Crafting Captivating Instagram Captions

5 simple tricks to help you write more engaging Instagram captions

Are you spending hours curating, editing and scheduling the perfect images to populate your Insta’ feed but not seeing the engagement you’ve been hoping for?


Let’s be honest… figuring out how to please the ever-changing Instagram algorithm is a full time job in 2021 (and not something many of us can commit time to keeping up with!). However, the good news is, the secret to driving engagement on Instagram might not be as hard as you think. 


While great photography on Instagram is important, it’s now more important than ever to pair your images with captivating copy that engages your audience. We’re sorry to say, a pretty picture alone isn’t going to cut it anymore!


When used correctly, captions can be a powerful tool to drive engagement and, you’ll be pleased to know, it’s really not as hard as you might think. 


You’re probably wondering, are emojis allowed? How many hashtags should I use? What caption length is best? And, how do I write a great call to action? To answer all your budding questions, we’ve put together 5 simple tricks to help you craft captivating Instagram captions.

1. Hook ’em in 

The first sentence of your Instagram caption is the most important. Why? You need to catch the attention of your audience before they scroll past with a compelling opening line.


By default, Instagram only shows 1-2 lines of text before hiding the rest of the caption behind the ‘more’ button. Therefore, this first sentence needs to draw your audience in and make them want to keep reading.


The aim here is to show the algorithm that your post is valuable and worth showing to more people by boosting the amount of time people spend viewing your post.


A punchy first sentence that hooks your audience can be as simple as a prompting question or a line of text that intrigues. This is done really well in this post by @travel_a_little_luxe – with that intriguing first line, we can’t resist reading more! 

2. Add value

While your first sentence should hook ‘em in, the rest of your caption should give them a reason to stay. 


Aim to offer your followers genuine value by accompanying your image with a caption that helps educate, entertain or inspire your audience.  This could be in the form of tips, guides, useful tricks, or a personal story with a powerful take home message. 


Connecting on a deeper level with your followers works to boost brand loyalty AND engagement which equals better chances of being favoured by the algorithm. 


3. Keep it simple

Because Instagram is an inherently visual platform, it’s fair to assume that users don’t want to spend their time on Insta’ reading chunks of dense text. 


Make it easy for your followers and put some thought into how your captions will look visually once published. Keep your captions concise and break text up into one or two sentences per paragraph – line breaks are your friend!


Emojis can also be a creative way to liven up your captions. At Bootcamp, we love to throw an emoji or two in our posts every now and then. Just make sure to not to go too crazy… 🤪 🤯 🥳🎉🤪 🤯 🥳🎉🤪 🤯 🥳🎉 . Use emojis in a way that makes sense for your brand.


The general consensus is the best Instagram caption length is 125-150 characters – but obviously this number can vary depending on your industry and follower-base. 


As long as you’re writing copy that’s simple and engaging for your audience, you’re on the right track.


4. Tag strategically

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, you definitely, positively, 100% need to be using hashtags on Instagram


Hashtags not only increase visibility and help categorize your content, they are essential for building the authenticity of your brand or business. The base of your captions are a great place to pop your hashtags. “How many hashtags should I use?”, you ask.


Instagram allows you to include up to 30 hashtags in your caption. There’s no *magic number* of hashtags but we suggest 12 as a happy medium. We recommend experimenting with using 4 broad #’s, 6 mid-range #’s and 2 niche #’s in your captions.


To find out more about our # tips, read our in-depth blog post here👇

The 10 things you need to know about hashtags.


5. Ask for action! 

No matter if you’re using Instagram as a business, influencer or a creative, you’re going to want to be asking your audience for action in your captions.


Whether you’re wanting to market a service or event, sell a product OR simply increase engagement, you can use your captions to convince your audience to take action. An effective call to action (CTA) clearly and concisely encourages users to take a desired action. When crafting your CTAs, think about what steps you want your followers to take next. 


Would you like them to:

Visit your website?

Share the post with friends?

Tag a friend in the comments?

Enter a contest or giveaway?

Leave their opinion in the comments?


Some actions you can encourage are:

Clicking the link in your bio

Answering a question in the comments

Tagging a friend or sharing the post with a friend

Saving the post for future reference


Important: you can’t place clickable links in your Instagram captions. You’ll need to direct users to click the link in your Instagram bio in order to visit your website.


There you have it! 

So, go and get writing your caption copy! Remember to ‘hook ‘em in’, provide value to your audience, keep it simple, tag strategically and ask for action. We recommend you experiment with different caption styles to see what your audience responds to best.


Drop into our DM’s to let us know how you go.


Till next time,


Team Bootcamp x.