Want to write good Instagram captions?
Instagram has quickly become a go-to platform for many businesses.
With all the posting options now, Instagram has a strong place in your social media strategy:
- Static image or video Instagram post ideas.
- Instagram Stories.
- And the latest to hit the scene, Instagram Reels.
But no matter what format you use, there’s one important thing to master:
How to write Instagram captions that increase engagement!
Because a good caption is at the heart of every post, update, Story, or video.
Let’s dive into what it means to create standout posts with awesome captions.
Why is a good Instagram caption important?
While you can sometimes sneak by with a weak caption on a stunning video or image, mostly you’ll want to nail it.
Instagram captions are important for a few solid reasons:
Good captions help make a connection
Instagram is all about engagement rate and reactions. Your post captions are the best way to boost this connection that people feel when they see your content.
Since the feed algorithm uses reactions and engagement to help decide what to show people, having a caption that makes a connection is more important than ever.
They need to feel a connection with what you say as well as what you show – which leads to the next reason…
Good captions encourage people to react
When people feel that connection, they react to it.
And we know these reactions are IG gold.
So the right caption can inspire someone to engage with it!
Good captions get people to comment or even DM you
The final step that can result from a great caption is that people are more likely to comment.
Or they may feel the need to reach out and DM you to chat more.
All of these are positives as far as Instagram is concerned.
And they can help lead back to that first point, making connections with people to increase your level of engagement.
All from writing great captions!
How to write great Instagram captions [with examples]
Now that we know why writing great captions is important, let’s get into the how to do it.
There are some solid things to remember for every caption, and some good general guidelines to use in anything you create.
You’ll find some of the best Instagram caption examples below – many of which combine several of these valuable tips.
Have a strong first sentence
Because Instagram shortens the caption to 2 lines in the initial view, that first sentence is super important.
How long is an Instagram caption before the more button? 125 characters or fewer.
You want to get the most compelling piece of information in there. Or you might even start with a question. Make it enticing!
This leads them into reading more for the answer. The aim is to keep them reading!
Make sure the most important stuff is near the front of the caption. In addition to the first sentence, you usually have another line to get the most important stuff in early.
So front-load your caption with the good stuff to ensure it’s seen.
And remember, the aim is to get them to hit that ‘more’ button and read the rest.
Write for humans and don’t worry about algorithms
Algorithms are a fact of social media marketing life.
But you never want to write for them – only for people.
That means writing captions for your audience, and not worrying about ticking those algorithm boxes.
Be yourself, use your brand voice, talk as you would to someone on the street. Write what you would say to your target audience if you met them in person.
Whatever works best for you, find a way to harness the real human conversation for the best captions.
Mónica of Elevate It Now is a pro with captions, combining a strong into with her friendly brand voice, and emojis too! Give her a follow for more excellent marketing tips.
Another way Mónica adds some fun is by adding a touch of unique fonts for Instagram captions. Check it out.
Keep a consistent brand voice
You’ll also want to work on ‘brand voice.’ This can be whatever you want it to be.
The idea is that you use certain phrases, structures to your word combinations, and even the words themselves. These help showcase your personality, and help people get to know and connect with you.
If you sound different in every caption, people might not realize they’re all from the same person – or even the same business!
That’s why those popular Instagram caption prompts are best used as prompts, not just copy-and-paste.
Create something that sounds like you – not like the person creating the prompts!
Add value for your audience
Not every caption needs to do this, but some definitely should.
Including value in the caption works for any niche. It could be a tip or trick, a snippet of news, a new tool or app, or simply something that’s helped you.
By offering value as well as entertainment and a way to connect, you can win over your audience.
And there’s a greater chance they’ll save the caption and bookmark it for later reference – Instagram loves that!
How long can Instagram captions be? The character limit is 2,200, which is about 400 words. But you don’t need to use them all!
Here’s a caption example that adds value, while starting with a strong intro, and being personable too.
Don’t forget to add emojis
A lot of us use emojis without thinking about it. But be strategic using them in your Instagram captions.
You want to use emojis to enhance your captions. However, you need to watch for ones that could have more than one meaning.
Using the right emojis will help make that important connection with followers.
And makes your caption more fun to view!
Check out the most popular emojis on Instagram, and find some fun emoji combinations there, too!
Finish with a strong CTA
Every caption needs to finish with some kind of call to action (CTA).
This can be something as simple as asking them to follow you or comment.
Or it can be guiding them to that clickable link in your Instagram profile to take an action.
You might even want to ask them to tag a friend or post a photo in reply with a branded hashtag to get that user-generated content.
Have in mind the CTA you want to include before you start the caption, so it feels natural.
Ande Lyons is another expert to follow to emulate her caption style and helpful advice!
Use relevant and strategic hashtags
Hashtags are another core part of Instagram – but there’s a lot of debate on how to use them.
People even talk about shadowbans for using the wrong ones. So, you definitely want to do a little research before you pop in a load of terms.
Look for a relevant hashtag or two that relate to your caption, your audience and niche.
Also look at strategic ones that help connect you with the right people.
Popular hashtags can work if they fit with your content.
And don’t forget branded ones for your brand, any companies mentioned, or even fellow business owners.
There’s also some debate over whether you should use Instagram hashtags in captions or comments for better results. Get my thoughts in that article!
Need the whole picture? Learn how to use hashtags on Instagram.
Should you write captions straight to Instagram?
The final thing to think about is your caption writing process.
You may be tempted to just write captions straight into Instagram. But it’s better to avoid this.
Instead, grab a Google Doc, or even something like Airtable.
Here you can create a database of your posts, and add some metrics to help you track what works best.
Open the Google Doc and write a load of ideas for captions.
Then as you go back through and fine-tune them, pick the best ones.
Eventually, choose the ones you want – but don’t throw the others away. Keep them to use another time, or on a different social media platform.
Then copy-paste your caption to Instagram, add your video or image, and post!
Creating great Instagram captions
Creating Instagram captions that unlock more likes, comments, and reach is about creating a process.
It might seem tempting to give up and try an Instagram caption generator – but those can’t craft the kind of captions you need.
What works is understanding and including the elements you need in a caption.
Then arranging them correctly to get the right response.
When you write those long ones that are proven to increase engagement, don’t waste your words! Be sure to use Instagram caption spacing for increased readability.
Finally, you’ll pair them with beautiful imagery to create great visual content that rocks the Instagram feed!
It’ll take time to master, and some trial and error. But you’ll get a system going where your captions rock, and your audience responds to them.
Learning how to write Instagram captions that engage your audience will improve your IG presence by boosting your posts in the Instagram algorithm.
Learn how to grow your Instagram followers 11 ways!