How to Write Instagram Captions that Don’t Suck

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The only thing worse than no Instagram captions on your photos are ones that are downright terrible, and I’ll clue you in: The majority of Instagram captions are NOT pretty. Don’t believe me? Check out your feed and see for yourself.

An Instagram caption is the perfect place to get noticed, spark a conversation, add context, set a scene, create a mood or clue your followers into the message you want to deliver.

With one caption you can make people laugh, cry or maybe even buy your product. And writing a captivating Instagram caption is an artform unto itself. Getting this right is the difference between being ignored and racking up likes.

But writing a great caption is challenging. You’ve got to be clever and interesting, funny and surprising. In fact, writing a caption can sometimes seem like as much work as writing a great headline because that is in fact what you are doing.

Why Are Instagram Captions Important?

Because when done well, captions…

  • Increase engagement
  • Make followers take notice and maybe even laugh
  • Provide context for your photos
  • Communicate a message, story or even a joke
  • Make mediocre photos great
  • Help you stand apart from the crowd
  • Help build connections with your audience
  • Can promote your business, brand and products

Here are some tips for writing Instagram captions, and I promise that with a little practice, writing great Instagram captions is going to become second nature to you.

Write a killer first line. Making the first part of your Instagram caption super-engaging will capture eyeballs and keep them on your post longer. Pique your followers’ interest with curiosity, stats, an exclusive offer or some kind of benefit to clicking your post.

Use best stuff first. Start with your most compelling content because longer posts get truncated.

Include a call to action in your caption. Invite your audience to comment or like a post to drive more engagement. Inspire your followers to visit your site, sign up for your newsletter or shop online.

Use hashtags to boost discoverability. Instagram will show your post to viewers who are searching for the hashtag. However, don’t go crazy here. Between 1 and 5 hashtags tend to drive more interactions overall. Use hashtags that are community and interest based as opposed to generic hashtags.

Ask. “Double tap if you agree” or ask a personal question to encourage comments on your post.

Go short or go long. Globally, captions with 1-20 characters and captions over 2,000 characters get the most engagement. But in the UK/Ireland and North America, shorter captions do better.

Break it up. Use line breaks on longer captions to make it easier to digest.

Use Consistent brand voice. Keep your brand voice consistent and on brand. Captions should ideally mirror your brand’s personality, sounding and feeling like the rest of your marketing.

Include eye-catching emojis. Add personality to your Instagram caption with emojis at the beginning to catch eyes and make it more inviting. Use less than 5 emojis in your caption.

Write captions in bunches. It’s easier to write captions if you sit down and write a bunch of them at one time, rather than trying to think one up each time you post.

Story tell. Tell a story in your caption that helps drive home the content itself.

Disclose sponsored posts. FTC regulations require you to be transparent about your sponsored posts. If you’re being paid to promote a business, disclose that. Do not try to hide ads or they might come back to bite you.

Add captions to your stories. Adding captions to your Instagram stories is effective at capturing attention and conveying information, especially since a lot of people watch stories without sound.

Creating great Instagram captions might seem difficult at first, but if you want to be successful on Instagram, it’s important to work on your captions as though they were as important as headlines.

That’s because writing powerful captions can dramatically increase the results your marketing gets on Instagram.

Rushed for time? CLICK HERE to download
this post as PDF to read at your leisure


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