The Anatomy Of The Instagram Bio (Plus Bio Ideas To Draw Inspiration From)
When you think of Instagram, chances are the first thing that comes to mind is photos. After that, perhaps videos and Instagram Reels would pop into your head.
But text? That’s probably pretty far down on your list of things you associate with Instagram. Yet in some cases, text can be the deciding factor between an Instagram profile that draws in viewers and converts, and one that has visitors clicking away.
What kind of text? Instagram bios. Your Instagram bio is one of the first things that Instagram users will see when they check out your brand on the social media network. First impressions matter, so you need to make an effort to ensure that your Instagram bio makes the right one.
In this guide, we’re going to break down the anatomy of a successful bio and give you some inspiration to get some Instagram bio ideas flowing. We’ll cover everything from your username to your photo to your CTA and beyond. By the end, you’ll have a solid foundational knowledge that you can use to start getting creative.
What Does An Instagram Bio Add To Your Business?
Since your Instagram bio is the first section that Instagram users will see when they navigate to your profile, it gives you an opportunity to clearly tell your audience who you are and what you can offer them.
A lot of people think that a bio is just a bit of text that no one will look at. But in reality, it provides several different sections that you can utilize:
- Your username
- Profile photo
- Text (typically including a link)
- Call to action (CTA)
- Story highlights
Each of these sections should offer information to answer questions like: Who are you? What type of content do you post? What is your brand’s mission? You can answer many of these questions with your bio text, but you can also use the other aspects of your profile, like story highlights, your profile photo, and your username, to answer them in a more symbolic or visual way.
Your Instagram bio will typically include a link. Your link-in-bio is the only place in your entire Instagram page that you can include a hyperlink, and you only get one, so you need to use it wisely.
If you have more than one page you’d like to link to, consider using a link-in-bio tool. Link-in-bio tools will allow you to link to several different pages, such as your website, blog, products, and more. This part is especially important because it’s your best opportunity to get users off of Instagram and onto your site.
Finally, you’ll usually want to include a call to action (CTA), which will instruct visitors on what to do once they view your profile. This is important for conversions.
3 Reason Why Optimizing Your Instagram Bio Is Critical
Your Instagram bio is the first thing that visitors will see when they arrive at your profile. As a result, it’s important that you have it optimized to make the greatest possible impact.
Not convinced? Here are three reasons you should optimize your Instagram bio.
It’s Your Top Conversion Opportunity
While you can technically include CTAs in any of your posts’ captions, your Instagram bio is the only place where you can include a link.
That means that this is your only chance to include a CTA and a link right after. This way, visitors have an easy time completing the action you’re asking for. Everything’s right there and laid out for them, which means your CTAs have the highest chance of working.
It Can Affect SEO
Believe it or not, SEO isn’t all just about blog posts and keywords on your home page. Your Instagram bio can become an important part of your SEO strategy if you include the right keywords. This is especially true if your business is largely based around Instagram.
Plus, if you view SEO simply as a way to make search engines and people understand what you’re all about, your bio is where you can lay everything out and explain what they can expect to find on your profile.
It’s The Only Place You Can Include A Hyperlink
Much to the chagrin of many Instagrammers, the popular social network only allows users to include one hyperlink in their entire profile — and that includes captions.
As mentioned above, that means that your link-in-bio is your one shot to get people to visit your other web presences. So it’s your best shot at directing visitors to where they might make a purchase and earn you revenue. Without optimizing your Instagram bio, you’ll miss out on these opportunities.
Elements Of The Instagram Bio
Now that we’ve got a firm understanding of why your Instagram bio is important, let’s start looking at what you can do to make it stand out and work for you.
Here are the six elements you need to optimize in your Instagram bio along with some ideas about how you can whip them into shape.
You may also want to read: How to Format Your Business Instagram Profile
Your Instagram username is what people will use to find you. Clearly, it’s important to get this part of your bio right.
For the most part, your username won’t take too much effort to whip into shape. Usually, you can just use your business’s name or some small variation on it if it’s already taken.
For example, if your business is called Bob’s Famous Donuts and based in New York, you can simply call yourself @bobsfamousdonuts. However, if that happened to be taken, you could just make a small variation, like @bobsfamousdonutsig, @bobs_famous_donuts, or @bobsfamousdonuts_ny.
Generally, you want to ensure that your username is easy to remember and easy to read. What that means precisely will vary from country to country.
If you have double consonants or if your username is particularly long, you may want to consider breaking it up with underscores. For example, if your name were Matt Timberlane, the username @matttimberlane is very hard to read — those three “t”s in a row are tough to spot. To make things easier for your visitors, simply add an underscore and make your username @matt_timberlane.
Of course, you’ll also want to ensure that your username has some type of relation to your business, even if you have to pick something different than your company’s name. So, if you’re running a vegan brand, don’t call yourself @carnivore_4_life.
Humans are very visual creatures, so your profile picture will likely be the first thing that visitors notice when they come to your profile. It’s also what they’ll use to recognize you when trying to find your brand’s Instagram page.
In most cases, your profile picture should simply be your company logo. This will make it easy for people to find you and will maintain consistency across your other channels.
In some cases, it’s ok to make minor variations on your logo to help it blend better with your Instagram profile. But for the most part, you should stick to the same branding that you have on your other social media profiles for consistency’s sake. Otherwise, people who are looking for you might find your profile and think they ended up in the wrong place.
As we’ve already mentioned, your Instagram bio is the only place on your entire profile that you can place a hyperlink. Because of this, your bio link is particularly important: it’s the sole bridge between your Instagram profile and your other web presences.
For many businesses, simply placing your company’s web address in your Instagram bio is perfectly fine.
However, in many cases, you’ll do better using a link-in-bio tool. These tools create link directories for you, so that when a visitor clicks your bio link, they’ll be able to choose what content or pages they want to navigate to, like so:
These tools are particularly helpful if your business posts content frequently. For example, if you run a recipe blog and find yourself making lots of posts that say “recipe link in bio,” you can use a link-in-bio tool to make a directory for all the recipes you’ve posted. Then, people who click that link can select the specific recipes they want to view.
This saves you from having to swap out your link constantly and making your older content harder to find by removing links to it.
You may also want to read: 15 Tips for Using Instagram for Business
Call To Action (CTA)
As the name implies, a CTA is a button that calls your reader to action — that means that it asks them to do something.
For example, a CTA might say something like “contact us at email@example.com” or “signup for our mailing list at bobsfamousdonuts.com/signup.” In some cases, it might just say “Please follow our profile!”
However, on Instagram, a CTA typically takes the form of a button. You can choose what your button says, such as “Email” or “Shop.”
Important note: Some possible uses of the CTA button, such as “Shop”, are only available to business pages. Everything else in this article is available for all users.
Your CTA is important because it’s an opportunity to get your viewers to take action and potentially even convert. Without a CTA, your visitors are likely to navigate away without doing anything that would create an ROI on your Instagram marketing efforts.
The key to a good CTA is to keep your task simple and doable. Think of something reasonable, like signing up for a mailing list or visiting your website and ask for it in clear and simple terms. On Instagram, just pick the CTA button that’s most closely linked to your goals. If you run an eCommerce business, use “Shop.” If you’re a consultant, try “Email” so you can get clients.
Your bio description is that part of your profile that houses your link. But it also should include a description of what your profile will be posting and what your business stands for.
Instagram bios are limited to 150 characters, including your link and CTA, so you don’t have much wiggle room. Keep your bio concise and effective and make sure that it clearly describes what users can expect to find on your profile.
To spice things up a bit, consider adding emojis. These are very popular on Instagram, and they can add a splash of color to an otherwise boring black and white bio. Plus, emojis add a sense of casual fun and can help express your brand’s personality in ways that text can’t.
Instagram story highlights are Instagram stories you’ve posted in the past that you can choose to make permanent staples of your profile. You can sort these stories into categories, which will show up as small icons below your bio description.
You can use your story highlights to give visitors a quick and accessible overview of the type of content you post. Break it up into different categories and select the best stories for each category.
You’ll also want to design some eye-catching thumbnails for each category. Ideally, you should keep these thumbnails consistent as well.
Instagram Bio Ideas
The best way to learn is through example. So, let’s take a look at five examples of brands that did their Instagram bios right.
Julia’s bio ticks all the boxes: it has an easy-to-read username, it lists her location, and what she does. Her profile picture shows who she is, it includes an email CTA, and her story highlights are consistently branded. It also includes a link.
Here, ANEW Well Sports Nutrition clearly states what their profile is about, it includes a link generated by a link-in-bio tool, there’s a CTA, and there are several story highlights categories.
Kylie Morgan uses her Instagram bio to describe who she is and to include a link generated by a link-in-bio tool. She doesn’t include a CTA, but she does have very appealing custom story highlight thumbnails.
In this example, we can see how Cincy Food Guide uses its logo as a profile photo to maintain consistency across platforms and brand recognition, it includes a link to its website, and it includes both a text CTA and a button CTA.
Stacy Tuschl’s bio includes information about what she does, a picture of her, a text CTA and a button CTA, and several story highlights categories.
Anatomy Of An Instagram Bio
Your Instagram bio is your opportunity to make a strong first impression on your visitors. It’s also your best chance to get your audience to convert.
Without optimizing your Instagram bio, you’re letting your ROI on Instagram marketing suffer. Make sure you have a clear username, your bio describes what your business does, you include a CTA (or two), you have an appealing profile picture, and you include some story highlights so visitors can get an overview of your content.
If you do all that, you’ll be sure to make a great first impression.
You may also want to read: Here’s How Bloggers Can Leverage Instagram
Rafaella Aguiar is the Marketing Manager at Kicksta, and specializes in content marketing. You can find more daily Instagram marketing tips from her at @kicksta.co
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