Instagram Captions: creative ideas for your pictures and Reels

Instagram photo captions come in all shapes in sizes: from longreads to short quotes or even emojis. Let’s find out what makes a perfect insta caption, exclusively for your brand!

It’s not just about creativity

Instagram is a predominantly visual platform. You are most certainly going nowhere without fascinating, bright, and dynamic photos or videos.

Say, your visuals are perfect and you want to boost their effect. In that case, good captions for Instagram* can get a lot of work done. Today we will look at some strategies to find and explore your brand’s tone of voice and language.

Many bloggers and brands want to come up with something ~c r e a t i v e~. And if they fail to generate creative captions for Instagram*, they abandon their search.

In marketing, creativity is nothing if it doesn’t serve a purpose. Today, we will look at the main types of texts and learn to write the best Instagram* captions for our marketing goals. If you are looking for caption ideas, we have prepared some as well.

Know your format

There are certain peculiarities about Instagram* captions you should know about. The text should be a maximum of 2 200 characters, with spaces, hashtags and any other stuff included. Remember that all the links you want to leave there are unclickable, and should be left in the bio, which is the area between your profile picture and main feed.

Another important thing to know is that IG captions are automatically truncated when they reach the limit of 125 characters. And your subscribers will have to tap “… more” to see the whole text. With that given, the basic rule of writing engaging Instagram* post captions is to stick the main idea or even call-to-action phrases there.

Knowing your limits is good but what Instagram* caption length is suitable for your profile? The answers there may vary. Generally, marketers say that it’s best to stay within the previously mentioned 125 characters. But it doesn’t mean you can’t go for more. Captions let your brand voice ring and help to establish a bond with the subscribers. Meeting a brand on Instagram* is like meeting a real person. Your first impressions are based on what you see (images) but your communication starts with words (captions). Will you be interested in a person who can’t put together a couple of sentences? We strongly recommend that you experiment with caption length and find what works best for you.

Now, let’s go through the most common types of Instagram* captions for you to try out.

Types of captions and defining a purpose

Marketers take different approaches when it comes to dividing posts into groups. For the sake of simplicity, we will look at three of them. The types and their names are derived from their function, and the impact they are supposed to make on your subscribers.

Short Instagram* Captions aka Fillers

This is probably the easiest way to accompany your visual content. Fillers come in different shapes. Sometimes they are emojis, quotes for Instagram*, or even single words. Sometimes, all people need is a meme or just a small fun post to smile at.

Mind the type of your blog. If you have a personal Instagram* account for a brand of your own, feel free to experiment with whatever you like. Larger businesses should stick to the brand’s tone of voice. Sometimes that means no ambiguous emojis (like peaches and aubergines) and no super-emotional Insta quotes.

Instagram Captions: creative ideas for your pictures and Reels
Occasionally, all you need is a single line of text, just like in this picture caption by Vespa @vespa.

Coming up with Fillers for your brand page or personal blog may be challenging. So, we brought together a bunch of Instagram* captions for different situations to give you the concept. Feel free to use them as ready-made caption ideas or as a starter for a bigger caption.

Seasons and Weather

  • Here comes the sun
  • Sunshine is the best medicine
  • High tides, good vibes
  • I find my happiness where the sun shines
  • Let it snow
  • Baby, it’s cold outside

Locations

  • Moscow never sleeps
  • Paris, je t’aime
  • What happens in Berlin, stays in Berlin
  • If they can’t do it in California, it can’t be done anywhere else
  • New York, New Me

Everyday Life

  • A little party never killed nobody
  • But first, coffee
  • Vacation mode on
  • Don’t give up on your dreams
  • New day, new opportunities

Captions for Business

  • Tough Monday? Grab a latte from us and start the week energized!
  • Hello, [City/Country]! Today we present our new product at [Event]. Join us, to say hi, grab a coffee, and have a chat!
  • Big careers should start big. Take a look at our interns. See the future stars?
  • Another day, another person happy with his new [product name]]! Grab yours at our store!
  • The [materials] for our [products] just came in. What color do you like most?
  • At [Company Name] responsibility is within DNA. Our volunteers took part in [Event Name]. Join us next time!
  • This is John @johnthecto, our CTO. Have questions about our service? Feel free to ask him in the comments!

You can also use so-called Instagram* quotes but be careful. You are not the only one who googles “quotes for photos on Instagram*”.

Those Instagram* captions are good because you don’t need a copywriter to come up with them. But be careful not to overflow your feed with meaningless emojis. Instagram*’s algorithms pay close attention to the amount of time people spend on your page. So, cutting on bigger texts means cutting subscribers’ focus. Think about Fillers as a way to give your audience a break from serious matters and call-to-actions.

Advertising Instagram* Captions

Probably, the most common type of captions for Instagram*. They help you to promote goods and drive engagement. Feel free to tell about the product’s benefits, share user-generated content, reviews, and other visuals that make your products and services appealing.

These captions are usually accompanied by photos that demonstrate products or services and highlight their benefits. Stick to 125 characters and go forward with direct call-to-action. Call for purchasing, likes, shares, and comments.

Advertising captions for Insta are frequently used by shops, marketplaces, and brands that sell their goods online. The main goal is to trigger a spontaneous purchase and it defines the structure of such. They are usually composed of a setup phrase with a brief call-to-action.

In a setup, you can address people’s feelings, emotions, or just set the mood with short phrases.

Instagram Captions: creative ideas for your pictures and Reels
ASOS @asos social media marketing team are true masters of writing short Instagram* captions. They pay close attention to news and trends, frequently citing popular songs, movies, and TV series. In this case, they also use call-to-action mechanics, encouraging people to vote for the best outfit.

When it comes to call-to-actions, try to think out of the box. We have gathered a bunch of them for you. You can also top them up with a line from our Fillers, and there you go!

List of Engaging captions for Advertising

Direct instructions

  • Tap the link in bio
  • Find out more at our website
  • Register for early access
  • DM us to get a discount/checklist/free PDF
  • Tell us what you think in the comments!

Engaging call-to-actions

  • Comment 1-9 to see who is the best
  • Tag the one you want to share this experience with
  • Save this post for later
  • Share this lifehack with a friend
  • Double tap if you feel the same way

Some bloggers tend to overflow their captions with call-to-actions, putting three or even five of them. Stick to just one or two. Imagine being asked to do five things simultaneously. Chances are, you forget everything.

You can easily build your own call-to-action with a simple formula:

WHAT + HOW + MODIFIER

The “What” refers to the desired action (buy, order, like, share, comment).

The “How” is your instruction on accomplishing these actions (at our website, link in bio).

The “Modifier” is completely up to you. It can be time limits, discounts, anxiety relief (free delivery, no extra costs, etc.), a unique selling proposition, or anything else you feel effective enough to build an irresistible offer.

Instagram Captions: creative ideas for your pictures and Reels
Sale season requires generating tons of call-to-actions. In this post by Native Instruments @nativeinstruments, a music software company, we can see the formula at work.

Value Instagram* Captions

The word “value” in that case refers to the benefits for your reader. No matter what product you promote on your Instagram* page, you have a lot of knowledge to share with the subscribers.



This type of posts require longer captions than advertising. The aim here is to build and promote your expertise, push forwards the values of your company, and tell about social initiatives.

The idea of writing long texts for Instagram* is quite controversial. Many studies show that larger Instagram* captions have no to little effect on subscribers, reach, engagement, and other important KPIs of your social media activity. At the same time, some research show that there is a tendency towards an increase in the number of characters for an average Instagram* post. And we see that some brands take longreads into practice.

Instagram Captions: creative ideas for your pictures and Reels
This post by Unilever @unilever has more than 1 000 characters, though it is readable and engaging. What makes it stand out is its topic. If you feel that your brand has something important to share, don’t be humble with Instagram* caption size.

Remember that touching upon any sensitive topic concerning the body, age, race, gender, or nationality can draw both positive and negative reactions. And sometimes you just don’t want to take the risk of losing a part of your audience at all. Ask for feedback before posting, and always be ready to engage in discussion in the comment section.

Instagram Captions: creative ideas for your pictures and Reels
Listicles are nice to organize bigger amounts of information. In this example by World Wide Fund for Nature @wwf, we can see a post that clearly brings value to the audience. People are more likely to share this type of content and tag their friends in the comments.

As mentioned before, you should balance the number of different caption types in your content plan. Start with equal parts and track any changes in engagement and conversion rates of your call-to-actions.

Reels Captions

In 2020, Instagram* introduced Reels, giving brands another opportunity to promote. This format allows you to upload short vertical videos and explore them in a way that resembles TikTok. Though Instagram* supports up to 60 seconds long videos, it is recommended to keep them simple and up to 15 seconds.

The same principles of simplicity and briefness apply to captions for Reels. In this case, you have even fewer characters to express yourself. Stick to one line. The good news is that Reels format is friendly towards a less formal tone of voice. Even large brands allow themselves to fool around, establishing bonds with younger audiences.

You can certainly stick with Advertising and Filler Captions for Reels, but here are some examples of how you can use them to boost the effect of short videos.

Turn your Reels into a series and leave a cliffhanger. Think about presenting your product in a series of short videos. Show the process of making something cool, invite people to subscribe, and promise to show the results in the next video. Or vice versa, expose the brilliant result in the first video and announce the guide on how to achieve the same result in the upcoming Reel.

  • See the results in the next video
  • Find out how we made it in the next reel
  • Follow us and learn the same trick

Give instructions. Reels format is perfect for how-to lifehacks and videos. If you teach people something valuable, a cool Instagram* caption brings it forward.

Instagram Captions: creative ideas for your pictures and Reels
This Reel by DJI @djiglobal, a manufacturer of filmmaking accessories, gives direct instructions on how to use their products. A simple and clear caption works best to grasp the viewer’s attention.

Ask for an opinion. The main problem with Reels is that they are scrolled so easily that engaging people is challenging. But generally, people like to share their opinions. Especially, when your audience is mainly professional.

Instagram Captions: creative ideas for your pictures and Reels
Christain @unique.depth has a photography blog. Almost every Reel he posts comes with a question about techniques, gear, or creative ideas.

Formatting Instagram* Captions

So, you have finally put your posts together, you upload photos, copy and paste texts… and see that they turned into a mess.

Your long texts are glued together and are almost unreadable. That’s when you need to consider formatting. Officially, Instagram* doesn’t provide any tools for that but there are some tips and tricks to make your captions for Insta more comprehensible.

The first thing to consider is breaking your text into paragraphs. Paragraphs are divided by a blank line but Instagram* doesn’t recognize them and put each sentence one after another.

To make proper paragraphs, you need to put a special symbol on a blank line. Here it is, right between the brackets: “⠀”

Copy and paste it into the line you want to keep blank. Remember that a readable paragraph should take approximately 6 lines (9 maximum) on your smartphone screen. Take your paragraphs to the next level with emojis and use them as visual dividers.

Instagram Captions: creative ideas for your pictures and Reels
Format like a pro in the SMMplanner editor tab.

Sounds complicated and time-consuming? You don’t have to put special paragraph symbols manually. SMMplanner is a service that allows you to schedule and build posts from scratch. To save you time, our post constructor creates paragraphs automatically.

Go to the Posts tab and click the Schedule post button. Choose your Instagram* page and add a photo. Write a caption with all paragraphs and emojis, choose the time, and hit the Schedule button. Your post will be formatted by SMMplanner.

Hashtags

Instagram hashtags are a quite deep topic, but let’s run briefly through the main rules. You can include up to 30 hashtags in each caption for Insta. Though, it is recommended that you use 10 maximum. Don’t stick to the most popular hashtags: check what your audience and competitors use, and test what works best for you.

If you don’t want to mess up your caption with hashtags, there are two ways to separate them from the text.

First, you can leave three blank lines with a period, bullet, dash, or any other symbol after your text. This way, your hashtags will be invisible until you tap “… more”.

Second, you are free to leave the hashtags in the comment section. Both ways work well with SMMplanner.

Instagram Captions: creative ideas for your pictures and Reels
Insert comments and autodelete them to keep your Instagram* captions neat and clean.

Now, you have everything to make good Instagram* captions. To make things easier, grab SMMplanner’s free 7-day trial here.

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