Marketing Social Media Marketing Writing/Content

How to Write the Best Instagram Captions: Ideas, Tips, and Strategy

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When Instagram is mentioned, what rings in people’s minds are lots and lots of beautiful pictures. It can be authoritatively said that Instagram’s selling point is purely the visuals. If you are undertaking some Instagram marketing, your success will always lie in the quality and differentiation of your photos. That is what draws followers. However, recently, it has been discovered that an Instagram caption wields a lot of power. It gets you more followers, more likes, and more engagements in the long run. The caption of your nicely-taken photo is the focal point of your post. It’s where viewers would get to know more about the photo, its background, its significance and its bearing.

Many people disregard the caption. They usually think about it much later after the photo has been posted, if at all. If you use Instagram for various reasons and you want to be more successful with your posts, start by giving attention to your caption. Here are some ideas, strategies, and tips that will help you write the best Instagram captions.

Understand Your Audience

The essence of posting an Instagram photo is to appeal to a certain audience. This audience could be your customers, prospective customers, acquaintances, stakeholders, etc. Depending on your niche and objectives, your post will always be meant for a specific person. For example, if you own a lady apparel store, your target customers would be women or probably men who would want to buy apparel for women.

In reality, though, it is impossible to reach every woman that you would like to reach. To remedy this, you need to create an audience persona.

Audience personas are merely constructions of archetypes of who your customer is. It takes into consideration their tastes, preferences, inclinations, and dispositions.

By understanding your audience and having an audience persona, you can write your caption in a targeted manner as if you were writing to each individual in your audience.

Pick a Suitable Voice

All brands that are successful attribute much of their success to a brand voice. A brand voice is simply a tone that’s used in airing the objectives and value proposition of a brand. The good thing about the brand voice is that it’s under your control. What you want the world to hear about your brand is purely your own prerogative. To come up with a loud and appealing brand voice, start by listing the values and qualities that you want to be associated with. 

Coupled with some appropriate adjectives, construct a voice that you want to be associated with in the long run.

When doing this, ensure that you avoid an overly serious tone. Most people on Instagram are there to socialize; hence the environment is more casual. Write something that’s humorous and funny but still gets your message across.

Try Out Several Drafts before Settling On the Final Caption

Every successful writer can attest to writing several rough drafts before settling on a conclusive one. It is a regular occurrence and is not a show of poor writing skills. It serves to polish up ideas and thoughts before publishing them to a specific audience.

Don’t rush to post content only for it to backfire on you or not bring expected results. Think of a few ideas for your caption and jot them down. Deliberate on them. Seek a second or third opinion on which of them is best suited for your audience. Run an engagement test on each to gauge which is better placed to keep your audience hooked.

The premise here is to take your time and come up with a great caption that will attract as many followers as possible.

Write the Important Aspects First

Instagram captions have a character limit of 2,200 characters which means that your caption space is limited. In light of this, ensure that your words are few and make sure that the gist of the message is conveyed first. Employ SEO strategies to get the right set of keywords that you would want the audience to see. The other words that you want to convey could come later in the “more” button.

However, this does not call for short captions but a call to front-load the important parts of your message.

Add a Call-To-Action

Ideally, your main aim when writing an Instagram caption is to influence your followers to act on the post. This can be done through a call-to-action placed strategically in your Instagram post. You can tell your audience to buy your product, to tag a friend, to share your post, etc.

Keep in mind that you should use strong action verbs and compelling language, showing a sense of urgency and a persuasive tone to stimulate your audience to action.

Also, encourage your audience to comment on your post. This will trigger the Instagram algorithm, and your content will have more outreach.

Utilize Hashtags

Hashtags are the modern face of marketing and social media posts. A glance at the trending posts on social media pages including Instagram shows the increasing use of hashtags.

Captions that have hashtags have shown a 12.6% increase in audience engagement. Your Instagram post can benefit greatly from a caption that uses hashtags. It will ride on the successful wave of hashtags. Most Instagram users tend to view what the latest hashtag is, and chances are that they may find your caption. For as long as the hashtag is relevant to your post and your target audience, use it. However, don’t bombard your caption with lots of hashtags lest your audience finds it confusing.

Add Some Personality by Using Emoji’s

Even though your caption is meant for words, you can play around with some visual content such as emojis. Where words cannot draw the attention of readers or convey some thought, use emojis. They add some bubbly features in your caption. 

They are also catchy and are bound to capture the eye of anyone who comes across your post. Choose an appropriate emoji for each idea or thought that you want to put across.

Add Mentions

Mentions tend to act as social proof and are an effective way of drawing people to your post and also connecting with other Instagram users. When you mention another user, and he/she mentions you in their posts, you get to share audiences. It spreads the love.

When writing your caption, add the handle of another user (with their express knowledge of course). You can also tag them in your photos. Your audiences will notice and follow suit.


Instagram has a lot of users who have different objectives. Even with these different objectives, a good caption can ultimately raise your success rate. Try out these suggestions today and see your posts trend.

Do you have any other strategy that you’ve tried and would like to share with us?

About the author


Charles Ebert

Charles Ebert is a career mentor, motivational speaker and human resources consultant with more than 10 years of experience in HR sector. Apart from career mentoring, he knows how to write a cause and effect topic, he loves photography and football. Find him on LinkedinTwitterFacebook and Google+.