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6 Steps for Creating the Best Instagram Captions

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6 Steps for Creating the Best Instagram Captions

We’ve heard a million times that a picture is worth a thousand words. And that’s because every photo tells a story.

As a digital marketer, it's not easy to craft a story for every photo or video you publish on social media, especially on Instagram, which is a highly visual oriented platform.

And that’s exactly the reason a social media manager must take time to create Instagram captions that share a consistent brand voice across every brand’s profile.

Now, the next logical question would be: how do you do that, right?

Well, I’m glad you asked, because in this article I am going to give you some tips and tricks on how to create the best Instagram captions for your followers.

6 steps you can follow to create the best Instagram captions


  1. Know your audience
  2. Find your voice as a brand
  3. Discover what's your optimal caption length
  4. Play with hashtags
  5. Ask questions
  6. Include a call-to-action
  7. Bonus: examples of cool Instagram captions

1. Know your audience

First things first. In order for you to create awesome Instagram captions that will make your followers engage with your posts and share their life experiences, you must have a clear picture in mind about who your audience is.

This translates into knowing some demographic data like their age and having a deeper knowledge about their lifestyle and interests. For example, how do they talk? What kind of expressions or symbols do they use?

This is precious information because in order to hear you, you must speak their language.

2. Find your voice as a brand

Do you think some of the most famous brands like Apple or Nike owe their success entirely up to their products? Because we wouldn’t be so sure.

Of course, there is no denial of their quality, but let’s face it, a part of their prosperity is 100% based on their edgy and cool way of communicating, which is known and appreciated all over the world.

Here is an example of Nike's posts captions on Instagram.

Through these examples I only wanted to highlight the importance of creating your personality as a brand and finding your own voice.

Well, it sounds pretty reasonable if you think about it, right?

Just like a person, a brand as well has a set of traits that sets it apart from the rest.

And the clearer that personality is for the brand itself, expressing it in every way of communication, the clearer would be for its audience to recognize it and identify with the values it stands for.

As a social media manager, you have to remember the way a brand communicates should reflect its personality because authenticity is always the key to winning people's hearts.

3. Discover what's your optimal caption length

This is a point very much related to the first ones encountered till now. Not all the audiences are the same, and that’s why finding the right caption length is a big challenge for social media managers.

On Instagram, captions can be up to 2.200 characters - approximate 330 words including emojis and hashtags.

According to our recent Instagram engagement study, captions up to ten words have the best chance at generating higher engagement levels.

This chart shows which is the optimal caption length on Instagram.

However, there's no size fits all when it comes to a good Instagram caption.

That's why you'll find Instagram captions in all shapes and sizes, from short sentences to micro-blogging with in-depth stories.

The most important thing: your Instagram captions should provide context (there has to be a connection between the photo or video shared and text), to have a unique voice, and inspire your followers to engage with your brand.

Let's just take a look at Socialinsider's Instagram account. Every photo has an introductory phrase, so people know what is about next.

If they are going to read about product updates, blog articles or social media tips, this phrase acts as a call to action where indirectly we invite our followers to tap "More."

For example, if you want to bring attention to a new blog post, make sure to add “new blog post” or the title of your post early on in the Instagram caption, so your followers know that you have a new post, even if they don’t read the whole caption.

Tip!

Make sure you write the right Instagram captions for your type of business. Try several options before coming up with precise form.

Keep an eye on your engagement rates and measure the performance with analytics.

Once your posts are getting better and better results, adjust the Instagram captions and try something new. Instagram favors engagement and creating conversations through the captions should be your primary focus.


Sue Zimmerman classifies the Instagram captions in three categories:

  • The Quickie – One word / and emoji
  • The One-Two Done – One or two sentence proposition
  • The Micro-Blog - Long form

Tip!

A well-formatted Instagram post – with design elements like spaces and lists – is easier to read than a wall of plain text.

You can add emojis 👉, 🧐, ☝️, 🎉, 👀 or dots to give your posts besides helpful information, some beautiful visuals too.


"I know that the easier my posts are to read, the more people will read them and take action." - says Sue Zimmerman, THE Instagram expert.

Tip!

Keep in mind that most people scroll through their feed quickly, so it makes sense to keep your Instagram captions clear and concise.

Optimize the length of your content, and you'll be more likely to engage and convert your audience.

Instagram captions are cut off in your feed after a few lines of text, so make sure you use the most important words at the beginning of the caption.

4. Play with hashtags

Hashtags are great for connecting users who aren’t otherwise connected, but who are talking, posting or interested in the same topics, brands, events and so on.

As long as your account is public anyone who searches for that hashtag can find your Instagram post.

What type of hashtag you should use

There are different types of hashtags that you can use to enhance your brand or products. You can use:

  • General hashtags
  • Branded hashtags
  • Niche hashtags
  • Community-related hashtags
  • Location hashtags

When to use hashtags

The best moments to effectively use a hashtag on Instagram to promote your brand and products are:

  • Promotions
  • Events
  • Contests
  • Product launches
  • Career opportunities
  • Cross-channel discussions t0 generate traffic to your hashtag or even get your hashtag trending
  • Targeting a specific group of people on Instagram

5. Ask questions

Encourage people to comment on their own life experiences, and you might be surprised. Also, this may help you with new content ideas.

Be more present, and respond to your followers. In this way, it seems like a live conversation, and they will fell part of your story. Make your followers part of your brand's story.

This is an example of a question used in an Instagram caption

6. Include a call-to-action

To create a call-to-action in your Instagram caption, you just need to ask your followers to do something after reading your caption.

A good CTA creates conversations both inside and outside Instagram. You can start by asking questions, invite your audience to click the link in bio, to buy a product, tag a friend or to use a branded hashtag.

You should also consider turning your call-to-action into a question, using the 5 W’s - who, what, where, when, and why - is a great way to encourage your followers to comment.

Here is an example of a CTA included in an Instagram caption.

7. Bonus: examples of cool Instagram captions

Depending on the niche you’re working on, creating some awesome Instagram captions for your business posts may become a bit of a challenge.

That’s why I’ve put together a list of some of the most cool and loved Instagram captions for brands for the travel & fmcg - food industries, for those moments when you may lack inspiration.

Travel industry

  • Targeting a specific group of people on Instagram
  • We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.
  • Vacation mode: On.
  • Life is better in flip-flops.
  • Seas the day!
  • Vacation state of mind.
  • Sunshine is the best medicine!
  • Paradise isn’t a place; it’s a feeling!
  • Ocean air, salty hair.
  • High tides and good vibes.
  • Everyone should believe in something; I believe in going to the beach.
  • Home away from home.
  • Salt in the air. Sand in my hair.
  • The only trip you will regret is the one you didn’t take!
  • Wander often, wonder always!
  • Work. Save. Travel. Repeat.
  • Adventure, here we come!
  • Life is better with the sand between your toes.
  • It’s not polite to keep a vacation waiting.
  • The only vacation you’ll ever regret is the one you don’t take!
  • BEACH: Best Escape Anyone Can Have
  • Go to the place where you feel most alive!
  • By getting lost in nature, you get closer to finding yourself!
  • If you’re looking for heaven on earth, step outside!
  • The mountains call to me.
  • If you’re looking for beauty, you’ll find it in nature.
  • Wherever you go, leave a trail!

FMCG - food

  • All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and again doesn’t hurt.
  • If you are not supposed to have midnight snacks, then why is there a light in the fridge?
  • I followed my heart and it led me to the fridge.
  • Life is a combination of magic and pasta.
  • Avocadorable.
  • Lettuce celebrate!
  • Good food, good mood!
  • Don’t be upsetti, eat some spaghetti!
  • Waffles are just pancakes with abs!
  • When you’re downie eat a brownie!
  • Pasta la vista baby!
  • You can’t live a full life on an empty stomach!
  • Hocus pocus I need coffee to focus!
  • Life is better with a coffee in hand!
  • Feeling depresso without my espresso!
  • Too much Monday not enough coffee.
  • When things go wrong, coffee helps!

Final thought

If you want to be successful on Instagram, then you need to reconsider your Instagram captions and follow the steps described here to boost your engagement rates.

There are a lot of ideas of high content, make yours to be liked, shared and commented if you want to transform your account - be visible.


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Elena Cucu

Elena Cucu

Content Writer @ Socialinsider

Mixing the words with the data is how a digital marketer should play the game of brands. And that’s me, a driven-born digital storyteller!