A picture is worth a thousand words. And indeed, your Instagram feed can tell a lot about your brand. But without having captions, your feed will lack something very important. Captions are a part of your story. And, if your goal is to promote your brand and gain more followers, you should pay more attention to them.
So, no matter if you’re a well-known brand or a regular Instagram user, here are some tips for writing more creative and engaging Instagram captions. More subscribers and recognition are guaranteed.
Tip #1: Study Your Audience
Knowing your audience means that you’re halfway to success. Being familiar with your target audience is also an important part of creating engaging Instagram captions.
Whether you’re new to Instagram or have been using this platform for a while, Neightan White, a blogger at Supreme Dissertations, recommends doing the following for a successful audience analysis:
- Identify potential audiences. Based on your preferences and the values of your brand, you might be interested in targeting several types of audiences. Make a list of them and their potential key priorities.
- Select your priority audience. Who is a perfect match for your brand? Which audience will most likely share values with you? Pick one to make your captions more targeted.
- Describe the characteristic features of your priority audience. Describe your audience, trying to stay as concrete as possible. You can use these characteristic features when writing a caption to appeal to their traits and emotions.
- Single out a typical representative of your audience. By doing that it will be easier to keep your captions more targeted and engaging.
Knowing your audience is necessary in order to write creative and engaging Instagram captions. This way you’ll know which words, phrases or emoji will trigger your target audience and draw their attention.
Tip #2: Choose the Types of Your Caption
Your Instagram captions should be in alignment with your visuals, no matter whether it’s an image or a video.
There are several major types of captions:
- Behind-the-scenes captions. By letting your followers behind the scenes you let them get a little peek into your world, what they all are always waiting for. These captions aren’t usually too long, letting the visual speak for itself.
Image credit: Instagram/Victoria’s Secret
- Informative captions. This type of captions can be quite lengthy. They describe a topic that is depicted by the visuals, giving the followers additional information about the matter.
Image credit: Instagram/Leonardo DiCaprio
- Instructional captions. These captions can also be quite extensive, giving your audience full information on the topic and the instructions usually written in the form of a bullet list.
Image credit: Instagram/Twisted
- Captions with contests or giveaways. These captions usually contain brief instructions of a contest, different tags, and links to the resources that also support this contest.
Image credit: Instagram/BestOfVegan
- Storytelling caption. This type of caption is one of the most frequent on Instagram. The length is optional, depending on how many details you want to cover in your caption.
Image credit: Instagram/UNICEF
Choose the type of caption based on the main topic of the visual. If you’ve created a carousel (series of photos and/or videos), you need your caption to unite them under one topic. A caption is a textual representation of a visual, so it’s required for them to be in coherence and complement each other.
Tip #3: Consider the Structure
As with any text, to make it engaging it’s important to keep up with the structure. Depending on the type of your caption, you need to keep in mind the following:
- Figure out the perfect length. In the previous tip, we discussed the length for each type of captions. In general, according to Hootsuite, the ideal length of an Instagram caption is 138 to 150 characters. However, if you’ve chosen to write an informational or an instructional caption, it could be hard to keep it that short, given how many details you need to take into account.
- If you’re writing a short caption, consider starting it with catchy words or phrases, or attract attention with a quote. If you’re posting a video, providing a quote from it is a great idea as most videos on Instagram are watched with no sound.
Image credit: Instagram/UN Human Rights
- Consider asking a question. It’s a creative way to encourage your followers to leave a comment below, boosting their engagement.
Image credit: Instagram/UNICEF
It is very important to keep spelling and grammar in mind. No matter how great your visuals are, a caption with even the smallest mistake can ruin the good impression. Carefully read your caption once you’ve written it, or check it using one of these tools to save time:
- Grammarly — this is a universal tool for checking grammar, spelling, conventions, punctuation and other possible writing mistakes. With a Premium account, you’ll get access to some additional tools that will help you make your writing more polished.
- RewardedEssays — here you’ll find professional writers that can help you proofread your caption and give you recommendations to make it more creative and engaging.
- HotEssayService — if you’re looking for a more human touch to help you with Instagram captions, this community of writers will offer you professional help.
- Hemingway App — this is a quick and easy way to check your caption for any mistakes. It also allows you to improve readability of your most, making it more engaging.
- GrabMyEssay — here you’ll find all the tools for editing and proofreading your caption as well as some ideas from professional writers.
Keeping your Instagram caption structured, consistent and mistake-free is necessary for you to maintain your reputation.
Tip #4: Use Hashtags
When reading Instagram captions, you often come across several hashtags. Including them in a caption will help other Instagram users, who don’t follow you yet, find you and get familiar with your feed.
It’s also a creative way to express yourself. You can come up with your own hashtags to help your brand stand out and get recognized. Nevertheless, there are a few things you need to remember:
- Include hashtags each time you create a caption. Instagram posts with at least one hashtag have 12.6% more engagement.
- Hashtags should be relevant to your post. There’s a tendency to include as many hashtags as possible to increase the visibility of the post. However, it’s not the best idea, especially if these hashtags aren’t relevant. When a user clicks on a hashtag, they expect to receive appropriate content. Keep that in mind if you want to engage more people. Here’s the example from Sephora’s account, which proves that 3 hashtags are more than enough:
Image credit: Instagram/Sephora
Here’s how their hashtag #rollerliner performed according to Keyhole stats:
It’s not necessary to include tons of hashtags, as even one hashtag can perform well if it’s relevant to your post.
Tip #5: Don’t Forget about Emoji
Lastly, let’s talk about emoji. Today, there’s hardly one person in the world who doesn’t use emoji while typing. This tendency also influenced Instagram. Reportedly, 50% of captions and comments on Instagram contain emoji.
How emoji can affect your Instagram captions and make them more creative and engaging?
- They are one of the major ways to express the main emotion of your caption. Certain emotions can even replace words, as some things are better expressed with emotions. This is a creative way to express yourself.
- You can create a caption that consists only from emotions, and then ask your followers to decipher this series of emotions. It’s a very creative way to engage your followers and promote your brand.
Of course, using emoji depends entirely on the type of caption you choose for your post. In some cases, for example, with informational or storytelling captions, using emoji can be inappropriate. Keep them relevant to ensure that your posts don’t lose visibility.
Instagram captions are an essential part of telling your story to other users on this platform. Keeping them creative and engaging will help you stand out and gain popularity. Use these tips: they will help you better understand what makes an Instagram caption engaging. And don’t be afraid to use all your creativity. The Instagram audience will definitely enjoy it!
Bridgitte Hernandez is a professional writer and an editor at IsAccurate. She has a degree in Anthropology and is interested in becoming a best-selling sci-fi writer. Bridgette always writes research-supported, creative posts and articles, which are also informative and keep the audience engaged.