Here Are The Reasons My Instagram Captions Are So Long


Alright, guys. This topic has come up so frequently I think it's high time I address it. Let's talk about Instagram captions. Now, if you want to learn how to write them--you can do that here. However, this article is geared more towards the length of the caption.

I often get asked the question:

"Anna, why are your Instagram captions so long?"

You guys know I never make a move on social without a strategy in place; there's a well thought-out reason why my captions are so long. Although, to explain why I think it's important, let’s categorize Instagram users into two separate buckets: 

Category One: Instagram for business
Category Two: Instagram for fun

Now, anyone who is using social media to drive growth and build brand awareness lives in category one. These are people who have a "business" profile, the people who market their products and services consistently and treat Instagram as an essential marketing initiative. 

The second category is for people who are using the platform to share, connect, and learn. It's a pass time, not a responsibility.

Years ago, when Instagram was just a hobby for me, I remember the trend was to post one killer photo, with a witty caption that maybe lasted one or two sentences. This combination made the engagement skyrocket! We would spend hours thinking up the perfect caption for our carefully edited photo. It was actually kind of fun. 

Things have changed now. For one, Instagram isn't just a hobby any more-- it's a big part of my job (and if you're reading this, it's probably a big part of your job, too).

As we continue to build our brand, we have to think carefully about how we are maximizing our potential for impact on every social media platform. How can we use these platforms to our advantage?

I'm not writing captions for 10k people, I'm writing for the 10 who need to hear it.

There's a common misconception about Instagram that says you must appeal to all of your followers. In everything you do. All the time. And if you're in category one, Instagram for business, this is a fallacy that you need to do away with immediately.

You're not creating content for you. You're not creating content for your friend Suzie from High School. You're creating content for your ideal client/customer/follower.

What does she need to hear from you today?

Once you determine that answer, you can write the type of caption that is informative, personal, or entertaining. Your message will inspire her, draw her in, and excite her about the possibility of working with you in the future.

Look, you can play it safe. You can write the caption that appeals to the masses. Something that is shorter, less precise, broader stroked.

But here's the deal, you only have so many chances to make the shot.

If you write the caption for the 10 people who need to hear it, versus your collective 10k Instagram followers, your efforts will land much farther. You'll 10x your credibility in the eyes of the people who matter the most.

Fewer people are consuming content on desktop-based platforms.

Do you know what drives me absolutely mad? Writing blog posts that only 10 people read. Pretty much hate that, lol.

I can't tell you how disheartening it is to craft something special for my audience and watch it go completely unread. Sometimes it may be me, there's always that possibility.

Although my research shows that fewer people are consuming content on desktop-based platforms.

While building my personal brand, I have to take into consideration that my largest audience rests on Instagram's platform. If that's where I glean the most exposure, it's in my best interest to place my most value-rich content in the eyes of people who will see it. Extended Instagram captions let me do just that, they help me reach my audience via an app that they check on average 20 times a day.

Fewer people are willing to exit out of Instagram, or any platform, in order to consume content. 

If that's the case, then don't save your best content for your blog, push your message across every platform equally. 

Make your content consumable in many forms.

A lot of people ask me what kind of content they should be producing.

“Anna, do I start with IGTV or develop my blog?" The answer is simple. 

Do everything. 

Start thinking of yourself as a mainstream media outlet. If you're serious about building your personal brand, you'll become a full-time content-producing machine. 

Get used to this. Make it a habit. Incorporate content creation into every corner of your life.

Now, you may be wondering, why is it so important to do everything? That seems extreme. 

But here's the deal:

People consume content differently. There is no one size fits all. 

The same person who listens to your podcast, won't read your blog posts.

The same person who watches your IGTV, won't listen to your podcast.

You feel me?

If you can do everything, you are able to reach every person who needs to hear your message.

I'm recording my podcast for the people who won't watch my IGTV.

I'm writing my captions for the people who won't read my blog.

The more flexible and fluid you become in your content strategy, the more people you will reach, and the stronger your community will become.

In my book, long captions are a good play. Most people won't get to the bottom, but the ones who do are the ones you're writing it for anyways.