Instagram captions are second only in importance to the images themselves. They are a chance to show your brand’s personality, connect with your audience and encourage them to engage.
There are some basic rules to follow when writing your captions (See our post on writing the perfect caption), but if you need some more solid inspiration there are also some specific categories you can use to shape your captions.
We’ve compiled a list of seven of the most popular styles of captions for you to fit your niche-tailored content into and what types of brands work best with each one.
1. The follow-the-link Instagram caption
Unfortunately, you can’t insert links to your important pages directly into your captions. What you can do instead is direct your followers to your bio, where you can place your link.
It does involve keeping that link useful and up-to-date, but a good brand should keep their whole profile and content useful and up-to-date anyway.
You could direct your followers, using your link, to your website, your promotional page or just more useful content such as videos and information on your brand. This is particularly useful for brands whose services or products rely heavily on video content, for example those in the music or film industry.
It’s also useful for any brand who wants to direct their followers to a competition page.
2. The behind-the-curtains Instagram caption
Behind-the-scenes posts are really important. You can connect with your followers on a much more personal level and foster trust and support by showing them the real-life faces behind the products.
This could be particularly useful for brands who sell a service, such as marketing. You can show your team, together in the office and working on the latest project. Behind the scenes shots shouldn’t be limited to just any brand though. Everyone can benefit from getting a little personal.
The photo itself may show a sea of random faces, your caption puts a name to those faces. This not only connects your audience to your team, but shows that you value your staff.
Not only can you show your personable side you can also show your products being produced. People love to know where their products came from. Are you providing an organic, home-made body lotion? Snap a pic of the process of manufacturing it and describe what’s happening in your caption.
3. The technical-description Instagram caption
This can be useful if the content you’re trying to show needs further explanation. Your niche could be something like energy-saving or tech products, or anything that shows innovation in any niche.
Is it something pioneering in your field? Would your followers benefit from a physical description of how your product works, or how it came to be and why? Does your content require a back-story?
These captions can be a little longer if the words are adding value to your image. Cut the unnecessary words and make sure you don’t repeat yourself and you can get away with providing a little extra info.
4. The how-to Instagram caption
This could be a how-to instructional process on how to use your new eyeshadow palette or how to make your grans secret-recipe lasagne. The food and beauty industries lend themselves perfectly to these sorts of captions.
You can even create an instructional video alongside your carefully detailed caption to give valuable visual content. Video is hot right now on Instagram.
The written instructions can still be incredibly useful though, especially if you have to whisk quickly through your video so as not to make it drawn-out and boring. It’s a fine balancing act and your caption will still need to be concise and to the point, but that’s nothing a few good drafts can’t solve. Edit and re-edit until you’ve got the perfect, concise step-by-step process.
5. The Instagram competition caption
This is particularly useful for engagement. Calling your followers to action with a prize incentive isn’t to be sniffed at. Everyone loves free stuff – especially when all it takes to be in with a chance is a few clicks of the mousepad.
Keep the written instructions short and sweet and don’t ask too much of your followers. Make sure you’re clear with your instructions on what they need to do to win.
The competition caption can be utilised in almost every niche and industry.
6. The tale-telling Instagram caption
Writing a story in your caption is a little trickier to pull off well. It must be compelling, concise and well-told. There can be no wandering or useless information. All of the main points need to be considered and told neatly.
Instagram’s character limit is generous, but it’s no place for a novel.
This is a good one for adventurers or the film industry. Does your brand take you all over the world? Do you need to tell a tantalising amount of your tale to get followers hooked and wanting to watch your short film? Tell them a story.
The important thing to remember is getting those first few lines perfect. The first 125 characters are what shows up in your followers’ news-feeds. If you want them to click to read more, they have to be sufficiently engaged in those first three lines.
As a rule of thumb in all story-telling, and even more so here, you should really think about where the most interesting place to start your story is, even if that’s right at the end. Did you end your travels on some spectacular mishap? Describe it and leave your followers wondering what on earth landed you at that point.
7. The picture-tells-a-thousand-words Instagram caption
Finally, there is no shame in relying on your photographs to tell the story. If they do the job, there is no harm in leaving them to do so. Don’t write captions that are unnecessary, meandering and tiresome.
This is another good one for adventurers, or those with products that are easily recognisable. Trust your followers to not need some things explaining to them and let your incredible images do the talking.
Some handy tools for your caption-writing tool-box
Grammarly is like spell-check, but better. It will highlight grammar mistakes that most spell-check software misses. And even better? It’s totally free.
It can even expand your vocabulary and avoid repetition, offering synonyms when you can’t think of one.
Need some more specific help? Captiona will literally suggest captions relating to specific keywords you enter.
Whilst we aren’t suggesting you copy them down exactly, you can definitely use this app to get your creative juices flowing. Remember to try and be original and always capture your brand’s voice.