Caption for Instagram Reels is just as important simply because they give greater context. It is also seen as the extended or elaborated version of what is on your video as Instagram Reels are short-form video content and it can go up to about 90 seconds.
Most of the time, I notice that most of the good ones are always below 10 seconds and the sweet spot is 7 seconds and there isn’t much that you can convey in words in 7 seconds.
You can convey in bullet points your valuable content, but you need to still elaborate so that your audience can fully understand the context of that video.
Compelling captions can create more engagement because your audience can connect and resonate with you and with the recent updates to Instagram algorithm, your views are more likely to be served up to those who interacted with your Reel.
As a business owner, you need to entice your audience to engage with your Reels. Whether it’s for them to watch all the way to the end, or whether it is to get them to like or comment or even share it. The best one is to get them to save for later as this shows it is really valuable information for them.
You need a lengthy caption depending on what your video is about from time to time. It can be something short yet powerful, so here are some of the best practices when it comes to writing a caption.
Have one goal in mind
What do you want your audience to do when they come across your Reel? Is it…
- Head over to the link in your bio and click?
- To comment on it?
- Share or save it?
Pick one goal and focus your caption on inspiring that exact response, which is getting them to do something.
Have a standard framework
Just like this one, the 6 essential elements, to write the perfect Instagram Reel so you’ll be able to write consistently.
Ensure it provides as much value as the Reel
If your Reel is all about engaging, educating or entertaining then your caption should also be either engaging, educating, or entertaining.
Now, let’s move on to the 6 essential elements to create the perfect Instagram Reel caption.
#1: Killer Hook
This is the first line of your caption. Have an attention-grabbing one that really piques interest or curiosity. Ask a question or offer an exclusive discount or a special offer letting them know it is a limited time frame.
You can state a misconception, mistake, myth or anything that arouses curiosity and that people are wanting to read more because the intention is that you want them to stay for as long as you want them to on your Reels.
Keep it as short as possible but powerful because anything more than 125 characters, the text gets truncated.
- Myths or misconception
If you are a money/financial coach, here’s an example – “4 myths about investing that stop you from getting rich”
If you are a business, mindset coach or coach for service providers, this is something that you can use, “The number 1 mistake that you’re making that’s costing you to get more clients”
Another one is by asking a question, if you are a fitness coach, you can ask “Want to know how to lose weight without working out?”
If you are a course coach, you can ask a question like this, “Are you struggling to create your signature course?” Read this now..
You are giving them simple questions for them to ask themselves, and you’re giving them a call to action to read it now.
People get inspired when they know that if you can do it, so can they.
An example would be, “It took me 2 years to quit my 9 to 5 job..” Like those who are in corporate who want to go ahead and pursue their passion.
You can also share tips like “3 tips to get more clients..” It’s helping your audience to fast track the results or their goals.
- Your story
Share your story in one line and get them really curious or interested so it can be a question like “Have you ever felt like you have to eat one meal a day to lose weight?”
It stops the scroll with such a question.
If you’re wanting to share your office or talk about the promotional activities that you have, you can use this, “Here are four ways you can work with me..”
If you are a confidence coach you can use, “[your program’s name], doors are now open”. It’s letting people know that you have your enrolment open for people to sign up.
If you are a fitness coach, you can use something like this, “Lose 5 KGS in two weeks is now open for enrolment..”
I find that when you use the result in your program’s name, it really stands out because it gets to the point so people know what your program is about.
That’s the result that you’re giving them, so it’s good to always name your program after the transformation or the result that you’re getting for your clients.
If you are a nutrition/ food coach, you can say, “It’s time to sign up for my 5 days detox your body challenge..”
Simple and yet powerful.
It is the starting point of your caption, so this comes after the first line, which is your killer hook and this is the transition that flows into your value added points, which is the next essential element.
You have that one line to hook in your audience, then what next? This is where you provide some insights as to what your story/caption is about.
#3: Value added points
If you have 3 tips on how to lose weight, you need to elaborate each tip in the caption. It can be 2 to 3 paragraphs so that your audience can understand in a better context.
This is the part where you put all of your valuable info and your golden nuggets so be generous with what you have to share, don’t hold back.
Data shows that Reels with longer captions generally receive higher engagement rates simply because it builds deeper connections with your audience.
Super Tip: Talk about your valuable information in a way that you’re telling a story and not like a salesy person, and from there your audience will feel like you are the person who completely understands them. They can resonate with what you have gone through.
If you’re a fitness coach and you’re teaching about losing 5 kilos in two weeks, talk about your story. How did you actually get to the point where you were able to lose that weight in two weeks?
Sharing all about you will show your emotions, how you felt about it and the process of going through that and your audience will be able to really connect and resonate and feel that you are the go to person to be able to help them.
#4: Captivating call to action or call to engagement
Invite your audience to do what you want them to do. Guide them on to the next action you want them to take and keep it as simple as possible with one call-to-action (CTA) or a call-to-engagement (CTE)
Examples of a call to action are “Click the link in the bio” or “Download my free quick drinking coffee guide now…”
You can also try, “Sign up for my weekly copywriting tips” or “Tag a friend who needs to see this now” or “Save this for later.”
Go straight to the point and always remind your audience what’s in it for them when they take action.
Always remember, you have got to put your audience first. It’s not what’s in it for you, but what’s in it for them. Your audience is enjoying what you are sharing and the algorithm will serve more of your content to the audience who engage with your content.
This will lead to more visibility for your Reel and for your business.
Here’s one thing that you need to bear in mind, do not include different CTA or CTE for your audience. Just 1 powerful CTA or CTE is good as too much of this will in fact cause your audience to not do anything because they are overwhelmed.
#5: Spacing and Emojis
Ensure that there’s spacing in between your paragraphs so that it makes your content easier to consume and provide a great reading experience.
Have you ever seen a caption that is a whole chunk of paragraph? It’s so hard to read and understand what the caption is all about because there’s too much to read.
It’s always good to have short paragraphs, especially when it comes to writing your caption.
You can also use emojis when you want to draw your attention to a specific sentence, or even to a CTA or a CTE. This adds personality to your Reels caption and captures the attention of your audience with some colours.
Super Tip: Don’t overdo it. It’ll make your audience feel overwhelmed with an overcrowded caption with emojis.
Insert up to 30 relevant and related hashtags. It can help organise and categorise your Reel, which means that Instagram knows what to show to your audience who have searched the hashtags or keywords when they’re browsing through the Explore page.
It’s also really important to be strategic about your hashtag usage. The smaller the hashtag number is, it is better to use because you can be easily discovered.
When you use a big number sort of hashtag, you get drowned in all of the millions of hashtags. Use hashtags that will help you reach your dream clients. Use a variety of hashtags that is branded, community-based, location and related to your niche.
Where do you place your hashtags? Should it be in the caption or in the comments?
After so many years of debate, Instagram has finally come forward and said that you should use relevant keywords and hashtags in the caption and not in the comments.
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