Instagram is an image and video-sharing network that allows users to support posts with amazing captions. However, a surprisingly large number of marketers still don’t use this feature to the fullest extent.

A report shows that over 70% of the US businesses are already active on Instagram, but some of them focus almost entirely on visual elements of the content. Given the fact that users upload more than 100 million photos every day, it is clear that you can hardly get your foot in the door if you don’t use textual descriptions as content boosters.

But how do you create standout captions? Do you know the best techniques to craft attractive pieces of text? If you are not really sure about it, keep reading our post to learn seven ways how to write engaging Instagram captions.

A Brief Introduction to Instagram Captions

Before we show you seven ways to make better Instagram captions, we want to discuss this concept briefly and mention some of its major features.

Let us begin with a definition: according to social media analysts at AssignmentMasters, a caption is a textual description of an Instagram post that explains the content and makes it more meaningful or appealing. The goal of a caption is to add context to the post and make the photo or video fully relevant to the target audience.

Instagram captions can contain up to 2,200 characters, which is more than enough to write a solid piece of text and evoke users’ curiosity. They can also include up to 30 hashtags.

As such, textual descriptions can significantly improve Instagram content and bring you lots of benefits. The most important advantages of adding captions to the posts are these:

  • Contextual relevance: An image alone is usually not enough to transfer the message in its entirety. That’s why you need captions to add a broader context to the posts.
  • Raise awareness: Instagram appreciates accounts with wide-reaching posts, but you can hardly raise awareness using visual content exclusively. On the contrary, the best way to raise awareness is to combine the two formats.
  • Show brand personality: Captions also give you the chance to show the style, vision, and personality of the brand.
  • Drive engagement: Videos and photos are just a starting point, but captions are those secret ingredients that really inspire users to engage.

7 Tactics to Create Outstanding Instagram Captions

You probably know all the other caption-related details already, so we don’t want to beat around the bush any further. Instead, let’s focus on what really matters here and check out seven tactics that can help you to write outstanding Instagram captions.

Keep it concise

We mentioned already that textual descriptions of Instagram posts can have more than two thousand characters, but it doesn’t mean that you have to go for the maximum. On the contrary, the number one rule of Instagram caption writing is to keep the text short and concise. What makes it so important?

Instagram displays only a first few lines of the caption, so followers who want to read on must click “more” to see the rest of the text. This is why content creators at Papersowl Reviews suggest using the inverted pyramid technique while creating Instagram photo descriptions.

The inverted pyramid is a well-known writing style used primarily by journalists who want to prioritize information and communicate the fundamental messages straight away. You should follow the same pattern with Instagram captions – indicate the most important points instantly to make sure that the audience can receive your message.

Ask a question

What do you do when you want to find something out? You probably ask someone a question – your friend, a colleague, or even Google.

The same logic applies to Instagram marketing – ask your fans a question if you want to learn their opinion about a certain topic. This is by far the best and the easiest way to keep the followers engaged and willing to interact with your content.

There are all sorts of questions to be asked here. For instance, you can add a binary question to the caption and let the fans decide which product color is better, red or blue.

Another option is to post open-ended questions and let the users speak their minds freely. That way, you can make them feel acknowledged and appreciated while learning a lot about customers’ preferences.

Use the right hashtags

Search engine optimization is based on keywords, while Instagram discoverability depends almost exclusively on hashtags. Therefore, the next tip is to carefully plan your hashtag strategy and use only the best options for each post.

The first advice is to come up with highly specific brand-related hashtags. That way, the audience will be able to recognize and identify your posts quickly. Secondly, don’t forget to analyze competitors and find hashtags that perform well in your niche.

Besides that, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to use trendy hashtags. This includes product launches, seasonal happenings, events, holidays, and other one-time hashtags.

Although Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags to one post, we strongly recommend you to select only the most relevant options. In a study of 100 top brands, their Instagram captions averaged 2.5 hashtags per post, which means that quality outperforms quantity.

Use the right emojis

Emojis cause a lot of debates among digital marketers since some of them believe that business accounts should not use this feature. However, we strongly disagree because Instagram and other social networks are developed with the purpose to relax online communication and make it friendlier. This is exactly why the number of marketing messages containing emojis grows by almost 800% annually.

The only real issue is how to use this Instagram feature in a way that can make the captions better and increase the visibility of your content. Instagram marketers at Best Essays believe using emojis is not a problem as long as they:

  • Perfectly correspond with the content you are publishing.
  • Have something to do with the brand itself.
  • Don’t become self-sufficient.

Tell your story

Storytelling is another incredibly powerful way to drive engagement among target users. Namely, Instagram fans don’t want you to write about sheer facts and product specifications. They want to hear a good story instead, which is your opportunity to step in and give fans a reason to take action.

The best solution is to use the 80/20 ratio: create only 20% of salesy captions, but save as much as 80% for posts that sound appealing. Analyze your target audience and learn what they want to see. It all depends on their lifestyle and personal values, but don’t be afraid to use humor and emotions in your captions.

For instance, Nike is already using the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the motive to publish brand-related stories. Every post in this series tells a special story, but each one has the ultimate goal, and that is to empower women.

Add a CTA

Even the most attractive story won’t inspire users to engage if you don’t tell them how to do it. That is exactly why you must add a call to action (CTA) to each one of your posts. Instagram captions give you many different options here: click a link in BIO, like, share, comment, tag a friend, follow us, call a number, and so on.

Keep in mind, however, that you should never add more than one CTA to Instagram captions. How come? Well, multiple options often make people confused and prevent them from taking any action. Since your goal is to drive engagement, you should make things as clear as possible and provide followers with one CTA option per caption.

Edit captions before publishing

This is probably the most annoying part of the work, but you must never publish a post before checking your captions. Even the smallest error can ruin your reputation, so make sure to edit all posts or use proofreading tools. If you prefer the second option, we recommend you to test the following tools:

  • A team of editors guarantees flawless work and speedy delivery.
  • Grammarly: It’s a popular plugin that automates the proofreading process.
  • Edu GeeksClub: This is a content creation agency that hires dozens of skilled editors.
  • Hemingway: Using this app, you can eliminate errors and improve your style of writing.
  • Rusmyessay: It’s a cheap editing service that proofreads all types of textual content.
  • Ginger: Proofreading software that identifies mistakes and translates captions to over 40 languages (if necessary).
  • Best Dissertation: Professional editors help you to edit captions, but you can also consult with them to find inspiration for new posts.


Instagram is one of the most popular social media networks globally, but you need to publish amazing content day after day in order to win over the target audience. The competition is harsh and it is important to make use of every feature available, captions included.

In this article, we showed you how to write engaging Instagram captions using seven methods that guarantee results. There are many other tactics to try out here, but the hacks we discussed proved to work best in almost all cases. Make sure to remember our suggestions and let us know in comments if you have any questions about this topic – we would be glad to answer!A


  • Scott Mathews

    Scott Mathews is a digital marketer and a blogger interested in social media campaigns and content creation. Besides that, Scott is very passionate about all topics related to personal development and self-improvement. When he is not working, Scott is probably out jogging in the local park. He is a father of two teenage kids.