How to Write Captions for TikTok and Instagram Reels

Tap into social SEO with our caption writing guide for Instagram Reels and TikTok.

Your social media captions are golden real estate on social media! In fact, research shows that on some sites, captioning video content can increase watch time by as much as 12%!

By thinking carefully and strategically about the captions you create, you can begin to take your TikTok and Instagram Reels content to the next level. Captions can help you build your audience and deliver a clear, meaningful message.

Wondering how to write TikTok and Instagram Reel captions that speak to your brand’s mission and the purpose of your video content? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you need to know.



Understanding the Power of a Caption

First, it’s important to understand the important role captions play in your overarching social media marketing strategy.

Far from simply adding an extra content format to the posts you share, captions can influence your content’s reach and engagement potential by helping you drive more traffic to your social media accounts.

In some cases, captions can even help you target a broader audience by improving accessibility! Your caption is a space to add written context that supports your TikTok and Instagram Reel videos. You can also use captions to provide alt text for users who can’t see what’s on the screen.

When writing captions for Instagram Reels or TikTok, you have the ability to weave in searchable SEO keywords that make your videos easily discoverable on these platforms. Plus, these captions allow you to articulate your brand voice, share additional context about your business and even prompt video viewers to take meaningful action and convert!

How to Optimize Your Captions

With just a few simple tips and tricks to help you, optimizing your TikTok and Instagram captions can be easy! Keep these things in mind next time you need to add captions to your content.

1. Tell a Story With Impact

On social media, effective storytelling can be a great way to engage your audience and start to build real connections with the people who follow your brand.

Use your captions for Instagram Reels and TikTok not just as a quick clarifier in the background of your video content. Instead, work to write layered, detailed content captions that add depth to your message and help you tell a story your audience will remember.

Tell a Story With Impact

Tell your founder story. Share a personal anecdote that relates to your brand. Open up about the raw, candid struggles of running a small business.

When you use captions as an opportunity to communicate meaningfully with your followers, you can add to your brand narrative and promote engagement that supports your brand goals as you work to grow your accounts.

2. Include Relevant Keywords

Adding captions is a great way to integrate more relevant keywords that could boost discoverability and make your TikTok videos and Instagram Reels easier to find.

When you add captions to your video content, look for opportunities to incorporate keywords that relate closely to your brand and its values, as well as any products or services you offer or any specific ideas you address in your videos.

Include Relevant Keywords

Using searchable keywords that users in your niche or industry are likely to search for can help your brand become a top search result! This can help more people find your brand and learn what you do. It can also help you ensure that you grow your presence in the right way, targeting an audience that truly cares.

3. Use Emojis and Text Features

Extra text features, like spaces and emojis, can add an interesting visual element that helps to keep your content fresh, visually-dynamic, and engaging.

Use Emojis and Text Features

Don’t be afraid to include emojis in your TikTok or Instagram Reel captions if they make text easier to read or add value to what you’re saying. If you’re sharing content to Instagram stories, you can even add a sticker icon that helps to draw more attention from your audience.

While it’s best to avoid going overboard, a few fun emojis or text elements distributed evenly throughout your caption can help your written content stand out for visual users. This can help you catch the eye and encourage users to read more of what you have to say.

If you’re looking to craft cute Instagram reel captions, emojis are a must!

4. Write to Your Audience

Whether you’re creating TikTok videos or Instagram Reels, your audience should always be at the heart of what you do, helping to inform your decision-making.

When it’s time to add captions, keep your audience in mind. Think about common consumer pain points and how your brand can help. Consider questions your clients ask, and identify creative ways to educate, inform, and respond.

Write to Your Audience

By writing to your audience and their interests, you can ensure your TikTok and Instagram captions are targeted and effective for those you serve. You can get the most possible value out of your written content and provide value for those who watch your videos.

5. Choose the Right Caption Length

Adding captions to Instagram Reels and TikTok videos isn’t all about ideas and styles. It’s also important to select the right caption length depending on the platform you’re using.

On TikTok, your captions can include up to 2,200 characters. However, shorter captions are more popular. A single sentence might be enough to do the trick! Instagram captions are often longer. Again, you can use up to 2,200 characters, but many experts recommend writing no more than 70 words.

Choose the Right Caption Length

Choosing caption length wisely can help you approach your content with a clear and informed strategy. This can help you maintain audience interest and reduce the risk of users getting bored and scrolling away before they’ve finished reading.

6. Use a Call to Action

On any social media platform, a clear, effective call to action is critical. On TikTok and Instagram Reels, it’s important to keep this in mind if you want to add captions to Instagram Reels and TikTok videos.

Use a Call to Action

Use your caption as a space to tell your audience how to engage. Add a call to action that invites users to like your video, leave a comment, visit your website, make a purchase, read a blog post, or something else. This can help you not only drive engagement but control the path it takes.

When used well, a call to action gives you power over the buyer’s journey your brand offers. This allows you to influence the way that people interact with your message and your offer. Your captions can be the start of a roadmap to ongoing community building!

Need Help Captioning Your Content?

If you’re struggling to write great captions for Instagram or TikTok, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate the process on your own.

Adding captions that work well is now easier than ever, thanks to Plann’s new AI caption generator! Use the latest smart technology to take the stress out of crafting captions, and get your social media strategy back on track.


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