This year Instagram captions are taking center stage on the platform. You might have noticed influencers sharing micro-blog style captions on their posts to give greater insight into their personal lives or to share their knowledge. Even brands have started sharing what goes on behind-the-scenes and company values in lengthy Instagram captions. But just how much are Instagram captions growing and what’s the ideal Instagram caption length for engagement in 2021? We answer these questions in our guide to the optimal Instagram caption length for 2021:
Why Instagram Captions Matter
Pictures and videos have always been the priority on Instagram but, oftentimes, it’s the caption that potentially makes or breaks a post. That’s because the “story” you tell on Instagram is just as important as the images and videos you share. The caption provides context, adds personality, and can even inspire your followers to take action.
Captions are a powerful tool that can be used to encourage likes, comments, and even visits to your website. And if your post gets enough engagement, it might even end up on the explore page, which is what all influencers strive for. Captions are a huge opportunity to build a stronger relationship with your followers. And while celebrities like Kylie Jenner can get away with a single moon emoji as a caption, for brands and influencers, lengthy captions that excel at story-telling and authenticity are driving great results. These kinds of long captions are great because they allow your audience to learn more about who you are, your brand, and your mission. The more authentic and real you are, the better it is for your brand.
However, what you put in your caption and how much you write really depends on the content you’re sharing, the occasion, and your brand. For example, if you’re sharing a simple and sweet lifestyle post, a short caption might be the best choice. While creating beautiful content for your feed is very important, if you want to get more engagement on your posts, and maybe even reach new audiences, writing good Instagram captions that drive engagement is necessary.
What is the Best Instagram Caption Length in 2020?
One of the biggest trends to hit Instagram in 2020 was creators and brands tapping into the power of long-form captions to engage and connect with their followers, which we only expect to continue in 2021! But just how much are Instagram captions growing? Well, according to research by Fohr, the average caption length has more than doubled since 2016. And by 2021, our feeds will be filled with an average caption length of 405 characters, which averages out to be 65-70 words!
For brands, especially, this can be a really great opportunity for storytelling that goes beyond product information and builds a much stronger brand affinity with your influencer’s audience.The good news is that longer influencer captions result in higher engagement rates, which means a greater return for brands investing in an influencer marketing strategy. The data shows that influencers’ posts with longer captions generally had a higher engagement rate than those with a shorter caption, showing that the more you share, the better the engagement!
A higher engagement rate not only means that your content is hitting it off with your audience, but it also helps with getting more noticed. The more engagement a post gets, the more likely it will appear on the Explore page or higher up in your followers’ main feeds. Therefore, writing longer captions could be the trick to not only building a deeper affinity with your audience but also for generating a better ROI on your posts.
If you’re not sure what the best Instagram caption length is for your brand, start out by typing at least 70 words for your caption and keep an eye on your engagement rates to see if there is any improvement! From analyzing influencer data with Fohr, to paying close attention to our own Instagram analytics and monitoring Instagram trends, we think the best caption length is…you guessed it, long!
By followings Fohr’s analysis, you should start by aiming for a caption length around the 70 words mark. We know it might seem like a lot at first, but you’ll soon get into it and you might see an increase in your engagement shortly after. From here, you can decide if you want to write more or less, but what’s important is that you tell more of your personal story in your Instagram captions in 2021.
Of course, we aren’t saying that every caption needs to be a novel, because that could end up harming your engagement rate too. Sometimes, a short caption is all you need, it mainly depends on your brand and the content you’re sharing. For example, the outdoor brand, @finisterreuk often switches between long, descriptive captions and shorter captions. The same is true for women’s fashion brand @thisiswhistles, which likes to mix and match long-form captions with quick one-liners. Ultimately, what’s most important is that your audience is engaging with your content!
We recommend giving the long-form caption trend a shot. If you start to see your engagement improve, you know you’re on a pathway towards success. If the long captions don’t work for you, at least you’ll know that short and simple captions resonate better with your audience.