Published on 11th of October, 2023

Caption This: Creating Captions for More Shareable Instagram Content

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If you’ve mastered your Reels and can take professional photos that other content creators dream of but balk at writing captivating captions, you’re not alone. Writing captions that keep fickle attention spans engaged and convince followers to stick around is intimidating for many. Fortunately, writing captions that help make your content more shareable is within reach. There are techniques you can follow that can help you hone your captions into efficient conversions.

Shareable Content Is More Important Than Ever

woman holding silver iphone 6

As Instagram has evolved, the importance and value of shares have increased dramatically. More shares mean more people are responding to something about your product or message. They’re actively engaging with you, and they think your content is so valuable that they want others to see it, too.

Therefore, creating a method for generating captions becomes an essential part of your brand marketing. No pressure, right?

Some additional benefits of creating consistently shareable content include:

  • Better brand awareness
  • Increasing trust
  • Potentially more collaboration opportunities
  • An expanding market
  • Cost-effective growth

Finally, it’s a shame to see exceptional content go to waste because one key element—a great caption—is missing. If your photos, carousels, and videos are on point, but you’re not seeing great engagement, it’s time to assess your captioning skills. Here are a few tips to help you create consistently good captions.

On the Line

silver iphone 6 on white table

People are checking out your content, but are they sticking around to see more? A well-written caption that starts with a solid hook can be the difference-maker. Attention spans are short, so the very first line of your caption is crucial. Let your content do most of the story-telling, and use the first line of the caption to give critical information, like the bow on the gift. Some content works well with a lengthy caption, but you still want to grab your audience right away.

Give It Some Space

You don’t have to limit your captions to a single sentence or a few words. You can deliver a substantial caption, and that’s the way to go most of the time. But the key is to break the caption up visually by using line breaks. This technique breaks your content up into smaller, digestible bites.

Your audience won’t see a giant body of text that makes them want to tune out. Instead, they’ll feel motivated to read each small segment and tackle the next. Before they know it, they’ve moved through the whole caption and have now hopefully encountered your call to action.

A Call to Action

What is your goal in creating content and sharpening your caption-writing abilities? You may want to grab more Likes, convert your audience into followers, or generate shares and sales. Your call to action (CTA) is where you’re essentially stating your goal. CTAs can ask the person to click Like and share, visit a website, tag a friend, or comment below the content. Don’t assume that people will automatically do all those things when they arrive at your content. Whatever your goal is, capture it in the CTA of all your captions.

I Second That Emoticon

graphical user interface, application

Emojis have become an integral part of communication for many people across multiple generations. Many use them to add nuance or humor, and emojis absolutely belong in captions. The key is to know how to use them. For example, your caption is essentially a conversation you’re having with each person who visits your content. Think about which emojis you identify with and use in your everyday conversations with friends and family. Of course, your emojis should fit the content.

An additional benefit of emojis is that they provide visual cues and small pops of color that keep a person engaged with a post longer, leading to a more meaningful impression.

Hashtag Heaven

Hashtags are a must if your goal is to create shareable content. Even adding just one hashtag can boost engagement by over 12 percent. After your caption and CTA, place at least three to five hashtags within the caption. If you aren’t sure which hashtags to use, you can quickly search to see which ones are trending. However, you don’t want to make all of your hashtags top trending ones, as your post may end up buried in the tidal wave of similarly hashtagged posts.

The trick is to have a mix of trending hashtags and other hashtags that are more relevant and specific to the content or genre. You can even create a unique hashtag and use it consistently as part of your branding.

Be Authentic and Get Personal

woman sitting on stall near wall mounted desk

Your caption doesn’t have to be a confessional, but you can take the opportunity to be honest. You don’t want to sound robotic or cold, so it’s okay to get a little personal and just be yourself in the caption. Research indicates that many people develop brand loyalty and consistently follow content that feels genuine and authentic to them.

It always depends on your content, but one tip is to write the caption as if you’re speaking to a good friend. Asking for your followers’ input and opinions lets them know that you value them, and they’ll respond to that positively. In turn, you can write about your feelings, challenges you’ve overcome, or emotional experiences. It all makes you feel more human, even across the tech divide.

Trends Aren’t Just for Content

You can follow trends in your captions, too. There are always specific topics trending. These topics might be related to world events, something that happened in your industry, or trends and challenges within social media. You can apply and include these things in your captions for an added boost to your engagement goals.

Your videos, carousels, and photos are polished and eye-catching, so make sure your captions don’t drop the (eye)ball. Keep viewers and followers so interested that they just have to share your amazing content. With practice, you’ll find your captions will become easier to write, and you’ll be meeting your goal of creating shareable content.

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