Instagram is a visual search engine. We may not use it like Pinterest, where we use that platform specifically to search for an article on something say:
“How To Build A Massive Following On Twitter”.
Nor do we use it like YouTube where we may search for a video on something like “How To Make Organic Shampoo.”
However, when we strategically use Instagram, we use hashtags to search for specific topic such as:
Instagram is a non-traditional search engine which is using SEO tactics. Hashtags are the way information is categorized and easily found on Instagram similar to how SEO uses keywords. Using hashtags is crucial but first you must a little research.
In a way, searching for keywords on Instagram mimics how you would search for keywords when building a blog post.
Step 1: The first step in building your blog post is searching for keywords
Step 2: Once you have found these keywords, you add them to your title, you put them in the text of your post, in your URL, in your picture’s ALT text, and at the bottom in your related section.
You don’t have as many opportunities to use your keyword in your Instagram post as you do a blog post, but you can still utilize the space you do have.
When you are building your Instagram post, you have to use keywords the same way you would do a blog post. This is because people are actively looking for keywords on Instagram. Keywords on Instagram are known as hashtags.
In HOW TO WRITE AN INSTAGRAM BIO | PROVEN STEP BY STEP GUIDE I talked about adding keywords to your username. Adding a keyword to your username allows users to find you when they search for something like #blogger.
Having the keyword in your username automatically decreases the competition because your account will come up when a user who is looking for something specific. This also shows that you have authority in your niche.
For example, if your keyword for your latest blog post is “Blog Content”, I would add “Blog Content” to the URL so that this heightens your chances of being found.
There are 4 places where I recommend adding a keyword to your caption. But first comes the question of what should be in your caption?
Our first priority is to grab the user’s attention with a great photo. If we can’t get them to look at our picture, there is no way in hell they are going to read what we have to say.
Once you have mastered the perfect photo it is time to work on your caption.
Now about this caption… What to write?
Your caption was traditionally there to describe your posted photo, with the who, what, where, when, and why…but why limit ourselves?
You can certainly use your caption to talk solely about your photo but as a business account, my theory is that once I get the attention of the user I am going to share as much information that I can about a certain topic to become the authority in my niche.
Instagram is all about building your brand. This is not the platform for a lot of conversion. By that I mean most users on Instagram do not click over to third party sites. Utilizing a web link in your bio is crucial, but not everyone is going to use it. In fact, most people won’t. Ad Espresso states that there is only a 1.08% conversion rate that a visitor will purchase an item after viewing, so it is imperative that you give people a reason to follow you without first having to click over to your website.
This is where your caption comes in.
You can use your caption to talking about your latest product launch, newest blog post, a webinar you are hosting, ect. Once you grab your user’s attention with your photo, let them know why they should follow you and eventually buy your product
When writing my caption, I focus on 6 components.
- Call To Action
- Related Information
The first component to focus on when writing a great Instagram caption is your title. When writing my title, I write my Instagram title just as I would my blog post.
1.I use an odd number at the beginning of my post title because this leads to a listed post. Listed post are preferred because people can scan through them (plus women like listed post more than men and women are a higher percentage of users on Instagram)
- For example: 9 Proven Ways To Create Blog Content
2. I use sentence case so that the reader feels as though they are actually reading an article. This flows with their normal reading pattern
- Example of Sentence Case
- 9 Proven Ways To Create Blog Content vs.
- Example of Capitols
- 9 PROVEN WAYS TO CREATE BLOG CONTENT
3. I include a superlative in the post title
- I use a strong adjective to give my title extra emphasis and create emotion
- Example words: proven // tested // excellent // sure fire
- If you user sees “9 PROVEN Ways TO Create Blog Content VS. 9 Ways to Create Blog Content which one do you think they will click? The first one of course! They want to pick the article that has authority and that feels as though it has been researched.
4. You can also use negative adjectives to scare your readers into clicking
- For example: worst //difficult, impossible
- 9 WORST Ways To Create Blog Content
5. I use “You” or “Your” so that the reader feels addressed in the post. Even if you are talking to a following of 20k, everyone likes to feel as though you are talking to them.
6. I include a bracketed word in my title.
- For example: 9 Proven Ways to Create Blog Content [FREE WORKSHEET INSIDE]. This is a great way to utilize the link because if a person reaches the end of your blog post, they are interested in what you have to say. Having this [FREE WORKSHEET] which pertains to the blog post increases the chances of your user clicking over with the link in your bio.
If the title of my post is 9 Proven Ways to Create Blog Content, I would create a checklist which lay out the 9 ways.
This serves as a reference so that people can come back to this checklist if they forget a technique.
7. Whenever I want to ask a question in my Instagram title I use “How”
- Example: How to find bottomless brunches in San Francisco.
The second component to focus on when writing a great Instagram caption is your description. This is where all the good stuff goes. No matter what your niche, give you users all ACTIONABLE tips, no fluff.
For example, If I am going to post “9 Proven Ways to Create Blog Content”, I am going to list out 9 ways to create blog content. The difference between an Instagram post and a blog post is the attention span. When a reader comes to a blog post, they are expecting a post anywhere from 1500-2500 words. When they come to your Instagram post… not so much
Having to lower your word count actually works out great because it can be the segue way into a much longer blog post about the topic.
If I am going to write a post “9 Proven Ways to Create Blog Content”, I would list out the ways just like this:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Email List
- Popular Trends
- Other blogs
This gives my reader the information that they need, but it doesn’t give them any idea of how to use each tool. To go a step further, you can provide a one line description of how Amazon.com would help your user in creating blog content. This still doesn’t give up how to use Amazon.com to create blog content. This HOW is saved for your blog. In your blog, you can go in-depth in explaining the actions that the user would take in order to successful use amazon.com to create blog content.
The third component to focus on when writing a great Instagram caption is to include your call to action. You must tell your user what to do.
When a person is just coming to your page and reading your title, research by Outbrain’s has shown that people do not like being told what to do
For example: 9 Proven Ways to Create Blog Content You Need To Be Using.
Reading that just gives negative vibes and it makes the reader feel like they are doing something wrong if they are not using those techniques. You don’t want to make your reader bad, so steer clear from being too pushy in the title.
When a user first sees your Instagram post, think of it as a first date. If you are on a first date and the person you have just met is telling you that you need to be doing this different and you need to change that, you are going to be like “check please”. But if the date goes well, and you all get to know each other a bit, you will be a more receptive to hearing the same information. All we are trying to do here is get your user to the end of the date.
Once your user has read through your post, they trust you a little bit more and they are more likely to click on a link or be told to do something since they can clearly asses the benefit.
After you have provided your user with tons of great information, it is the perfect time to ask for something
Examples of Call to Actions would include
- For a free cheat sheet, click the link in bio.
- Don’t wait another minuet to get my free library of resources for entrepreneurs. Click the link in bio
- Want a free checklist to create blog content? Click the link in bio
Remember: While it may not be glamorous to say “click the link in bio”, when you are using Instagram, you have to direct the reader to the link bio because Instagram does not allow you to have a link in your text.
Once you direct your reader to your call to action, they will click the link in your bio, and that link can go to your website, promotion for a webinar, product page, or a lead magnet which would help build your email list
The fourth component when writing a great Instagram caption is related information. Related information is similar to a call to action in that it prompts the reader to take the next step. Examples of related information include:
A Cliff hanger
- For example: Did you find 9 Proven Ways to Create Blog Content Useful? I highly recommend you stay tuned for tomorrows post where I will be talking about 5 Tested Ways to Improve Your Instagram Photos
This is going to keep the user engaged and maybe even prompt them to turn on their notifications so that they do not miss out on a post
- For Example: For more information on creating blog content, visit my website InstagramForBusiness.biz
Related information is important because it is the end of your post and if your reader has gotten that far, you want them to take some sort of action.
The fifth component when writing a great Instagram caption is mentions. I use mentions in two places
- Giving a photo credit for user generated content
- Giving a reference for an idea or theory from another blog
You can use mentions in other places as well if you feel that it is appropriate. For example if you had a post that you thought was particularly helpful for someone you could mention them in that post or if you had a picture you felt someone would really like, you cold mention them there. BE CAREFUL though because this a business account and actions that we may normally take while operating on a personal account can be seen as spam.
The sixth component when writing a great Instagram caption is my favorite! Hashtag’s are keywords. Period. If you are not familiar with SEO a keyword is what we use to look up information in search engines like Google, Pinterest, or Youtube. We look up specific things and search engines like Google categorize the most popular relevant information for us to choose from.
Instagram is no different. They utilize hashtags as a way of categorizing content. The content is organized by factors such as
- Engagement ratios – how many likes // comments does your post receive in a certain time span
- Amount of followers – How many followers do you have
- Frequency of post – How often do you post (This leads to an increase in engagement because the more often you post, the higher the chance of your post being seen)
When searching for a hashtag it is important to be methodological. If the keyword for my post is Instagram marketing, I am going to look for 7 to 10 hashtags that relate to Instagram Marketing.
Shown in the photo above, when you type in #InstagramMarketing you get the following results
- #instagrammarketingtips (2,523 posts)
- #instagrammarketingtraining (123 posts)
- #instagrammarketinggenius (204 posts)
You can see that the results vary in the amount of times they have been used and you want to pick hashtags that have different levels of popularity. If you only pick the hashtags that are very popular (2,523 posts) you run the risk of not having your post seen. If you only pick the hashtags that are not popular, you may be able to dominate that hashtag, but not many people are looking at that hashtag so it stunts your growth.
In order to always have hashtags handy I recommend making a table that you can refer back to.
Step 1: Think of 4-6 topics that your business focuses on. If you are a topical niche, think about topics that are specific to your niche
For example: If my blog is about tips for entrepreneurs, my topic would include
- Social Media Marketing
- Instagram Marketing
- Female Entrepreneurs
- Women in Business
Step 2: Type your first topic in the search field and click on tags. This will bring up all the related hashtags for your topic.
You table should look similar to this:
Step 3: Research from Piqora shows that posts with 7 hashtags have the most engagement. Post with fewer aren’t seen as credible and post with more are associated with spam.
Choose 7 hashtags related to your topic and put them in three categories
- Mid-level popularity
- Least level popular
When posting, you may use more than 1 keyword and by categorizing your hashtags this way you can gauge the popularity of your post.
Repeat this same technique with all of your blog topics. By creating a spreadsheet, you are able to refer back to this list and choose hashtags that are topic specific. This also saves you a ton of time and ensures that your blog post will be seen by those specially looking for that topic.
If you forget any of these steps, you can use this nifty little checklist I created.
Now going back to our initial question:
Where are the 4 places to add keyword in our Instagram Post?
- Blog Title
- In The Description
- In Your Related Information
Instagram is a visual search engine
Writing an Instagram post is like writing a blog post
To write a great caption, you need to focus on
- Call To Action
- Related Information
The four places to add your keyword into you Instagram Post are
- Blog Title
- In The Description
- In Your Related Information
Related: Did you find How to Write a Great Instagram Caption | 6 Actionable Tips for Crafting the Perfect Instagram Caption helpful? I highly recommend you check out How To Write An Instagram Bio | Proven Step By Step Guide