8 Must-Have Tips for Crafting the Perfect Instagram Caption
Around 80% of Instagrammers use the platform to decide whether to buy a product or service. The defining fact that attracts them all boils down to three things: Your Instagram images, branding, and caption. These three things are in the top ten most essential aspects of a successful Instagram brand.
Ask any social media marketer who's been creating content for years; sometimes, we still get hit a roadblock when crafting Instagram captions.
As much as Instagram is a visual social media platform, captions still play a key role in engagement, communication, and sales. And with 2,200 characters (including emoji's and 30 hashtags) you have a lot to say to your audience to grab their attention and beat the algorithm.
Which begs the question, "What do you write in your Instagram captions to win over followers?"
Read on for a list of tips, tools, and ways to craft your perfect Instagram caption.
1. Write Caption for Your Audience
Over 200 million Instagram users visit a business profile daily. How many of these users are your potential customers?
If you create content for your ideal target audience then you should do the same with your Instagram captions.
Trying to write captions that work for everyone won't get you far. Instead, write captions that will connect easily with your target audience to build your community.
Think of it like this; if you sell skincare products, your ideal audience loves skincare and cares about self-care, pampering, skin health, and skincare ingredients. For example, look at Hyper Skin Instagram caption.
Instagram Caption Example: Hyper Skin
When you're writing captions for your audience, ask yourself these questions:
- Will my audience understand this reference?
- Would my ideal customer say this
- Are emojis appropriate to use here?
- Do I need to add more context to this post?
- Am I writing for myself or my audience?
2. Make Your Instagram Caption Easy to Read
Keep in mind that most people are prone to scrolling heavily through their feed. After your image has grabbed their attention, you have a limited amount of time to convince them to read your caption no matter how long or short it may be.
Ensure that you're not leaving them mystified. You should let your image do most of the talking; however, if there's a story behind it, let your caption easily and effortlessly tell it.
Instagram Caption Example: SapceX
It's important to get to the point when your writing Instagram captions, building up anticipation, especially if your caption is long, will only let your readers lose patience.
3. Use Instagram Captions to Share Your Brand Voice
Having a strong brand identity helps you to create content, boost sales, and it also helps you to find your brand voice when writing on Instagram.
What do I mean by "brand voice"?
Imagine your brand is a living person. Your brand voice would be an example of how this person would talk, reply, or connect with your ideal target audience.
Based on your target demographic, your brand voice should instantly connect with them. Without your brand voice guiding your Instagram captions, you won't be able to master Instagram captions.
For example, if you're a B2B brand, your brand voice should speak in B2B terms, jargon, and information. Likewise, if you're a B2C brand that connects with a young demographic when you write captions, it should seem like your ideal target audience wrote it themselves.
Equinox is a gym that prides itself on seeing exercise as a lifestyle. As such, their brand voice easily connects with their followers.
Instagram Caption Example: Equinox
4. Write About What's Important First, Fun & Sales After
Instagram only allows the first 125 characters or fewer to show without the need to expand your caption.
Don't wait for people to reach the end of your caption to learn about why they should be giving you their attention. Humans have very short attention spans. According to a study by Microsoft, the average human being now has an attention span of eight seconds. This is a sharp decrease from the average attention span of 12 seconds in the year 2000.
Use the first line of your caption to hook readers into your caption when on their mobile phones. Don't waste time sharing important information or using FOMO to help them to click more. Once you've got them hooked, you can add all the other shiny and fancy jargon in your caption.
Instagram Caption Example: T Magazine
5. Use Call to Actions in Your Captions
Call to action are words that direct readers to complete an action. It can be as simple as saying "Shop Now" or "Click the link in the bio".
Why is it so important to add a call to action? If the buyer wants to shop, they'll know what to do right!
You would think! Remember, like any other social media platform, Instagram is still a tool for you to sell your products. Without CTA's followers will simply like and comment and then head off to the next piece of content to hold their attention. CTA's exist because we need to give customers directions to your marketing funnel or website.
Instagram Caption Example: Madewell
There is an art to mastering the perfect CTA, no matter how simple they seem. To help here are some proven CTA guides and tips to point you in the right direction:
- 42 Call To Action Examples You'll Want to Copy
- 7 CTA Mistakes Killing Your Conversion Rate
- 7 Call to Action Examples and Proven Conversion Boosts (with Infographic)
Ready to start creating Instagram ad campaigns?
Book a free call to learn how our team of marketing experts can help you to create high converting Instagram ad campaigns today.
6. Use Your Hashtags Wisely
Instagram thrives on hashtag culture. Be sure only to use hashtags that are relevant to your Instagram caption or image, or the algorithm will see it as spam.
Instagram also includes your hashtags along with your caption in their 2,200 character limit.
Don't try to jam-pack your sentences with inline hashtags. It will look too clunky and hard to read. Instead, use 2-3 hashtags in your caption and discreetly after your caption or in your comments.
Instagram Caption Example: Preview App
7. Write Captions that Ask for Engagement
Instagram rewards content that drives massive engagement. Use your Instagram captions to encourage your followers to comment, like, tag, and share with others. How?
By asking them to do it! It's just that simple.
If you were previously engaging with your followers, you could build on it. If not, you'll have to start from scratch and keep pushing engagement CTA's in your captions.
Instagram Caption Example: Google
8. Use Customer Reviews as Captions
Around 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. Using customer reviews comes with two benefits:
*It increases sales because followers can see and hear from real-life customers what they have to say about your product.
*It's an easy way to find caption ideas for your brand without having to rake your brain around saying something witty.
Instagram Caption Example: Nike
7 Types of Instagram Captions to Use
Not that we spoke about how to craft Instagram captions now, let's talk about the seven most common Instagram captions you can make your own.
1. Brand Story Caption
This type of caption is where you'll put your storytelling skills to use. You'll share your brand moments with your audience to build connections, solidify community, and increase brand awareness with your followers.
Instagram Caption Example: Converse
2. The Quote
Use famous quotes from influencers or people who inspire your brand as your next caption. Take a look at Tom Chamberlin's quote from his interview with The Rake below.
Instagram Caption Example: The Rake
3. The Informative Caption
Some readers love long captions, especially if they are informative and educate followers on topics that interest them. Nat Geo is known for its fabulous images and long caption sharing the story behind the lens.
Instagram Caption Example: Nat Geo Wild
Once again, using customer testimonials as Instagram captions create a full-proof way to drive sales. When you use UGC (User-Generated Content) and the customer's review it proves that fans love your product.
Instagram Caption Example: Amika
The DIY or Instructional
Instructions and DIY Instagram captions have always been forgiven when it comes to long-form Instagram captions, why? People love them. They like to see the steps listed out for them to easily follow rather than moving from site to site to get this information.
Instagram Caption Example: Empress 1908 Gin
Contest or Giveaway Caption
If you’re hosting a giveaway or content, it’s always best to share the details in the captions to increase entries and engagement. For more on giveaways here’s a guide on The Complete Instagram Giveaway Rules Guide (With Examples)
Instagram Caption Example: Campion
Need help with your next Instagram contest?
Book a free call to learn how our team of contest experts can help you create high converting social media contest today.
The Minimalist Caption
This form of caption is usually a one-liner, whether it's a sentence, emoji, or hashtag. It's all about keeping it simple and doing it well.
Instagram Caption Example: H&M
Crafting the perfect Instagram caption comes with practice, like any other social media marketing skill. You should always be testing, editing, and reediting your captions.
Here's a quick recap of the eight tips for crafting your own perfect Instagram caption:
- Write Caption for Your Audience
- Make Your Instagram Caption Easy to Read
- Use Instagram Captions to Share Your Brand Voice
- Write About What's Important First, Fun & Sales After
- Use Call to Actions in Your Captions
- Use Your Hashtags Wisely
- Write Captions that Ask for Engagement
- Use Customer Reviews as Captions