On an app as visually focused as Instagram, the caption is often the last thing many creators think about.
But, knowing how to write Instagram captions is a vital tool. Your caption is your chance to attract your audience, encourage engagement, and establish your voice. This is your opportunity to stop your viewers in their endless scroll and show the Instagram algorithm that your content is worth viewing.
A well-built Instagram caption is THE most important tool in pleasing the omnipresent, omnipotent algorithm. But, do not fear the algorithm gods! Great captions are made using a simple formula.
Something Personal + Something Colorful + A Call To Action = A High-Quality Instagram Caption
If Instagram captions are something you are ready to improve, we are here to help.
Here are our top tips on how to write Instagram captions that skyrocket your engagement and please the algorithm gods.
Write Something Personal
Hannah from @ballerinafarm is a mom of six, a Julliard trained ballerina, Mrs. Utah 2021, and a cattle farmer. How do I know this? She uses Instagram as a platform to tell her story.
This is an example of a person who does not live a lush, glamorous lifestyle as many influencers do. She instead steals the hearts of her audience through her authentic voice and love for life.
Micro blogging is the best way to engage your audience. You have 2,200 characters available in an Instagram caption, USE THEM.
Algorithm tip: the longer someone looks at your post, the better your post will perform with the Instagram algorithm algorithm.
Someone viewing your post for a longer-than-average amount of time tells Instagram that your post is engaging and interesting. It will boost the perceived value of your post and put it higher in the feed.
Plus, writing about yourself gives your audience an opportunity to open up and engage with your post. You will notice a sharp spike in engagement, especially likes and comments.
Summary: Write something personal. Make it long and engaging.
The primary function of emojis is in the name – emotion. Where written language may fail to establish a particular emotion, emojis can further emphasize the intended feeling to a message.
Emoji usage is important because it:
- Breaks up the text for easier reading
- Emphasizes intended emotion
- Creates the desired atmosphere
- Adds color and imagery to the text
- Helps retain the attention of your audience
The queen of Instagram engagement, Vanessa Lau, is strategic in every emoji placement. Her emojis break up text, set a mood, and create color in her caption.
You can use emojis in the middle of sentences, as bullet point markers, at the end of paragraphs… wherever you want! Have fun with it!
Have A Clear Call To Action
A call to action is when your post asks your audience to perform an action. There are several kinds of call to action requests.
External – The call to action can take your viewer away from Instagram and onto another website or landing page.
Physical – The call to action can ask your user to physically do something. For example, a fitness influencer may ask her audience to take part in a push-up challenge.
Internal – The call to action can ask your user to perform an action within the Instagram platform. This usually looks like a request for viewers to share, like, or comment on the post.
The goal of marketing on Instagram almost always includes an audience to complete a call to action. Make sure your call to action is clear and easy to understand.
This post from @littlerivermag simply asks their viewers to choose a favorite photo from a photo shoot. This accomplishes two things:
1) This call to action allows their viewers to share their opinion and increase the post engagement. This makes the post rank higher in the algorithm and helps viewers feel as if they contributed their valuable opinion to the brand.
2) This call to action provides a better understanding of what their viewers preferred visually. This helps the brand take future strategic artistic decisions to best please their audience.
Algorithm Tip: Let your audience give their opinion. Most people follow a brand because it is appealing to them and they want to feel like they are a part of it. Asking an audience to give their opinion shows them that they can engage and interact with your brand. It makes them feel even more included.
Asking someone to comment, like, or share a post is a fairly easy request. A viewer can perform the action without taking additional steps or taking them away from the platform. This pleases the algorithm.
Beware Be careful when using a call to action that takes a viewer away from the platform. The Instagram algorithm penalizes accounts that lead people away. Before you lead people away with a call to action to your website, make sure your purpose is not to attract an Instagram following, but to instead attract website traffic.
Visual content is only half the formula.
Making sure your brand has a high-quality Instagram caption keeps your viewers engaged while boosting your placement in the platform’s algorithm.
Comment Below! What are your biggest struggles with writing Instagram captions?
2 thoughts on “How To Write Instagram Captions That Skyrocket Your Engagement And Please The Algorithm Gods”
As a writer, I’d have to say I have the reverse problems. My skills with visuals are pretty terrible, but I don’t shy away from the captions. Great post here though. Awesome pointers!
🖐 Hey, Stuart! I totally agree – quality visuals are difficult! I always found it interesting that such a visual platform is so relent on text. Writers still play a vital role in this increasingly visual world.
Thank you for the comment! Happy writing, my friend.