» Captioning on Instagram: 6 Tips to Create Captions that Drive Engagement

Captioning on Instagram: 6 Tips to Create Captions that Drive Engagement

By Tolu Ajetunmobi
— September 5, 2022


A vital part of any successful Instagram marketing strategy is stunning and engaging visuals (photos/videos).

With the right visuals, you can create a viral trend, unlock new markets, boost brand awareness and generate leads. You can even make new sales right off the bat.

However, you can’t maximize your visuals’ potential without the right captions. When done right, Instagram captions offer so many benefits, including:

  • Increased traffic to your website and other channels
  • Increase your Instagram following
  • Lead generation
  • More sales

What Makes a Good Instagram Caption?

An Instagram caption becomes good when it creates engagement for your visuals. According to the new update, the Instagram algorithm favors posts that receive engagement.

We all know that Instagram only shows your posts to a fraction of your Instagram following. So, if you want to reach most of your followers and reach out to new audiences, you need to increase your posts’ engagement.

Stunning visuals are great for grabbing people’s attention, but sometimes viewers need the extra nudge to engage with the post. Instagram captions allow you to do just that and so much more.

A well-crafted caption can turn their attention into engagements. It can guide your audiences to comment, like, and share your content plus encourage them to follow your account.

So how do you write the perfect Instagram caption?

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1. Start with the Hook

Instagram only shows the first few lines to your audience. They must click the “more” link to read the gist. So, you must make the most out of those first few lines.

Make sure that you make your first sentence as compelling as possible. If you’re asking a question, frame it so the audience will want to read more.

You can also use the “more” link to your advantage. Begin your caption with the good stuff and hide the boring details behind the “more” link. Of course, the good stuff also includes your CTAs!

You can also use SEO tools like BuzzSumo to get relevant keywords to insert in your caption.

2. Add Goal-Oriented CTAs

There should be a purpose for every post you make on social media. The goal could be to:

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Create publicity about a specific product
  • Get audiences to invite their friends to the post or page
  • Offer a special discount, contest, or giveaway
  • Invite users to share their content using a particular hashtag

The specific goal of that post will determine the CTA of the post. Depending on the purpose of that post, you can invite your audience to:

  • Click the link in your bio.
  • Drop a comment (mainly as a response to a question)
  • Share a post using a specific hashtag
  • Tag a friend

3. Make the Caption Valuable

Instagram marketing is a two-way street; you get engagements when you provide value to your audience. You can use your captions to supplement the value of your visuals.

For instance, you can add relevant information about your visuals. This info could be a backstory, product description, or special offers. Interestingly, if you offer valuable content, users will be inclined to bookmark the post and share it with others.

Remember to lead with the hook so viewers will be interested in finding out what is behind the “more” option.

If you need help creating compelling captions, you can explore AI-powered content with platforms like Jasaper.ai.

4. Think, Plan and Write Like a Human

Most users can tell if they are reading a generated caption or if they are reading something fun created by a friendly person.

Sometimes, you may have to generate three, four, or more captions before you find the perfect one for your post. But trust me, the extra time and creativity are worth it.

Of course, you can’t afford to create your captions at a go. You have to come up with ideas while planning the visuals for your post.

Here is one tip that helps people to create natural, friendly, engaging contention: 

Your caption should allow the user to smell, taste, feel, and see what you are expressing in your visuals. Extra description makes the visuals come alive.

Writing a great caption is an art that gets better with time. So, keep trying if your first few ideas don’t cut it. Or you should use your best one and improve on your next post.

Let your creative mind lead the process and remember to have fun.

5. Tell Stories

Fun fact: People pay more attention when you begin a sentence with “Fun fact.”

Do you see how that works? People like stories. We want the extra “tea” on the latest happenings and events.

For example, if you are sharing the visuals for your newly launched product, you can include a backstory that will make your audience laugh or feel a little sympathy.

If your staff had to work through a hurricane to prepare a product for marketing season – tell that story in the caption. If a product idea came during a staff hangout, feel free to chip in that story, with your staff consent, of course.

6. Use Emojis, Hashtags, and Short Sentences

Emojis make your captions come to life. You can use them to insert white spaces in your content. You can also use them to encourage readers to take a specific action, such as pointing to links or highlighting CTAs.

However, you want to ensure that you only insert relevant emojis in your caption. If you hire someone to write your captions, you should also ask the copywriter to recommend a set of emojis that blend with the copy and your brand image.

Furthermore, you want to include roughly three hashtags. One should be product specific, the other should be location or industry-specific, and the third should be brand specific.

For instance, if you work for Zara and post a picture of a beauty product, you can use the following hashtags: #makeup #london #zara.

For content length, it pays to err on the side of short snappy texts. There is no maximum length for writing content. If you need to write more words, feel free to do so. However, keep your sentences short and simple to understand.

Your Instagram captions can contain up to 30 hashtags and 2,200 characters. If you want to add more information or hashtags, you can use the comment section.

Some people prefer to add them at the bottom of the caption to keep things tidy. But you can spice up your hook with one or two hashtags.

Final Thoughts

Instagram captions are the secret sauce to spicing up your Instagram posts and attracting your target audience. You can create stunning visuals with tools like Canva and Wave Video to enhance your brand visibility, boost engagement and increase your bottom line.

But you need compelling content with the right hook and hashtags to maximize your post. Use SEO tools like Mongools to find the right hashtags and analytics tools like SocialPilot to find what works for your audience.


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