According to a recent article published by Devrix, titled “User Attention Span: the Biggest Challenge for Marketers, “the average user attention span in 2022 is just 8 seconds!” The article goes on to attribute this decline in human attention span to the rise in technology, citing that “nowadays, we have everything presented on a plate in front of us, information is available 24/7, and we are constantly being notified by devices like smartphones and smartwatches”.
To be honest, how many of you have already, opened up a social media app or checked a message or email in the short time, you’ve been listening to this podcast episode? Hey don’t feel bad, I’ve already checked my phone twice while notes for the show so I’m totally guilty!
The fact is, attention spans are low and this affects us as marketers. Instagram is a busy place with SO much content on the platform to distract your audience. So how can you capture the attention of your audience, so you can effectively communicate your message and drive results for your business?
Well thankfully, I have a few insider secrets to share with you about how to write captions that stop the scroll and actually get results.
1. Know your ICA, that is, your ideal client or customer avatar, like the back of your hand.
This is the first step I ask all of my coaching clients to take, regardless of their experience and how long they’ve been in business. This isn’t because I don’t trust that they have a good idea of who this person is, it’s because understanding your ICA is an ongoing process that should continually be revisited and revised over time as you learn more about who that person is, and also who you want to work with and attract. The reason that it’s so important to have a deep understanding of your ICA is so that you know exactly what they care about and what they don’t, what their biggest challenges and struggles are, and what lights them up and motivates them. Understanding the physiology of this person will dictate the type of content you create and the words that you use.
Have you ever seen an ad for a company you love and thought to yourself, “OMG it’s literally like they’re inside my head!” This is a good sign that the company has done an excellent job of understanding its ICA. This is what you need to nail so that when people read your Instagram captions, they instantly get that feeling like you just got them. This builds so much rapport and trust and is the difference between someone choosing you over a competitor. I have a whole episode on defining your ICA if you’re interested in learning more, which I’ll leave linked in the show notes.
2. Start your caption with a hook. Also known as an attention-grabbing headline.
This short and punchy statement is what should stop the scroll and pique the interest of your audience. My suggestion is to include a key pain point, struggle, or problem facing your ICA who you now know like the back of your hand.
Alternatively, your hook could instead capture attention by mentioning a big desire that your ICA has. For example, if you’re a women’s fitness coach and you know that your ICA is obsessed with building strong, sculpted glutes, you might start your caption with “3 simple exercises that will give you a lifted and sculpted booty this Summer.” Do you see how this hook taps into the desire of the ICA and captures their attention? This is a powerful copywriting technique that you can apply not only to your Instagram captions but also to your blog posts, emails, and honestly most other marketing content.
So now you have your audience’s attention, you’ve hooked them in, How can you now keep them interested?
3. Deliver as much fluff-free value, succinctly.
Again, people have short attention spans. If they see a long block of text, with minimal spacing and paragraphs, you’re going to lose them. They’ll get distracted and click away. What you want to do instead is keep it short and sweet while still delivering the goods. Most of us waffle on without realising, myself included sometimes, so just be mindful of this when writing the body of your caption.
Also, be mindful of the language you use. Try to avoid using technical jargon that your audience may not understand. This is a trap many of us fall into because we’re so used to talking about our business and what we do every day that we can forget that most people won’t know what a lot of these technical terms are. (RADIO EXAMPLE)
If you’re writing too technically, you’ll lose their attention and your opportunity to land a new client or customer.
4. Conclude with a powerful CTA or call to action.
A call to action is simply the next step you want your audience to take. Include exactly what you want them to do and how they should do it. For example, you’re a nutrition coach and you’re in a season of lead generation with a goal of booking more discovery calls, Your CTA could be something like “interested in learning more about how I help time-poor mums, create quick, easy, and nutritious meals that the whole family will LOVE, click the link in my bio to book a free call with me where you can learn more.” This CTA is powerful because it identifies
A pain point “Mothers who are time-poor”
Then touch on their desire: that is to “cook quick, easy and nutritious meals the whole family will love.
And finishes off strongly by explaining exactly how to take the next step: click the link in my bio and book a free call.
Be sure to include a CTA at the end of every. single. caption. you write. This isn’t solely because not every single post will include a CTA directing people to buy from you. Your CTA should be strategic and what I mean by that is that it should be linked to a business goal. For example, if your goal is to grow your audience you can encourage people to follow you for more or join your email list. If you’re trying to drive traffic you can encourage people to visit your blog, listen to a new podcast episode, or watch a new YouTube video and you can even use CTAs to help boost your engagement by telling people to comment, share with a friend, or save your post.
If you implement these insider secrets when writing your captions, I guarantee you’ll start seeing real results and traction from Instagram.
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