have shown them a list of tools, explain in the caption why the tools are useful and beneficial for them.
If you have shown them 50 caption hook templates, tell them how to use them and which one to choose to make the most out of the list.
It is the key to making the caption as valuable as possible and you should keep this on your mind.
2. Make Sure That The Caption Is Readable
Readability is essential. If your caption looks like a huge chunk of text, nobody is going to read it.
However, if it is readable, you can make the most out of every word that you use.
Here are some readability tips that you can use for writing better Instagram captions:
- Use one-sentence paragraphs.
- Make the caption “you-oriented”.
- Be concise and avoid fluff.
- Avoid sexist terms (for example: instead of fireman use firefighter.)
- Don’t be afraid to use common colloquialisms.
- Use contractions (instead of you are, use you’re.)
- Use transition phrases like however, in fact, moving on, etc.
I use these things pretty often, and there is a reason for that. IT WORKS. You should use it as well.
3. Be Valuable
As I already told you, there is no space for fluff. You have to be valuable in every word that you write.
That way you will not waste the time of your audience, and they will appreciate it by reading your future captions.
However, if you use fluff just to make the caption longer it will turn them away. It is silly so don’t do it.
Now when you know the basic principles of writing a killer Instagram caption, let’s move on to the final step and that is a call to action…
Include Call To Actions
No matter what action you want them to take, they are not going to take it unless you tell them to do so.
And that is why you must include a call to action in every Instagram caption that you write.
Do you want them to engage with the post? Use CTA for that.
Do you want them to visit your website? Use CTA for that.
Do you want them to follow you? Use CTA for that.
However, even call to actions are the most effective when they are built on field-tested principles. Let’s take a look at them…
1. Define The Goal Of Your Call To Action
To be able to write a mega-powerful call to action, you must first know what you want your audience to do…
Do you want your audience to:
Click on a link in your bio?
Like your post?
Drop a comment below your post?
This is very important because everything takes some level of commitment. For example, buying decision takes a much higher commitment than just liking your post.
Your whole call to action will be based on this step, so don’t neglect it.
2. Keep The Call To Action Clear And Concise
The Instagram caption call to action needs to be clear and concise to make most people act.
All you have to do is to tell them what to do and remind them concisely why they should do it.
For example, “Click the link in my bio and learn how to create perfect Instagram carousels!”
No literary work, just a clear and concise call to action that will make them act.
3. Use Urgency-Provoking Words
Urgency is the most important thing I’m mentioning here. You see, people love to procrastinate. We put things off until tomorrow.
It is human nature, and you need to fight with it.
There is much more to urgency than just choosing urgency-provoking words in your call to action.
But it increases the efficiency of the call to action unbelievably.
Here is a list of the words and phrases you can use:
- Ends tomorrow!
- Limited time only
- One-time offer
- Expires soon
- Only available to_____
- Only______days left!
- Offer ends on______
- Closing soon
- Today only
- Last chance
For example, instead of a call to action like “Click the link in my bio!” use “Click the link in my bio before it’s too late!”
Do you see the difference?
Now with everything that I have shown you, you will be able to write killer Instagram captions that work, but there is much more to Instagram success than that...