60+ Instagram Caption Ideas for Your Business

Need inspiration for your business' Instagram captions? Increase engagement and learn how to speak directly to your audience on Instagram.

An image of an instagram post for a pizza place called Johnny Slice
September 7, 2022
Sara Cardoza
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Reading time about 16 min

While Instagram capitalized on the principle, “a picture is worth a 1000 words,” if you’re neglecting your captions and relying on your images to do all the work on your account, you could be missing out on some key business opportunities.

Not only can Instagram captions increase your website traffic, they can also help you grow your sales, boost followers, and define your brand voice. Yes, beautiful images do quite a bit of heavy lifting when it comes to slowing the scroll rate, but never underestimate the power of a strong, well-crafted caption.

Instagram captions can be added to both individual posts as well as Instagram Stories and often make use of hashtags, emojis, and CTAs to drive engagement and action.

Side by side comparison of an Insta caption in an individual post and as a Story.

 

What Defines a Strong Instagram Caption?

A truly effective Instagram caption should accomplish one of several things:

  • Promote sales & drive traffic
  • Grow your base
  • Engage followers
  • Convert leads

Of course, this all depends on your business goals. So, before diving head first into the time-consuming art of creating simple instagram captions that are also interesting, engaging, and unique (whew) it’s a good idea to take a step back and determine the outcomes you hope to achieve.

With this in mind, to accomplish any of the above, there are several different captions types you can use, including caption starters, calls-to-action, personal captions, captions to boost shares, captions to boost comments, captions to sell and seasonal captions.

Let’s take a closer look at how to do this by using these varying caption types along with specific, business-focused language. Before we do, keep in mind, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach and you may find some overlap with both language and caption type — that’s okay! Most importantly you want to understand your goals and tailor your message accordingly.

Goal #1 — Promote Sales & Drive Traffic

Instagram post from a fashion retail brand (RuhRoh) about Fall Fashion Trends with the following caption: We’re falling for these autumn trends. Shop now! Link in bio. #fallfashion #sweaterweather #fashiontrends Replies in comment section would be: My favorite up-and-coming brand! - Love RuhRoh!!!! - Can’t wait to snap up some of these fall pieces

Instagram is a powerful tool for promoting the products or services your brand offers. In order to effectively sell those products and services on Instagram you’ll want to use messaging that quickly directs your followers to your shop or website and helps them better understand your product or services. These caption types can help you achieve your sales and traffic goals.

  1. CTA (or Calls-to-Action)
    Encourage your followers to take action after reading your caption, which can include prompts such as, “Save this post for later,”“Click the link to the bio,” or “Sign up for our monthly newsletter.”

    For example, if you’re in the fitness industry, you may create a post that features a free workout with a caption that might say, “Save this workout and crush it later” or “Sign up for our monthly fitness newsletter in the bio link.”
  2. Seasonal Captions
    Catchy seasonal language can help grab attention and infuse garden-variety captions with something a bit more engaging.

    As an example, you can promote summer sales with something like “Beat the heat with these cool deals,” or “Our summer sales are heating up.”
  3. Captions-to-Sell
    Traditionally, captions-to-sell use language like, “Link in bio to shop,” “Shop now,” or “Hurry, these styles won’t last long!” (because nothing like a bit of urgency to boost sales promotions).

    You can also blend this with CTA and seasonal captions. So, if you're an online retailer you could try something like, “We’re falling for these autumn trends. Shop now!”

 

Instagram post of a delicious, dripping ice cream cone with a caption that reads: The only man worth chasing this summer is the ice cream man — tag a girlfriend who agrees.

Goal #2 — Grow Your Base

When it comes to expanding your following on Instagram, the key is to create content that encourages your existing followers to share that content with potential new followers. Your existing followers offer the unique ability to provide you with free marketing, so make sure you harness that potential with captions to boost shares.

In order to encourage your followers to tag their friends in the comments of your post, share your post in an Instagram Story, or send it via private DM, it’s important that your captions specifically encourage these actions.

Say you own an ice cream shop, you could write a clever caption that says, “The only man worth chasing this summer is the ice cream man — tag a girlfriend who agrees.”

Or consider captioning an Instagram Story with something like, “Don't be a 🤐. Friends don’t keep secrets… and this deal is too good not to share,” which makes it easy for followers to immediately send to others.

An Instagram How it started and How it’s going now post from a clothing co. (Earthi) of someone working on clothes at home next to someone walking on the runway with a caption that reads: How it started and How it’s going now Replies: Only way to live! - You’re an absolute inspiration Malli - Best dress I’ve ever owned

Goal #3 — Engage Followers

One of the most impactful ways Instagram can help support your business is its unique ability to give your followers a more personalized window into who you are and what your brand represents.. Single-handedly, Instagram created an opportunity for individuals to create their own brand — no PR team or marketing entourage required.

It also completely changed the celebrity world. Seemingly overnight we had the ability to see a curated version of what our favorite celebrities were eating, wearing, and doing on a daily basis (and for free!) — and it created a sense of personal connection.

This same principle applies to your brand. However, to truly engage your followers, it’s not only necessary to build a relationship with them, but to define your brand voice, company mission, and to clearly outline the products or services you offer. And, of course, get their attention to begin with. Some strategies to do this with your written content include:

  1. Caption Starters
    These function to cut through the noise and to stop the scroll. In general, the images you use will do your heavy lifting here, but your caption should work double-time to hook the reader and keep them on the post long enough to encourage engagement and shares.

    Examples would be captions like, “Did you hear?” “Well…the secret’s out,” and “So I guess it’s time we addressed the elephant in the room.”

  2. Personal Captions
    These should work to provide more insight into who you are, the faces behind the brand, or what your company or organization stands for. This is also a place to celebrate your successes and make your followers a part of your journey.

    For example, you may create a post or an Instagram story that shares insight into how you started your business. Everyone likes an origin story or a peek behind the curtain, so consider jumping on the “How it started and How it’s going now” trend to show followers how you got your start and what you’ve accomplished.

    Or, maybe you’re really passionate about the environment or social issues — share it! Then, encourage your followers to share what they’re passionate about in the comments section.

  3. Captions to Boost Comments
    To increase engagement in the comment section of your posts there are several different strategies you may want to try, including asking questions or playing mini games.

    For example, if you’re in the fitness industry, try this caption for Instagram posts: “Sometimes it’s difficult to get motivated — share what help gets you off the couch! 🛋️”

    Another example would be to engage your followers, such as asking followers to describe their product using just one word or an emoji.

 

Instagram Story from sustainable clothing co. Earthi with a caption on the story image that that reads: New Fall Lookbook is here! See the full lookbook at earthi dot com. Link in bio Replies: Amazing! - Can’t wait to cop this look! - Every look is better than the last!

Goal #4 Convert Leads

In order to convert followers into customers you need to create desire. To do this, your content should be focused on the customer and what your brand, service and product can do for them (e.g. what’s their pain point?) all while employing the principles of engagement and shareability.

Once you’ve laid the groundwork, it’s all about the CTA, which can direct them to do a variety of things that can turn casual followers into dedicated clients or customers.

Some example are:

  • Shop the look online
  • Start your free trial
  • Visit our website for more
  • Download the app
  • Read the full article
  • Today only — use this discount code
  • Create a free account
  • Get in touch via email
  • DM me for more details
  • Visit us in person!
  • Get your free download

How to Use Instagram Captions to Curate Brand Voice

All of the examples we’ve covered can be explored further to define and emphasize your brand voice. As discussed, Instagram is a unique platform for showcasing exactly who you are and letting your own, unique voice shine through.

What is brand voice? In short, it’s your personality and a reflection of your values — both of which are likely diverse and multi-layered.

Captions allow your followers and potential customers and clients to get a better feel for what your brand stands for. Pictures can say a lot, but the written word seals the bond. If you haven’t quite established your brand voice or if you’re inconsistent, it could affect your ability to grow followers and drive engagement. Consistency and routine over time creates trust.

All it takes is one rogue post for followers to question: “Do I even know you anymore?” Dramatic? Maybe. The winds of social media are always shifting which is why it’s important to get this particular aspect dialed in. Bonus — It’ll also make crafting your Instagram content a whole lot easier.

So, how do you incorporate such dynamic qualities into just 150 characters or less?

Return to Your Company Foundation

Ask yourself, what are my brand’s core values? What does my company represent? List them out. It May be helpful to think of your brand as its own unique persona.

Here’s an example: maybe your brand persona is a combo of Audrey Hepburn and Lucille Ball — a voice that represents poise and grace coupled with an ability to laugh at yourself.

Or, perhaps it's a bit more Sean Connery meets Mick Jagger — sophistication and style with a rockstar’s edgy swagger.

What adjectives do these personas conjure up? Cleverness and confidence? A break from convention? Just make sure that whatever your chosen persona matches your core values and makes sense alongside your products and services.

Experiment. But, if you find that this strategy is taking you away from your authenticity, then go back to the drawing board. The goal is to find a voice that’s natural and representative of both your brand and your values.

Understand Your Ideal Customer & Motivations

Who is your customer? What’s their demographic? What are their pain points, motivators, and passions? All of this information is critical to not only creating content for Instagram, but for marketing as a whole.

If you can create a template which includes who your customer is, what they’re shopping for, and their motivations, it becomes much easier to craft language that specifically targets your ideal customer.

For example, if you’re an online retailer targeting Gen Z consumers who are interested in sustainable yet modern clothes, you understand that these consumers are motivated by both social causes and aesthetics.

quotation mark

Make sure [your persona] not only aligns with your values and brand type, but that it resonates with your ideal customer.

Consider How Your Voice Can Reach Your Ideal Customer

Once you understand your customer and their primary motivations, you can tailor your brand tone and messaging to fit. Keep in mind, you still need to consider your persona (or your voice) and make sure it not only aligns with your values and brand, but that it resonates with your ideal customer. Be honest with yourself if something’s out of alignment and rework where necessary.

So, how does this work in practice? Let’s look at an example:

  1. Include language, catch phrases, and/or humor relevant to Gen Z
  2. Highlight the environmental qualities of your product
  3. Consider the "cool factor" your customers are looking for

In the customer profile we discussed above you’re targeting a Gen Z consumer who’s shopping for cool, sustainable clothing. Imagine you’re crafting a caption about your latest line of bamboo athleisure. Your voice should:

When in doubt:

  • Keep your brand values in mind
  • Be authentic
  • Be unique — don't be afraid to shake it up
  • Be brief
  • Write to your market

Instagram Caption Best Practices

Hopefully, by now you have a better idea about how to craft killer captions that support your marketing goals, and showcase both your unique brand voice as well as your product or service. But, before we go, here’s a few other Instagram caption best practices to keep in mind.

  1. Limit the Length
    While “micro-blogging” within captions is having a moment right now, as a rule people have very short attention spans. Posts perform best if you limit yourself to 138 to 150 characters — and a lot of research suggests your Instagram captions should be less than 125 characters.

  2. Harness the Power of the Emoji
    If it aligns with your brand tone, emojis are an effective way to break up your copy and provide some additional visual appeal. Like your brand voice, the emojis you choose to use should be consistent.

  3. Strategize Hashtags
    While you can add up to 30 hashtags on a regular post, it doesn’t mean you should. Take a look at what your competitors are doing, but in general, less is more. It’s also a good idea to use a mix of branded hashtags (or hashtags you create specifically for your product or brand) as well as commonly used tags. If you’re looking to gain more traction but don’t like all that visual hashtag clutter, you can make them less visible by posting them in a comment after you publish your post.

  4. Don’t Forget About Insta Stories 
    Instagram Stories are another powerful place to use captions, so make sure to include them there as well.

    Unsure how? Here’s how it works:
    • Tap on the Your Story bubble from the corner of the screen (or swipe left on your home page)
    • Upload or record a photo or video
    • Tap the sticker icon on the top menu
    • Choose Captions from the options
    • Choose your text format and color options
    • Select Done

  5. Consider Accessibility
    Thankfully, Instagram has added features which have made content more accessible for users with different disabilities, including the option to automatically add closed captions. Make sure to consider this when crafting your posts and stories.

    Here’s how to add closed captions to your stories:
    • Upload your Story (make sure there’s audible dialogue)
    • Go to Editor mode
    • Swipe up to go to the Polls, Stickers, Location Tags and Hashtag section
    • Select Captions
    • Instagram will automatically transcribe the audio (Pro-tip: Click edit or change the color and font of the text.)
    • Select Done

Creative Ideas for Industry-Specific Captions

Now that you have a better idea of how to craft effective Instagram captions using your own unique brand voice, let’s take a look at how this could work within a few specific industries.

Instagram post - image of people working hard in a kitchen - with a caption that reads: Our kitchen is turning out the most amazing food we’ve ever made. Share your love with this incredibly talented team!

 

Restaurants

In some ways, restaurants and Instagram are a match made in heaven because food images work incredibly well on a platform geared towards imagery. Couple that strength with a eye-catching caption and that’s — forgive us — a recipe for success.

Restaurant Instagram Caption Ideas

  • I’m a professional chef — AMA (ask me anything)
  • Count memories, not calories
  • Handmade, everyday with love
  • “People who love to eat are always the best people,” — Julia Child
  • “Laughter is brightest in the place where food is good” — Irish Proverb

Additional Tips

  1. Consider running a contest, drawing, or a giveaway. Just make sure you’re clear about the entry guidelines and the timeline. This could look something like this:
    • We love our fellow foodies, and we think food tastes best when shared! Like this photo and your name will be entered into a drawing to win [addyour prize here].
    • Everyone loves a free meal, right? Tag us in your favorite food picture and the winner will receive dinner for two — on us!
  2. Use your Story Highlights to keep your menu easily accessible. When you create a new Instagram post or feature a new menu item your caption messaging can quickly direct followers to the Story Highlight.
  3. Give followers a sneak peak “behind the scenes” with images and captions that highlight your staff, restaurant culture, or what life looks like in the kitchen.
Instagram post for a sustainable clothing company (Earthi) - a girl wearing a beige hoodie sitting in nature… lens flare, wheat fields, whatever - with a caption that reads: We’re in the business of saving the world — one hoodie at a time Replies would be you’re the best! - Love your whole vibe - Honestly inspiring...

 

Retail & Ecommerce

Instagram has made it increasingly easy to shop directly from the app without ever having to visit a retailer’s website, making Instagram a powerful tool for those in retail and ecommerce. But, with so many different retailers competing for attention in such a saturated market, how do you make your brand and your products stand out?

As we reviewed above, understanding your audience and what motivates them is key. It’s important to speak directly to their needs and pain points and to use language they’re familiar with.

Retail Instagram Caption Ideas

  • Outfit inspo for the week — link in bio
  • Shortest horror story ever: sold out
  • Hey, it’s cheaper than therapy…
  • We’re in the business of saving the world
  • One for every mood. Which are you?
  • Decisions, decisions…
  • Friends help friends find their dream [insert product]. We’re that friend — link in bio

Additional Tips

  1. Highlight your products and services through your Instagram captions and make sure to include some relevant hashtags like #retailtherapy #smallbusiness #handcrafted #sustainable #luxury
  2. Display your products in real-life situations or encourage your customers to be brand ambassadors. People love seeing a product “in the wild,” so you may even consider running a competition that encourages people to share photos of your products.
Instagram post for a marketing agency (3Marketeers) - casual office with people collaborating on a project - with a caption that reads: People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it — our team of experts will show you how. Replies would be Rich and team are my go to for all my marketing! - Yes! - Absolutely true!...

 

Marketing Agencies

For marketing agencies Instagram works as a portfolio and as inspiration for potential customers to see what’s possible for their own companies and brands. It’s also an opportunity to share the faces and creativity behind your agency.

Marketing Agency Instagram Caption Ideas

  • If content is king, then conversion is queen
  • Imagination is the cheapest resource in the marketer’s toolbox
  • People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it — we’ll show you how
  • New marketing is about relationships, not the medium
  • Build relationships, not links
  • Marketing is all about stories. We’ll show you how to let your customers keep telling yours
  • Lead nurturing requires strategic aim. We can get you on target.

Additional Tips

  1. While it’s impactful to share your work projects, it can be easy for marketers and agencies to get lost behind client work and forget to share content that showcases who the people are behind the brand. Break up your feed with a few highlights of the faces and the talent that makes the work happen.
    • Post a “day-in-the life” of a [marketer, social media intern, Twitter strategist]
    • Create posts of your team working on projects, brainstorming, or gathering at office parties, boutique openings, and company meetings.
    • Share company pets and celebrate any volunteerism your staff conducts
  2. As marketers, you understand the power of the freebie — so don’t be afraid to drop some knowledge or helpful marketing tips.

Want to learn how to make these skills work double time? We can show you how to further develop your brand voice and amp up your text marketing. Call EZ Texting at (800) 753-5732 to learn more!

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