Every single day, nearly 100 million photos with varyingly interesting captions are shared on Instagram alone. As highly visual platforms, social media thrives on some of the most captivating images and videos on the planet. Captions, on the other hand, hardly make it anywhere on the viral list.
Unless of course, it’s one of those infamous Tweeter rants!
Most likes, shares, and comments are primarily drawn, not by captions, but by alluring photos of celebrities in some of the most exotic locations on earth. Today, a picture is worth much more than a mere one thousand words.
If you still doubt that, ask Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé, or National Geographic.
It’s no wonder that many Instagram users wonder if writing a great caption is worth the time or creative effort.
Instagram is all about images, right?
So, why bother writing a proper caption?
Why Great Instagram Captions Matter
As revealed recently, the latest Instagram algorithm now identifies posts that generate the most engagement and then bumps them up users’ feeds for greater visibility.
Because captions raise engagement by encouraging users to like, share, and comment, writing great captions is one of the most underrated competencies in Instagram marketing today.
Therefore, if the captions in your Instagram posts are just another afterthought, think again.
Here is why:
· Captions create context to help users to better understand your photos.
· Captions imprint your personality on every post and makes them unique
· Captions express your opinions and feelings, which enables you to connect with audiences.
· Captions with call to actions (CTA) make your posts shoppable and actionable.
· Captions encourage users to linger long enough to understand and like your content.
· Captions come with hashtags which make your posts more discoverable by audiences.
· Captions help Instagram algorithms find your content and display it to audiences.
How Do You Write Captivating Instagram Captions?
Writing a good Instagram caption is no easy task;
· How formal should posts be?
· Should it be funny or serious?
· How long should it be?
· What’s a great a call to action?
· Should I use emojis?
· What about hashtags?
These, and other questions will be on your mind as you pause, fingers mid-air, thinking of original and magical words to type into a captivating caption. But, despite the creative effort, it doesn’t have to be such hard work.
Here is the complete guide to writing a great caption for your feed:
#1 Write several drafts first
Ever written a text, delivered a speech, or even told a joke and realized it could have been much better with hindsight? The same thing applies to captions.
For most of us, it’s tempting to rush the caption writing and get it over with; we can’t wait to post our awesome photos and bask in the attention!
Instead, write a couple of drafts and see which one you like best. Don’t just write the first thing that comes to mind; explore a few ideas and write them down before you settle on the best version.
#2 Use A Killer First Line
Only the first line of your caption will appear in users’ feeds because Instagram shortens captions. Your followers have to click the Read More button to see your entire caption.
Therefore, the first line must pack an engaging punch, or else users will skim through it and quickly move onto to Kylie Jenner’s latest photo.
For this reason, front load your caption with the right stuff to keep your readers interested. If you are offering a discount or announcing a new product release, make sure you say so in the first line.
#3 Keep it Short
Today’s social media audiences have notoriously short attention spans. While Instagram allows up to 2,200 characters and a maximum of 30 hashtags, no one wants to read a long story on IG. How can you convey your message in the shortest way possible? Is your caption too wordy?
Captions should ideally be short and sweet. If you can make your caption shorter by eliminating unnecessary words or irrelevant information, then go for it. As mentioned earlier, Instagram will only display the first line in the feed, so if this line doesn’t say enough, then you are off to a bad start.
#4 Use Call-to-Actions
Call to actions spur your audience into action. When you introduce or promote a product, you want your followers to do something about it. Every post must, therefore, have a defined purpose behind it.
Adding a call to action encourages your audience to:
· Buy a product
· Tag friends
· Like your page
· Leave a comment
· Ask for more product info
· Participate in a contest
· Post photos on your page
The more your audience responds to your posts, the more conversions you will achieve. Once again, a CTA raises engagement levels so the Instagram algorithm ranks your posts higher in feeds.
#5 Get friendly With Emojis
Social media is an informal and friendly platform. We all use Instagram to connect with friends and get entertained, so your posts should convey a playful, warm, or even naughty tone.
One way of connecting in a friendly way with your audience is by using emojis. Emojis can be used to express joy, surprise, and numerous other emotions in an exciting way.
Emojis also take the seriousness out of your posts and, more importantly, put a smile on everyone.
#6 Use Hashtags in Your Instagram Captions
It’s one thing to create a great post, and quite another for audiences to find it.
Hashtags make your posts more discoverable by audiences; they are the social media equivalent of keywords. By searching for a particular hashtag, or clicking on it in related posts, a user can find any content on Instagram.
Posts that contain at least one hashtag also have a much higher engagement rate than those without any hashtags. Hashtags not only make your posts discoverable, but increase the number of comments, shares, likes, and conversions.
#7 Ask Questions
Don’t shy away from asking your audience engaging questions. Questions encourage users to participate through comments, shares, and likes. Asking questions also makes your posts appear less promotional or bland.
If you want something from your followers, ask. More likes? Ask. Share your post? Ask. More comments? Ask!
#8 Focus on Storytelling
Ordinary, everyday people will consume your content. When writing captions, think of your next-door neighbor, friends, or the guy on the bus. What will make them like your post, shop your product, or recommend it to friends?
What do they want to hear from you?
Tell your story and share your experiences; It’s essential to let the words flow naturally and make it an expression of your feelings, fears, and aspirations.
Telling a story makes you more authentic, expressive, and natural in your caption writing.
#9 Practice makes perfect.
Take time to practice writing captions, and it will come as second nature in no time. Start by learning from great caption writers online and especially from highly engaging accounts on Instagram.
What makes you read any caption twice? Which captions made you laugh and why? Are there captions that stuck in your mind long after you exited the app?
Take a few minutes every day to perfect your captions, and your audience will thank you for it!
Make Your Captions Count Today
While the power of jaw-dropping photos on any social platform cannot be overestimated, the captions that accompany them are what makes users connect with your brand. Captions can make or break any post, and form part and parcel of any viral post.
At the very least, all your captions must bring out your brand personality and invite your followers to engage with you.
Do you want to know how to craft an engaging Instagram marketing strategy to raise awareness and drive conversions? We are your go-to Instagram marketing experts with budget-friendly campaigns that deliver measurable results.
Don’t let your competitors get the best of Instagram at your expense. Call us today and find out how!