How to write perfect Instagram Captions every time

6 minutes
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Hi there! If you somehow stumbled on this post, I guess you want to know how to write perfect Instagram captions.

and I believe you are either:

  1. New to Instagram – Hi! Let’s connect:@alleceambur
  2. Think that writing captions is HARD (*spoiler – It’s not!)
  3. Looking for new ideas/tips on how to write perfect Instagram captions
  4. or you’ve been using the “Kardashian” method of posting single emojis like “🍑” and didn’t get any engagement

Let me know in the comments which scenario describes you best.

The reality is, unless you are a celebrity/popular influencer, you need to be strategic with your captions!

Even more so when you are in those early stages of growth 1 – 6 month old business.

Honestly, I spend a lot of time each month planning and writing Instagram captions – not just for my own page, but also for clients from different industries.

And … one of my main struggles is actually educating my clients that “CAPTIONS ARE IMPORTANT”! and that “a short caption” will not help you build engagement or long term growth.

So, why is writing Instagram captions so important? 

  • Instagram captions are a communication tool: you can share your promotions, discounts, latest news, events details, etc.
  • People love reading stories: it creates an emotional connection and builds trust in your brand.
  • Create engagement: you can ask audience questions and turn it into a two-way communication tool. 
  • Directs your followers to take action: want your followers to “buy”, click on your website, send you and email?

Now that you know Instagram captions are important marketing tools, you probably want to learn a few tips & tricks on how to write killer captions.

Here’s how to write perfect Instagram captions every time

Step 1: Grab attention with your caption headline

Your headline (first line) will encourage your readers to click on your post and read more.

There are a few ways you can start your post:

Grab attention

Examples: “Exclusive Offer!”, “FREE ….”, “GIVEAWAY”, “It’s not too late to ….”

Spark curiosity

Examples: “SHOCKED! Clear skin after just 1 use!”, “Thailand’s best kept SECRET is …”

For this post, I went for a catchy and intriguing statement.

Trigger an emotional response

Examples: “Are you proud to be American?”, “My parents don’t support my dreams”, or “Let’s talk online bullies!”.

Share statistics

Examples: “80% of businesses are failing due to poor strategy”, “60% of Americans use Instagram daily”, or “6 in 10 people in China prefer tea over coffee”.

Step 2. Include a call-to-action (CTA) or ask a question in your Instagram caption to encourage engagement

It’s no secret that IG favours posts with high engagement -> assumes people are interested in your content and it will categorise your content in the “trending zone” – aka. the ideal place you want to reach with every IG post.

So how to increase your post engagement?

You will need to master 2 types of calls-to-action: engagement CTA and conversion CTA.

(I explain the difference between these in this article)

Examples of calls to action:

“Click the link in bio”

“Leave a comment”

“Double-tap if you agree”

“Tag a friend who needs to hear this”

“Comment to enter my giveaway”

Step 3. Format your Instagram captions with line breaks so it’s easy to read

The way you format your text on Instagram it’s important.

A long caption can usually keep your audience longer on your page – but remember that people’s attention span is really short.

So, the best strategy here is to keep your captions short, and format your text with emojis & line breaks.

  • Format your text: you can use bold, italic, ALL CAPS to emphasise your message.
  • Add line breaks between paragraphs to make it easier to read, because its really a daunting task reading a 100 words block of text on a phone.
  • Use emojis to replace some words, or just to give your text some character.
If your captions are long (mini-blog style), I would advise adding generous line breaks & emojis for a more interesting to read post.

Step 4. Use trending hashtags in your Instagram captions

Here are my tips on how to write a perfect instagram caption that your audience will engage with!

An Instagram caption will never be complete without these babies: hashtags.

Some people like to use them in the caption, others prefer to post them in a separate comment.

I like to keep them at the end of my caption.

What are hashtags? Read this article to find out more.

If you are familiar with hashtags, you know they help your content to be seen by more people.

So, here are some guidelines I follow when it comes to using hashtags in captions:

  • Research 30 hashtags specific to your audience using the Instagram search tool
  • Pick smaller and niche hashtags (hashtags < 50k posts work best for small accounts, with <1k followers)
  • Avoid using general hashtags or those > 10 mil (#love, #car #girl … etc)
  • Create long-tail variations of keywords (eg. #smallbusinesswoman, #onlinemarketingsuccess)
  • Add your location in your keywords to reach a local audience (eg. #londonbarbershop #melbournehairsalon)
  • Experiment with new hashtags, but keep 50-70% of your hashtags consistent

Step 5. Create 3-5 caption templates that you can modify

Ideally, your captions should be concentrated around 1 – 3 themes.

Because your sales posts are different than educational post and they require a different approach when writing captions.

The most popular content themes for businesses are:

  • Motivational post
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Personal stories
  • Educational posts
  • Promotional post
  • Entertaining post
  • Announcement post

Now I thought you’d like to see an example.

So, here are my Instagram content themes and how I write each caption:

#1. educational posts – I keep the captions short because I write most of the text in the carousel post

#2. inspirational posts – These are inspirational or motivational quotes. With these type of post I like to ask my audience a question and invite them to share/comment

#3. personal stories – these are posts where I share a photo of myself and tell a personal story to evoke an emotional response from my followers. I write these types of posts like a mini-blog style with paragraphs or bullet points

If you want to learn more about content themes and creating engaging content, read this article.

Step 6: Proofread your Instagram captions and ensure they are:

  • in line with your brand
  • encourage the reader to take an action
  • easy to read – formatted with line breaks
  • educating, inspiring, entertaining or adding value to the reader?

Download my FREE Copywriting for Social Media Guide and start writing perfect Instagram captions