Instagram is among social media platforms that are mainly dominated by visual posts. So, does the quality of your caption matter? It does actually. It is common to see celebrities posting pictures without captions and still manage to capture likes in hundreds of thousands. However, this only works when you already have a huge and active following. Most upcoming brands lack the celebrity factor and cannot pull such high levels of viewership by just posting without adding a caption.
Since Instagram is a visual platform your feeds must be of high quality. However, to take your post to the next level, which is drawing conversation from viewers, you must include a creatively written caption with a clear message as well as a call to action (CTA) where relevant. So how do you write a quality caption that will grab your audience’s attention? Below are some of the tips that can help you achieve quality captions.
1. Determine What Message You Want Your Instagram Caption to Convey
This should be your very first step. The primary objective of an Instagram caption is to sell a given message or story about the visual post. Thus, your caption will vary in terms of the language used and the length depending on the campaign you are driving. Whatever the campaign, always ensure that your caption remains relevant and precise.
Photos of words do not attract a lot of attention from Instagram users. However, if you can manage to retain the quality of your photo post, you can tell your story through the Instagram caption.
In case you have not noticed, Instagram does not show the entire length of your caption. It only shows the first two lines after which the post is truncated with “…more”. Therefore, it is always advisable to start with the most essential message when writing a caption; your first sentence should be able to make the viewer more curious to view the rest of the caption. It is sometimes advisable to incorporate the call to action at the start of your caption.
2. Write Caption of Appropriate Length
The length of your caption should vary depending on the message you want to convey to your audience. If you can manage to fully explain your message within a paragraph, be better. You do not have to make your caption unnecessarily long. However, do not force the entire message within a short paragraph if it proves impossible.
Most Instagrammers prefer captions with fewer texts. Most of the viewers are on Instagram to enjoy video and photos feeds, and not to read the long pieces of blogs. Thus, you should always try to make your caption as short as possible. If you can convey the message using a single sentence or one word, you can do so, provided you manage to appeal to your target audience.
If your post requires more details, particularly in cases where you must include a CTA, writing more than one paragraph is acceptable. Although most Instagrammers loath reading extended captions, many Instagram pages have managed to successfully use micro-blogs and writing long captions to provide relevant details. You, however, need to be creative in your writing.
3. Incorporate Relevant Hashtags in your Caption
Introducing appropriate hashtags in your caption will help broaden the outreach of your post. When you include hashtags in your caption, your posts will appear, among others whenever a person searches the hashtag. To effectively use hashtags, you must use the basic rules of selecting the most suitable hashtag.
The hashtag you use on the caption should not be widely used. A hashtag that has been featured in more than 10 million posts will not help improve your outreach as the post will be buried among many posts making it impossible to be featured among the top. Also, use hashtags within your market niche; avoid hashtags with vulgar or insulting words.
If you do not know how to select the most appropriate hashtag for your post, you can always seek some help. There are numerous sites that will provide you with excellent hashtag suggestions that you can use in your post. Alternatively, you can start typing on the Instagram search feature, and the autocomplete function will outline some of the trending hashtags.
4. Include a CTA in your Instagram Caption
Instagram only provides one clickable link per user, which is located in your bio. Therefore, to get viewers to click on that link, you must give them some form of a directive. CTA is particularly important for this reason. The most commonly used CTA on Instagram posts is the “Click on the link in my bio”. There are different variants of the aforementioned CTA.
Including a CTA in your caption will direct your viewer to your bio to access the link and take action. Irrespective of the post, this CTA has proven effective. There are other creative CTAs that you can also use to get your audience’s attention. Some of these CTAs include:
- “Share on your Instagram Stories”: Instagrammers have an option to share feed in the Instagram Stories feature. Therefore, if you want to broaden the outreach of your post, you can encourage your audience to share your post through the CTA in the caption. However, for this CTA to work, your content must be shareable.
- “Tag a Friend in the Comment”: This CTA will help drive more traffic to your post. If a viewer tags a friend on the comment, the friend will most probably view your post. Therefore, if the viewers take action, you will receive more viewership, likes, and comments.
- “Tap to Purchase”: This CTA is effective for Instagram shoppable posts. When you use the shoppable post feature, you can tag your item in the upload for people to explore and even purchase. However, most followers might not know how to use the feature. Therefore, it is advisable to always include the CTA in your post to remind them. This would lead to more sales.
5. Divide Your Caption into Short Paragraph
Writing your caption as one block of words will reduce the chance of followers reading them. It is advisable always to try and split your texts into short paragraphs, which makes it more readable. Besides, writing short paragraphs with adequate spacing will increase the probability of your audience responding to the CTAs.
In some instances, you may find difficulties adding spaces after a paragraph. This is mainly as a result of the standard Instagram format. However, you can change the Instagram format by backspacing to the last character in your paragraph and then tapping the return key. When you upload the feed, the caption will maintain the format you used.
If you want to include an emoji in your caption, avoid putting them at the end of the paragraph. Instead, consider starting a paragraph with an emoji or put the emoji in the middle of the paragraph. When you place an emoji at the end of a paragraph, the line break will be automatically deleted leaving your caption as one-block texts.
There are no restrictions, whatsoever, on how you format your caption. Therefore, you can incorporate bullet points, bigger space breaks, or long leader dashes as it pleases you. Thus, you can use the aforementioned options to help increase the readability and aesthetics of your caption.
6. Use Instagram Caption Tools
Not everybody is creative enough to come up with captivating captions in which case you can always seek help. There are many Instagram caption tools that can help you come up with ideas for your Instagram caption.
One example of such a tool is Captiona. The tool, which works as a predictive search engine, will help you develop an idea for your post. All you need to do is type in a keyword that relates to your post, and the app will provide you with caption suggestions. Hemingway app is another useful tool that you can use to come up with creative captions.
7. Advertise Contests and Giveaways on the Instagram Caption
If you are running a contest, the Instagram caption section is the best place to advertise it. You should always start a caption with words that will immediately inform the audience of such contests. Apart from informing your audience, you will be able to encourage viewers to read more into your caption and maybe take action on your CTA.
Although Instagram is mainly a visual platform dominated by photos and videos, Instagram caption plays a significant role. It is vital to give more details to your visual feed in the caption section. The caption section will help your followers by providing more information and directing them through the CTAs. For an effective caption, use appropriate text length and structure as well as incorporate only the relevant details. If you find difficulties coming up with an interesting caption, you can always use online tools.