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Creative Captions for Instagram Posts to Improve Engagement

Published on 08.05.2024 by Tracey Chizoba Fletcher

One of the critical elements on Instagram that affects the performance of your Instagram posts is captions. When adding captions on Instagram, you should be creative to ensure the highest engagement level. This article will guide you in creating captions for your Instagram posts.

What are Instagram Captions?

An Instagram caption is a text written close to an image or video, providing more details about the image or video. This is a crucial element that provides more context to the post. A good Instagram caption should have 2200 characters and include elements such as emojis and hashtags. Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags in a single post. For instance, you can use hashtags to ask questions, express your feelings, or provide shoutouts to your followers.

The most important thing when adding Instagram captions is understanding your audience and connecting with them. You must also understand how your followers respond to emojis and in-depth content.

Why You Need Good Instagram Captions

Here are some reasons to add captions to your videos:

Higher organic ranking

One of the factors that Instagram considers when deciding on the videos to rank on their homepage is the engagement level. Even if you have a large number of followers but with little engagement, your videos will not be recommended to users. 

On the other hand, high engagement rates are ranking factors that will cause Instagram to suggest your videos. Therefore, you need to entice users to engage with your posts. You can increase engagement with your Instagram videos by having captions. You can quickly increase their engagement with suitable captions for your videos.

Improve brand story

You can shape your brand story and personality by writing vital copies in captions. That means Instagram captions can be a crucial factor in the success of your brand.

Spur viewers interest

When adding captions for your posts, or live Instagram videos, you can use elements that spur interest in the post. For instance, adding a humorous caption can make the post interesting and encourage more people to like and comment.

On top of the above, a good Instagram caption can help you:

  • Provide context for the image. If there is some complicated information, captions can help add insights.
  • Increase your post's visibility.
  • Show the human side of your business through the use of emojis.
  • Include a call to action.

Using the Caption Feature on Instagram

Before providing tips on writing captions for your Instagram posts, let us look at the process of adding captions. You can do that using the built-in caption features. This tool enables you to add captions to your Instagram posts. To start using it, click the + button on Instagram. You should then choose Story or Reel. You can add a video from your gallery or capture one using your phone.

Tap the sticker button at the top after uploading or recording the video. Tap on caption stickers. This will enable you to transcribe your audio into captions. However, tap the preview button at the bottom when creating a reel before adding captions.

If you are unsatisfied with the captions generated, the tool allows you to edit them. At the bottom of the screen, you will see a broader range of styles you can choose from. You can also change other elements in the captions, such as the background or text color. If there are parts that weren't appropriately transcribed, you can edit them using the same tool.

Auto-Generate Captions Under Advanced Settings

Another place to add captions to your Instagram stories or reels is by visiting the Advanced Settings. To do that, click on the + button and choose Post. This lets you upload a video or capture a new one using your camera. After that, you can click on Next. Scroll down until you see the Advanced Setting Option. You should click on Accessibility. Toggle on Show Captions. Click on Captions. 

How to Write Instagram Captions that Drive Engagement

Here are tips to help you improve your caption writing.

Create several drafts

Avoid rushing to create an Instagram caption unless you are sure it's the perfect one for you. You don't want a situation where you rush through the process of writing the draft only to end up later feeling like it wasn't the best option. 

With the Instagram algorithm showing more posts with likes and comments, you cannot afford to go wrong with your caption. Instead of rushing through the process, take your time. You are more likely to be creative when writing captions if you begin by writing them on another platform. Create a few drafts and try to develop several ideas for your captions. You can then keep editing until you get it right.

Optimize the first few sentences

Instagram has a character limit of 2200 characters. When you exceed this number, they usually show the first few lines of your captions. After that, the other sentences will appear under a More link. That means unless your followers click on the link, they will only see the first few sentences of your captions.

Many content creators limit their posts to 2200 characters to overcome this challenge. However, this doesn't have to be the case. Instead, you should frontload the critical details of your posts in the first part of your post. Therefore, ensure the beginning is compelling with details, such as a call to action. 

Again, you would guess that if you want more users to click on See More, you should capture their attention instantly. You can do that by including the most crucial detail of your post at the beginning. On the other hand, details such as mentions, hashtags, and other extraneous information should be reserved for the end.

Have a call to action

If you are a brand trying to capture your audience's attention, one element you cannot afford to miss in your posts is the call to action. When thinking of a good call to action, you should consider what you want your followers to do. Some of the actions you may have in mind are:

  • Visit your site
  • Buy a product
  • Share the post with their friends
  • Enter a contest/giveaway
  • Create user-generated content and share it with their friends

A call to action can be an essential detail in your post that can spur an action such as a share. According to experts, nouns and adjectives inspire more action on Instagram. Here are a few tips when including a call to action on Instagram:

  • Encourage them to take action. Ensure that you are using a language that encourages users to take action. This could be words like buy now, swipe down, or learn more. Ensure that users can clearly understand the language you want them to use.
  • Create a sense of urgency. Make use of a language that creates a sense of urgency. It could be words such as Don't Miss out or Limited-time Offer.
  • Make them simple. Ensure that your CTAs are short and to the point. This will make it easy for your viewers to understand the action you want them to take. Avoid adding too many words in your CTA, as it will be hard for your viewers to understand your message.
  • Use eye-catching visuals. Your visuals should be high-quality images and videos that tell more about your products and grab the user’s attention.
  • Stay consistent. Ensure all your Instagram posts have the same CTAs. This will help you increase brand recognition and familiarity.
  • Use emojis. To add personality to your CTA, ensure that you also use emojis.

Maintain a human voice

In this AI era, there has never been a higher demand for content with a human voice than now. Stay authentic by writing like you speak to separate your captions from the many AI-generated options. Ensure that you maintain a friendly and natural voice for the user. On top of that, understand the best time to post on Instagram.

Use hashtags 

Hashtags are words, numbers, or symbols that usually start with the # symbol. Using hashtags classifies your Instagram posts and makes them more discoverable. While you can include up to 30 hashtags in your posts, Instagram statistics recommend sticking to three to five. Using the relevant hashtags in your CTAs can make them reach a bigger audience. They act like keywords with search and tracking capabilities, making your posts appear in the search results.

However, when using hashtags, ensure that everything looks clean. As noted earlier, hashtags should be included towards the end of your caption. Some brands even keep them away from the text's description. While this is acceptable, sprinkle some hashtags within the text to give it dimension. 

Here are a few professional tips for effectively using Hashtags:

  • Understand your audience. Research the most popular hashtags that people in your niche are using. Determine the kind of content your audience cares about and the hashtags they use to search for content in your niche.
  • Research the hashtag. Before you use a particular hashtag, be sure to research it. Just because it was shared by a popular influencer in your niche doesn't mean it's the right one for your brand. Instead, review the posts associated with the hashtag to see if they match your content strategy.
  • Combine small and large niche hashtags. To reach a bigger audience, ensure that you use niche-specific hashtags and broader ones.
  • Analyze your hashtag strategy. Remember that no matter how hard you try, getting it perfect with hashtags is impossible. That is why you need to keep tracking the performance of your strategies. Look at metrics such as engagement, likes, and comments.
  • Use the hashtag at the end. Unless you have a hashtag keyword that fits naturally in your description, ensure you use them at the end. This way, the most appealing part of your caption will appear in the beginning. Remember that hashtags are there to help with the discoverability of your videos and not to impress your audience.

You can also learn from these top ten business hashtags.

Keep a lighthearted tone

Different social media sites have different tones that work best for them. While a platform like LinkedIn works best with serious posts, Instagram posts usually work best with a lighthearted tone. A fun tone can show your brand's more human, authentic, and personable side. However, if your brand has a more serious voice, you should get a good balance between relatability and sincerity. When choosing a brand voice, pick something that you will stay consistent with.

If unsure, keep it short

Consider the length of the caption. If you choose to go with longer storytelling captions, go with them. If you are unsure of the right length of Instagram captions, keep them short. Some of the best Instagram captions consist of a brief punchline. They let the visual content do most of the talking.

Cross-promote your social media profiles

You can also use hashtags to promote your other social media accounts on Instagram. This will help your followers to know other places on social media where they can find you. Therefore, your Instagram followers can also become your followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms.


While many Instagram content creators pay a lot of attention to content, their posts may not do well because they ignore the caption part. This is even though captions help in the discoverability of your posts. Using them well makes it easier for Instagram to categorize your content and recommend it to the right people. By using the above topics, you can quickly grow your Instagram profiles with suitable captions. You can also check out our guide for pinning your post on Instagram.