How to Write Instagram Captions That Sell

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Using Instagram for more product sales goes beyond uploading a great photo or video. Your caption is just as important as your Instagram video or photo itself!

With over 72% of Instagram users reporting that they have purchased something after they saw it on Instagram, it’s absolutely crucial that you know how to motivate your followers to buy your products.

That customer base of over 500 million daily users is just too big to ignore!

Why Instagram Captions Are Important for Driving Sales

Having a great Instagram photo or video does a nice job stopping your audience from scrolling past, but it’s the caption which has the potential to draw them in even more.

It encourages them to engage with your post and moves them closer to a sale with a meaningful call to action.

So while a picture may be worth 1,000 words, an engaging caption could be worth 1,000 dollars! 😉

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Tips for Creating Instagram Captions That Sell

Though much of your success depends on motivating captions, there’s no need to panic even if you aren’t a natural writer.

Creating Instagram captions that generate engagement and increase sales isn’t difficult if you focus on these five key tactics!

1. Develop & Maintain Your Brand Voice in Your Instagram Captions

Think of your brand voice as the personality behind your communication with your audience. Developing your brand voice is key to building a connection with your audience so you can sell your products on Instagram.

Your brand voice might be funny, casual, sarcastic or even formal, but it should remain consistent.

A consistent brand voice will help develop an emotional connection with your audience, which is vital considering that customers who feel emotionally connected to a brand are four times more likely to buy from that brand and ten times more likely to shop a website on a mobile device.

A great example of this is Denny’s Diner. Each post includes their recognizable snark along with humor, a fun and attractive image, and a direct tie to the brand.

2. Create Several Drafts of Your Instagram Caption Text

When you create an Instagram post on the fly, your caption might not be the best it can be.

Instagram captions should go through a couple drafts before being published to your feed, which means you don’t want to rush your caption copywriting!

Planning is key when creating captions that sell. By using Tailwind’s Instagram Scheduler you can plan out your captions ahead of time, and even save them as drafts while you are in the process of perfecting them!

And just like any other piece of copy, you should carefully proofread your captions.

Tailwind’s Instagram Scheduler lets you create drafts of your posts until you are ready to schedule them to be published!

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3. Include a Call To Action (CTA) In Your Captions

If you don’t effectively direct your followers to take action, they likely won’t. Your caption CTA will likely direct viewers of your Instagram post to visit your checkout page, and hopefully get them to purchase your product!

Some examples are CTA’s are:

  • “Visit the link in our bio to learn more.”
  • “ View our newest collection by clicking the link in our bio.”
  • “(your item) is on sale now. Link in bio!”

Your motivating call to action should be front-loaded and placed near the top of your caption. Instagram only displays the first three lines (or 125 characters) of captions before displaying the “read more” link in the feed.

Your audience might not always click to “read more”, so include your CTA near the top.

@beaumade directs users to virtually try on engagement rings by front-loading their CTA. Sounds fun, right?

Captions can be fun and inspiring, but if they’re going to help sell your products, your CTA needs to direct users to a place where they can purchase the products you sell.

One way to do that is through Shoppable posts. Shoppable posts allow you to tag your products directly in your post, so your audience can tap the item they wish to purchase, and go directly to the checkout page.

You can have more than one link per shoppable post, making it easy to promote multiple products to your audience!

@topshop uses shoppable posts to link to their apparel.

You can also add a link to your bio to direct users to product/checkout page.

And if you have over 10,000 followers, you can direct your users to your story where they can then use the “swipe up” link feature to bring them directly to your checkout page.

4. Use Instagram Captions That Trigger Emotions

Our emotions heavily influence what we buy. Tapping into your followers’ emotions through your caption can help increase sales and can be done so when we can evoke feelings of:

  • Fear
  • Belonging
  • Trust
  • Inspiration


Fear (or FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out) can drive your followers to purchase your product. 60% of millennials have made a purchase within 24 hours of feeling FOMO.

Using fear or “FOMO” to drive sales doesn’t mean you are making your customers feel anxious, worried or any other harmful emotion.

Simply stating that you have a limited quantity in stock or setting a time limit on when the item can be purchased is sufficient.

@Travelocity uses FOMO to promote trips and vacations by using a specific holiday as their limited-time offer.


We all crave connection and want a sense of community. Speaking to your followers as if they are part of your tribe can help develop that sense of belongingness with your brand which will help you sell products.

@airbnb speaks to their audience through their captions as if they are one big family.


Seventy percent of consumers use online reviews to help them make a purchase.

Rather than expecting your potential customers searching for product reviews on their own, why not highlight reviews in your captions?

Adding customer testimonials to your captions can help you build trust between you and your audience.

You can even re-post user-generated content to use as your photo – people love to see Instagrammers like them talking about your products!


A challenging aspect to e-commerce is that your potential buyer can’t hold the product in their hands before they buy.

Use your captions to describe to your followers how your product can help improve their life – or even to describe in detail what the product looks or feels like up close!

@lornajaneactive inspires their community to be healthy and active through their posts that promote their products.

5. Add Hashtags to Instagram Captions

When creating Instagram captions, you’d be selling yourself short (no pun intended!) if you only focused on the copy! The right hashtags will help you extend your reach, get your posts seen by more potential customers, and help grow your account.

Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags in your caption and finding those hashtags can be a challenge if you’re manually searching for them for each and every Instagram post.

Tailwind’s Hashtag Finder and Hashtag Typeahead helps you find hashtags that can expand your reach to new customers without needing to perform any research. Simply enter your initial hashtag, and Tailwind will begin to populate a list of hashtags.

Once you find a list of hashtags that works for you, create a reusable hashtag list in Tailwind.

Tailwind’s Hashtag Finder helps you find the best hashtags for your Instagram posts.

6. Use Emojis in Instagram Captions ✍🏻

Using emojis in your caption can increase your engagement by nearly 43%!

All that extra engagement can help your post reach more potential customers that you can then direct to your product page.

They also add personality, bringing your content to life. Look at how that emoji helps us understand exactly what Jeff is talking about! 🧔🏻

View this post on Instagram

Meeting of the 🧔🏻for breakfast.

A post shared by Jeff Sieh (@jeffsieh) on

Keep the Conversation Going

After your post has published, don’t forget to reply to any comments or questions you receive. Companies who engage with customer service requests over social media report 20%-40% more revenue per customer.

Whether you are receiving positive or negative feedback, it is important to reply to each and every comment!

Want to effortlessly brainstorm hundreds (and even thousands) of share-worthy posts to grow a massive Instagram following? Watch this 100% free webinar to learn all our secrets!

In Conclusion

Great captions help you sell your products on Instagram because they:

  • Increase engagement
  • Create a two-way conversation between your brand and your followers,
  • Direct your followers to a checkout page with a powerful call to action

Remember, when creating Instagram captions that sell, your caption should be front-loaded so your audience doesn’t miss it by needing to click “read more.”

By using Tailwind’s Instagram scheduler, you can not only plan your captions out ahead of time, you can also search for the best hashtags to make sure you are increasing your reach as much as possible.

Lastly, don’t forget to respond to any questions or comments you receive. That’s what builds your community and ultimately your engagement, traffic, and sales.

Have you had success selling products on Instagram by using your captions? Let us know below!

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Learn how easy it is to create Instagram captions that will help you sell more of your products! #instagram #instagrammarketing #instagramtips

Dana Nicole

Dana is a self-taught graphic and web designer who now lives in a small town in Denmark and works with clients from all over the world. She helps clients define their brand in order to attract and retain their ideal customers and also teaches businesses how to grow their presence through online marketing and SEO.

2 thoughts on “How to Write Instagram Captions That Sell

  1. Question about hashtag placement. Somewhere I read that hashtags should be in the comment section and that’s what I’ve always done. You mention only putting them in the caption. Where should hashtags be for max impact?

    1. There are differing opinions on this. It doesn’t seem to make a big difference in engagement, so it’s mainly a matter of personal preference. Reach may actually be higher when you put the hashtags in the caption. The best way to know is to test it out. 🙂

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