13 Jan How to Write High-Quality Instagram Captions
There’s no doubt that Instagram has become a marketing powerhouse for brands and businesses. Companies nowadays use Instagram for various marketing goals, from building brand awareness and customer loyalty to pushing product sales.
And while Instagram is all about photos, it’s important not to underestimate the importance of other sections. One of the most important ones – that’s more often than not neglected by brands – is the caption.
The caption below an Instagram post can dramatically improve a shabby photo or ruin a perfect one. Therefore, it’s important that both your photo and caption are high-quality and aligned with each other.
Take a look at our top 10 tips for writing high-quality Instagram captions:
Keep it Short and Snappy
When it comes to Instagram captions, the rule of thumb is “less is more”. You can find all kinds of captions on the network, but try taking a look at the captions from some of the world’s leading brands. You will quickly notice that they almost never go over 2 or 3 sentences in length.
Don’t Overuse Hashtags
Hashtags can be very valuable and allow you to reach an audience that doesn’t follow your page yet, but that’s not a reason to drown your Instagram caption in hashtags and hope for the best. After all, there’s a very good reason why Instagram only allows 30 hashtags per post.
Another important do-not is to avoid hashtagging each word in your caption. This is not only ineffective, but will also annoy your followers.
An Instagram caption serves as a description of a photo. Even though it’s used on a marketing channel (social media network), there’s no reason you shouldn’t view it as just another one of your content marketing channels.
Of course, keep the first point in mind (make it short), but try to make the description as compelling as possible through the use of narrative techniques.
Mind Grammar and Spelling
A perfect caption can go down the drain if you make a horrible grammar or spelling mistake. Maybe you think it’s not really a big deal – after all, it’s just a simple human error – but these kinds of mistakes can be absolutely detrimental for your brand’s image of professionalism.
Always double and triple-check all your captions for grammar and spelling errors before you post. If you’re writing in a non-native language, you can check with a native speaker to see if your text has a natural-sounding flow and style.
Use the Power of Emojis
Instagram is the land of emojis. Of course, emojis were around ever since to dawn of the internet, but the network that really pushed for them to be used in all possible contexts is Instagram. To pay homage to this romance between Instagram and emojis, use plenty in your captions.
Fortunately, nowadays you can find an emoji for almost anything you want to express. Remember Kimoji’s by Kim Kadashian?!
Emojis are not only playful and visual, but can also serve as dividers and help the caption text be more visually appealing.
The ultimate goal of your Insta captioning as a brand is to gain credibility of cool and interesting captions that are greatly anticipated by your audience.
When you compose a caption for one of your image posts, don’t see it as “something that needs to be done” and focus only on hashtags. Rather, try to actually create additional interest and expand the value of your image post with the text to match.
As we have said before, Instagram is all about the visual. Images are the most important part of the page, but they are not actually what builds reach and engagement. It’s the hashtags, likes, comments and follows. So, make sure your captions have the same level of quality as you try to achieve with your photos.
Think your Instagram isn’t up to scratch? Check out our blog post on how to give your Instagram a facelift in 30 minutes.
Play Around with ‘See More’
Remember when there was a surge of clickbait Facebook pages called “See More”, “See more…” or similar? There’s a good reason for it: if you present a captivating half-sentence which asks for a click to continue, you will get that click.
Instagram also features this option. Instead of showing the entire content of a post caption in a newsfeed, the app will trim it down to just a couple of words.
Just like in the case of Facebook’s See More frenzy, you can use this to your advantage and present the first introductory words that will compel your readers to click to see more.
After they take a look at the entire caption, chances are they will be entering the individual post, your business page, follow you… You get the drill. A compelling Instagram caption that sparks interest equals better reach and retain.
Use Popular Hashtags
Reaching new audiences can be easily done by using the right hashtags, and the best place where you can introduce them is the caption.
There are many online tools and services that can help you find the most popular Instagram hashtags and search queries, if you’re not sure which direction to go.
Just like keywords in content marketing, you should develop a set of primary and secondary target keywords and incorporate them into your posts. Of course, a specific set of keywords will not work on two different images, so you can use your hashtag set to pick and choose only those that are relevant to the post.
Incorporate Hashtags Subtly in Writing
Another great trick used by big brands and businesses is to seamlessly add hashtags in the form of contextual words, rather than just plain, out-of-context keywords.
Here’s an example:
Instead of writing a caption like this – We’re launching a new collection on Jan 1, 2020! #excited #launching #collection #staytuned,
it’s much more natural-sounding and easy to read if you do it this way – We’re #launching a new #collection on #January 1st, #2020… Stay tuned! In a caption like this, hashtags will be a part of the mix, while the user will have no problem actually reading the text.
Be Relevant and Interesting
Although this seems common sense and absolutely intuitive, it’s something most users and business neglect when it’s time to actually compose a caption. While you’re crafting a caption text, remember that this is a piece of writing that actually going to be read by other people – or at least, that’s what you should be going for.
Try to see your caption as a way to communicate with your followers and those who are yet to discover your brand. Be cheerful, inspiring and always post on a positive note.
If you’re a brand that’s advertising on Instagram, it would be a shame to miss out on an important section of the network. That’s why you should not see writing captions as a hassle, but a chance to express your brand message and connect with your audience in a verbal way!
There are many ingredients that go into the mix of a perfect Instagram caption, and it can be tricky to get it right. However, if you try and follow some of the guidelines that we have outlined above, we’re sure your audience will react positively.
Daniela McVicker is a blogger with rich experience in writing about UX design, content planning, and digital marketing. Currently, she is the chief contributor at TopWritersReview where she helps individuals and organizations improve their web content writing, design, and planning skills. Her posts are always packed with examples and actionable content that readers can put straight into the action.