write good instagram captions

 

When it comes to promoting your business on Instagram, you may spend most of your time crafting the right images. But Instagram isn’t just about the visuals. After all, without solid captions, your audience may not fully understand the images you share. And they won’t know what action you want them to take after they see them.

How do create captions on Instagram that grab your audience’s attention and encourage them to engage with you? Use these 12 tips to write good Instagram captions.

 

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Instagram captions have 3 main purposes: to provide context, add personality, and inspire action. Here’s how to write good Instagram captions that do all three:

Provide context

1. Know your audience

Pretty much every blog post about copywriting will tell you that you need to know your audience to write good copy. After all, if you don’t know who you’re writing for, it’s hard to write copy that will resonate with them.

But when you’re trying to write good Instagram captions, knowing your audience isn’t just about understanding what to write about. It’s also about figuring out what to include in your captions. For example, how much context does you audience need to understand your image? If you make a particular pop culture reference, will they get it? What’s the optimal caption length for them? And is it appropriate to include emojis? Understand your audience first and write Instagram captions second.

Related: The 5 best social media platforms for promoting your blog

Example: With its focus on understated, practical luxury, this Loro Piana caption hits the mark with its audience.

 

write good Instagram captions

 

2. Use quotes

You can write a good Instagram caption without crafting more than a few words of original copy. How do you do this? By using a quote as a caption. In this case, I’m not talking about a cliché motivational quote. I’m referring to quotes that are specific to the image you’re sharing. For example, if you’re sharing an image of a person, your caption could be a quote from this person. Of course, you don’t want to use quotes for all of your Instagram captions. But experimenting with them from time to time can be a powerful way to engage with your audience and change things up.

Example: Flare let a quote from Prince Harry take centre stage in this caption.

write good Instagram captions

3. Consider length

You may be able to use 2,200 characters to describe your Instagram post. But you don’t need to use up all of this space to write a good Instagram caption. In fact, in most cases, you’re better off keeping your captions short. Remember that most people browse their Instagram feed on their phone in between other activities. So it’s often best to keep your captions brief.

That said, if your audience is receptive to a bit more detail and it makes sense for your post, go ahead and write a longer caption. You probably don’t want to write a novel for every caption you share, but long-form captions can be a great way to share brief stories about your images.

Example: Sorelle and Co. keeps this caption short and sweet.

 

social media post

4. Place your most important content first

One of the best ways to write a good Instagram caption is to put your most important content first. Even though you can pack 2,200 characters into a caption, your copy will get cut off after 3–4 lines. Not everyone will tap to read the full caption, so you want to make sure you place your key message and call-to-action (more on this in Tip #11) before this point. Unless they’re critical to your key message, save hashtags, @mentions, and emojis for the end.

Example: Take a look at how Whole Foods places a call to action (“Join us for #parmcrack”) close to the beginning of this caption.

 

write good Instagram captions

5. Edit and rewrite

First drafts are rarely the best ones. That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to craft multiple drafts when trying to write good Instagram captions. Rewrite and edit to hone your key message, cut unnecessary words, and keep your caption brief.

 

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6. Add @mentions

If relevant, use @mentions to give a shout out to other Instagram accounts that are relevant to your post. Including @mentions is a great way to connect with other brands on the platform and promote them to your audience.

Example: National Geographic uses an @mention to credit the photographer of this photo.

 

write good Instagram captions

7. Disclose sponsored posts

This tip isn’t just important for learning how to write a good Instagram caption. It’s essential for complying with the platform’s terms of use. To be transparent and steer clear of trouble, always include “#ad” or “#sponsored” in the caption of a sponsored post. Instagram requires these hashtags to be visible in the part of your caption that doesn’t get shortened. So be sure to place them near the beginning.

Example: Blue Collar Prep makes it clear that this is a sponsored post.

 

write good Instagram captions

8. Include hashtags

If you want to write good Instagram captions, be sure to include hashtags. Hashtags increase the visibility of your posts. That’s why posts with at least one hashtag get 12.6% more engagement than those that don’t.

To keep your captions from looking spammy and cluttered, place most of your hashtags in the first comment on your post. This trick also keeps your audience from getting distracted by your hashtags. The result? They can focus on the key message and call to action in your caption.

Example: See how I placed the hashtags for my post on 10 conversion-boosting Pinterest tips in the first comment.

 

social media post

Add personality

9. Maintain your brand voice

Instagram is a platform where you can get creative with promoting your brand. But you don’t want to get so creative that your audience doesn’t recognize you. That’s why you’ve got to stay consistent with your brand voice (your brand’s overall personality) to write good Instagram captions. You can soften your tone to align it with Instagram’s approachable and casual feel. But at the end of the day, you shouldn’t seem like a completely different business on Instagram vs. Facebook.

Example: Fun and casual, Innocent’s Instagram caption matches its overall brand voice.

 

write good Instagram captions

10. Use emojis

As long as they’re appropriate for your audience and post, don’t be afraid to experiment with emojis. Emojis can help you write good Instagram captions that grab your audience’s attention, inject personality into your posts, and up the fun factor. You can even use them to replace entire words.

Related: How to write compelling social media posts + 7 free social media copy templates

Example: OPI has fun with emojis while still getting its key message across.

 

write good Instagram captions

Inspire action

11. Include a call to action

Want to use Instagram to drive traffic to your website or blog? Be sure to include a call to action in your Instagram captions. Calls to action tell people who view your post what you want them to do next (for example, to check out a product on your website or read a post on your blog).

Remember that if you want to write good Instagram captions, be sure to place your calls to action near the beginning. This way, they won’t get hidden. You can also make your calls to action stand out by including an emoji that directs people’s attention to them.

Related: The 62 best words to use in your call to action + 80 free call-to-action templates

Example: Nesha Woolery uses a call to action to direct fans to her downloadable checklist.

 

social media post

12. Ask a question

One of the easiest ways to get comments on your Instagram posts is to ask a question in your captions. That’s why it’s often listed as a strategy for learning how to write good Instagram captions. The questions you ask can be true/false, multiple choice, or open-ended questions. Just make sure they’re relevant to your post.

Example: Lole uses a question to encourage engagement on this post.

 

write good Instagram captions

Take the time to write good Instagram captions

It’s easy to make your Instagram images the star of the show and treat your captions like an afterthought. But you can’t afford to disregard your captions if you want the time you spend on Instagram to be worthwhile. Increase your engagement and conversions on the platform by taking the time to write good Instagram captions. They’ll make sure the attention you capture with an image doesn’t go to waste.

 

Need some help writing powerful Instagram calls to action your audience can’t resist?
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write good Instagram captions

 




How to write good Instagram captions that convert + 80 call-to-action templates
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