How to Write Captivating Instagram Captions for Your Online Business
Instagram is a great platform for building your community and getting your talents, knowledge, and offers in front of your dream buyers. But if you really want to use Instagram as a strategic marketing channel for your online business, you need to master the art of writing captivating Instagram captions.
In my books, a captivating Instagram caption is one that’s (a) fun or interesting to read, and (b) encourages engagement by asking your followers to take action.
I write about a hundred Instagram captions every month, both for my own business and my clients. So today, I thought I’d share with you some of my top tips for writing captivating Instagram captions for your online business, so you can build your authority, connect with your dream clients, and increase your engagement on Instagram.
Tip 1: Use a scroll-stopping headline
You’ve probably noticed that Instagram cuts off your caption after the first one to two lines, before inserting that pesky “…more” text.
To make sure that your reader actually taps on that text and reads the rest of your message, you need to hook them with a scroll-stopping caption “headline”.
When it comes to writing your caption headline, use the same principles that you would for an engaging blog post title or headline on your sales page. Think about what’s going to intrigue your reader, give them a sense of what your post is about, and make them want to keep reading.
Tip 2: Connect it to your brand values and messaging
If you want to build your authority on Instagram and create a feed where your followers actually want to hang out, it’s important to keep your message consistent.
You probably want to be known on Instagram (and online in general) for something specific. Maybe it’s being the go-to wedding photographer in your city, the top graphic designer for calligraphers, or the best VA for business owners looking to hit their first $10K month.
Whatever your niche may be, it’s important to get really clear on your brand messaging — including your brand values — and make sure that messaging through in your Instagram content. Doing this is going to help maintain brand consistency across your feed and your entire online presence.
For example, one of my brand values is well-being. I believe you should just say no to “quick fixes” and the hustle and grind mentality, instead focusing on solutions that prioritize growth without sacrificing joy, stability, or purpose. Because of that, a lot of my Instagram content is focused on ick-free marketing and sales copy, hustle-free growth, and prioritizing balance and self-care.
If you want some help figuring out your brand values and how to bring them into your marketing, be sure to check out my free Brand Values Mini-Training.
Tip 3: Use emojis
Not only do emojis help you show serious personality in your captions by injecting a more relatable tone and feel to what you’re saying, but they can also be used to make your caption more readable. Because let’s face it — nobody wants to read a big wall of text.
You can use emojis in place of bullet points to break up your message or include a different emoji to emphasize each key point in your caption.
Tip 4: Space out those paragraphs
Here’s another caption readability tip for you: make sure you’re using line breaks in your captions! This is quite difficult to do inside Instagram itself, which is why I use this tool to add line breaks in my Instagram captions.
Don’t shy away from long captions! If you really want to build your authority on Instagram these days, you need to provide valuable info and tips for your followers — and that often requires longer captions.
But, if you are going to use long captions, it’s important to space it out every two to three sentences to make sure that your caption doesn’t just look like a huge block of text.
Tip 5: Make it conversational
If you ever struggle to write Instagram captions, it’s probably because you’re putting too much pressure on yourself by trying to appeal to everyone. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — if you write for everyone, you write for no one.
Even if you only have a couple of hundred Instagram followers at this point, it can feel really intimidating to think that you’re writing to such a large audience. So, one of my top tips for easier Instagram caption writing, but also to make your Instagram captions 10x more captivating, is to write your captions as if you were talking directly to your favorite client or customer.
Next time you sit down to write an Instagram caption, I want you to imagine that you’re writing a DM to somebody you talk to frequently — preferably a dream buyer. How would you write that message? Make sure that you’re writing your Instagram captions in the same way.
If you’re a funny person, be funny! Inject humor in your Instagram captions.
If you’re bubbly, make that fun and bright personality shine through!
If you use more flowery language, go on and be a poet!
No matter what your tone may be, it will resonate with the right group of people.
Always be as conversational as possible — and always be authentically you. Never try to be something you’re not. If you try to force yourself to be funny, or if you use language and slang terms you don’t actually use in everyday conversation, your writing will come across as inauthentic… and your captions will be less captivating as a result.
Tip 6: Use “you” instead of “I”
This is a cardinal rule of copywriting, and it should be applied to Instagram captions too: whenever possible, make your reader the focus of your content.
If you’ve ever heard me talk about brand storytelling before, you’ve heard me say that you are not the hero of your story. Your client or customer (or in this case, your reader) is the hero of the story.
Make this super clear in your Instagram captions by talking to your reader directly. For example, instead of saying “Here are some new healthy recipes to try for dinner”, try saying “Are you looking for some new healthy dinner recipes?” instead. See how much more captivating that second option is?
Tip 7: Include a call to action
Last but certainly not least, you should always be including some type of call to action at the end of your Instagram caption.
If you really want your followers to engage with your Instagram content, you need to ask them to do it! Don’t assume that they know how you want them to interact with your post.
- Do you want them to give your post a double tap?
- Do you want them to leave a comment? If so, should they answer a question, drop you an emoji, or tag a friend?
- Do you want them to share your post to their story so that other people can see it?
- Do you want them to save your post? Why? How will that be useful for them?
The Instagram algorithm thrives off of engagement, and the more you can get your followers to engage with your post the more likely the algorithm is to favor your content + show it to more people.
Pro tip: The algorithm is always changing, but these days Instagram seems to favor a save or share over a like or even a comment when it comes to engagement.
Ready to kick Instagram caption writer’s block to the curb?
If you enjoyed these tips on how to write captivating Instagram captions, you’ll looooove my Instagram Caption Prompts for Online Entrepreneurs. It includes 60 Instagram caption prompts to guide you whenever you’re feeling stuck, plus an exclusive video training on the four types of captions you need to stand out and build authority on Instagram.
It also includes all of these tips in a neat checklist, so that you’ll never forget to implement them when batch-creating content!
Have a question about Instagram caption writing, or a hot tip that I missed? Drop me a comment below and let me know!
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Meet the Host
Welcome! I’m Megan Taylor — copywriter for online entrepreneurs, bookworm, and founder of The Copy Template Shop. I believe that anyone can write strong copy, and I’m here to teach you how to write words that sell your online offers while prioritizing real connection, serving your audience, and simply being who you are.
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My Instagram Caption Prompts for Online Entrepreneurs will help you know exactly what to post on Insta to position yourself as an authority in your niche, drive real connection with your tribe, and turn your followers into fans & buyers…
All so you can show up more consistently, with total confidence, and make sure there’s an actual strategy behind your feed… not just posting whatever for the heck of it.
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