Instagram marketing captions are all what stand between a good post and a bad post. I am aware Instagram is all about photos.
However, you must have noticed how people post long captions to go with the photo or the video.
You would probably notice that these are the most engaged posts you will find. Yes, hashtags matter, but more than that a good story.
You read that correctly. Instagram marketing captions are meant as a story. Write captions as you would narrate or tell a story.
To gain the traction and engagement you need on your post, following hacks apply in order to write a great caption:
1. The important information
Important information needs to come first. If the post is about a dog, you need to tell why there is a dog in the photo.
Of course, you just wanted to put up a photo of your dog. However, why this particular photo is where your caption will do the talking.
So, it could read like, “Marley stood by the door as I start walking outside. Here’s he’s already missing me.”, something of the sort. You get the idea.
If it is a meal you prepared, say what it is, and the time it took you to cook the meal, etc.
2. Tell a story about your brand
The story could be anything. You need to write one that can connect better with your audience. If your audience is into movies, you can start by saying how an avid fan of movies you are.
You watch x number of movies a year and you avoided the y movie for some time but boy did it paid off or boy was it a waste of time. See?
Now you have got your audience intrigued. They might want to check the title. Those who have will comment saying how they agree with your analysis or don’t agree. That’s personal branding.
If it’s a company, it will delve into brief history and what they stand for and their story will pick from there.
Structuring your Instagram caption is of paramount importance. Just like a reader would appreciate some white space amidst a block of text in a blog or an image, a person reading your caption would appreciate some kind of a break too.
You can do one of the following:
- You can either break down your story into a number of paragraphs. That would leave a space between your text. The reader would know that here you have finished a certain part of your story and he can gear up for the next part.
- The other thing that you could do is, insert the dotted line (…), hyphen (–), or (~) symbol to provide a break. You can similarly use them in between paragraphs to provide more clarity. Give double spaces and insert one of those.
4. Ask questions to engage with your audience
Asking a question is great. The reader might have a question after reading your lengthy caption and by providing him an opportunity in the end you are making him comfortable.
So, you can end by saying, “So that’s how I was able to travel to the Himalayas in the winter. Do you have any Himalayan story of yours? Feel free to share it in the comments.”
Asking a question also helps you build rapport with your audience. It tells them that you are not only interested in speaking your side of the story but are giving them a chance to speak their minds.
Any hate comments, bullying, or trolling shouldn’t be allowed and that goes without saying.
If you ever experience that, you can always turn off commenting.
5. Use emojis
The use of emojis shows your personality. While structuring your Instagram caption you can support them with emojis. If you are a fitness brand you can show off by inserting a muscular arm or similar emoji to a greater effect.
Furthermore, emojis usually convey a better understanding of your message. That is not to say you stop relying on the text but in part, emotions are projected well, especially when you are writing an Instagram caption.
Hashtags when relevant work wonders. There are four categories of hashtags:
- Too popular
- Very popular
The popularity figure is the number of times a hashtag has been used on Instagram. The right thing to do here is to use a mix and match approach. Balancing the hashtags in the too popular and very popular category is key to growing your audience in specific areas.
You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram. It’s better to use them all, but you can also make do with less. If they aren’t relevant, you don’t have to shove them into your post for the sake of it.
7. Use mentions to increase reach
When you mention someone or some brand in your post, it has a higher chance of getting noticed. @mentions are known for increasing reach. Again, these should be relevant to your post.
Ideally, the story you are telling in your caption must naturally call for a ‘mention’.
“I ordered this book from @amazon and it arrived in two days. Thanks, guys for the fast delivery!”.
The mention in the caption maintains the flow and doesn’t appear forced. Truth be told, you can use @mentions in any way you want. It is at the very basic a shout-out.
Many people repost posts from influencers. Here it is good to mention the account you reposted from coupled with a caption how they influenced you or how they are an inspiration for you.
Throw in there some relevant hashtags and you have a winner!
There are apps that allow the copying of hashtags as well as captions from the original post. If you can’t think of anything, just repost and share it.
It will automatically include the username of the Instagram account. The best part, you both get visibility and traction.
Call-to-action or CTA is important for several reasons. If you are a business and were able to reach your audience through a post, it is time you turn them into a lead.
You can ask them to check out your new product or a discount by directing them to your website.
Ask them to fill in a form especially their email address and if you are lucky they might make the purchase afterward.
If you are a blogger, your post may have struck the chord with the audience, however, if you fail to get them to view your blog by providing a link to the latest post in your bio, the article is as good as being never written.
Oh, and Instagram does not allow links anywhere except in the website section of your profile. You can leave a link in the caption as part of your CTA which then they will have to copy and paste in their browser to access. Many do that, but it’s not clickable.
If you are a motivational speaker and thinker, you might want to take them to your YouTube page or to your website in order for them to download your e-book, say, on how to lead a life worth living.
if you are an SEO geek, you might want them to check out your pdf guide on some new hacks in the history or a video you have complied for them with tips on how to optimize for SEO, etc.
All the above makes a CTA such an essential element when writing Instagram marketing captions.
An Instagram caption is the text that appears below an image or video on IG.
More and more Instagrammers are realizing that captions have a significant impact on engagement, organic visibility, and conversions.
Which is why interest in captions has exploded over the last 18 months.
In fact, we’re seeing a cottage industry cropping up around IG captions. For example, there’s a steady increase in the number of people offering instagram caption services. Along with a growth in YouTube videos and blog posts teaching people how to write compelling captions.Brian Dean
Now that we know how to leverage captions for Instagram marketing, there is a bonus item that often gets overlooked.
What might that be? Read more to find out.
Ah, it’s the stories. Instagram stories are the greatest asset you can bank for reach. Add much as 25 stories a day and they will keep showing up in the stories of people from your niche.
A story could be anything. Your post even. They’ll have to click it in the story to view the full post and an interesting caption will take it from there.
If you have invested time and effort in writing the caption as advised above, there is nothing that can prevent you from achieving your desired goal.
As for the stories, these can be from the people you follow. Just post their videos or posts to your story if they have the re-share option enabled and voila!
Otherwise, download them on your phone and upload them from your gallery. Duh!
Instagram algorithm prefers that its options are utilized to the full effect. Therefore, use all the tools at your disposal when posting a story. This involves experimenting with different backgrounds, gifs, stickers, text styles, colors, effects, and emoticons.
Don’t go overboard. Just maintain a certain level of familiarity so the audience can identify your content.
Another feature is ‘Story Highlights’. See which one of your stories got the most views, then save them as a highlight on profile.
It tells you something in there connected with your audience. Pick and select carefully. You don’t want to overwhelm them with a huge library.
For organic reach, you can share your post as stories. If you want others to share your content as stories enable the “Allow Sharing” option in Privacy and Security > Story Sharing.
Miscellaneous IG hacks
- Instagram profile lets you use hashtags in the bio/tag relevant accounts.
- Put the DM feature to good use. If you are a business/brand elicit responses from your followers by encouraging them to DM you for queries or discussing sponsorship propositions.
- Use a Public Profile and choose from either Business or Creator accounts. A label is displayed under your name. Mine’s Writer.
- Add Email so that people can reach out to you.
- You can view Analytics of who followed your account over a period of time and what level of engagement you received by posting at a certain hour.
- IG algorithm prefers you to take pictures and videos from the camera within the app instead of uploading it from your camera roll
- Instagram discourages the deletion or archiving of posts/videos.
So, if you are not already on TikTok and leveraging the platform for your brand (like many), try IG Reels – the latest addition by Instagram (read: Facebook). A feature meant to offset TikTok’s dominance in the 15 seconds video race.
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