A friend of mine asked for help rewriting a profile for her online dating page. So, as with my marketing clients, I began by asking questions.
"What have you tried before?"
"What results are you getting?"
"What makes you so special to a potential suitor?"
"Who is your target audience?"
And there were many others, of course, until I had the full picture. She wanted better quality guys. Intelligence. A professional. Ones who would actually READ her profile. Ones who wanted a RELATIONSHIP, not just... well, you know. And then I asked her to send me her photos... to see how she was presenting herself.
They were nice clear shots, in a variety of poses... some fun, serious, whimsical, one with pets, and even a full body pose, to show her physique. All good choices.
"So where are the CAPTIONS?" I asked.
"Captions?" she queried back.
"Yes, captions. That's what most guys will only read. They will look at your photos, and then read short captions, if they're interested."
It's true. In fact, not just guys, but ALL of us are conditioned to look for pictures and then, if we want to know more, read a short caption. Not a huge, long verse. Just enough to accentuate the positive.
Yet we spend HOURS crafting every little word and nuance of the paragraphs we tweak over and over... paragraphs that probably are not even ranking an eye scan by most.
In this day and age, we are conditioned to cut to the chase. Look for the visuals first. A single picture DOES speak 1000 words.
But when you want to REEL THEM IN, and reinforce a point... give it a caption. A main headline. A single thought.
Why? Because the old advertising adage is still true: PICTURES ATTRACT. COPY SELLS.
It's a timeless rule of marketing. Images and videos lure you in. The short captions get you closer to saying "yes" or "no." Whether it's a date, a car, diet pills, a puppy, plumbing services or logoed fidget spinners. Captions seal the deal or get you to the next level, the next click, the next screen in the sale process.
So take good photos. Write upbeat, short captions with benefits, not just features. (And if you don't know the difference, get a good copywriter who does. Wink!)
It could make a world of difference between meeting your soulmate, or spending another Saturday night at home. Alone. Again. (Unlike my friend who's now happily dating "one of the good ones.")
Your ever-loving Captioneer...
Mary Ellen Sokalski
Diva of Direct Marketing.