Instagram's reach is immense, as it's one of the fastest-growing social media platforms easily accessible from any device. As a brand owner or a marketing expert, not taking advantage of this platform is a massive mistake. Once you create a business account, you'll experience a significant increase in traffic with basic Instagram marketing techniques.
One of the essential features of the platform you need to use is the captions. Aside from posting engaging and visually pleasing photos and videos to your grid, captions are equally important. If you're stuck trying to figure out how to write Instagram captions to improve engagement, this guide will help with some great tips.
The Importance of Instagram Captions
On Instagram, there are few places you can connect with your audience to convey important information. Aside from the comment section and bio, your captions can spread a message, share a promotion, or even shout out to influencers. Not taking advantage of this valuable real estate can be disastrous for your social media strategy.
Although you won't want to post several paragraphs of information, an effective caption relays a message in one to two sentences. It can direct consumers to a specific landing page, answer important questions, and help you establish a voice for your company.
Furthermore, having a caption below your post goes to show that you’re indeed a real human. With so many bot users and fake followers accounts on Instagram these days, people are careful of who they follow and interact with. Captions are one of the ways to tell whether there’s a real human behind an account or not.
In short, Instagram captions are one of the most effective ways to communicate to your audience while boosting engagement. They're essential whether you use them as a call-to-action or rank higher on the "Explore" page.
What Do Good Instagram Captions Have?
When you're developing a caption for Instagram, it's likely to have many tiers. The more compelling it is, the more effective it will be, further explaining your post. Let's look at a few essential tenets the best Instagram captions will have.
- Information: Undoubtedly, the best captions have plenty of information delivered clearly and concisely. Followers should be able to fully understand the content without spending too much time analyzing the post. The easier the caption is to digest, the higher the chance it improves engagement.
- Promotions: There's no doubt that promotional posts are the ones that do the best on this platform. Some top-ranked captions explain how followers can sign up for giveaways, get a percentage off a purchase, or even receive free products. The more promotions you host, the higher the engagement on your grid.
- Call-to-Action: As with any other written content on your social media platforms, CTAs are essential. Your call-to-action could direct your audience to your website or encourage them to buy a marked-down product. As long as the caption pushes your audience in a specific direction, it will be successful.
- Hashtags: When developing good Instagram captions, hashtags are essential. These small words help get your content ranked, ensuring it reaches your target audience. The more related hashtags you use, you'll have a better chance of showing up on other users' "Explore" pages.
How to Write Instagram Captions to Improve Engagement
By now, you should have a good idea of what good Instagram captions should have and how they can help your social media strategy. Let's dive into how you can start writing the optimal caption for Instagram to draw in a larger audience and inform your existing community.
1. Focus Your Efforts on the First Sentence
As with any written form of media, you must grab audiences within the first few words. With your Instagram captions, you will want to put the most critical information within the first sentence. Remember, the entire caption shouldn't be longer than three sentences, so ensure you prioritize your content well.
You'll want to ensure you lead with your hook, putting your call-to-action at the top of the post. The faster your audience knows what to do, the more likely they will follow through. If your audience wants more information, they can continue reading through the rest of the caption.
2. Ask Questions and Use a Call-to-Action
A common theme you'll see when writing good Instagram captions is to ensure you use a call-to-action. What can be equally beneficial is adding a question into your content, drawing your audience in.
First, you'll want to think about your intention for the post and then decide which options suit the post best. For example, if you want people to visit your website, leading with a call to action is preferable. Whereas if you're sharing a fascinating statistic, leading with a question is a better alternative.
At the end of the day, the top thing you'll try to achieve with Instagram posts is to gather more engagement.
Your metrics will steadily increase if you ask your followers questions and encourage them to comment, like, or share your posts. Adding a call-to-action can also send leads to your site and other socials, increasing engagement across all platforms. A few great examples of things you can encourage your community to do through captions include:
- Share, comment, or like the post
- Tag a friend in the comments
- Follow the link posted in your bio
- Post their own photos using a branded hashtag
3. Share Information and Educate
Learning what people use Instagram for the most is a great way to create spectacular captions. Most Instagram users use the platform to research products and services. Whether it's to find a nail salon in their area or research a topic, there are many options.
Your Instagram captions are a great way to spread information and educate your audience. The more valuable information you can provide, the more your followers see your account as an authority. You can guarantee your followers will continue returning to your page as long as you keep putting out informative and relatable content.
Sharing and bookmarking is another massive benefit to educating followers through good Instagram captions. When current and future followers find good content, they tend to share or bookmark it for later reading. These actions help increase your engagement and spread awareness of your brand.
4. Be Your Most Authentic Self
It's far too often that big corporations on social media stick to their "corporate voices," making you seem impersonal and robotic. Instead, a better option is to be your most authentic self, allowing you to establish a brand voice. You'll want to use any caption for Instagram as a way to humanize your company to your followers.
The more natural your captions read, the more they'll be consumed and appreciated. It's best to write as if you were speaking, relating to your audience. There's nothing better than a brand account that feels like a real person runs it.
5. Always Draft Your Captions Before Posting
Nothing is ever written perfectly the first time around. When you're developing good Instagram captions, you'll want to draft them beforehand. This process allows you to write a distraction-free post that you can refine over time to ensure it's perfect before posting.
There are plenty of platforms that you can use for drafting captions, such as Plann and a primary word processor. However, caption-specific platforms can be a fantastic way to automate your social media posting. With these programs, you can write captions, edit them, and schedule them to be posted.
Using this process, you can streamline the process, helping you focus on other essential parts of your socials. You can also collaborate with your team to ensure the most important information is in each caption.
6. Let Your Creativity Flow
When you think about the brevity of captions, it can be tempting to write concise captions that often come across as bland. However, this is one of the main areas of your page where you can let your creativity flow. Remember, you're still trying to sell a product or service through good Instagram captions.
You'll want to use provocative language that entices all of your readers' senses. Focus on touch, sound, taste, emotion, feel, and sight. Keeping this in mind, you can begin painting a picture to encourage your followers to learn more about what you offer.
Another fantastic option for boosting the creativity on your Insta profile is to tell a story. Storytelling is a key to marketing, as it helps to lead followers down a specific path. The more effective your storytelling is, the more effective your captions will be.
7. Learn How To Insert Hashtags
As mentioned, one of the essential parts of a fabulous caption for Instagram is using hashtags. They help make your content searchable, but they can also help your posts get pushed to your audience. Although they are helpful, it's also important you know how to use them effectively without taking away from your profile.
Excessive hashtags visible under a post can set the wrong impression on your audience. It can often make the caption area look unprofessional and cluttered. Fortunately, there are ways to create a visually pleasing caption without losing the effectiveness of hashtags.
You can separate the first half of your caption using spaces and periods from the hashtags you want to use. This step forces the tags to be hidden, only viewable if followers click "More" to see more content at the bottom. You'll have a clean and easy-to-read caption paired with relevant hashtags to help rank your content higher.
Apart from knowing how to add hashtags to any caption for Instagram, it's also important to know which are ideal. Doing some background research on relevant tags for your content and niche is essential. You'll want a mix of trending tags paired with branded, relevant, and community tags. You can find here some effective hashtags ideal for different posts.
- Trending Tags: These hashtags are ranked the highest for the day on Instagram.
- Relevant Tags: If your business falls within a specific niche, there are likely relevant tags that you can begin using. For example, "#photography" for photographers would be a relevant tag you should take advantage of.
- Branded Tags: These hashtags are unique to your business, as unique as signatures. They'll often be used to direct followers to your specific hashtag. For example, "#photographybyGrace" compared to the standard "#photography" tag.
- Community Tags: When doing competitor research on Instagram, brands in the same niche begin to use similar tags. These community tags help categorize your content in the right niche and help you find the right type of influencers for product promotions.
8. Start Researching How To Use Emojis Effectively
There's no doubt that we all love to sprinkle some emojis into our social media posts every now and then. However, knowing how much is the perfect amount is the key to creating an effective caption for Instagram. Ideally, you're not going to want to crowd valuable space with small images.
It's important to note that emojis can be incredibly beneficial for capturing your audience's eye. You can use them at the beginning and end of sentences to create an aesthetically pleasing presentation of information. Alternatively, you can use them to tell an entire story instead of words.
Emojis are also fabulous for drawing a reader's eye to a specific sentence or target words in your caption. For example, adding a pin or exclamation point emoji can signify importance if you have a call-to-action. As long as you maintain consistency with your emojis, it can create a fantastic display for your posts.
It's also a great idea to stay up-to-date with the most trendy emojis at posting. This extra step can help make your posts more relevant, fresh, and exciting. This is particularly important for brands that target Millennials and Gen Z audiences with their products and services.
Writing the Right and Catchy Instagram Caption Matters
Learning how to write Instagram captions to improve engagement has a lot to do with creativity and drafting. Your engagement will surely increase if you know how to give the most important information first. As one of the best places to communicate with your audience, building the perfect caption for Instagram is essential.