Do you want Instagram captions that stop the scroll and make people pay attention?

I hope your answer is yes, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be here. The key to growing on Instagram these days is engagement, but how do you get good engagement on your posts?

Well, that’s where Instagram captions come into play. In this blog, I am going to walk you through the basic caption writing formula to create good Instagram captions.  

Before you sit down to write your Instagram captions, you have to know your audience. Who are you speaking to and what do they need help with? If you don’t know the answer to these questions your audience isn’t going to pay attention to your content because it won’t be valuable to them.  For example, where are they at in their journey? Are they just starting out? If you are a personal trainer whose ideal client is new moms who are starting to get back into working out after having a baby your content is going to be very different than if your ideal client was men looking to train for bodybuilding.

So, that’s your first step. Decide who your content is for, and if you don’t have this clear already I have a whole video walking you through how to do that here. 

Now let’s go into this simple caption writing formula. There are a lot of different copywriting tips and higher-level strategies when it comes to copy-writing but I want to share the most basic framework with you today:

  1. Headline: So on Instagram this is the first 125 characters that show underneath the photo before your reader has to click read more. You want this to catch their attention and make them want to hit that more button.
  2. Hook: After they hit that more button you need to hook them to want to continue reading. It could be shocking, it could be funny, etc.
  3. Body: This is where the bulk of your content should go. If you are doing an educational post like “3 tips to___” this is where you are going to want to lay that out, then if you are doing story content you will want to break down the story here. 

Another tip when creating your captions here is to space out your content into nice small sections. Having lots of lines breaks it makes it easier for your audience to read and digest. Have you ever come across a post with a big block of text and just scrolled on by… yep me too. As humans we are lazy readers, so make it simple for your audience to take in the information.

4. CTA (Call to action): This is the last sentence of your posts. You always want to tell your audience to do something, whether that’s comment below, send me a DM, or click the link in my bio.

Keep in mind with your CTA that Instagram likes to keep people on their platform, every social media platform does so if your CTA can be (drop a Yes below or send me a DM) that may work better to increase your engagement by starting 1:1 conversations and keeping people on the platform. 

So there you have it, the basic caption writing formula. You want to follow this framework in every caption you create, but if you want to go even further and add some more complex copywriting strategies into the mix, here are some of my favourites:

  1. Adding Scarcity: Ever have FOMO before (the fear of missing out)? People don’t like to feel like everyone is getting something that they aren’t or that they miss out on something really good so by adding this feeling to your posts you will increase interest. You have probably seen this tactic used lots in sales posts like “only 24 hours left or only 2 more units left” this is trying to get people to take action because there is a limited time that it will be available.

You can do something similar in your Instagram posts, even if you’re not selling something. 

 2. Future Pacing: This means painting a picture for someone to show them what their life will look like after they work with you or after they buy your product. Another way to think about it is to show them their aspirational identity. Explain to them what will happen if they choose to join your FB group, buy your product, sign up for a call with you, etc..

So there you have it, you are now equipped with the tools you need to write good Instagram captions.