Learning how to write the perfect Instagram captions is one of the most powerful things you can do as an eCommerce business owner. Instagram stands as one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, connecting countless companies to their consumers across various industries.
Around 72% of users say they make purchasing decisions based on something they saw on Instagram. This makes the platform much more valuable for online stores than any other social platform. But, of course, you need to know how to optimize each post to generate the best results from your Instagram campaign.
While great visuals and stunning photos are a must for effective Instagram content, it’s also important not to underestimate the potential of Instagram captions. The right captions have the potential to boost your website traffic, generate engagement, and strengthen connections with your audience.
What Makes A Great Instagram Caption?
The best Instagram captions are eye-catching, informative, and engaging pieces of text. They add context and personality to your posts while encouraging followers to act.
Strong copy in your caption can showcase your company’s unique tone of voice while forming meaningful connections with your target audience. For instance, @MilkMakeup uses their captions to share their powerful stance on crucial social movements:
Captions provide information about the products or services you’re selling, help customers to make better purchasing decisions, and even boost your ranking with the Instagram algorithm.
Your posts are more likely to be served to customers if they generate high engagement. Captions boost engagement by asking questions, inspiring your audience, and delivering useful information.
While the exact nature of an amazing Instagram caption will vary depending on the brand, the best solutions are usually:
- Instantly engaging: A strong first line draws your audience in.
- Emotional: They connect with your audience’s feelings and values.
- Provocative: They answer questions or encourage engagement.
- Practical: They include a call-to-action to tell users what to do next.
- Personality driven: Instagram captions should offer an insight into your company.
- Optimized: The best captions include hashtags and @mentions to boost visibility.
5 Steps For Writing Great Instagram Captions
So, how do you write the best possible Instagram captions yourself?
Let’s find out.
1. Make The First Sentence Count
The first sentence of your Instagram caption makes all the difference when engaging your audience. After a couple of lines of text, Instagram will automatically hide your caption between a “More” link. This means you need to say something special to keep people reading.
Leading with a powerful hook ensures your readers want to keep reading. For instance, Airbnb’s captions often start with a few words or a quick phrase designed to capture the audience’s attention.
You can improve your chances of an engaging first sentence in your Instagram captions by:
- Asking a question, such as: “What do you think about….”
- Sharing a statistic: Give users information about your product or industry
- Keeping it brief: Short and catchy sentences are more likely to boost engagement
2. Include A CTA In Every Caption
Captions don’t just add context to your photos and videos and Instagram; they’re also inspirational tools intended to motivate your customers to do something. This means you need to think about what you want your users to do whenever you’re writing a caption.
Determine whether you want your followers to visit your store, comment on your post, or just @mention to draw more attention to your profile. You can add a simple CTA like “shop now on (your website) “to increase your sales chances.
Some of the most common CTAs to try include:
- Check out our bio link to learn more
- Tag a friend (to increase your reach)
- Share your photo on @brandedhashtag
- Leave a comment (to answer a question)
3. Use Hashtags
Hashtags are one of the most important tools to leverage in your Instagram captions. They give depth to your content, add context, and significantly improve your chances of being found by potential followers. In addition, hashtags function like keywords on Instagram to give your post more trackability.
The most common way to use hashtags in captions is at the end of the post. This allows you to hide your tags under the “More” tab and keep the page looking clean. However, you can also sprinkle the occasional hashtag throughout the content.
To make the most of your hashtag strategy, mixing things up is also a good idea. Don’t just use the same old trending hashtags. Instead, focus on more niche tags specific to your target audience, like #organiccosmetics instead of just #cosmetics.
It would be best if you also considered a branded hashtag to help people promote your business with user-generated content. A branded hashtag can include just the name of your company or product, and users can leverage it whenever they post something related to your brand.
4. Tell A Story
As mentioned above, Instagram captions are an excellent way to showcase your personality and give customers an insight into the principal values of your brand. With that in mind, they shouldn’t be bland or neutral statements. Instead, they need to connect with your audience on an emotional level.
A great caption will tell a story, providing an insight into the photo’s background, where it came from, or how it was inspired. Describe the sounds, sights, and emotions experienced by the people there, and don’t be afraid to get a little poetic.
If you need an excellent insight into how powerful storytelling can be, look at the @NatGeo Instagram page. Every post comes with a fantastic story connected to it, ideal for reaching customers on an emotional level.
5. Experiment With Styles
Sometimes, finding the right caption takes a little experimentation. When posting on Instagram, you should have a strategy for constantly testing different campaigns and tracking your results in terms of engagement.
You might find adding more emojis to your content is a good way to showcase your playful and youthful side. Alternatively, you might find your customers prefer it when you stick to shorter captions rather than long paragraphs.
While finding a consistent voice for your social media content is important, it’s also ok to conduct some tests to see what works best.
3 Brands That Have Great Instagram Captions
We’ve already looked at a few great caption examples throughout this article, but if you need a little more inspiration, there are plenty of great companies.
Non-profit companies are often excellent at showcasing the value of emotional, meaningful captions capable of telling a great story. For example, the RSPCA official account on Instagram introduces us to the various creatures it helps to save with a fun and playful tone of voice.
Not only do these captions have a lot of emotion in them, but they’re also packed with personality due to the use of extra emojis. The company is also fantastic at infusing its posts with the right hashtags. With a combination of personality and emotional storytelling, the RSPCA successfully captures plenty of engagement from its target audience.
- Colourpop Cosmetics
Colourpop cosmetics knows exactly how to talk to its target audience. They don’t just post pictures without any context but instead provide lists of the products you’re looking at, so you can more easily buy the items from the company’s store.
Colourpop’s Instagram captions are also brimming with personality, using fun puns and capital letters to connect with their audience. There is plenty of emojis in action here, as well as @mentions, call-to-action statements, and hashtags.
- Soko Glam
Like many leading eCommerce companies on Instagram, Soko Glam focuses on being informative, personality-driven, and engaging with its Instagram captions. The company ensures customers get all the information they need from each caption, with lists of the products they’re displaying, making it easier for clients to find the items they want.
Soko Glam encourages its customers to act with targeted CTA statements and uses emojis to keep captions looking fun and bright. The company also knows how to experiment with hashtags and often uses a combination of different tags in each post.
Kickstart Your Instagram Caption Strategy
Instagram captions are one of the most valuable tools in any social media strategy, but growing eCommerce brands often overlook them. While making sure your content stands out visually on Instagram is important, don’t forget that the right captions also make a huge impact.
Experiment with your captions to see which strategies are most likely to generate the best engagement and results.