By Ana Gotter on 02-Apr-2019 13:53:37
When it comes to Instagram marketing, most marketers and businesses spend their time fixating on followers, reach, and engagement. If they can reach more people, they can get more eyes on their content, and that could lead to more customers and more sales.
Too many, however, miss a crucial part of the process: they focus on getting people to their content and engaging with it, but they forget about the next step of getting these same people to head from Instagram to their site.
This is where your Instagram bio comes into play.
Your bio is your one chance to define your brand to anyone coming your way and explain why they should head to your site to learn more, sign up, purchase, or do whatever else it is that you hope they do. The bio you create will absolutely affect your potential for driving on-platform traffic to your site or the landing page of your choice, so it needs to be carefully crafted for maximum impact.
In this post, we're going to take a look at how to write short Instagram bios that will make a big impact, successfully helping you to define your brand while directing traffic to wherever you want it to go.
Why Your Instagram Bio Matters So Much
There's good chance that you're working hard to use hashtags, influencer campaigns, Stories, and maybe even Instagram contests in order to increase your reach and connect with new users on the platform. When they finally come across your content, there's a good chance that they'll click to your profile after using it. If your bio isn't well-written, users may end up losing interest before they can follow you or check out your site.
Your Instagram bio is the place on your profile where you get to give visitors a quick snapshot of what you're all about, and it's the place where you get to tell them what you'd like them to do next. Want to send them to your blog to learn more, or to a landing page where they can sign up for an event or a new purchase? You've got one link, and you can optimise the bio to drive a certain action around it and win over new visitors, so it matters a great deal.
Why Do I Need a Short Instagram Bio?
The title of this post isn't "how to write an Instagram bio," it's "how to write a short Instagram bio," so clearly there's a reason this is important.
Most Instagram bios will be pretty short, because you only have 150 characters total to get the job done, including spaces, punctuation, and emojis for the bio itself. That's shorter than today's tweets, and only 10 characters more than the classic Tweets, which were all about the brevity.
In general, having your bio be as short as possible while still conveying all the information needed is a good call. Most Instagram users are going to be on mobile, so they don't want to see a big block of tiny text (which is why shorter Instagram captions work well, too). Shorter, better-spaced-out bios will perform better as a result.
How to Write a High-Converting Short Instagram Bio
With only so many characters, brands and marketers need to get creative, so let's take a look at a few distinct ways you can make those characters count, driving action in 150 characters or less.
Choose the Perfect Link
The link isn't included in those 150 characters, but it's an important part of your Instagram bio because it dictates what sort of off-platform interaction you want to prioritise.
Most brands will choose to link to their site's homepage, which is a good, reliable choice if you are just trying to increase general traffic and brand awareness, as this company does here:
Others may choose to link to landing pages, however, which take users to pages dedicated to selling them a specific product, getting them to sign-up for event, allowing them to participate in a contest, or showing them something they can download. This often is most effective when you're promoting something heavily, like an event or a new product, and you're encouraging users in your feed posts and Stories to head to the link in your bio to learn more.
There's one more popular option to consider, and that's third-party shopping software. While Instagram's native Shopping features have made these options a little less popular, the tools work by creating a gallery of shoppable posts that align with your Instagram posts and which can be accessed through the profile link. Examples include Have2Have.It and Like2Buy.
Focus On Brand Appeal & USP
This is going to be the most important tip on the list, and there are so many ways to do it well. In your super short bio, you need to highlight the best parts of your business, including explaining your unique selling proposition (USP). This essentially defines what makes you different and tells users how you can offer something that no one else can.
Let's look at an example from Xero Shoes. They could just leave it at "running sandals" or "running shoes to help you get fit," which many competitors use. Instead, they explain that they offer a "modern spin," and then offer up adjectives like "durable, stylish, affordable, and light."
They're smart to list different qualities that some of their customers may be looking for, explaining what the consumer experience is like right from the get-go. I'm not even a runner and it made me want to check them out.
Treat this section as a condensed version of an elevator pitch, where you have to explain to someone why your business is great when they've never heard of you before. Make sure that you're describing your business in strong, branded terms that your audience will relate to, and leave the esoteric buzzwords at home.
Even if other competitors are offering something similar, treat it like they aren't; Brilliant Earth does this by talking about being the leading supplier of "beyond conflict free diamond jewelry," even though all companies are ethically required to do the same.
If you can explain why someone should be following your brand and what you're doing differently in this section, you'll be much more successful at driving clicks and increasing the number of followers who like your profile after discovering you on platform.
Keep it Mostly Evergreen
There are some profile bios that you'll see changing regularly to promote big events or sales. While this can work for some brands, remember that its' beneficial to treat your Instagram bio as that crucial About Me in case its a visitor's first touch point. Because connecting with these users is so important to grow your following, it's typically a good call to opt for evergreen bios.
When we say "evergreen," we're referring to content that will be relevant for a significant period of time, even if the bio link changes. Think a standard "about us" like you see in the example above, which focuses on explaining what their nonprofit does and has a general CTA. There's nothing timely or seasonal, which means they can set it and forget it, to a certain extent.
Space It Out
The vast majority of Instagram's users will be accessing the platform through the mobile app, and these users typically aren't happy to see big blocks of text. If you want to list a number of different features to highlight what makes your brand or product great, consider using a bullet-point list instead of lumping them all together in a single sentence.
Dentiste' New Zealand used this strategy for their bio, even using a leaf emoji to highlight their claims about it being herbal and natural. This bullet list block of features is easier to scan and much more visually appealing, which will help the brand make a bigger impact faster.
Use Hashtags to Send Users to Relevant Feeds
Many businesses will create a branded hashtag for Instagram, even if it's just their name with a hashtag slapped in the front. If you don't have one yet, you should; you can encourage users to add the tag to their user-generated content (UGC) so that you can find and share it, and to help you build brand awareness.
Placing your hashtag in your profile's bio has two advantages. It tells users exactly how they can share content in a way that you'll be able to see it, and showing them what hashtag to use. Some brands will even partner this up with a specific CTA to "share your unboxing with #StitchFix."
It also creates an actual linked, clickable hashtag, which is a huge benefit. When users click, they'll likely be taken to a feed that's a combination of content that you've created, and posts that your audience has created. That much UGC can quickly win over new potential followers and help you make a big impression.
Use Emojis if Needed
Emojis can add some extra personality to your profile, which is always a big plus when you're trying to define your brand as quickly as possible. They're also exceptionally helpful when you need to free up a few of those crucial characters. Instead of the word "cheeseburger," after all, you just need a single symbol, and it stands out a heck of a lot more.
Emojis can be used in a number of different ways. The example above uses different emojis as creative bullet points, but you can also use them to simply swap out words or express brand values. There's also the option to use them to direct attention to the CTA, which we'll take a look at in our final section.
Include a CTA
This last step is so important. If you want to drive real, meaningful, off-platform results and not just build up brand awareness on the platform, you need to have at least one CTA in your bio. Here at Social Media College, we actually have two in ours, and use a hyperlinked tag and emojis to drive them both home.
The first CTA encourages users to tag our profile when sharing user-generated content. This lets users know that they can be featured on our channel, making it more likely they'll share that content that can benefit us, too.
We also have a CTA to "become an expert social media marketer," with emojis clearly telling viewers to "click here," which takes users to our site to learn more about the social media courses we offer. These are quick CTAs, but they've helped us drive both on and off platform actions that have benefited our brand tenfold.
You don't have a ton of room to tell visitors who you are or what you're about, but if your Instagram account is the first touch point for new users, you need to be able to express this concisely and motivate them to take the next steps, no matter what those next steps are. If you want to convert visitors into followers and followers into customers and drive real, meaningful actions from your Instagram marketing, you need to have that fully optimised bio.
With so few characters, you don't have a lot of room to do this, so make sure that you're using our strategies and copywriting tactics to showcase the full value of your brand as quickly and concisely as possible. With so much counting on it, you can't afford not to.
Interested in learning more about how to set up your (or your clients') social media accounts for success? Check out our 8-week Social Media Intensive course, which will teach you everything you need to know.