9 Tricks to Craft the Perfect Instagram Caption

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What was once a fun way to share poorly-filtered images has turned into a global social media tycoon. With 500 million active users a day (and growing) Instagram is a powerhouse.

As a result, brands, influencers, and freelancers alike work tirelessly to attract the attention of these 500-plus million users. To do so, pair your visual content with quality Instagram captions.

Crafting the perfect Instagram caption is both an art and a science. To gain authentic engagement from fans via your caption, you’ll need to tap into your strategic and creative sides. And, you’ll want to keep these nine copywriting tricks in mind.

1. Know Thy Audience

If you learn anything from this article, it’s to have a comprehensive understanding of your audience. You can’t create an Instagram caption that appeals to and drives your fans to act if you have no idea what they want or need from you.

For example, if you write captions geared toward one demographic but your audience is another, you’ll miss the mark. Study your account’s Instagram analytics to learn more about your audience. Keep in mind Instagram only allows business accounts to have access to profile and content analytics.

2. Understand Your Audience Reactions

Part of knowing your audience includes understanding what types of content and copywriting to which they respond best. This will take time and a bit of experimenting to nail down.

Try exploring different tones of voice, use of emojis, caption formats, language preferences, and topics.

Once you’ve found the secret formula for your Instagram captions, roll with it … but also keep the rest of our caption tips in mind, too!

3. Keep Details at the Front

Instagram captions are truncated after about 125 characters. Meaning the important details must be at the forefront of your content.

Instagram influencers often use phrases like “GIVEAWAY,” “Story Time,” or “New Blog Post” at the beginning of their captions. This intriguing copy entices fans to click the caption and read more, thus interacting further within the content.

Or, get creative and use clever copywriting to convince fans to read more of your Instagram caption. For instance, ask a question or tell a story which leads fans to want to know more.

4. Remember Your Copywriting Rules

When coming up with clever captions, basic copywriting rules like benefits versus features, AIDA, and more will come in handy as you work to write catchy Instagram captions. Don’t throw them out the window just because it’s a social media platform.

5. Use Emojis

A study by Quintly discovered Instagram posts using at least one emoji receive 47.7 percent more interactions per post than those without.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with emojis; however, too many can throw off the balance and flow of your captions. If you experiment and find your audience reacts better to posts with multiple emojis, then have at it!

6. Consider the Length of Your Caption

You may have seen the recent trend in lengthy Instagram captions on your personal feed. Instagram allows users up to 2,200 characters in a single caption. However, are these enormous captions the right tactic for your posts?

While it all depends on your particular audience, experts recommend limiting your captions to a maximum of 150 characters. Remember, captions are cut off at around 125 characters, so keep the important info at the beginning.

7. Use Hashtags

In addition to helping interested fans find your Instagram posts, hashtags also help craft the perfect caption. Social media professionals recommend using anywhere from five to 10 related hashtags in a post.

If you can’t organically use a hashtag in your caption, you can add them in a comment or at the end of your writing. This ensures your caption isn’t spammed with too many hashtags and doesn’t interrupt a user’s experience with the copy.

8. Include a Call-to-Action (CTA)

Don’t assume your audience knows what you want them to do!

If the intent of your Instagram post is to drive users to take a specific action, guide them to it. Examples of common Instagram calls-to-action include:

  1. Directing fans to click the link in your bio.

  2. Tagging friends in the comments.

  3. Watching IGTV or Instagram Stories content.

  4. Purchasing a product with Instagram’s shoppable posts.

Make sure your caption includes a CTA, especially as part of a larger marketing or promotional campaign.

9. Disclose Sponsorships, Affiliations, or Endorsements

If you are an influencer being compensated for coming up with an Instagram caption as part of a brand’s campaign, you must disclose this endorsement in the caption.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires influencers to clearly state and disclose this partnership within the post’s caption. Should you fail to do so, you may face a fine or other consequence.

Whether your audience likes witty copy or full-length story captions, keep these tips in mind while writing your Instagram captions.

Summary

Crafting the perfect combination of art and writing is both an art and a science. It isn't enough to have a captivating photo—you should have a fascinating caption as well. Knowing your audience well is one way to achieve this, but you also need to know Instagram rules. Rules such as character count, number of hashtags and emojis, and what to choose as your CTA are important. You also have to disclose if an influencer is helping to promote your products or services.

Keeping all these rules and tricks in mind while you write your Instagram caption could be overwhelming. If you would rather leave the writing of your Instagram copy to an expert, you can hire a copywriter.

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