Instagram offered easy pickings for businesses who saw the value of the platform early. Today, 71 percent of U.S. businesses use Instagram marketing, and your Insta-game needs to be better than ever.

One way to stand out from the crowd of 25 million business profiles: nailing the Instagram call to action.

Is profile more than a set of pretty photos? Here’s why your text and features matter and how to transform your engagement using a call to action.

Instagram Call to Action: What It Is and Why It’s Your Best Friend

The formula to success on Instagram is relatively straightforward – on the surface. A stunning photo, pithy caption, and the perfect hashtag are all you need to drive engagement. You’re missing one crucial thing.

A call to action (CTA) is your closer. It is the digital method of asking for the sale at the end of your pitch (or your photo and pithy caption).

It’s important because if you don’t ask, then you don’t get. A strong CTA not only convinces people to act, but it also tells them what to do and how to do it.

Two Ways to Add an Instagram Call to Action

Instagram understands that the 25 million businesses on its platform want to make sales. That’s why there are now three ways to add CTA to your profile and content:

  1. Add a new button to your ads
  2. Add contact buttons to your profile
  3. Add a CTA to your posts and bio

We show you how to use them below.

1. Add a Call-to-Action Button to Your Ads (Where Available)

One of Instagram Business’s latest tools is the call-to-action button, which does the heavy-lifting on your behalf. It’s simple, convenient, and requires only a tap from your users.

At present, there are three buttons to add to your account:

  • Start Order
  • Book
  • Reserve

To use these buttons, you typically need to operate in the dining, health & beauty, or event spaces. You also need to accept purchases or bookings through one of Instagram’s partners. Instagram works with popular providers like:

  • Treatwell
  • Fresha
  • Bookatable
  • Quandoo
  • Eventbrite
  • GlossGenius
  • Booksy

You can find the full list of providers here.

2. Add Contact Buttons to Your Profile

Instagram also adds buttons to your profiles that anyone can use. These are contact buttons that make getting in touch as simple as a single tap. You can choose from:

  • Call
  • Text
  • Directions
  • Email

You can also select the Book, Get Tickets, Start, Order, and Reserve buttons if you work with one of the partners noted in #1.

To add these buttons to your profile, navigate to Edit Profile on your business profile.

Then, choose Business Information followed by Contact Options.

Choose the Add an Action button, and then choose the buttons that make the most sense for you. Hit Submit and you’re done.

To remove the buttons, follow the same steps and de-select the action and then saving with the Submit button.

3. Create Your Own Instagram Call-to-Action

Customers want to know what to do, and you’re here to tell them. If you don’t yet have buttons at your disposable, then you need to create a call-to-action the old-fashioned way.

There are three places to add your CTAs. Every Instagram ad (and post) needs one – and you need one in your bio. Adding them to some (but not all) of your stories is also essential. There are buttons for these, too, as well as the Swipe Up function.

On other parts of the internet, a CTA can be longer than a sentence. On Instagram, brevity is critical because the entire app is one big distraction.

Some of the most simple CTAs are only a few words:

  • Join us.
  • Try for free.
  • Subscribe.
  • Sign up.
  • Learn more.

All of these ask for what you want directly. There’s no ‘wishy-washy, maybe, if you have time’ language here. You’re here to help customers. Show them how to help themselves.

How to Write an Epic Instagram Call to Action

Adding buttons to your Instagram ads and profile is straightforward. There is a limited number of options, and you know what buttons best match your advertisement. If you’re selling tickets, you choose the Get Tickets button.

Writing text CTAs in your is a different story. These are all up to you, and it’s clear when your captions are an afterthought.

When you distill it to its purest form, a good caption does three things:

  • Adds context to the photo
  • Shows off your brand personality
  • Compels readers to take an action

You need all three for a compelling CTA (even if the CTA itself is only a few words).

How do you transform that into a real caption?

Start with your first line. Make it punchy. Let them know what your post is about in your own words. Use hashtags and emojis. There’s a person behind your account, so be real.

Once you grab their attention, you can write your CTA. Caption CTAs often ask for engagement. Using the context of your post as a basis, you can:

  • Tell them to take a friend
  • Ask a question (“what do you think?” “sound off in the comments”)
  • Direct them to the link in your bio
  • Ask them to share your hashtag in their posts
  • Encourage them to tag you in their posts or stories

Finally, remember that not every post is about getting the sale. Building your relationship is the true beauty of social media. So be sure to maintain a balance between your sales posts and generating engagement with your customer base.

Added Your CTA? Now Test It

So you started using your call to action buttons, and it’s going great. But you’re not done yet. It’s not enough to slap a button on your page or ad and wait for the leads to roll in.

Use A/B testing to identify the right CTAs so that you choose the best performing options for your posts.

Some examples of items to test include:

  • Built-in buttons vs. text CTAs
  • Short vs. long text CTAs
  • Buzzwords in CTAs

You can (and should) A/B test all the essential differences between your ads and grid posts.

Take Your Instagram Game to the Next Level

There are now more than 25 million businesses on Instagram. And Instagram now offers more tools than ever before. But just because customers expect to see companies in their feed doesn’t mean that you don’t need to ask for the sale.

An Instagram call to action is a critical part of your ads, profile, grid posts, and stories. Using them correctly is the difference between turning followers into customers and gathering followers who sit idly by.

How will you stand out from the crowd? Get in touch to learn how we can transform your paid social media marketing to optimize your Instagram account for sales.