Instagram Captions: The Breakdown

Established primarily as a photo-sharing app, it’s clear visuals reign supreme on Instagram. But while it’s true a photo is worth a thousand words, captions deserve just as much forethought and careful crafting if you want perpetual scrollers to stop and stay for a while. Here are a few ways you can make your captions shine.

Know who you’re talking to.

Who is your target audience? How old are they? What are they interested in? If you don’t speak the language of the group you’re targeting, it’s highly unlikely you’ll capture their attention. Do a little digging and determine the tone and voice you need to adopt in order to get the right eyes on your content.

Be authentic and conversational.

Instagram isn’t a place for stuffy corporate speak. It’s where consumers look for brands that are authentic, accessible, and entertaining. It’s ok to tone down the professionalism to come across as human – in fact, it’s expected. 

Get to the point.

Attention spans are dwindling in our digital age which means getting to the point quickly is key. Keep messaging short and sweet if possible, but if you’re set on creating longer-form Instagram captions, make sure to put all of the important, relevant information or CTAs at the beginning to ensure readers catch the important stuff before the 3-4 line cutoff. 

Think about engagement.

Writing good, actionable content is about your audience, not you. When you’re crafting Instagram captions, consider how you can speak to your audience in a way that encourages interaction. Ask a question or prompt them to tag someone in the comments – anything to get them to show they’re interested in what you’re saying.

Get creative. 

Creative copy paired with eye-catching imagery is the perfect combo to create loyal followers. Consider adding humor, wit, or inspiration to your caption to leave a lasting impression – and maybe even encourage a share. 

Consider a CTA.

Not every caption requires a call to action – in fact, brands can come across as too robotic and self-serving if the focus is always on the CTA. However, there are plenty of times when it’s appropriate to encourage a next step or point to additional information. Decide on a strategic plan for both where you want to direct and how you can creatively place that in the caption.

By following this checklist, you can create Instagram captions that keep wandering eyes on your content for longer and maximize the impact of your imagery. And who doesn’t want that?

For more Smarty copywriting advice find out our Top 10 Tips for Writing Killer Content!

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