How to keep your audience engaged with longer captions

Learn how to keep your audience engaged with longer captions

When posting on Instagram, you’re given the opportunity to add an extra 2200 characters by writing a caption – here’s how to make the most of them


When it comes to engagement Instagram captions are just as important as the photo you are uploading. Creating a fire caption not only provides further context and meaning, but helps show off your brand’s identity. Allowing your followers to get to know the real you. Using your captions to engage with your audience by telling a story, asking questions, provoking a debate or offering the chance to win a competition are all ways to elevate the content you post.

The rise of the caption length


You may have noticed a trend for longer Instagram captions lately. Many users now create mini blog-style captions to accompany their photos. According to research by Fohr and Later, caption lengths have doubled since 2016 and they’ve predicted that in 2020 our feeds will be filled with an average caption length of 405 characters; that’s around 65-70 words (not including hashtags).

We did a little data digging of our own and found that Vamp’s average caption length for 2020 so far is around 322 characters (excluding hashtags), showing that we’re not far off Fohr’s and Later’s prediction for this year.

You’re probably wondering how you’re going to keep up with the expectation to produce lengthier captions… Well we’re here to help and have cultivated a tip list that should ease your writers block:

Tip 1:

Make sure your first line is eye catching and attention-grabbing. This can be done with snappy language, i.e. get straight to the point! Or with the use of emojis, capitals or extra space between each letter – this should help draw in your scrolling followers to stop and engage with your post.

Tip 2:

Add value and use your captions to provide mini blog style ‘how to’ guides. You could explain how you achieved specific lighting or an editing trick to give a behind-the-scenes feel. Include dot points to help followers to stay focused.

Tip 3:

Ask a question towards the end of your caption to make your followers think. Or make them re-read it. This boosts engagement by encouraging people to leave a comment on your post, and increases the amount of time spent on it. Both of which should boost your performance in the algorithm.


Tip 4:

Continue to use a consistent tone and personality. Your followers are there for a reason, they want to hear from you! Honesty and authenticity will ensure your followers stay loyal. It’s a more authentic way to communicate with them through such a saturated media platform.

Tip 5:

Write in paragraphs, similar to how you would format a blog article. This makes it simple for your audience to read and will help them concentrate on what you’re telling them

Tip 6:

Draft your captions in advance and post images that compliment your writing, instead of writing your captions around a photo. Keeping a bunch of drafted captions in your Notes app will assist you in moments of writers block, as you will already have some ideas on what you want to say. Cue smug face.

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