Q&A: Captioning on Instagram

November 2, 2018 BY SOFIA ENAMORADO
Updated: June 3, 2019

We sat down with @TheInstagramExpert, Sue B. Zimmerman, to talk all about captioning on Instagram.

Multiple studies have shown how captioning videos can lead to greater engagement, brand recall, and behavioral intent. On Instagram, captioning videos can help you stand out amongst the clutter.

Read the Q&A below to learn about the benefits of captioning on Instagram, or watch the webinar, Q&A: What You Should Know About Social Media Accessibility with @TheInstagramExpert.

Instagram is predominantly pictures, but video has been such a big part in the last couple of years. How do you think that video changed the culture of Instagram?

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SUE B. ZIMMERMAN: Significantly. I was thrilled when we had video. You know, first it was built-in to the app as stop-and-go video, which a lot of people don’t use the stop-and-go video inside of Instagram…Then they added landscape video.

Video views on Instagram get more views than likes for photos. So if you want to stand out on Instagram, you want to do videos because you get the opportunity to show up in the Explore tab.

What are some other benefits that you’ve noticed from adding captions to your videos?

SUE B. ZIMMERMAN: When I look at my Insights on Instagram, I see that my video posts get more views than my stagnant posts…There’s definitely a correlation with more views, and more engagement, when I do video.

We also have captions on our YouTube videos, so they show up more in search. We get more visibility, more eyeballs, more people find me.

…If you’re not putting captions on your videos, then a lot of people can’t watch them because they’re in public places where they can’t turn up the volume.

I get so many more views on anything we do that has written word, whether it is a video with captions, or whether it is an Instagram Story.

You have to keep in mind that a lot of time, people are reading, and they’re not listening. You want to make sure that you have caption. It’s just added value, for sure.

How do you add captions to social media videos?

SUE B. ZIMMERMAN: [On Instagram, we post] teaser videos to our YouTube video, which 3Play Media actually does all of our captions on my YouTube channel…We upload videos to 3Play Media’s interface, and we’re able to get captions very quickly…My videographer then adds the branded text.

I think it’s been very helpful. It’s a way for me to stand out from everyone else.

What are some examples of Instagram accounts doing captioning right?

SUE B. ZIMMERMAN: There are three people that I actually know, and who do captions really well. We’ve got Billie Gene who is in marketing. He’s great if you’re into marketing or you want to learn more.

The other is Gary Vaynerchuk. Some of you guys might have heard about him. He’s crushing it on Instagram. And then Mel Robbins, who is also from Boston, she’s crushing it as a speaker, and an influencer, and an author. She also does a great job with captions.

So those three should give you guys some information and inspiration on what is working on Instagram, specifically, for video captioning.

Watch the full webinar below!

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