I was reading an article about Airbnb when I came across this quote:
“…don’t neglect your photo captions, which are arguably the most important piece of text in your entire listing. People read photo captions more than they read the listing, so put the most important information in them,”
– Chip Conley, Airbnb’s head of global hospitality.
Since people pay attention to photos first, this didn’t really surprise me.
Photo captions are an easy way to add some extra information to your photos and give your listing an edge over the competition.
However, the reality is I’ve seen too many listings without photo captions. And the ones that do have captions, leave a lot to be desired…
So, you might be wondering:
“What exactly do I write for my photo captions?”
Well, I’m glad you asked!
Here are 7 things to keep in mind to improve your photo captions:
- Provide new information
Don’t merely state what is in the photo. Add additional information that isn’t obvious in the photo.
For example, if the photo is the living room, don’t just say “living room”. Add some extra info about it. Instead, you can say “Relax on the soft leather couch and enjoy some Netflix after a day exploring the city.”
- Write in a conversational tone
When writing your captions, be sure to write in a conversational manner – almost as if you’re writing to a friend. This makes your copy easy to read and helps you to build a connection with your readers. Use simple words and avoid complex words and sentences.
- Use present tense
Using present tense creates a sense of immediacy and focuses on the “now”. It makes the photo more impactful and encourages the reader to take action. For example: go instead of gone, enjoy instead of enjoyed.
- Put important words or information at the front
Most people are likely to scan your text. For this reason, you want to be to put important words and information at the beginning of the captions. By doing this, you’re more likely to hook readers and getting them to read more.
- Keep them brief
Since readers are going to scroll through your photos, it’s better to keep your captions brief. Let the photo do most of the talking.
However, if there is an interesting story to the photo, you can add some extra details to the caption. Just be sure that it’s engaging and provides added value to your photo.
- Ask a question
Want an easy way to engage readers? Ask a question (see what I did there?).
Questions are great since they force the reader to pause momentarily and reflect on the answer. Just be sure that the question is something that the reader is likely to answer yes to and encourages them to keep reading.
For example, “Want to catch some sun? Head down to Stone Beach only 5 minutes away.”
- Write several drafts
When writing your captions, don’t expect your first one to be your best. Write a few of them. Great copywriting is similar to trying on jeans. You have to try out a few different ones before you find one you like.
If you’re looking for an easy way to craft irresistible captions, be sure to check out my best-selling book: Airbnb Listing Hacks – The Complete Guide To Maximizing Your Bookings And Profits.
This step-by-step guide goes over how to improve your photos and captions and other easy to optimize your Airbnb listings to attract more guests.
Your Airbnb copywriter