Instagram Captions

The secrets of writing kick-ass Instagram captions

Let’s focus a bit (more) on Instagram captions. Yes, yes, we seriously have to do this. Especially since so often, Instagram captions are awarded the 2nd place in the general perception of what matters most when it comes to Instagram marketing. This couldn’t be more wrong. And we’re on a serious quest of debunking this myth. Sure, Instagram might be a visually driven social media platform, but captions are the heroes in the shadow and we should definitely pay more attention to how we write and engage with them.

One of the reasons why Instagram captions are often overlooked is that we might be sometimes lost for words. How many times did it happen to you to want to post a stunning picture, but when the time came to write the caption you froze? Inspiration might not always be with us, but that’s no excuse for dismissing Instagram captions. Even more so if you’re running a business and you’re planning to use Instagram as one of your marketing channels.

So, we’re going to show you some of the secrets and techniques (and we’ll even throw in some gimmicks) that can help you write kick-ass Instagram captions to go with your stunning photos. Because that’s what makes a great post. Ready, steady, go!

----

See how your followers talk and write Instagram captions

This is where it all begins. The old saying ‘birds of a feather flock together’ can easily be translated into the digital area in ‘followers who resemble talk in a similar way’. Uhm, okay. This adaptation might not have the same flow to it as the original, but that doesn’t mean it’s less true or useful. Thus, in your quest for creating great Instagram captions, you should start by paying attention to how your potential followers and target talks. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your target audience use any kind of specific slang?
  • What hashtags do your potential followers use?
  • Do they prefer a humorous tone of voice or a more serious one?
  • Do they write long or short Instagram captions?
Pay attention to how your followers use Instagram captions

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to also draw a direction for your future Instagram captions. In order to attract your audience, you’ll have to be original, yet maintain some characteristics from the way your followers talk. This will make them feel that you truly get them. Be careful, there’s a fine line between belonging and imitating. The last thing you want is to come across as unoriginal. You simply want to infuse your Instagram captions with a bit of the community vibe and get inspired to kick-off your writing.

----

Find your voice and keep it up throughout all your Instagram captions

This is exactly what we’ve been advocating in the paragraph above. But this rule is so important that it deserves an in-detail explanation. While you must finely tune your voice to that of your followers, you must also find that unique tone that defines you and only you (and by you, we mean your business or brand).

To discover which tone of voice suits you best, think about your brand, it’s mission and it’s goals. Some might prefer the inspirational approach, while others might be better suited for a witty-sarcastic (yet not offensive) voice. Some might be straight-forward and shine through their craft, while others might make you laugh. However, it all boils down to the brand and that’s what you need to keep in mind.

----

Complement and give context to your photo

A great trick for turning Instagram captions into a simple task is to let your mind run free while you take a few minutes to just look at the picture you want to post. Yes, the secret to all great Instagram captions begins with the photo.

You can choose to give more context to the photo. The writers from NatGeo do a great job at doing so. Another option is to complement your photo by revealing a totally different perfective. Or, you can lead your followers with your caption only to change halfway through and disrupt the flow in a witty way.

So, give context, complement or disrupt.

Here’s a nice example from airbnb, who chose a lovely photo for their post and created a caption that gave context and complemented it.

Write a caption that gives context to your photo. Airbnb example----

Put a spin on old calls to action

When your working Instagram for business purposes, all your Instagram captions must definitely contain a call to action. Because, in the end, that’s exactly what you want: for your followers to take action, be it to check out the link in your bio, to purchase your products, to enter a contest, to find out more details and, frankly, the list can go on forever. Whatever the case, you must make sure that your followers know exactly what they have to do.

However, try to mix things up. These things must definitely be said, but try to say them in style, or in a new way. Just have a look at this post from GoPro They call to action basically says &dlquo;use or product&drquo;, but in a manner that’s also attractive for the followers.

Use CTAs in captions. Gopro example

A great way to go about it is to make a list. Draw the categories on a piece of paper (or in a digital document) and try to come up with as many calls to actions for each. Then, keep the list in handy for whenever you need a new CTA. This way you won’t have to always use the same call to actions or to spend tons of time thinking about them on the spot.

----

Make sure your Instagram captions are accompanied by the right hashtags

The point of your Instagram captions is to resonate with your followers, but also extend your reach and attract new fans. To do this, you must make use of the all-mighty hashtag. Our advice is that you go about this as strategically as possible. Since you did research your followers, make sure to include hashtags they use. Chances are like minded people will also use them.

If you don’t want to cramp up your caption with a lot of Instagram hashtags, you can always use the first comment for this purpose. Since Instagram revealed exactly what the rules for their algorithms are, we know that there’s no such thing as shadowbanning. However, try to mix up your hashtags and create a complementary mix of highly used and relatively new ones. This way you’ll get your message to all kinds of users, traditional and early adopters.

----

Sprinkle your Instagram captions with fun emojis

Instagram is a pretty lighthearted platform and being playful is highly encouraged. And, what better way to show your fun side than by letting emojis talk on your behalf or complement your Instagram captions? Not only that you shouldn’t be afraid of including emojis in your Instagram captions, but you should strive to do so because they are a great way to capture attention.

Emojis can also help you better format and organize your Instagram captions. If you have a rather long text, by using some well-picked emojis you can let the copy breathe. What’s more, emojis can be used to direct the followers’ attention right to the parts of your Instagram captions you find most important. Thus, make emojis your friends!

Emoji caption. refinery29 example----

Mention and give credits to your followers

Another great way to get inspired for your Instagram captions is to turn directly to your followers and repost brand-related content while, of course, giving credit. This tactic will take you out of the rut from time to time and it will also he

If you’re looking for examples of brands that use this tactic, we advise you to simply open your Instagram and scroll a bit through your feed. It won’t take too many posts until you stumble upon a business that mentions a certain somebody in their Instagram captions.

Mention and give credits in captions. refinery29 example----

Now get creative

Instagram captions are not easy to craft, but they shouldn’t cause you nightmares either. Actually, Instagram captions should be as fun for you as they are for your followers. And, if there’s one tip you should make a habit is this: have fun with your Instagram captions, be playful, be creative, be imaginative and dare to do what you feel is right. As long as you keep things interesting (and play nice) it will all turn out for the best! And with the 7 tips and tricks above, you’ll have an easier time in coming up with some awesome Instagram captions. And if you want more inspiration, the Preppr blog is waiting with tons of Instagram wisdom.