5 Copywriting Hacks to Create Engaging Instagram Captions | Kicksta Blog (2023)


5 Copywriting Hacks to Create Engaging Instagram Captions | Kicksta Blog (1)

5 Copywriting Hacks to Create Engaging Instagram Captions | Kicksta Blog (2)

Alexz Miller

Last Updated: Oct 6, 2022

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We all know that Instagram is a visual medium. As countless articles – many of them on this blog – will tell you, the visual nature of Instagram is one of the biggest reasons for its success.

But Instagram isn’t just about images and videos. There is also a textual component to every Instagram post that often goes ignored.

We’re, of course, talking about Instagram captions – the snippets of text that go underneath each post.

Captions are far more important than you might think. People might see your visuals first, but they will turn to the captions to understand your brand and its story better. Whether they think of your brand as fun, chic, or sophisticated will depend nearly as much on what you write for each image as the image itself.

Writing engaging captions isn’t easy. Not only do you have to keep your brand voice in mind, but you also have to write something that captures your audience’s attention.

f writing is not your cup of tea, and you have no idea how to create a funny caption on Instagram, don’t hesitate to get assistance from writing service professionals. You may hire a freelance creative writer fromTopEssayWriting,

Using the copywriting tactics we’ve laid out below can help you create more engaging captions and solidify your brand voice.

(Video) How To Write Engaging Instagram Captions (6 Copywriting Tips & Examples)

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Why Captions Matter

Humans are visual learners. Studies show that we process much of our information through visuals. It makes sense from an evolutionary perspective as well. Your ancestors didn’t have stacks of books to help them survive in the wild; they just had a pair of eyes.

Given our reliance on visuals, it makes sense to create only visual content, right?

The truth, however, is that different people process information in different ways. According to the Vark modalities theory, people can be classified into four categories:

  • Visual learners who learn largely through images and videos.
  • Auditory learners who process information best when it is reinforced by audio
  • Kinesthetic learners who learn best through touch or feel.
  • Reading/writing learners who rely on reading or writing to process information.

While visual learners represent the vast majority of people, a significant portion also relies heavily on audio or reading to process information.

If you focus exclusively on visuals, you won’t be able to get through as well to these people.

Then there is the idea of dual coding.

In cognitive theory, dual coding is a phenomenon where humans process visual and textual information through separate but related systems. The visual of an object can remind us of the word for it.

At the same time, the word for an object might evoke completely different visuals.

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For instance, the word “dog”, one person might think of his childhood pet while another might think of a cartoon dog. At the same time, a picture of a puppy might cause one person to think of the generic term “puppy” while another might think of Rufus, his childhood pet.

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(Video) 5 Hacks For Writing Better Instagram Captions

This theory plays a crucial role in marketing, especially when you’re dealing with visual-heavy mediums like Instagram.

Every visual you use is going to represent certain words for your audience. As a marketer, your goal is to guide and reinforce these representations to something that aligns with your brand values.

For example, a picture of a beach, by itself, might hold different meanings for different customers. But if you talk about beach vacations and summer in the captions, you can guide what customers think about when they see the image.

This is why captions are so crucial in Instagram marketing. In brief, they:

  • Help you reach out to people who rely on text to understand information
  • Help you control what people think about when they see your visuals

This brings us to the question: how can you create better captions?

5 Copywriting Hacks for Better Instagram Captions

Copywriting, when it works, can seem like magic.

The best copywriters – the Leo Burnetts and David Ogilvys of the world – can conjure words out of thin air that can move billions of dollars of products.

As inscrutable as copywriting might appear to be, it’s actually a collection of tried and tested tactics. While you might never be able to write like David Ogilvy, by following these tactics, you can at least become competently persuasive.

Below, we’ll share some of these copywriting tactics and how to use them for Instagram captions:

1. Format your Instagram captions for maximum impact

This one is a no-brainer: well-formatted captions are easier to read. Information placed inside bullet points or well-spaced paragraphs is easier to scan and follow.

Copywriters have known this for years. Notice how this classic David Ogilvy Rolls-Royce ad uses numbered lists for every paragraph:

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You can use this tactic on Instagram to capture attention better. Use well-spaced paragraphs and line breaks to make your captions easier to read, as in this example from Instagrammer Tyler J Mccall:

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2. Position your CTAs better

While making your content easier to scan helps, where you place your CTAs within this content also matters.

(Video) Social Media Caption Writing Hack | Copywriting Hack #shorts

People pay attention to the beginning or the end of any piece of content. What happens in the middle often gets ignored.

In psychology, this is called the “Serial Positioning effect”. According to this effect, anything placed near the start or end has maximum recall value.

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Take advantage of this phenomenon by placing your CTAs either at the start or end of the caption. Or better still, place them at either end. This will ensure that your audience doesn’t just read your captions but also acts on them.

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While you’re at this, make sure to use action-oriented words in your CTAs, i.e. words that visualize an action such as “Click”, “Move”, “Get”, etc. Research shows that action-oriented words lead to higher conversion rates.

3. Use power words

Amazing. Incredible. Mind-blowing.

Have you ever wondered why so many ads are filled with these big, punchy words?

That’s because such words have the capacity to evoke strong emotions in readers. In copywriting, these are called “power words”. Copywriters will pepper them in throughout their copy to get people to feel a certain way – happy, excited, angry, etc.

You don’t have to oversell by using tons of these words in your Instagram, but it doesn’t hurt to sprinkle them into your captions. Don’t use “great”; use “incredible”. Instead of “very good”, use “extraordinary”. And so on.

For inspiration, here is a list of 700+ power words you can start using in your captions. Just be careful not to overuse them. No one likes reading captions that sound like they were written by an infomercial salesman.

This caption from WarbyParker is a great example. Note how many power words it uses to describe these sunglasses.

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This lesson is applicable beyond Instagram captions as well. It doesn’t matter what you’re creating – headlines, web copy, or even a client proposal – it helps to use power words. It will help you arrest attention better and evoke the right emotions in your audience.

4. Add some rhymes to your Instagram captions

Rappers and poets have known this for years, but now cognitive studies confirm it as well: rhymes are easier to remember and recall.

A study at Lafayette College showed that when information is presented in rhymes, it is seen as more truthful and persuasive. Another study found that rhyming slogans were judged to be more persuasive and memorable.

It’s not clear why rhymes are seen this way, but psychologists believe it’s due to the way rhymes roll off the tongue and are seen as self-contained sentences. Moreover, rhymes are commonly used in aphorisms, songs, and poems, which can make them appear more “genuine”.

(Video) How to write GOOD Instagram CAPTIONS? - 5 tips for writing engaging captions | IQhashtags

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This is why you’ll find that copywriters frequently turn to simple rhymes to emphasize value. This ad for Jaguar is the perfect example.

5 Copywriting Hacks to Create Engaging Instagram Captions | Kicksta Blog (11)

Be careful to use rhymes very sparingly. Don’t try to be the next Kendrick Lamar. Instead, use rhymes as a crutch to capture attention.

5. Ask feeling-focused rhetorical questions

Rhetorical questions have been a staple of persuasive speech for thousands of years. Not only do they break down the monotony of speech, but they also allow you to propose a problem and offer a solution.

For an even more persuasive impact, try asking rhetorical questions that focus on how people feel.

Take this as an example:

5 Copywriting Hacks to Create Engaging Instagram Captions | Kicksta Blog (12)

(This question posits a problem – parents who are anxious about cooking with their kids. Then it offers a solution through the content.

Note how the very first word emphasizes an emotion: nervous. This immediately brings readers back to something they likely felt when they tried cooking with their kids.

It also changes the context of the image – instead of just an image of a happy mother-child, it becomes an aspirational vision of a mother who isn’t nervous about cooking with her child.

This is a powerful copywriting tactic that’s also easy to use. Try using similar emotion-rich words – nervous, exhausted, excited, happy, etc. – in your captions framed as rhetorical questions.

Over to You

Copywriting is a vast and challenging discipline that you can spend a lifetime mastering.

By following these tactics, you can bring the impact of skilled copywriters to your Instagram captions.

(Video) How to Write Instagram Captions (That Get You MORE LIKES, COMMENTS AND SALES!)

The result? More persuasive Instagram captions and better marketing performance.

Author Bio
Jeff Sullivan is a marketing manager at Workamajig where he helps agencies scale their growth. When not working with agencies, he can be found fiddling with his guitar or perfecting his surfing technique.


5 Copywriting Hacks to Create Engaging Instagram Captions | Kicksta Blog? ›

The caption can bring the content to life by providing context and meaning. It is also the link between the article/story/text and the image. A good caption is a piece of writing that should be concise, accurate, informative and as carefully crafted as the image itself.

How do you write a copywriting caption on Instagram? ›

How to write the perfect Instagram caption
  1. 1. Make the most of the first sentence. ...
  2. Include a CTA or ask a question. ...
  3. Add value. ...
  4. Write like a human (not a robot) ...
  5. Draft captions on a separate platform. ...
  6. Use storytelling. ...
  7. Use emojis and have fun. ...
  8. Consider caption length.
Nov 15, 2022

What are some great copywriting hacks? ›

7 Copywriting Hacks for Salespeople
  • Use active verbs instead of 'be'.
  • Put your last paragraph first.
  • Personalize your subject lines.
  • Don't be a thesaurus rex.
  • Understand the hierarchy of information.
  • Use the ultimate power word: you.
  • Write the way you speak.
May 19, 2020

How do you write a copywriting caption? ›

The caption can bring the content to life by providing context and meaning. It is also the link between the article/story/text and the image. A good caption is a piece of writing that should be concise, accurate, informative and as carefully crafted as the image itself.

How do I start copywriting on Instagram? ›

Here are 5 tips for copywriting on Instagram:
  1. Write short and crisp texts.
  2. Use hashtags to spread the word about your content.
  3. Link your website or other social media profiles in the descriptions of your images.
  4. Use calls to action (CTAs) like “click here” or “learn more”
  5. Create sponsored posts to increase your reach.
Nov 2, 2022

How do you write a copywriting for beginners? ›

10 Copywriting Tips for Beginners
  1. Keep it Simple. ...
  2. Focus On the Benefits. ...
  3. The More You Write, The Better You Get. ...
  4. Write in the Active Voice. ...
  5. Use Free Copywriting Tools. ...
  6. Research Your Subject Matter. ...
  7. Know What Value You're Adding. ...
  8. Develop a Brand Voice.

How can I write a simple copywriting? ›

7 elements of great copywriting strategies
  1. Emotionally connective writing. The landing page copy has to connect with the reader. ...
  2. Focus on benefits, not features. ...
  3. Direct, clear language. ...
  4. A strong call to action. ...
  5. Target audience specific. ...
  6. Put yourself in your customer's shoes. ...
  7. Edit and cut and then do it again…and again.

What are the 5 C's copywriting? ›

Yet another writing formula I use — one I invented — is the "Five C's." It says that every good piece of content is clear, concise, compelling and credible, and has a call to action.

What are the 4 C's of copywriting? ›

According to the 4Cs formula, compelling copywriting has four characteristics: clear, concise, compelling, and credible.

What are the 3 common mistakes a copywriter may make? ›

Here are common copywriting mistakes to avoid:
  • Messaging that doesn't move your audience.
  • Using the passive voice.
  • Non-conversational writing that's all about “me.”
  • Too much fluff.
  • Bad or no formatting.
  • A failure to test your content.
Mar 5, 2023

What makes a good Instagram caption? ›

Your Instagram captions should mirror your brand personality, and they should sound and feel like the rest of your marketing channels. In general, it's a good idea to take a more informal tone in your captions, as this will make your posts more personable — which is great for encouraging engagement!

What is the you rule in copywriting? ›

You can use point of view to help your reader experience your product or service through words. Copywriters call this the copyrighting rule the “You Rule.”That's because a large percentage of promotional material are written in second person, speaking to the reader straightforwardly by using “you.”

What should copywriters post on Instagram? ›

Want More Real Instagram Followers?
  1. 5 Copywriting Hacks for Better Instagram Captions.
  2. Format your Instagram captions for maximum impact.
  3. Position your CTAs better.
  4. Use power words.
  5. Add some rhymes to your Instagram captions.
  6. Ask feeling-focused rhetorical questions.
  7. Over to You.
Mar 9, 2023

How do writers get noticed on Instagram? ›

How do writers get noticed on Instagram? You can try a variety of tasks, but the most important goals are to use hashtags strategically, engage yourself on Instagram, post regularly, ask questions, and experiment.

What is the first sentence of copywriting? ›

The first sentence

That sentence must speak directly to the needs and desires of your audience and your content must deliver on its promise. Journalists call it the lede, the first sentence (or paragraph) is meant to bring the reader into the piece, to make it irresistible, to get the article read.

Can I start copywriting with no experience? ›

Many people think they need years of education and experience to land a well-off job as a copywriter. However, that is a complete myth. Because, many famous industry experts didn't have a formal university degree, to begin with. Working as a writer is possible even though you have no previous experience.

How can I master copywriting fast? ›

How to learn copywriting
  1. Earn a college degree. While you don't need a formal education to work in most copywriting positions, it can help distinguish you from other candidates. ...
  2. Review copywriting content. ...
  3. Practice writing. ...
  4. Build a portfolio. ...
  5. Understand your audience. ...
  6. Create easily readable content.
Feb 3, 2023

Can copywriting be self taught? ›

The quickest way to learn copywriting is to hire a good coach who can tell you what you're doing wrong and how you can improve. The next best way is to join a good course that demonstrates with examples how to make average copy more persuasive. But you can also do this by yourself. It just takes more time.

What are copywriting skills examples? ›

Examples of copywriting skills
  • Strong writing skills. The first and foremost hard skill that these professionals have is writing skills. ...
  • Communication skills. ...
  • Technical skills. ...
  • Creative thinking. ...
  • Problem-solving skills. ...
  • Interpersonal skills. ...
  • Research skills. ...
  • Develop strong writing skills.
Mar 10, 2023

What is the most important rule in copywriting? ›

The rule of one is one of the foundational tenets of copywriting and states that whatever copy you write should focus on: one big idea, one reader, one promise, and one call to action.

What are the six genres of copywriting? ›

There a six genres of writing: descriptive, expository, persuasive, narrative, technical and poetic.

What is copywriting techniques? ›

Copywriting is a content production strategy focused on convincing the reader to take a specific action. The copywriter must write the “copy” (the content) thinking about its persuasive character, using triggers to arouse interest in the reader, in order to generate conversions and sales.

What are the three copywriting best practices? ›

Here are seven best practices to keep in mind:
  • Use plenty of headings. Well-written headlines act as the informal outline of a page. ...
  • Use bullet points. ...
  • Keep paragraphs short. ...
  • Frontload important information. ...
  • Call attention to key terms and phrases. ...
  • Know your audience. ...
  • Omit unnecessary words.
Jun 22, 2022

What should copywriting avoid? ›

21 copywriting mistakes to avoid for better marketing results
  • Not understanding the copy's target. ...
  • No problem to solve. ...
  • Wrong tone. ...
  • Opening with boring generalizations. ...
  • Ignoring the audience's motivation level. ...
  • Weak headlines and subheads. ...
  • Lengthy sentences. ...
  • Too formal.
Feb 16, 2023

What is the three rule in copy? ›

Three is the smallest number of pieces required to make a pattern. In copywriting, we like concise, and we try to create patterns in words because they're easier for a human brain to soak up. Academics have studied the power of three for centuries and conclude we're hard-wired to respond positively to groups of three.

Why do copywriters fail? ›

Usually copywriters who “fail” fall into one of two camps: they don't have training or a system for landing clients, or they have training, but are afraid of failure. If you fall into the first camp, you'll want to first get training. If you fall into the second camp, you'll want to listen to today's episode.

How do you write a copywriting killer? ›

How to Write Killer Sales Copy – The Best Tips
  1. Choose one focus. ...
  2. Define your goal. ...
  3. Identify your target audience. ...
  4. Use compelling words. ...
  5. Make it readable. ...
  6. Tell a story. ...
  7. Identify a buyer's main objections and work against them. ...
  8. Highlight the benefits of your offer.
Nov 16, 2018

What is an example of bad copywriting? ›

Here are 5 bad copywriting examples:

Buy now while supplies last!” This is a very obvious attempt to encourage people to buy by having fear and haste. However, there is no reason why the supply should run out soon, and it just comes across as implausible.

What is illegal copywriting? ›

Copyright infringement (at times referred to as piracy) is the use of works protected by copyright without permission for a usage where such permission is required, thereby infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected ...

What are clever captions? ›

Clever Instagram Captions
  • Patience — what you have when there are too many witnesses.
  • Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's the Clarendon filter.
  • "Life is short." ...
  • Happy Sunday! ...
  • Rejection is just redirection.
  • Better an "oops" than a "what if."
  • Anyone looking for a heart?
Mar 9, 2023

What is the best caption style? ›

Here are some of the best style captions for Instagram.
  • Want to be original? ...
  • Elegance is beauty. ...
  • Too glam to give a damn.
  • My dress style portrays my state of being.
  • Confidence makes every dressing look great.
  • Life is too short to wear boring outfits.
  • Dress like the gentleman you are.
  • Dress how you want to be addressed.

What is a cool caption? ›

Cute Selfie Captions
  • “If you were looking for a sign, here it is.”
  • “Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.”
  • “Just because you're awake doesn't mean you should stop dreaming.”
  • “Be yourself, there's no one better.”
  • “Stress less and enjoy the best.”
  • “Look for the magic in every moment.”
Jan 6, 2023

How do copywriters make copy compelling? ›

How to Write Compelling Copy
  1. 1) Get to know your target prospect. ...
  2. 2) Exploit the psychology of exclusivity. ...
  3. 3) Make it emotional. ...
  4. 4) Draw analogies and metaphors. ...
  5. 5) Avoid weasel words. ...
  6. 6) Create urgency. ...
  7. 7) Tailor your CTA. ...
  8. Now, are you going to compel everyone?
Jul 12, 2018

What is Rule #1 in effective writing? ›

  • Rule 1. Use concrete rather than vague language. ...
  • Rule 2. A sentence fragment is usually an oversight, or a bad idea. ...
  • Rule 3. Use consistent grammatical form when offering several ideas. ...
  • Rule 4. Avoid overusing there is, there are, it is, it was, etc. ...
  • Rule 5. Use active voice whenever possible.

How do I know if I am good at copywriting? ›

If you're able to write persuasively, engagingly, and know how to connect with other people, there's a great chance that you'll be an excellent copywriter. If you're a creative thinker with a background in sales, marketing, or other forms of writing, you're already a step ahead of many aspiring copywriters.

How do you use special writing on Instagram captions? ›

Let's focus on the fonts customisation, however. To add a custom font to your post, just enter your caption to the text window and select the text (excluding emojis). Then head over to the bottom layer with fonts options. Click on any font you wish, and your caption will change its look.

How do you format captions on Instagram? ›

Honestly, the most effective way for you to have well formatted Instagram captions is to create your caption in a Note (or other app or tool) putting in the spacing and formatting you want. Then copy the caption, open Instagram and go through the upload process, pasting the caption into the Instagram upload stage.

How do I advertise myself as a copywriter? ›

Marketing tactics for freelance copywriters
  1. Website or online portfolio.
  2. Social media.
  3. Search engine optimisation.
  4. Networking.
  5. Peer networking.
  6. Job sites.
  7. Freelance marketplaces.
  8. Cold calling.

What are savage captions? ›

General Savage Instagram Captions
  • I'm a hot girl but I never lose my cool.
  • Does my sparkle burn your eyes?
  • Just like the alphabet, I come before U.
  • Why chase you when I'm the catch?
  • No GPS but it's my turn.
  • 20/20 vision and I still don't see any competition.
  • I'm none of your business.
  • Sit up when I walk in.
Jul 29, 2022

How do you write a creative social media caption? ›

7 Tips for Creating Engaging Social Media Captions
  1. Create Captions With Intention. When creating your social media post captions, think about what the intention behind the post is. ...
  2. Encourage Conversations. ...
  3. Include A Call To Action (On Occasion) ...
  4. Add Value. ...
  5. Put Yourself In Your Audience's Shoes. ...
  6. Be Yourself. ...
  7. Tell A Story.
May 19, 2018

What font is used on Instagram captions? ›

Instagram Sans reflects the shape of the glyph and our commitment to simplicity and craft.

What is the best format for captions? ›

Understandably, simple caption formats are the most popular and widely accepted. Common formats include SRT and WebVTT files, which are also easy to create as a DIY captioning alternative. Intermediate caption formats are primarily used in broadcast television and include SCC and SMPTE-TT file formats.

How do you style captions? ›

Here are some of the best style captions for Instagram.
  1. Want to be original? ...
  2. Elegance is beauty. ...
  3. Too glam to give a damn.
  4. My dress style portrays my state of being.
  5. Confidence makes every dressing look great.
  6. Life is too short to wear boring outfits.
  7. Dress like the gentleman you are.
  8. Dress how you want to be addressed.

What is the most common caption format? ›

SRT (. srt) stands for “SubRip Subtitle” file, and it's the most common subtitle/caption file format. It is a text format that originated in the DVD-ripping software SubRip, hence the name.


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