Are Captions Important for Engagement on Instagram?
Captions are a great way to tell your Instagram followers what your photo is all about. It does more than that, though.
Did you know that your Instagram captions are a great marketing tool for driving engagement? Find out why you need captions and some tips to create ones with that “wow” factor.
Why Do You Need Instagram Captions?
In the past, you may have relied on “likes” to gauge engagement for your pictures. But that doesn’t get people talking, does it? To truly engage your followers, you need to start a conversation, and a caption is a great way to do it.
Also, Instagram doesn’t allow users to filter followers to outside links. Your caption is the best way to tell them to check out your profile page and website information.
Do you need a caption boost? Generally, if you see an engagement rate between 3% and 6%, you can pat yourself on the back. You’re in good shape. Anything above that is phenomenal. If you fall below the 3% threshold, you may need to rethink your Instagram strategy.
Four Tips to Create Great Captions
Do you want to spark more conversations under your photos and boost your followers’ engagement? Connect with your audience and get a higher ranking on the platform with these caption tips.
1. Stay True to Your Brand
First, consistency is critical when sending messages to the rest of the world. That’s true whether you have a business profile and brand or a personal profile for your friends and loved ones.
Create a voice that represents who you want others to see. When you find the right voice, it can also help you attract the right followers.
2. Rewrite Until It’s Right
As any good writer knows, sometimes the best ideas don’t come out in the first draft. Or the second. Or even the third.
Don’t feel pressured to post the first ideas that come to mind. Instead, let those creative juices flow until you get the exact message you want to share.
3. Reel Them In with Storytelling
When you think of stories, you may think of long posts, but you can still tell a story in a few simple sentences. Let your audience know what’s happening in the photo. Get them invested in the picture and let them in behind the scenes.
Remember, though, that Instagram only allows for 2200 characters per caption, and longer captions get cut off in the feed.
Can you use the maximum characters allowed? Of course!
But if possible, lead with the key part of your message. Give the audience a reason to tap “more” in the first couple of lines of your caption.
4. Don’t Forget Your CTA
Now that you have your audience’s attention don’t forget to include a call to action. Your CTA takes followers from mere browsing into the realm of engagement. What do you want your audience to do?
There are a variety of CTA options to choose from, like commenting or clicking on your profile link. Instagram only allows users to include one external link, but you can direct people there to complete an action.
If you want people to read a blog post, direct them to your profile page to access the link. The same goes for freebie downloads and sign-up pages.
Of course, those are the common ways to use a CTA in a caption. But if your goal is to increase engagement, you can try more creative routes. For example, you can have the audience tag friends in the comments section to get more eyes on you and boost engagement. You can also encourage people to share your stuff in their Stories.
Contests and giveaways are also a great way to boost engagement with your audience. Or you can play a game or host a “challenge” to get your followers more involved. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you use actionable words that encourage the audience to react.
5. Use Emojis
If emojis aren’t part of your brand, you don’t have to use them. But they’re often the perfect way to get your current mood or brand personality across with a few simple, well-placed images. You don’t have to blast your audience with a page of emojis. Pick a few to point out the essential parts of your caption and have fun with them.
The Takeaway About Captions
Do you need to include captions with your photos? Not necessarily. But you’d also ignore one of the best tools at your disposal to increase audience engagement.
What type of captions do you enjoy reading? Tell us about it in the comments below.