It’s tough to ignore Instagram’s reach as a business owner. The quickly expanding social platform already has more than one billion monthly active users, and that number is only anticipated to rise.
Your business may already have the coveted Instagram blue tick for its profile and upload beautiful images and videos to its IGTV and Instagram feeds, but if you’re not paying close attention to your social copy, especially your Instagram captions, you risk missing out on a significant opportunity.
Instagram captions can help your business by boosting the traffic to your website, the number of Instagram followers you have, and even your sales. On Instagram, a strong image can keep users on your post by causing them to “slow their scroll,” but a well-written caption can generate far more traffic and revenue.
How should a caption on Instagram be written?
More engagement can be generated with compelling captions, and engagement is crucial when it comes to Instagram’s algorithm. Your brand’s story and personality are shaped by the strong copy in your caption, which makes it easier for your followers to understand why they need what you’re selling. In summary, Instagram captions can boost the social media success of your business, which will benefit your bottom line.
Recent changes to Instagram’s algorithm mean that if the social media site loves your interaction rates, your posts are more likely to be served (or “seen”). This indicator examines if you frequently receive user comments on posts and whether you reply to those remarks. Due to these modifications, having a large number of followers no longer ensures that your postings will be noticed, which may seem contradictory.
The posts and accounts you engage with the most, along with other factors like the timeliness of posts, how frequently you use Instagram, how many people you follow, etc., determine what appears first in your feed. This was stated by Instagram earlier this year when explaining how its algorithm works.
Which does this imply? To begin with, the content that appears at the top of an Instagram user’s channel is determined by the user’s own activity. Therefore, as a business, you must encourage users to interact with your article, whether that means staying on it for a brief period of time, or liking, commenting or sharing it. (More on how captions can support these initiatives will follow.)
I talked to two Instagram marketing gurus to obtain their advice on how to create captions that can increase your following, sales, and brand recognition.
With your campaign goals in mind, begin writing powerful Instagram captions.
Go back to your main Instagram strategy objectives and let them direct you before you start composing captions. Common broad objectives include:
launching a campaign to raise brand recognition to boost your exposure or generally (this can mean increasing your reach and number of followers, or driving traffic to your website for awareness purposes)
announcing a new collection launch, new product debut, or sale
using branded hashtags on Instagram to gather user-generated content
To guarantee that a certain audience sees your images, if you have an Instagram Business account, you can spend money on sponsored posts. You have several established calls to action to pick from when investing advertising funds in a sponsored post, also known as a “promoted post.”
The following call-to-action button choices are supported: Learn More, Book Now, Download, and Contact Us. And because of the Shop tab and product tagging features of Instagram, Shopify merchants can set up their Instagram accounts so that customers can learn more about their products with just a single tap and even go straight to their Shopify store to make a purchase, all from within the Instagram app.
There are two key objectives your call to action should accomplish if you’re running an all-organic campaign without spending money on Instagram ads:
encouraging readers of your caption to become followers, to access your profile, click the link in your bio.
encouraging fans to like, comment, or share (by tagging others)
Since clickable links cannot be included in organic posts, you must guide viewers to your website or product page by telling them to click the link in your Instagram bio.
How to craft a compelling Instagram caption
1. Make the most of the opening clause.
Include crucial information in the first three to four lines of your caption because Instagram shortens it beyond that. Make sure it’s intriguing or poses a question because only the first few sentences will appear in a user’s feed; don’t place your call to action towards the end.
As Carter advises, “Lead with the hook in the first copy of your Instagram caption, just like you would when selling on any other platform.” “I observe more interaction when I front loads my captions before the line break—that “More” option Instagram allows you to keep reading past the first two lines—and get to the important content early.”
2. Include a call to action or ask a question
Every post should have a clear purpose and call to action, so start each one off by stating its objective. What would you like your fans to do:
- come to your website?
- shopping for a certain item?
- Tell your friends about the post.
- Buy something on sale?
- Enter a giveaway or contest?
Take pictures and post them with a certain hashtag. (Using this method is a fantastic approach to getting user-generated content.)
To foster a sense of interaction and dialogue, it’s important to promote engagement. The Instagram algorithm, which uses engagement as a statistic to determine which of your photos to show to followers, can be gotten around using this technique. Encourage engagement to boost your post’s chances of being seen by other users as a “recommended account” to follow.
The following are some behaviors you can promote in your caption:
- the link in the bio
- Comment, generally in response to a question
- Add a pal (this is a great tactic for growing your reach)
- Use your custom hashtag to publish a picture.
3. Add Value
To add value to your Instagram post, Portnoy advises that you “provide tips and tricks or any kind of knowledge to help educate or inform.” By providing the user with value in your Instagram captions, you’ll increase the likelihood that the post will be shared and bookmarked.
4. Write Like a Human (not a Robot)
Authenticity is extremely important. Put your true self on display in the text and captions, and write as you speak. Although you may want to be deliberate and strategic, you also want the consumer to perceive you as friendly and natural.
5. Draft Your Instagram Captions on A Separate Platform
If you write your captions on a different platform, you’re more likely to do so while remaining focused and uninhibited. When creating Instagram captions for my company, Carter claims that if she puts her phone down, she can think more clearly.
“Plan for desktop is my preferred option because I can batch write a large number of captions, go back and change them, and schedule them for posting. In this manner, alerts and comparisons won’t engulf me. With a clear head and my marketing objectives in mind, I’m writing this.
Remember, when drafting, put your marketing and engagement goals at the center point of your Instagram caption. The first caption you write won’t always be your best, so try coming up with a few different suggestions for your posts. Enjoy the process and give your creativity room to breathe.
6. Use Storytelling
Avoid being bland; inject some personality and flavor into your captions. According to Carter, “I attempt to bring in two to three sensory words, phrases, or anecdotes that paint a picture.” Give examples of touch, taste, sound, sight, emotion, and feel. Give details. Say more than just “Tex-Mex.” Say, “Salty corn chips dipped in guacamole, accompanied by tangy margaritas.”
7. Use emojis and have fun with them
Emojis can be used to spice up and animate your captions. Emojis that are pertinent and placed at the conclusion of sentences or paragraphs can also act as “bookends” and visually break up long passages of text.
Emojis are an excellent tool for encouraging readers to perform a certain action, like clicking the link in the bio. However, if you do, make sure that the emojis fit with your identity and tone of voice. Avoid using too many different emojis in one caption, especially if you don’t want to overdo it.
If you are developing your brand identity and tone of voice and hiring a freelancer to write your Instagram captions, choose a set of emojis that make sense to maintain consistency and stay on brand.
Do you need some ideas for the best emojis to use to highlight key content in a caption or to bring attention to a link in your bio? My favorites are listed below:
8. Consider Caption Length
Your Instagram caption’s copy should focus on quality rather than quantity, as with other marketing techniques. It may be brief and to the point or may include lengthier, more in-depth information.
When it comes to writing captions, Portnoy asserts that there is no ideal length. People will read your content if it is entertaining or adds value, he claims. But if you’re unsure whether a post is too long, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
9. Use Hashtags
Use Instagram hashtags wisely to make your posts searchable as they are a crucial tool. They work like keywords since they can be tracked and searched for.
Some firms may have started putting hashtags together at the end of captions or beneath the “More” tag to keep things looking neat. To really separate the hashtags from the description area, some people even add multiple lines of space separated by periods. This is acceptable, but be willing to add a few hashtags to the caption to give some context.
Which hashtags should you use, then? Aim for a blend of the community (used by individuals in your sector or by the influencers you are trying to attract), product, and other pertinent trending hashtags. Branded hashtags are the signature ones you design for your brand.
Consider how your audience, influencers, and industry leaders are using hashtags to inform your content.