Content Marketing Strategy: How to Create a Scroll Stopping Caption
Updated: Feb 26
What gives an Instagram post that WOW factor that simply stops you in your scroll? Some people seem to just have that x-factor when it comes to putting together that eye-catching, caption-grabbing post. Well, I'm going to map out how to create a post designed to stop people in their scroll for you to use as a guide! Let's begin the fun...
First thing's first, know your audience
It's better to focus on capturing a smaller audience that produces lots of engagement vs a much larger one with less engagement; particularly when you are making a name for yourself on Instagram and working on gaining followers, increasing your reach and generating genuine leads.
No, no, no, you want to find out who your audience is which you can do through your Instagram insights under the 'audience' tab or simply, through your current or previous clientele. Once you have identified who your audience is, you can ask yourself, 'what do they want to know?'
This will help you to hone in on the type of content that both advertises who you are, what you do, how you do it and their interest or needs. Don't you just love a post that makes you feel like it's personal, resonates with you or you feel like read your mind? I'm sure the answer is yes, so by reflecting on your own scrolling habits and what stops you in your scroll, will help you to adopt a similar approach to your posts.
Adopt a tone of voice (TOV)
Whether you have or haven't already established one, adopting a tone of voice helps your audience get to know you and your business as a real person rather than in 3rd person. There are a variety of TOV's out there, so here is a list with the most popular ones so you can identify which one you think you are and would like to implement in your caption writing:
You can always review and refine your tone of voice as your business grows. Sometimes the best way to find out which one people prefer, is to try a couple out for real (scary, but a fast way to understand the best direction). Now you know your audience and have identified one or two tones to write in, let's get to the core aka the caption!
Capture with your caption
You have just one line to capture people in their scroll which can be the difference between someone reading on on or scrolling past. That one line is visible when your audience is scrolling through their feed so we have to make it count.
So how the hell do we do that?
First, think about the length of your caption:
Short, sweet and to your point
Medium and informative
Long and meaningful
Microblog (super long)
It is a good idea to mix up the length of your captions, unless you are in fact a blogger or storyteller then of course your audience will follow you for your long posts, but by combining 1-3 of the above will help your posts to be readable, refreshing and drawing your audience in further.
Think of your post as a short story made up of these three elements:
The beginning: (the introduction, that important opening line
The middle: the main bulk and the purpose of the post
The end: signing off the post with a call to action, question or direction such as 'link in bio'
A great way to kickstart your post is to have a title for it (just for you, not visible on your post) that will lead you into the opening line and the beginning of your post. In other words what are you going to talk about and what is your goal behind this post? For example are you hoping for leads, followers, engagement, brand awareness or anything else? This will act as a guide so you stay on point with the message you are wanting to get across to your audience in this post.
Now apply a captivating opening line, apply your tone of voice and hey presto, you are on your way to a scroll-stopping Instagram post! There's just a couple more things...
Use hashtags to increase your post visibility
Hashtags are still the prime source for discovering posts and connecting users with their chosen interests such as #businessgrowth, #motivationalquotes, #memesdaily, so it is still highly recommended and can increase your post engagement by 12%! This might not seem like a big number, but any engagement including likes, comments and shares tell Instagram you are a favourable account.
How many hashtags should you use?
There is so much information out there about how many hashtags you should use and where to place them, whether that's in your caption or in the comments. I go by the industry recommended 15 - 30 hashtags per post (30 being the maximum you can use in posts) for the best performance.
There is no proof that adding hashtags in your comments or captions makes a difference to its performance, so it is merely down to preference vs the length of the post as to where you put the hashtags. If it's a microblog style-post, then maybe enter the hashtags as a comment rather than adding to the caption so it doesn't look messy or overwhelming for the reader.
Use a combination of daily hashtags like #mondaymotivation, #tuesdaytips, #wednessdaywisdsom along with hashtags relevant to both you and your reading for a chance of it being seeing by the right reader, not just everyone and/or anyone.
Lastly, type out your post and review it before you publish it
This is a biggy! This is completely up to you how and where you review your posts before you publish them, but here's a little tip from me on reviewing your post.
I use Asana to map out my content as it is much easier to proofread on a larger screen and check for any spelling errors! We are only human after all - errors do happen people! However you do it, always proofread your posts before you publish to avoid added editing once published.
Some ideas to get your posts rocking and scrolling....
Begin your post with a question or posing a dilemma relatable to your audience
Mention and tag people in your posts where possible and relevant
Sign off your posts with a CTA (call to action), question or direction such as 'learn more via our website, link in bio'
Use at least 1 emoji to maintain attention of your reader and break up wordy posts (but don't overdo it with the emoji's)
If a post didn't perform as well as you had hoped or it should have, rewrite and review your hashtags
There we have it, your guide to mapping out the ideal scroll stopping caption. Not only will it capture your followers, but it'll encourage them to keep coming back knowing that your posts add value to their own Instagram experience and even business development or inspiration.
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Thanks for reading and happy posting!
Yasmin @ Aloha Social Media