Instagram marketing is all about visuals, along with producing engaging Instagram captions. You need to learn to write Instagram captions that capture attention. If you want to boost your Instagram profile and attract Instagram followers, quality images that show them the human aspect of your business can work wonders. Beyond that, images that address problems people have can get them interested in your brand and what it stands for.
Beyond the images themselves, by meticulously crafting a caption for your images, you can give your image a voice that will capture attention while people scroll through their Instagram feeds.
Ideally, a good Instagram caption describes what the photo is about, encourages your followers to take action, or cracks a joke, all of which make your material more appealing and shareable. If you treat the caption on your Instagram pictures as an afterthought, you’ll miss out on a chance to engage and thrill your followers in ways that a visual alone cannot.
What goes into a good Instagram caption?
First and foremost, Instagram captions can benefit your business in the following ways:
- Increasing the number of visitors to your website.
- Gaining you more Instagram followers.
- Increasing sales.
On Instagram, a strong visual can entice users to “slow their scroll” and stay focused on a post. However, a well-crafted caption can do a lot more in terms of marketing and sales.
If you want to optimize your content for Instagram’s algorithm, you need to prove that your content is good enough to make people stop in their tracks. Compelling captions can help capture public attention and boost your rating in the algorithm. Strong captions will help your followers to realize they need what you’re selling by shaping the brand’s story and personality. In a nutshell, Instagram captions can make a big difference in your social media success—and thus your bottom line.
Instagram’s algorithm has recently been updated, making it more likely for your posts to be served (or “seen”) if your engagement rates go up. The algorithm is always examining whether your brand receives a large number of user comments on a post and whether you respond to them. As a result of these changes, having a large number of followers is no longer enough to ensure that your posts will be bumped up in people’s Instagram feeds.
With that in mind, you need to know your campaign goals in order to craft effective Instagram captions. Are you trying to direct more people to your website? Are you trying to boost sales for a new product that you’ve launched? Or are you hoping to gain more followers? Whatever your campaign goal is should determine the content of your captions.
Common Instagram campaign goals include:
- Organizing a public awareness campaign to boost exposure or brand awareness in general (this can mean increasing reach and number of followers or driving traffic to your company’s website for awareness purposes)
- Getting the word out about a deal, a new product launch, or a new collection launch
- Using branded Instagram hashtags to collect user-generated content
If your company has an Instagram Business account, you can invest in sponsored posts to ensure that your photos are seen by a specific demographic. When investing in a sponsored post (also known as a “promoted post”), it’s essential to keep in mind various predetermined calls to action from which you can choose.
Contact Us, Learn More, Book Now, and Download are all examples of supported call-to-action buttons.
Additionally, maybe you want to run an organic campaign without spending money on separate Instagram ads. In this case, there are two main goals you’ll want to achieve with your call to action:
- Getting people to read your caption, go to their profile, and click the link in your bio
- Getting likes, comments, and shares from your following (by tagging others)
How to write good Instagram captions
1) Start strong
Since Instagram is so full of content, your graphics and captions must stand out in order to catch a user’s eye as they browse through your feed. We’re aiming for “thumb-stopping” content here.
Knowing your audience and what they’ll respond to is key to finding the proper value proposition and CTA. Start strong by placing your value proposition (if relevant) at the beginning of your caption to capture your audience’s attention. This will encourage them to click “read more” and follow the instructions in your CTA (call to action).
After three to four lines, Instagram shortens your caption, so make sure you include vital details at the start. Only the first sentence of a user’s feed will be visible. So make it compelling or ask a question—and don’t place your call to action at the end.
2) Include a call-to-action or ask a question
Each post that you publish should have a precise goal in mind, so start with that goal and let that goal drive the call to action. Some things that you need to consider when developing a call to action include:
- Do you want new visitors to your website?
- Are you talking about a specific product that potential clients might need?
- Do you want your followers to share this post with their friends?
- Do you have a bargain that you want your followers to be aware?
- Are you hosting a contest or a giveaway?
- Do you want your followers to share your images with a hashtag? (This is an excellent method for gathering user-generated content.)
The aim is to promote engagement with your content by sparking conversations and giving your audience content that is shareable. Encouraging engagement also enhances the likelihood that your post will pop up under the “recommended accounts” to follow in other users’ feeds. This is also a way to get around Instagram’s algorithm, which uses engagement as a statistic to choose which of your posts to show to your followers.
3) Know your character limit
Are you aware of how long your Instagram caption can and should be?
Keep in mind the following:
- In an Instagram caption, you have 2,200 characters (which is roughly around 400 words).
- Captions are cut off at 125 characters (the number of characters seen “above the fold” in the feed).
- Each caption can include up to 30 hashtags.
Keep in mind that while you can keep things short and sweet, there’s plenty of evidence that adding context or telling a story with more than 125 characters can go a long way. Hootsuite did an experiment on Instagram captions and discovered that those with 400 to 705 characters generated higher engagement than those with 65 characters or less.
4) Write like a human
When generating your Instagram captions, the most important factor is authenticity. Put your genuine self out there in your material and captions, and write the way you would speak if you were sitting with someone face-to-face. You should be intelligent and thoughtful, but you should also come across as natural and approachable to your followers.
5) Draft captions on a separate platform
If you write your captions on a different platform, you’ll be more likely to think strategically and without distractions.
When drafting your captions, keep your campaign and engagement goals top of mind. Try coming up with a few different caption ideas, as the first one you write won’t always be your best. Allow your creativity time to breathe and enjoy the process.
6) Use hashtags
Instagram hashtags are essential tools for making your posts searchable, so make sure you use them correctly. They work in the same way as keywords, making it easier for people to find your content through organic searches on the platform.
To keep things looking tidy, you can group hashtags at the end of your caption or beneath the “More” tag. Some people even use several lines of space separated by periods to separate the hashtags from the rest of the description. However, to save space, you can also consider sprinkling hashtags throughout the caption to add depth.
So, how do you figure out which hashtags to use? Aim for a combination of branded (a signature hashtag you establish for your business), community (used by people in your sector or by the influencers you want to attract), product, and other relevant trending hashtags.
Also, it’s essential to take note of the hashtags that your competitors, audience, influencers, and industry leaders are using. Once you have an idea of which hashtags are trending, you can use these hashtags to inform your content.
7) Use emojis
Did you know that you can use emojis to spice up your captions and make them more engaging? Emojis put at the end of sentences or paragraphs can also act as “bookends,” visually breaking up long stretches of text.
Emojis can also be used to encourage readers to take action, such as by clicking the link in the bio. However, if you’re going to use emojis, make sure they match your tone of voice and your brand identity. You don’t want to use too many emojis at once, especially in the same caption.
Also, if you’re outsourcing Instagram caption writing to a freelancer or an agency, make sure you determine a set of emojis that make sense for keeping things consistent and on-brand in advance. This will help keep your brand image consistent across all your platforms. If you’re looking for an agency to partner with, you should consider working with Pressfarm.
Pressfarm is a PR agency that works with individuals and companies of various sizes to create newsworthy content distributed to media professionals and on their own channels. From email pitches and guest posts to press releases and press kits, their PR professionals will work with their clients to make sure that they get the best media coverage for each brand.
8) Cross-promote your other social channels
You can also use your caption to cross-promote your other social media platforms. This is a wonderful way to tell your Instagram followers where else they can find you on social media so that they can become your Twitter followers, Facebook friends, Snapchat audience, and so on.
9) Add captions to stories
Add a caption to your story to draw attention to it. Since many people watch stories without sound, incorporating captions ensures that they understand what you’re saying and can even encourage them to increase the volume. The writing can be educational, entertaining, or motivating to encourage people to take action. Additionally, if some have hearing impairments, captions will make your Stories accessible to everyone.
You can use dedicated tools or write the content in the stories. Subtitles are immediately included when you record live videos with Clipomatic or Threads from Instagram. Caption This generates captions for recorded videos, so you can just upload your video and obtain subtitles in a matter of seconds.
10) Track your efforts
Keep note of your stats when experimenting with alternative captions for your posts to identify what works best for your audience. Examine the number of likes, comments, and shares, publishing time and other metrics that can be used to assess the success of your posts. As mentioned previously, to attract the right audience, make sure the words and tone you use in captions are consistent with the brand identity that you’ve built.
When it comes to branding yourself on Instagram, knowing your brand identity will guide the language and tone you use. Given that you can’t please everyone, branding that is true to your company and what it does will most likely attract the correct clients. For this reason, you should concentrate on your potential customer and how to entice them. This will help you stay focused on the task at hand and govern how you write your Instagram captions. While being strategic is essential, this is also a chance to showcase your brand’s personality. As a result, make sure you blend your brand’s distinct perspective with Instagram’s lighter tone. After all, the medium is the message.