Rival IQ recently ran a study to look at the median engagement metrics for various social platforms across all industries – and found an average rate of 0.09% on Facebook, 0.048% on Twitter, and a whopping 1.60% on Instagram. Clearly, Instagram is the place to be if you’re looking for engagement – and aren’t we all?
Plus, Instagram was made for visual content, so it’s the perfect platform for your videos to really make an impact. But getting engagement requires more than simply “being there.” It’s important, of course, to post compelling content, captivating videos and visuals and carefully crafted captions designed to get results. And the text that you supplement with your video posts – in this case, via captions – is almost as important as the content of the video itself.
So before you start working on your next post, make sure to check off the following best practices for writing the best Instagram captions for your videos. We also included some examples of Instagram videos that were created using Wibbitz Studio’s Instagram video editor, so you can see the practices in action.
Pay attention to the rules, but don’t go overboard
Rev reminds us that Instagram posts need to be a maximum length of 2200 characters, or about 300 words. They can include up to 30 hashtags (but we advise not getting too carried away here). Keep in mind, too, how your audience will be viewing your posts—often on mobile devices where only the first 8-10 words will be visible.
While capturing attention is the name of the game when it comes to Instagram captions, don’t err on the side of sensationalizing at the expense of ensuring brand relevance and consistency.
S&P Global, for instance, is all about energy—and sustainability. It makes sense, then, for them to share compelling information about climate initiatives that matter to their customers and Instagram audience.
Provide additional value
The best captions are singularly focused on providing information that your audience will value. What’s important to them? How can you provide information that answers their most compelling questions, addresses top-of-mind needs and concerns, or provides value that you can provide better than any of your competitors?
For instance, with so many people feeling anxiety on many fronts these days, Dr. Oz offered up “6 Tips to Help With Anxiety,” generating more than 400,000 views and a lot of engagement.
Another great example: this post from InStyle Magazine, sharing an impactful clip from the vice presidential debate that many women can related to.
Understanding what’s most important to your audience and then delivering content that addresses these areas of importance is the best way to build and engage a captive audience. Give your audience what they need most, now.
Summarize key points
A picture may be worth 1000 words, and a video image even more, but don’t overlook the importance of telling your audience what you’re showing them. Just because it’s clear to you, doesn’t mean it will be immediately clear to them, and as we know social media, and Instagram in particular, suffers from short viewer attention spans.
This example from Dr. Oz, illustrates this perfectly. The caption clearly describes the image; both work in concert to create interest and interaction.
Don’t underestimate the power of celebrity
Some familiar faces don’t need much introduction, as this TMZ post illustrates – Cari B says it all. Combine that with a rather surprising image of the pop star and they were sure to make an impact.
Unesco capitalized on celebrities of another kind, with this post featuring climate activist Greta Thunberg and her “role model” Malala Yusafzai.
KISS: Keep it short and simple
Don’t try to do or say too much through your posts, or your captions. Get to the point, keep the message brief, and keep it simple. Enough said.
Prompt engagement through compelling questions
There are some questions that visitors to your Instagram account can’t avoid answering! These are the types of questions that generate great engagement and serve to keep the conversation going, and your posts at the top of your networks’ streams.
This Bloomberg post offers a good example of this. Bloomberg is all about business and their posts don’t disappoint. Here they combine brand relevance with a question that’s bound to create instant interest and engagement from their audience: “If you knew you were going to lose all of your money tomorrow, what would you buy today?” Bloomberg illustrates that even business captions for Instagram don’t have to be dull.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of best practices to make your Instagram video strategy really rock. If you’re looking for more inspiration, here are 6 ways to master vertical text videos for Instagram Stories that are sure to get your creative juices flowing.
While great Instagram captions may look easy enough to produce, don’t let that fool you! Truly great Instagram captions—the kind that encourage engagement and interaction—require careful thought and deliberate attention to the kind of details that will mesmerize and motivate your audience.
FYI: A majority of the video examples above were created using Wibbitz Studio – the leading online video creation platform that makes it quick and easy for anyone to churn out professional-quality video content. Click here to start your free 7-day trial, and see for yourself just how easy Instagram video creation can be!