How to use Instagram calls to action

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

No matter the type of content, who doesn’t want their audiences to engage deeper with it? I know I do. But certainly, I also realize that getting people to take action is getting harder. One way to do that is by giving users practical next steps that give them more info, let them sign up, or even ask for a demo of a product. Specifically, today, I discuss Instagram calls to action.

What are Instagram calls to action?

The earliest form of Instagram calls to action were simply posts that said, “to read more, click the bio in the link.” That led to software tools like that allows you to add multiple links into your bio.

My Link Tree looks like this:

And once you click:

Sometimes, creators put links into their captions, but they aren’t clickable, nor can they be copied and pasted. So I wouldn’t recommend doing that.

At some point, Instagram started allowing links in some people’s Instagram Stories, and today everyone can add links to their Stories. You can also share podcast episodes with links to the Spotify audio and video.

The latest Instagram feature – Instagram Reels – doesn’t quite yet allow calls to action that link to outside sites, but that doesn’t mean creators aren’t trying to get audience members to react to their content and take a next step.

Instagram Calls to Action on Reels

Creators are finding success in growing their audience by jumping on trends. That’s a similar concept to TikTok trends. Using a trending song will often give the Reel more reach. The first logical call to action is to ask people who found you in a trend to follow you.

So that’s a call to action I see often. “Follow me for more reels on <insert topic>.

Another emerging and popular call to action has been “Read more in the caption.” That often looks like this:

Instagram calls to action example

Instagram calls to action example

Instagram calls to action example

Instagram calls to action example

Instagram calls to action example

So the Instagram Reel tells a bit of a story and tries to pull viewers in. For example, in this case, the storyline revolves around not having enough time. That’s certainly a problem many of us face. But, wait a second, there’s a solution. It’s a mindset: It’s not about having time but making the time.

If that got your attention so far, you are invited to read the caption, which has a couple of advantages for the creator:

  • The extra click signals engagement to Instagram and can help the creator be shown more in people’s feeds. The placement is determined by the algorithm, which takes its queues from user behavior.
  • In the caption, a lot more info can be shared. For example, here’s all the text following the above Instagram Reel.

Instagram calls to action example caption

Instagram calls to action example caption

So that’s a lot more content you can share in addition to what’s in the Reel, and then at the end of that text is another call to action: “Don’t know where to start? Sign up for my online workout session on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-6:45 a.m.”

Should we use CTAs on Instagram at all?

Indeed, it depends on your strategy and the likelihood of people even clicking on anything. For one, I rarely click on anything on Instagram and scroll along. Now, a case study of one isn’t necessarily that helpful, so instead, look at your numbers. On the other hand, it’s likely worth trying if you have a decent size following.

Maybe don’t try it on every post, but why not give it a shot. Of course, it can be hard to guess which post should have a CTA. Instagram Reels still tend to take off here and there. So when one of yours does that, it would be a good test case to see if CTAs work. Of course, it’s hard to know which post will reach more people than usual.

So as always, I would say give it a try, but don’t bet the farm on this strategy alone.

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