You might think that writing great captions for your image or video posts on your Instagram feed may not be so important, but it actually plays a major role in engaging your followers and is vital for getting noticed by your target users in the Instagram community.
With the latest updates on the Instagram algorithm, posts that get a lot of engagement – meaning they have a lot of likes, comments, and shares – are deemed as high-quality content, so these posts tend to be bumped up on people’s feeds and become more visible to Instagram users.
What is a Good Instagram Caption?
Generally speaking, a good Instagram caption is one that provides context, expresses your brand’s personality, and moves your followers to take action. There is no hard and fast rule, actually. You can write a few words or stretch your caption to 2,200 characters (the maximum limit for Instagram captions), be funny or serious, tell a story or share a quote. The main goal is to inspire your audience to engage.
So, how do you come up with an amazing caption for every post? Here’s your ultimate guide to writing a stellar caption each and every time you post on Instagram:
Start with a Plan
Instead of thinking of what caption to write just as you are about to post an image to your feed, schedule your posts in advance and write a draft for each post. This way, you can review your captions, have other people take a look at it and give their feedback, and make the necessary revisions before you publish your post.
An Instagram content calendar would be very useful, not just for writing drafts for your captions, but also for planning how your Instagram grid would look like. You can plan for the next month, the next quarter, or for the whole year.
In planning, think of the theme that you want to have for each month and make sure that all of your visual and text content are aligned with that theme. It would be a good idea to incorporate certain occasions or holidays into your theme for the month as well, such as National Teachers’ Day, Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, etc.
Start with the Important Details
Your captions should always start with the important details. This is because after 3 to 4 lines of text, Instagram captions are truncated. By adding all the important information first and starting your caption with engaging content, you can boost the amount of time your audience spends viewing your post.
This trick is especially handy when you’re hosting an Instagram challenge or contest. By starting your caption with “Join this month’s challenge!” or “Giveaway Time!” you can draw your audience into reading the entire caption and participating in your activity.
Emojis might be fun to look at, but they also serve a greater purpose to your captions. Adding emojis not only draw the users’ attention to your text, they can also highlight specific details that you want your audience to take note of.
For example, by adding an emoji exclamation or emoji sparkles before and after a phrase, you place emphasis on this phrase. If you are enumerating several things, such as criteria for your Instagram contest, adding emoji pushpin to every point would make it easier for your audience to take note of every detail. If you have a special announcement to make, like when you’re having a sale or special promotion, emoji megaphone would help people notice your announcement better.
Add a Compelling Call-to-Action
Adding a call-to-action at the end of your Instagram caption is a great way to motivate your audience to engage. A simple “Comment below!” or a question inviting them to share their thoughts about your post can result to a lot of comments. If you want your post to gain exposure to a larger amount of users, you can add “Tag someone who might like this!” to your caption so your followers would be driven to share your post to their families and friends.
You can also share a link of your online store or promotions page on your bio and invite your audience to “Click the link in our bio!” to increase traffic and online sales revenue to your site.
Your Brand Voice Should Be Consistent
With Instagram, it’s all about telling a story, with the visuals you post and with your captions. And when you’re telling a story one post at a time, having a consistent brand voice is essential. This means that your Instagram captions should sound and feel like your content in all the other social media and marketing channels that you are on.
By maintaining a consistent brand voice in all your captions, you are able to establish a strong brand identity on Instagram. People who have started following you would not be confused as to who you are as a brand, and every post would feel like a continuation of a conversation that you had the first time they saw your post on Instagram. A consistent brand voice keeps your followers engaged and reinforces the connection that you have formed with them.
Add Mentions to Captions
Including the handles of other brands, influencers, and customers is a great way to invite these people to engage with your brand.
Mentions are one of the most effective means you can connect with other Instagram users and promote one another to your respective followers. Every time you post an image or video with another person or brand, add their handle into your caption, instead of just tagging them in the post. Not everyone taps on the image or video to see who’s tagged, so adding these handles in your captions makes it easier for them to be seen by your audience.
This also applies when you share user-generated content. Tagging these people is one way you can show them that you appreciate them and that you genuinely intend to create that connection with them.
Writing fascinating content for your Instagram captions can greatly affect your visibility on Instagram and create a positive engagement rate among your audience. Taking the time to come up with a stellar caption for every post you add on your Instagram account can make a remarkable impact on your following. So, make sure to take notes and apply these tips right away!