How to Write Engaging Instagram Captions

How to Write Engaging Instagram Captions

If you aren’t familiar with Instagram, you might think that
the key to capturing your followers’ attention are the images you

Photo-shopped to perfection, bright eye-popping titles arranged
in an intricate puzzle-like theme.

Yes, you are right, visuals (imagery, videos) play an important
role in stopping someone casually scrolling through their
Instagram feed. But what makes your audience leave a
comment on your post is the way you write your Instagram

So, how do you craft the most engaging Instagram caption? What
triggers people to leave a comment, share, or save your post? And
what is the best length for a caption?

In this post, I’m going to show you how to write captions that
can compete with the likes of top brands like Starbucks, ABH, and
influencers like Jenna Kutcher and Victoria Lipovetsky.

But before we jump into the tips, let’s talk about the
Instagram algorithm.

What is Instagram engagement?

Engagement is an important performance
indicator marketers use to determine whether an Instagram account
is successful.

Why? Because the Instagram algorithm prioritizes engagement. The
number of people who see your content depends on the number of
people that engage with your post.

More engagement, more chances for your future posts to be
discovered by new people.

The engagement rate is calculated by looking at
your total post interactions and dividing that by your total number
of followers.

Multiply that figure by 100% to get a percentage. For example,
if your post has 41 likes, 12 comments, 1 share, and 6 saves and
you have 1000 followers, your engagement rate is 6%.

The quickest way to get your engagement rate is to use an
app, as they automatically calculate each post’s
engagement rate for you.

Engagement rate (ER) formula:

ER = Total post interactions / total no. of followers *

Total post interactions: likes, comments, shares, saves

Low: <1%

Average: 1% to 3%

High: 3% – 6%

Very High: > 6%

Why Instagram captions are important?

  1. Captions complete your post. Images alone
    couldn’t express your brand personality. Your captions complement
    the visuals and help you tell your story in a unique voice.
  2. Captions open new doors for engagement with your
    You can ask questions, get to know your
    audience, describe your product features, or share personal
  3. Captions help grow your engagement rate.
    Better engagement, a higher chance for your future posts to be seen
    by more people.

Now that you understand the importance of captions in boosting
engagement, we can dive into the caption writing tips.

How to write engaging Instagram captions 1. Grab attention with the
first line

Write the most important information in your first line, before
it gets truncated.

Put your keywords here and use this space to build a desire for
people to click on the “…” to read more.

A well-written headline should not only catch people’s
attention but also convince them to read your caption.

Here are some examples:

In this post from @anastasiabeverlyhills, she keeps
the first line simple and gets straight to the point. By
summarising the “essence” of the post they let their followers
know exactly what to expect – a blue and yellow eyeshadow look
tutorial. Simple and effective.

Writing Instagram Captions - Image 1

In this post from
, she teases the audience with the first
line. By using words like “my Instagram secret” she sparks
curiosity and one will only learn the secret after reading the full

Writing Instagram Captions - Image 2

2. Use emotion to connect with your followers

Now that you’ve got your reader’s attention, you need to
connect with them in an emotional way. Studies have shown that
people engage with social posts that are relatable. A great way is
to use storytelling.

Jenna Kutcher is notorious for using emotional
stories to connect with her audience. She writes her captions as
she would speak to a friend, using a lot of “I” and “mine”,
“our” that make her readers feel as if they’re part of her

Stories of transformation, overcoming challenges, and growing
are some of her most engaging captions out there. Simply put,
emotional captions are engaging because our brain reacts better to
stories than to facts.

Writing Instagram Captions - Image 3

3. Ask questions to encourage engagement

Asking your audience questions or directing them to leave a
comment is one of the fun ways to get more people to interact with
your Instagram posts.

Fashion influencer @valerialipvetsky asks her followers to choose their
favorite outfit from a list of 1- 6 images. This is a very easy and
effective tactic to get more comments: people are more likely to
type a single number or an emoji “1†instead of leaving a long

Writing Instagram Captions - Image 4

If you want to get to know your audience better, you can ask for
a personalized answer. Hubspot builds engagement in this post
by including the “we want to know from you†phrase. This makes
it more personal and people feel their opinion counts.

Writing Instagram Captions - Image 5

Some other ideas:

  • Ask for feedback on your product/service
  • Simple “yes or no†/ “a or b†polls
  • Choose your favorite option 1, 2, 3 or 4
  • Get your customer to share their opinion
  • Tag a friend challenge
  • Ask your followers to guess a fact about yourself/your
  • Leave a comment for a chance to get featured

4. Include relevant hashtags for 12.6% more engagement

Your caption would not be complete without a set of relevant

According to research, posts with at least 1 hashtag get 12.6%
more engagement.

If you aren’t sure what hashtags to use, use the Instagram
search tool, and type your industry. From there, you’ll see
several recommended hashtags. Pick those that fit with your
branding and voice.

Another way is to use a word or hashtag generator tool to get ideas,
which you can then put into the Instagram search tool to find even

5. Steal a writing technique from the pros

Want to know how to write Instagram captions like a marketing

You can use the Attention-Interest-Desire-Action (AIDA) formula
as a guide. Why is this effective? Because it has a simple
structure that has been proven to work on social media.

Let’s look at a post from

Attention: Vanessa starts her post with a
question that grabs her followers’ attention “why sales calls
are unsuccessfulâ€. If you were a coach you’d probably have this
issue as well.

Interest: Next, she builds interest by touching
on the negative impacts arising from this issue. For example, if
your calls are unsuccessful, you’ll also have to deal with a, b,
and c effects. A bit of drama in this section should create a
climax for the next step. 

Writing Instagram Captions - Image 6

Desire: This is where you come in with your
solution that can solve the problems highlighted in your previous
section. Vanessa introduces her BGA program as the ultimate
solution. You could also show social proof, before and after
transformations or any unique features of your product.

Action: Finally, end your caption with a
call-to-action. This is very important because you need to direct
your reader to take the next step (action). You can ask your
followers to click on the link in your bio (like Vanessa did in
this post), leave a comment, buy a product, or join your Facebook

Writing Instagram Captions - Image 7

6. Don’t forget your call-to-action (CTA)

It’s not enough to have a caption that is so well written and
oozes of value if you forget to end it with an engagement CTA.

You’d think that if someone likes your content they’ll
naturally leave a comment. Sometimes, your followers need a little
“pushâ€. Other times, they don’t know if you want them to
leave a comment.

So, to avoid having a person guess whether you’re open to
receive a comment, ask your followers directly to either leave a
comment, share, tag, or save your post for later.
shared this checklist-style post
that is informative and people
would want to save it and come back to it later.

Writing Instagram Captions - Image 8

Tip: Ask your followers to save or share your
post! The number of saves and shares adds up to your engagement

7. Longer or shorter captions?

Did you know that Instagram allows you to use up to 2,200
characters? That’s roughly about 200 words.

But will writing longer captions get you more engagement? The
answer lies in the algorithm. Longer captions, take more time to
read, and thus, people spend more time on your post. And the longer
time you get people to spend on your post, the better your post

It’s no wonder that since 2019 brands started writing longer
captions, using full sentences instead of short quotes.

In this post from
they make full use of the character limit to
share a mini-blog post.

Writing Instagram Captions - Image 9

Some even continued their caption in the comments.

Writing Instagram Captions - Image 10

But how do you know when to stop?

According to a study
by and Fohr
, the longer the caption the better the
engagement rate. Captions between 500 – 1000 characters had the
highest engagement. That’s about 65 – 75 words.

Writing Instagram Captions - Image 11

8. Format your Instagram captions with line breaks

Instagram is a visual platform and writing a solid block of
unformatted text isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing not to
mention it makes reading a headache.

Use line breaks and emojis to format your captions into
individual paragraphs that are easy to read. Writing your hashtags
in the first comment will also make your caption look neat and less

Writing Instagram Captions - Image 12

Wrapping up

When it comes to Instagram, no matter how much you struggle to
beat Instagram’s latest algorithm, remember that one important
metric always stays the same: engagement.

The more engagement you have, the better potential for you and
your brand to grow. Use the tips we shared in this post to write
captions that attract your followers and convince them to interact
with your post.

Guest author: Alle Ceambur is a Content
Marketing Specialist and Lead Writer on Share My Insights blog.
She’s passionate about helping start-ups and loves sharing her
best social media marketing tips in her articles. Her desire to
travel the world pushed her to resign her job in a top consulting
firm, and become an entrepreneur. She’s currently living and
exploring South-East Asia while running her Instagram
consulting business

The post How to Write Engaging Instagram Captions appeared
first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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How to Write Engaging Instagram Captions