A Simple Guide on How to Write Good Instagram Captions
So you’ve finally got the perfect photo. It’s been tweaked and edited to align with your aesthetic. Then that final step before hitting post stops you.
What words do you pair with it?
Sometimes we’re lucky and get hit with the perfect witty Instagram caption, and other times we draw a complete blank.
The best Instagram captions are the ones that immediately capture attention. They turn mindless scrolling into genuine interest, working to elevate your consumer’s attention from quickly liking a post to desiring to view your Instagram story and visit your profile.
Good Instagram captions can be clever, conversational, totally basic or educational, as long as they align with the brand image.
They are the well-written descriptions that make followers halt their scrolling and want to know more.
Whether that more is about the subject in discussion or the brand behind the post. When the words pair well with the image, you are ultimately enhancing your content for followers.
You Can Enhance Your Brand Image Using Instagram Captions
If you’ve found yourself at the proverbial roadblock known as Instagram captions, the following tips are sure to get you out of that rut and back on track.
Believe it or not, utilizing the unavoidable caption writer’s block to your advantage is possible.
The struggle of caption writing offers a rare necessity to step back and take a look at your content from different angles, striving to match the ideal words with the image.
The strategies on we go over in this article on writing good Instagram captions include:
- Start a conversation
- Share valuable resources
- Add BTS details
- Find help elsewhere
With the right approach writing an engaging caption doesn’t have to be a brain game.
Not only will these tips get you out of writer’s block, but they are also sure to add value to your brand and Instagram community, making it a win-win for both you and your followers.
How to write good Instagram captions
Sometimes the best solution is also the easiest when you just can’t find the right words to describe that carefully edited photo.
1. Break it down
If you find yourself second-guessing an Instagram caption, take a minute to simplify things.
What are you posting and for what purpose?
Whether it’s a snap of your dinner at a trendy new restaurant or a perfectly pink sunset, ask yourself why you’re sharing it.
Are you giving a shout out to the restaurant for quality service? Feeling totally at ease underneath that sunset?
2. Get to the point
Typing out the annoyingly crucial Instagram caption doesn’t have to be rocket science. The audience doesn’t need your life story.
A few sentences about your dining experience or a quote about nature you got off a tea bag can be perfectly suitable assuming it’s relevant to the image and your brand.
Influencer and TV personality Jillian Harris keeps it light and to the point in this post, showing that even the most basic caption can be effective.
Taking a simple and transparent approach to your captions is often more than sufficient.
While we’re on the topic of simplicity, let’s talk about the next caption writing tip.
A two word Instagram caption is likely better than two thousand words
In times of doubt, opting for a shorter Instagram caption is safer than tapping out a short story.
Sure you’ve got 2,200 characters at your disposal, but did you know that using 138-150 characters shows to be ideal?
3. Less is more
If coming up with a caption feels like expert level Sudoku, don’t be afraid to play coy. A few cleverly strung together words can be all you need.
Take a scroll through your own Instagram and note the short to long caption ratio. You’ll probably see that the bigger brands rarely describe their photos with a novel.
A good description can be as easy as two words. Urban Outfitters gets it right with this cleverly captioned product post.
Creating engagement with Instagram captions
1. Start a conversation
Posing an engaging question to followers in the caption box can ignite a conversation amongst your Instagram community.
Elevating your photo description from a sales attempt to an online block party is a useful way to showcase your appreciation for those following along.
For example, starting a caption with a brief blip on the topic of goals and ending it with “what goals have you achieved so far this year?” elicits a response from your audience.
Not only will this boost your comments, but it is also a great way to get the audience connecting with one another.
2. Keep up with your audience
Being diligent in responding to those who comment is also important. Even if it’s as basic as a friendly emoji or “thanks for sharing, best of luck!”
Showing your followers that you genuinely are interested in their responses will leave them feeling noticed and give your brand personality a solid boost.
Influencer and entrepreneur Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential commonly post specific questions to the audience in her captions like the example above. By showing a genuine interest in her Insta community Evarts is notorious for creating major brand loyalty and valuable connections amongst her following.
Sharing other content through Instagram captions
If what you find interesting on a personal level can relate to the audience, you’ve got great caption material.
We consume content nonstop, whether that’s TV, radio, music, the list goes on. Sharing the content that you find value in via your Instagram caption – be it comedic or educational – enhances your image and adds personality.
Let the audience in on your favorite content
Adding value can be as simple as utilizing the caption box to share a relevant resource to your audience. A few examples of what that could look like include:
- Bands or a specific song
- Influencers or brands that you admire
So long as what you choose to promote aligns with your image, the options of what to share with your following are pretty wide open. This endless opportunity to share other content offers substantial value.
With so many profiles on the ‘gram trying to make a buck, it’s always refreshing to come across a post that is follower-focused with the money-making goal set aside for a moment.
Not only will this make your ‘gram post a little more personable, but it is also an easy way to implement the previous tip and get followers engaging in the comments below.
Finishing off a caption about a Podcast you love with, “comment your favorite Podcast” or “I’d love to hear what you think of this episode” is a great way to build up audience engagement.
Building brand awareness with Instagram captions
Maybe you’re in a rush to get a product shot posted to the ‘gram but want to avoid the generic ‘link in bio’ caption.
Take advantage of this opportunity disguised as a roadblock to further educate followers on your product and brand.
It’s all in the details
Enhancing your content with behind the scenes information on you and your brand creates a more inclusive vibe. The minute details that have become every day for you could be totally share-worthy for your audience.
A few effective ways to do this could be:
- Spotlighting your team
- Sharing details on materials and product creation
- Interesting facts about your brand or product
- What sets you apart from the competition
These attention-grabbing approaches to captioning product posts are effective methods to straying from typical bland captions.
Adding behind the scenes details to your post through captions allows followers to get to know your brand and product for more than just the visual content.
Here, major retailer H&M utilizes the caption box to add value to a basic product shot. In two short sentences, the audience is learning more about H&M’s sustainable materials, and they know where to go for more information.
Let someone in on your dilemma
Whether it’s Google, that friend next to you waiting for you to stop staring at your phone, or even the audience, you’ve got resources – now put them to work.
Google takes the wheel
Plays on words and alliteration can be easy and efficient tactics when conjuring up a caption. A quick Google search of ‘words starting with…’ or ‘what rhymes with…’ can spark inspiration on the spot.
Coming up with a clever pun is always better when we do it without help from Google, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Find a fresh perspective
Asking a friend or colleague how they would caption a photo is also a good way to solve the caption dilemma.
Handing over the reigns momentarily offers a new perspective from someone who hasn’t been staring at the same image for the last hour.
In addition to asking those around you for opinions, looking to brands and influencers you admire can also spark writing creativity.
Obviously stealing someone else’s well thought out caption is not the way to go here, but a quick peek at a different feed is often the perfect medicine for writer’s block.
And when all else fails, you can always get everyone else to do the work for you! Rewards are nice, as displayed here by Benefit Cosmetics, but not a necessity.
Personality is valuable
While this tip doesn’t necessarily add direct value to consumers, using wit and clever word pairings to gain attention adds personality and hopefully makes your followers crack a smile.
Keep one eye open for Insta captions
As for those glorious moments when you’re not stressing about a caption, paying attention to perfectly strung together words that grab your attention can come to the rescue later on.
Compelling quotes, catchy song lyrics, and clever puns can be saved for later posts. An on-hand backup stash of Insta captions is a valuable time saver.
Work smart not hard
Don’t let the Insta caption game get you down. The pressure to tap out a compelling piece of work can be all-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated process.
By keeping your audience in mind, maintaining brand image, and enhancing your posts through authentic captions, you don’t need to be a wordsmith to bust out a great description.
Now get to writing that Instagram caption
Using these tips to get inspired will hopefully do more than help you execute your ideal caption. If growing your Insta community is the ultimate goal – and let’s be real, doesn’t that apply to most of us – then adding value to your consumers should always be a top priority.
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