Here’s how you can write engaging Instagram captions quickly and efficiently.
Do you ever get frustrated when you have a strong image, but nothing to write for it? Do you feel like it blocks you from posting or limits your engagement? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Let’s face it, we can no longer get by with a simple emoji or hashtag for a copy. Now with the Instagram algorithm, we need engaging captions to create stronger connections with our audience and help our engagement rate through likes, comments, saves, or shares. Thus signaling Instagram’s algorithm will rank the post, push it out to a wider reach, or even the Explorer page.
Therefore, writing captions have become my biggest challenge, and sometimes holds me back from posting for days! I got so frustrated that I dove into researching how to write engaging Instagram captions quickly.
From my research, I created a formula that has now become my bible and actually helps write blog posts as well! These tools have helped me quickly write not only engaging captions but captions that provide value.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to completely change the way you work and improve your productivity. In addition to writing engaging Instagram captions, you will also learn how to carve your brand voice and become more organized with your account’s purpose.
Here We Go!
1. Know Your Purpose on Instagram
First and foremost, you need to define your niche and purpose on the platform. Having this understanding will help you write engaging Instagram captions quickly. You want your followers to know they can come to you because you are the authoritative voice on specific topics. (If you’ve already defined your purpose, move on to step 2)
How does this change your brand voice? Understanding and communicating your purpose on the platform will simultaneously build your brand. So in addition to your purpose, think about its values, style, and overall mission.
Still, needs some help? Try writing a mission statement for your account! This will helps you carve out its values and voice!
Once you define your purpose or niche, break them down into buckets. For instance, my purpose on Instagram is to stand for queer femme representation through fashion, beauty, and creativity. Additionally I’ve learned I have a large blogger/influencer following, so I share my knowledge of Social Media advice and strategy.
From my purpose, I was able to narrow them down to these topics: LGBTQ+ topics, fashion styling and beauty, and social media advice and tips. Breaking down my purpose into buckets will help me organize my copy for the week and touch on all these points that I’m extremely passionate about it.
2. Topic Boosters To Structure The Caption
Topic boosters are great ways to kick-start your brainstorming. These are questions and starting points that’ll enable your storytelling skills to flourish. It’s imperative to incorporate storytelling when you write engaging instagram captions to build a loyal following.
Once you have your purpose buckets identified, you can pull from your topic ideas. Here are a few below for you to jot down!
- A success story
- The time when you struggled and how you overcame it
- Product review
- Industry tip/advice
- Before and after
- Something you’ve experienced or learned recently
- Re-introduce yourself
- Styling Tip
- Recalling a moment and how it made you feel
- A step-by-step tutorial
- Introduce a challenge
Have these set aside when you begin to write captions. Occasionally, I start with one and end up writing something completely different! These are sure-fire ways to get your brain working.
3. Providing Value
Now that you have your purpose and topic in mind, let’s focus on the story bridge that’ll provide value to your followers.
No matter how much time you put into your captions if it doesn’t provide value to your follower than it might not have a strong overall impact. At the end of the day, your follower wants to know how your content and caption can help them. So think of your captions as a service and how you can make a difference in someone’s day, job, or own social account.
Here are three categories your story bridge should fall in:
- Motivational – A motivational caption can in the form of aspirational and inspirational messaging. Think of an uplifting quote or a story of you overcoming a challenge. You’d be surprised how many people will relate and connect with you.
- Educational– Providing thoughtful information is always useful. Everyone wants to know how your content can help them. Educational captions can be in the form of tutorials, DIY’s, how-to’s, news updates, or opinions.
- Heartwarming, funny, enjoyable – Invoking emotion through laughter or a heartwarming message can add value to your follower. A funny post that I share with my best friend always puts me in a better mood!
After I build the story bridge or the meat and potatoes of the captions, I always ask myself, “Does this provide value?”
4. Attention-Grabbing First Line
Your first line should always be strong and eye-catching to influence your follower to read it.
Think about the last time you read a caption? What made you click into the post to read it? The first line must have been a good hook, huh?
This is a marketing ploy that marketers use all the time. So why not use it for your captions? Delivering a strong attention-grabbing first line is a sure-fire way to maintain your followers attention. So focus on making it personal, raw, and real.
Here are some examples:
- How I ended up in the ER
- I threw my phone against the wall
- Never thought I would ever say this, but here I am
- This simple trick drastically changed my Instagram engagement rate
- Here’s how I made $30K in three months online and you can too!
So put your marketing hat on and think about what would get someone to stop and read your caption. Is it the end result or just something raw that’ll intrigue the reader? Whatever you choose, I recommend to think about this after you have your story written. Therefore, you’re spending most of your energy on the storytelling aspect.
So now we have the topic, content that provides value, and click-worthy first line – it’s time to end with a call-to-action.
A call to action or CTA is a form of encouragement to influence an audience to complete a certain task. For instance, if your main goal of the caption is for readers to subscribe to an email or purchase a product.
Reminder: not all captions need a call to action. However, this is a great way to build your post’s engagement – even if it’s a simple “Double tap is you agree,” at the end of the story.
Here are some examples of CTA’s:
- Read your blog post
- Ask an easy question that doesn’t require much thinking, such as “What are your plans for Labor Day Weekend?”
- Watch your Youtube link
- Listen to your podcast
- Register for a course or sign up for a cause
- Save this post for future reference
- Share with a friend who will find this interesting
- Follow an account
- Teaser for an upcoming launch
- Buy a product/service
- Tag a friend who can relate or needs to hear this
No matter what the CTA is, write with your follower in mind.
6. Caption Comes First
What has really saved me since I began to take my captions more seriously is writing them in batches before I even have content.
I set aside one day out of the week to write my captions for the following week. This process allows me to be more productive and organized throughout the week. Plus, you never know what might come up, so it’s great that your captions are already prepared for you!
I recommend blocking off an hour a week to do this. Trust me, this really helps you week’s productivity.
7. More Tips!
Create an idea bank! I have one in my notes on my iPhone, as ideas always come to me at random times. Also, create a folder in your Saved section in Instagram for Copy inspiration. If I see a great caption, I save it in my Copy folder to reference at another time for future interpretations.
That’s it! I hope you find Instagram captions something worth putting time and effort into. Writing engaging Instagram captions are another form of storytelling and authenticity for your channel and a great way to build a loyal following.