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How To Write Awesome Instagram Captions

So you finally have your amazing photo to post on Instagram, but when it comes to crafting the perfect caption, you get stuck.

Compelling visuals are the main highlight of Instagram after all, but a great caption will encourage more engagement. As you know, engagement is key, and if you want to stand out among the 600 million users of this platform, you need to play your cards right.

Coming up with a great caption can be difficult and it might take a bit of practice. While you get better, it might be a good idea to try buying Instagram followers and other forms of engagement, such as photo likes. But you can never forget about the little details like your Instagram captions.

We’ve collected a few of the top tips to help you create great Instagram captions that are as awesome as your photos. You’ll also find examples of brands that excel at captioning, so learn all you can from them.

funny instagram captionImage credit: AndroidAppsOnline

Tips for Crafting Instagram Captions

Know Your Audience

There are 300 Million active users on Instagram. The question is, who are your target customers and prospects?

It’s vital to have a good idea of who your audience is because the better you know them, the easier it is for you to engage with them. Knowing exactly who you are talking to will help you write the best captions possible.

To help you focus, try building audience personas. An audience persona is a profile of your target customer, which often includes basic demographics, their personality, their goals, and their pain points.

When determining your customer personas, you can ask questions like:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • What activities do they like doing?
  • What kind of jobs do they have?

These are just some of the questions you can use, and the answers you find can be used to inform your captions.

audience personaImage credit: Masters in Digital Marketing

Identify your Brand Voice

What are the qualities and values that you want your brand to embody? Make a list and use it to shape your voice.

You have to consider your brand voice carefully, along with the qualities and values that you want your brand to represent. Create a list, use adjectives, and narrow it down until you finally find your brand voice.

Instagram has a fun and youthful outlook versus a formal and serious tone. It may depend on which industry you’re in, but it’s typically better to keep things light and to show your personality. Feel free to add in some humor if you can.

Just as you curate the visual look of your Instagram page, you should also determine the type of narrative or voice you want to show in your Instagram captions. When sharing your unique perspective, you should be consistent in the styling of your captions.

Coca-Cola is very consistent with their branding and their brand voice. As you can see, they always maintain a positive and warm voice.

Giving your friends a lift makes the holiday season even more special. #ShareACoke

A post shared by Coca-Cola (@cocacola) on

Consider Length

Keep it brief. Give context where you need to, but if the post speaks for itself, let it.

That said, if there’s an interesting story to tell behind the photo, then share it

Are you going to post long captions or are you going to keep it short and sweet? Instagram allows you to write up to 2,200 characters. In general, a brief caption is a great thing to pair with your photo and keep the attention of your readers. An overly long caption may not retain the attention of your readers. Although, if there’s an interesting story to tell behind the photo, you can probably keep them captured.

Place the most important words at the beginning of your caption. Captions are cut off in the Instagram feed, so get to the point right away.

Don’t be Afraid to Use Emoji

Using these animated icons can help you capture your reader’s eye. They also add more personality, showing that your brand knows how to have fun. Emojis can represent words and can help keep your copy short and fun.

If you choose to add emojis to your captions, the rule stays the same: less is more. Even if you just add an emoji at the end of your caption, it will make your invitation that much more inviting.

But first, get coffee ☕️🙌 @audriestorme (Shop link in bio)

A post shared by forever21 (@forever21) on

Use Mentions and Hashtags

Using mentions in your Instagram captions can be a great way to connect with other Instagram users. If your posted image includes another person or another brand, then include their Instagram handles in your caption as well.

Hashtags are also a great option, as they can increase engagement by 12.6% more than posts without them. They not only help you gain more Instagram followers, they also add more flavor to your captions. If you are going to use hashtags, make sure to use the most popular Instagram hashtags that are related to your brand.

Don’t use too many mentions or hashtags. Too many hashtags can make your caption look messy and spammy and may turn away your readers. One trick is to add your excess Instagram hashtags in the first comment on your photo. That way, it keeps your caption clean and lets your followers focus on your actual caption.

One of the most successful hashtag campaigns was Ben and Jerry’s. Their #CaptureEuphoria hashtag captured a huge audience, and they collected a ton of user-generated content that helped them increase their brand awareness.

The perfect afternoon treat #freeconeday !!! Enjoying @benandjerrys White Russian #captureeuphoria #icecream 🍦

A post shared by LetMeEatCake (@letmeeatcake) on

Types of Instagram Captions

1. Quotes

Inspirational quotes are perhaps the default, but strive to use those that complement your post. You can also use user-generated content featuring the person in the photo, or the person who took the photo.

Nike is known for using motivational quotes in their marketing materials across their different social media platforms, like Instagram.

'The End' is just something they put on movies. #justdoit

A post shared by nike (@nike) on

2. Behind the Scenes

You can give a sneak peek to your audience about what happens behind-the-scenes. Lush Cosmetics does this by sharing the ingredients of some of their products. Through their Instagram account, they give their audience a fascinating glimpse into how their products are made.

Avocado co-wash: fresh avocados conditions while you cleanse. #handmadewithlove

A post shared by Lush Cosmetics North America (@lushcosmetics) on

3. Informative and Educational

You can stuff your captions full of facts and trivia, interesting data that will educate your readers a bit. National Geographic is known for long captions on their Instagram photos. Their visuals are impressive and are often accompanied by a story that adds more value to the photo.

Photo by @mattiasklumofficial The leopard is so strong and comfortable in trees that it often hauls its kills into the branches. By dragging the bodies of large animals (such as this impala buck in foreground) aloft it hopes to keep them safe from scavengers such as hyenas. Leopards can also efficiently hunt from trees, where their spotted coats allow them to blend with the leaves until they spring with a lethal pounce. Please go to @mattiasklumofficial to see a beautiful female I met in Mombo camp, Botswana! Leopards are also successful nocturnal predators that stalk antelope, deer, and pigs by stealthy movements in tall grass or wooded areas. In my opinion it's crucial that we understand the necessity of protecting biodiversity and staying within planetary boundaries! I photographed this male in Selous, Tanzania with @ansgarklumphotos and @naturebyeinar #leopard #selous #savethebigcats #conservation #okavango #botswana #nature #filmmaking #instagood #pictureoftheday #love #predator #treasure @natgeo @irisalexandrov @natgeotravel

A post shared by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

4. Contests

One of the best ways to increase brand awareness is through an Instagram contest. Promote it well in your captions by explaining to your audience the mechanics of the contest.

The Instagram post below from Sea to Sky Gondola explains their contest, and the caption still elaborates the details for their audience to understand better

5. Cross-Platform Mentions

If there is more to what you have posted on Instagram, encourage your audience to go check your other social media accounts for a closer look or to go straight to your website to buy your product.

Topshop always accompanies their Instagram captions captions with call-to-actions by asking their audience to click the link in their bio or go directly to their website. Check out how consistent they are with this strategy.

6. Story-Telling

Just like National Geographic, if your photo calls for an explanation then you should tell your story. Humans of New York is known for its impactful captions, presenting some powerful concepts to go along with their powerful images. These stories are a vital part of their photos.

“I didn’t enjoy life very much because I was always sacrificing for the future. My whole life was about studying and working. I worked so many jobs. I went to college. I got my MBA. I didn’t travel very much. I didn’t get married. I didn’t have kids. All I wanted to do was feel secure. But I’ve had bad health problems my entire life. So I haven’t been able to save. And two weeks ago I lost my job. The job market is brutal when you’re my age. People don’t think you can learn new things. I can’t even get work as a clerk because they think I’m overqualified. I have no money now. I can barely afford food and transportation. I’ve spent my whole life sacrificing—just to one day feel secure. But it seems like it was all for nothing. And I have no idea what to do.” (São Paulo, Brazil)

A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on

Write and Write Until you Get It Right!

A great Instagram caption should be able to add value and context to your post. It should show your brand’s personality, entertain your audience, and encourage them to go beyond just giving your likes.

Just like any good web copy, it should capture the attention of your readers while being easy to read. It should speak of the image it complements, as well as your readers' real interests.

You can stick to a certain style, or you can experiment with the different types of captions we’ve shown here. See which ones will give you most engagement and followers.

To aid you in your journey to Instagram success, remember that you can also buy Instagram followers and other forms of engagement to improve your social proof. Get into the habit of using the tips we shared and combine them with bosting services like these, and in time you’ll be a master of captivating captions!

writing instagram captionsImage credit: Giphy

Date: April 6, 2017 / Categories: Case Studies, Hashtags, Marketing, Tips, / Author: Pamela

April
6
2017

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