Writing Instagram captions is a task that some would consider an art, or at least a serious skill. Most focus on content planning and photography when it comes to Instagram which are all the key factors of attracting followers and sharing your brand but the work doesn’t end once your images are edited and feed is planned out. In the world of Influencers, Instagram Bloggers and online brand presence, Instagram captions are a way to convey key messaging to your audience, the cherry on top of it all if you will. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but sometimes the only way to convey your message is to actually say it.
When writing Instagram captions you can choose to deliver a particular message or thought to your audience. Sometimes it’s sharing a product review, or it maybe it’s a motivational thought of the day. But when the words just aren’t flowing or your image doesn’t need much explanation, there’s always cheese quotes, popular song lyrics (thank u, next anyone?) or your favourite Emoji of the week. But in the world of bloggers and brand presence, sometimes you don’t always have the option to keep it fun and simple.
There’s so much that goes into writing Instagram captions like setting your tone, creating calls to action and of course conveying your message. And with so many resources online to help with Instagram marketing like content planning, photography and filming Instagram stories, it’s not often you find tips on writing Instagram captions. We decided it was time to change that with our tips and tricks for writing Instagram captions that will captivate your audience.
Writing Instagram Captions
1. Write A Couple Drafts
Writing Instagram captions is a process and whether you’re new at this or consider yourself a pro, it’s not uncommon to struggle with writing Instagram captions. The best piece of advice when writing Instagram captions is to write a draft, or maybe a few. Even the most seasoned writers always write several drafts of their work before it’s published. You can start writing your Instagram captions in your notes, or if you use a feed planning app many include the ability to draft your Instagram caption. By drafting your Instagram caption you can ensure to get all the information in that you intended while streamlining and clarifying your message. You might very well find that the draft you began with is nothing like your published Instagram caption, and that’s just part of the process.
2. Follow Your Personal Tone
As much as visual content is king on Instagram, your caption is your written tool to compliment your content. It’s important when writing Instagram captions that your personal or brand tone comes through each time. If you’re writing Instagram captions for yourself you want to decide if you’re going to write as though you’re talking to friends, family or coworkers. Our best advice is being true to your audience by sharing your authentic self. On the other hand when writing Instagram captions for a brand you’ll want to stick to the overall tone set out by marketing guidelines. With all this in mind you’ll want to think of the brand’s target market: are they a more mature and reserved individual or a hip millennial… and this is a perfect transition to our next tip.
3. Know Your Audience
When writing Instagram captions, you have to know your audience. You need to ask yourself two important questions: who are you trying to reach and what information to they need or want to read. If you’re targeting a younger audience, knowing the latest internet catch-phrase will probably go a long way into capturing their attention. An older audience on the other hand will probably want a more informative caption. You also need to determine, or moreso guess, what your audience’s attention span is to determine how much (or little) written content is needed in your Instagram caption. With how easy scrolling through Instagram is, capturing attention spans isn’t always the easiest.
4. Balance & Organize Your Caption
Speaking of capturing attention spans, a great way to do that when writing Instagram captions is to have it clean and organized for easy reading. The best way to achieve this is simple: keep your Emojis to a minimum and preferably towards the end of your caption. The same with hashtags; and don’t go hashtagging every second word which can get annoying and impossible to read. If you do need to include a long caption with your Instagram post, you can try breaking it up with a variety of methods. Some use emojis or vertical slashes to break up thoughts or ideas within their Instagram captions while others break their caption up into paragraphs with blank spaces or periods.
5. Place Important Messaging First
And this is where placing your important messaging first when writing Instagram captions comes in handy. When working out the content in your Instagram caption you should be taking the time to think of what the most important part of your message is, and placing that at the front of your Instagram caption. Long Instagram captions are fine, but not everyone will be willing to take the time to read the entire thing. So if you have a specific part of your caption you want people to pay attention to, stick it in the beginning of your Instagram caption to make sure it’s read.
6. Have Fun With Emojis
We mentioned a little earlier not to go too overboard with Emojis but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use or have fun with them. There’s a fine balance between an appropriate amount of Emojis, and going totally overboard with them. When writing Instagram captions we usually recommend placing them at the end of sentences or the caption itself. You can also use them for line breaks, to replace words (because the fries emoji is so much more impactful when discussing food) or as bullet points. However you choose to use Emojis when writing Instagram captions just be sure to keep it to a minimal as to not drown out your messaging.
7. Use Hashtags But Don’t Over Do It
Just like with Emojis when using Hashtags it’s important to do it tastefully. The biggest mistake a lot of people make when writing Instagram captions is hashtagging every other word in their caption, which looks messy and completely drowns out your caption. It’s always best to keep your Hashtag use to the minimum, and while it’s okay to sneak in a few throughout your caption it’s always best to place them at the end. Instagram allows for up to 30 Hashtags when writing Instagram captions, but we find the magic number is somewhere between 10-20 Hashtags. If you push to always include 30 Hashtags, it’s safe to say you’ll end up using a few you probably don’t need. By sticking to a smaller amount of hashtags, you’ll resort to using more relevant ones to both your niche and the particular post.
8. Create A Call To Action
Instagram captions are not just a place to convey a message to your audience; it’s also a great place to motivate them to take action. When writing Instagram captions with the intention of encouraging your readers to do something, be it shop a product, click a link or answer a question having a motivating call to action is crucial. A call to action can be as simple as “head to the link in my bio” or “what’s your favourite food” but it be sure to make it interesting. A good way to motivate your audience into following your call to action when writing Instagram captions is to share a bit of a story before it. If you’re expecting your audience to answer a question, perhaps share your take on it beforehand. Or if you’re encouraging your audience to shop a product, try sharing key selling features or a discount code with your call to action. And just like with our advice above if your call to action is a key part of your messaging, then it’s to include it early on in your Instagram caption.
9. Be Mindful Of The Length
We eluded to this earlier on, but the length is something to keep in mind when writing Instagram captions. As we mentioned, your audience plays a big factor in how long of a caption you should have based on their attention span. However in some cases the length of your caption is something you can’t avoid but you can do a few things to keep it short and sweet. As with the first tip in our guide, drafting your caption before publishing can help you streamline your message in shorter form. We also recommend removing words that might add unnecessary length to your caption. When writing Instagram captions just find that balance between getting your message across while not boring your readers with too much information.
10. Use Mentions When Applicable
Our last tip to keep in mind when it comes to writing Instagram captions is the use of mentions. Many people surely know by now that you can tag usernames in your Instagram caption. This is especially helpful when sharing other accounts or brand partners in your Instagram content. While tagging them in the content itself is also encouraged, those in your audience who do take the time to read your Instagram captions will be likely to click on the username, but probably won’t bother to search up the brand or username on their own. This is also helpful when trying to get a particular brand or account’s attention as they’ll get a notification that they were mentioned.
The art of writing Instagram captions isn’t something you can perfect overnight, but over time you’re sure to figure out what works for you, your brand and most importantly your audience. Trying one, a few or all of these tips are a great first step to finding your voice on Instagram and writing Instagram captions that work for you and your content. Liked this article and looking for more Instagram tips? Then head to the Wolf Blog!