Hamed Wardak, Entrepreneur
Inspirational captions using lyrics like this one from the French duo Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better Faster” hit song are but one of several ways to engage followers more successfully today on Instagram. Not only is this one of several ways to increase engagement but captions have also gotten longer.
Why Does It Matter?
Photos and videos have always been important on Instagram, but it’s the caption and story that’s told that can grab and retain interest. Create enough buzz and that post can find its way onto Instagram’s Explore page.
According to research by Fohr, the length of the average caption more than doubled between 2016 and last year. The influencer platform company predicts that captions in 2020 will average 405 characters, the equivalent of 65 to 70 words.
Fohr’s research showed that engagement rates were higher among brands using longer captions than those with short ones. The bottom line, they reported, was that engagement, as well as discoverability, increased when more information was shared. In 2019, engagement for captions up to 100 characters was 5%, rose to 5.36% between 500 and 1,000 characters, and nearly hit 6% on 1,000 characters, according to Fohr.
Different Types of Captions
In addition to lyrics from popular songs or poems, there are other kinds of captions to grab people’s interest and attention. Humor often works, but care needs to be taken in knowing the brand’s audience and their values. Modern Family’s “Enjoy at least one sunset per day!” fits their audiences while “Stomach: I will now demonstrate a blue whale’s mating call” would likely be questionable.
Short quotes can also be very effective. As in most marketing strategies, knowing the brand’s target audience is important. This knowledge can also be valuable in deciding on caption length.
Quotes relevant to the industry or occasion, whether it be travel, adventure, hobbies, food and beverage, holidays, seasons, business/entrepreneurship, sports, etc. are also valuable. Keep and maintain a library of pertinent quotes for use at the appropriate time.
There are different options ranging from bulleting or adding text in bold. Also worth consideration are line breaks. One nearly pain-free way to accomplish this is to utilize a free app or website like Lingo Jam, recommended by European travel blog One Week In.
What Also Works
Inspirational quotes from famous people always work. An online search can yield many other quotes and potential captions.
Hand in Hand
Going forward, employing a combination of photos/video and captivating captions will increase the likelihood of success in attracting and retaining consumers. But as most marketers know, the social media landscape changes frequently and quickly, so it’s important to keep abreast of any changes in direction and preferences.
Seek out and track customer reactions and feedback to Instagram captions, photos and videos. This is not only important and invaluable, but also enables brands to react and adapt to changes in consumer taste and attitudes. It can also be valuable to a brand trying to find its own voice.