How To Create A Captivating Post For Instagram

by | Mar 7, 2022 | Content Marketing, Content Writing

When was the last time you saw a post on Instagram that stopped you from scrolling?  Instagram is a great platform for sharing photos with customers, friends and followers. But to really stand out, you need to create Instagram posts that are visually appealing and engaging for your audience. 

The photo or video you use is just part of the experience…what converts the person from just looking at the photo to liking it, posting a comment or follow your profile is the caption.

Captivating Instagram captions are the key to getting people to engage with your posts. They should be interesting, creative and capture the essence of your photo.

So let’s go through some things you can do to create a captivating post for Instagram:

Understand Who Your Audience is

When it comes to Instagram, you need to understand your audience. What are their interests? What do they like to see? What do they want to be associated with? Once you know this, you can start crafting captions that will engage and attract your followers.

But it can be hard to figure out who your audience is. Here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Research your niche:  This will help you to create content that is both interesting and relevant to your followers. Additionally, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in your industry. By doing this, you will be able to create content that is both engaging and visually appealing.
  • What interests your audience?
  • What are they talking about on social media?
  • What are their interests?

For example:  

  • If you’re a chef that has a cookbook, you know that the type of people you’ll attract are those who appreciate good food and want to expand their culinary skills.  So you can include cooking tips and recipes to help people get started.
  • If you’re a graphic designer who’s teaching people how to use Canva, you’ll want to attract people who want to learn how to use this popular online platform, whether they want to create graphics for their own business or to become graphic designers themselves.
  • If you’re a motivational speaker, the type of people you’ll be attracting to your Instagram account is going to be people who are looking for inspiration and motivation (obviously), but what type of motivation? People who are looking for a way to improve their lives will be especially interested in your posts, as will people who are looking for ways to improve their professional lives.   Are people looking for motivation during weight loss, a new mom who doesn’t feel good after having her baby, a man who has to look for a new job after leaving one he’s been at for the last 30 years or even a teen who’s getting ready to come out, but he’s not sure if he should.

Once you know who your target audience is, you can start to create posts just for them.

Woman drinking a cup of coffee while thinking about her next instagram post

What Type of Post Are You Creating?  

Knowing what type of instagram post you’re creating is the next step of the plan.

Sometimes if feels like creating the perfect Instagram post is an art form that takes time and practice. Before that though, the first step is to know what type of post you’re creating. 

  • single image post:  is a type of post that is limited to one image. They can be used to share a snapshot of your day, a creative project you’re working on, a funny moment or to show off your creative skills.
  • single video post:  similar as a single image post, but with video
  • image carousel:  you might be thinking, “What the heck is an image carousel?” Well, it’s just a way to showcase multiple images on your Instagram profile at once. You can create an image carousel by taking a series of images and arranging them in a rotating or scrolling gallery format. This can be a great way to show off your latest photos and create a cohesive visual story.
  • video carousel:  similar as same as an image carousel but with video
  • combination of image and video carousel:  a mix of images and video in a carousel
  • reel:  An Instagram reel video is a great way to showcase your work on the platform. It’s a short video (maximum of 60 seconds) and it can be used to attract new followers and boost engagement.  It’s similar to Tiktok

What’s the Purpose of the Actual Post?

The purpose of your post depends on the goal of that post. For example, if you’re looking to promote a product or service, you may want to post photos of the product in action or screenshots of customer reviews.

Is your post inspirational, entertaining or do you want to take the visitor on a tour while they peeking over your shoulder watching you creating your next product? 

If you’re creating a educational or a tutorial post, it’s important to captivate your readers with words that teach and images to match.  For example, if you’re writing about how to make a delicious dinner, use images of food or a video of you making the meal and include the recipe as part of the caption.  This will help to draw in your readers and keep them engaged.   Try using phrases like “What You Didn’t Know About…” or “Amazing Facts About…” to keep your followers interested.

Once you know the purpose of your post, that will help with the next step.

How to Write a Caption for Instagram?

Wondering how to write the actual caption for a photo on Instagram that will get attention?   When writing shorter copy for Instagram, you need to be very careful with your words.  Make sure it meets your readers’ needs and expectations.  Your copy has to be:

  • relevant to your reader
  • interesting
  • valuable
  • easy to read (no industry jargon)
  • worthy of a comment

So how do you write a good caption for Instagram that will engage your followers! 

Start With a Good Hook

A hook is the first sentence or two of your post that grabs someone’s attention and encourages them to keep reading.  That means finding a way to pique the reader’s interest right from the get-go. Whether it’s a clever wordplay or a well-timed pun, captions need to grab attention right away in order to compel users to keep reading the next paragraph. 

Write in First Person

When it comes to captions for Instagram, one of the most important things to remember is to write in first person. This will help make your caption feel more personal and engaging for your followers. Additionally, using first person can also help you show off your writing skills and give your caption a more polished feel.

Write Like you Talk

When you write for Instagram, it’s important to emulate the way you talk. Use short, punchy sentences that are easy to read. Keep your language informal and use active verbs to show that you’re engaged in the conversation.  If you met someone in a coffee shop, they should immediately see that the way you “talk” in your posts is the way you talk in real life.

Use a Copywriting Framework

A copywriting framework is a guide that helps you write effective copy for your website, blog, or social media posts. A framework will help you organize your thoughts and keep your writing consistent.

There are about 27 copywriting frameworks, but here are some of my favourites:

  • PAS:  Problem, Agitation, Solution (good to show your expertise)
  • PASTOR:  Problem, Amplify, Solution, Transformation, Offer, Response (good for promotional posts)
  • AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (good for carousels)

Now, I’m not saying you need to learn about all these frameworks, but picking one will help keep your copy focused.

The popular AIDA Copywriting Framework can help you create captivating posts for Instagram. It was created by Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898.  The framework consists of four steps: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. 

It’s a step-by-step framework that will help you create powerful, persuasive copy that will get your viewer to take some sort of action.

  • Attention:  You need to capture your audience’s attention by creating a compelling headline that grabs their attention. Make sure the headline is relevant to your post and interesting enough to keep them reading.
  • Interest: This is where you develop the readers interest in what you’re talking about.  Draw them in to keep them reading.
  • Desire:   The desire to want something better is one of the most powerful motivators out there. And when you can tap into that desire, you can create powerful copy that will get your viewer to take action.  Here you can give them some steps to follow to help them reach that desired feeling.
  • Action:  In the simpliest term, what do you want your reader to do?  It’s the Call to Action.  It’s a phrase or a sentence that encourages someone to take some specific action. It can be a request for people to sign up for a mailing list, make a purchase, comment, like a post or follow you on Instagram.
Woman creating a captivating instagram post on her laptop

Answer the question: What’s in it for me?

Every caption you write, every post you create, must add some type of value to your Instagram feed.  When someone reads a funny story, tutorial or behind the scenes post, they often get a lot of value out of it. By providing helpful and entertaining information, you’re helping your reader learn something new or improve on an existing skill.

Whether you’re sharing a hilarious story about your cat and how it affected your product development or sharing a guide to making the perfect pie, make sure that your posts offer valuable information that your readers can use.

You may need to tweak your caption in order to answer this question.

Use the Right Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to help people find your posts on Instagram. They’re also a great way to keep your posts organized and searchable. For example, if you’re posting about a set of copper earrings you’ve designed, using a hashtag #copperearrings, #copperjewelry, #copperwirejewelry or #handmadejewellery / #handmadejewelry can help people find your posts quickly. 

Tip:  use alternative spellings for hashtags.

To help you with hashtags, use a smartphone app called Hashtag Managers or for desktop <- my favourite!

In Conclusion

Creating a captivating post for Instagram doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take dedication, practice and looking at your Instagram insights for statistics.  

  • Understand who your audience is.
  • What type of post are you creating?
  • What’s the purpose of that post?
  • Write a catchy caption that will make people want to read your post.
  • Answer the question:  what’s in it for me?
  • Use hashtags to help people find your post.
Magazine and a coffee up on a table

Want to up your Instagram caption game?

Look no further! Get your free ebook: it’s chock-full of witty and clever captions that will have your followers double-tapping in no time.

Plus, 7 days’ worth of captions mean you can finally stop staring at your phone wondering what to write. Download it Now.

Until next time, stay inspired.



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