A caption on Instagram is a description accompanying a photo or video in your feed. Everyone who sees your photo or video will see the description at the same time. This description may contain text, mentions, hashtags and emojis and can be 2,200 characters long. A long description is cut off after three or four lines, but the user can click to see the rest of the text. You can place a URL in the description but it is not clickable,
which is why a good caption is so important.
A good caption provides context for your posts. The caption adds personality to your photo or video. It can inspire followers to take action, for example to follow you, like your posts, react or generate conversion to your website. A strong caption that attracts attention can result in your content gaining a better position on Instagram. When you manage to hold users’ attention for longer, Instagram considers it a more relevant and interesting post. Just make sure your caption isn’t too long! Captions that are too long may also cause you to lose your audience’s attention.
How to create interesting, appealing captions.
Place the most interesting and important information at the beginning of your caption. This triggers the reader to read your caption. A post that attracts attention and is viewed for a longer period of time gains a better position. In turn, this ensures that more users view the post and increasing numbers of users come into contact with your content.
Find out which types of content your audience likes and appreciates. If you don’t know your audience well enough yet, experiment with different types of content and captions to find out what works. That allows you to continue serving your audience effectively in the future.
Add a call to action in the caption in order to encourage your audience to take action. This encourages engagement from your audience. Increased engagement ensures that more users view your content, while also increasing the accessibility of your content. Calls to action encourage your audience to take action and increase interaction. There are a number of ways you can add a call to action:
- Ask a question in the caption.
- Ask for a comment on your photo or video.
- Organise a giveaway.
- Refer to the clickable link in your bio by mentioning ‘link in bio’. In doing so, you convert your audience to your website. Change the link in your post if necessary.
- Refer your audience to your Instagram story with ‘Check out my story’.
- Add hashtags!
Everything you need to know about using the right hashtags in your caption.
By adding hashtags to your caption, you can help users who are not yet following you to come into contact with your photos and videos. In fact, it’s the only way to increase your findability. We already explained this in our previous blog. If you haven’t already read it, we’ll bring you up to speed.
Hashtags are words or phrases with a # in front of them. Using hashtags, Instagram can sort all content by medium and efficiently display content that is the most relevant to the user. Adding relevant hashtags in the caption increases the reach of your post and increases findability for the audience.
We have some tips to help you come up with the right hashtags for your photos and videos. Let’s get started
- Hashtags improve findability, but that doesn’t mean you have to add as many different hashtags as possible. Only include relevant hashtags in your caption as that is the only way of attracting the attention of Instagram users who are genuinely interested in your content. That is the only way to increase your audience’s engagement.
- Research the best hashtags to use for your brand. Check out your favourite accounts and competitors that appeal to you from the industry you work in. Take a look at which hashtags they use and get inspired by going to the ‘Tags’ section in your Instagram account to see how popular a hashtag is. This section also contains suggestions for other related hashtags, or you could use a tool such as: Hastagify, Keyhole or Websta to help you find the right hashtags.
- Combine hashtags that are relevant to the post. You could use a combination of hashtags that describe the subject, location and industry, for example. Make sure your hashtags are relevant and specific.
- Use a combination of popular, commonly used hashtags and less popular hashtags. Popular hashtags could be #webshop with 1.3 million messages, #instagood with 979 million messages, #armcandy with 3.6 million messages and #ecommerce with 3.5 million messages. Popular hashtags are more familiar to Instagram users. The only downside of these hashtags is that your content has a big chance of getting lost among all of the other posts with this hashtag. Popular hashtags are often more general by nature and say little about the content. With a hashtag that is less popular but still relevant, your message stands out more and you can create a good context for your post. Your reach will increase automatically.
- You can put up to 30 hashtags in your caption. The more hashtags you use in a post, the more irrelevant hashtags there will be. However, your post will then reach more users and perhaps even generate more followers. The question is whether those followers are interested in your content. Just add four or five hashtags that are very relevant and specific to your niche. This will result in fewer but more interested followers. The decisions you make depend on the purpose of your post.
- Place hashtags at the end of your text. Hashtags serve a functional purpose and help categorise Instagram content. The text in your caption should entertain your audience or encourage them to action. Make sure the difference is clear and do not mix these two aims up.
- Create your own branded hashtags If you come up with your own hashtags that align with your webshop or industry, using them more often can help improve your brand recognition in the future. Adding them to every post and including them in your bio will increase the findability of your content. It’s even better when your customers start using these branded hashtags to refer to something they bought from you in their own photos and videos. We call this user-generated content and it helps promote your webshop and products for free! This has a positive effect on the reach, engagement and findability of your content. WIN – WIN!