How to Add Captions to Your Instagram Videos

The closed caption logo displayed in Instagram's token color gradient.With roughly a billion active users, businesses are jumping at the opportunity to develop immersive brand storytelling through video. Instagram Stories, Reels, and in-feed videos are great for providing engaging and dynamic insights that increase brand recognition and loyalty. However, many businesses are leaving out a simple yet major facet of their videos which is dampening their value: captions. Yes, these videos aren’t meant to receive the same attention as feature-length films, but learning how to add captions to your Instagram videos can drastically upgrade their accessibility and engagement.

Why Use Captions When You Have Sound?

According to Next TV, a survey of US consumers found that 92% of mobile users view videos with their sound turned off. In stark contrast to the early days of custom ringtones, more smartphone users than ever have their phones on silent, including when they browse social media. With captions, whether the user is in public or simply wants to enjoy some peace and quiet, you can get your point across. More importantly, however, captions are necessary for accessibility, as they’re a means of communicating the content to viewers who may be hearing impaired.

How Can Captions Increase Instagram Video Engagement?

Facebook says that adding captions to videos boosts viewing time by 12%, earning you more attention from your audience. Without captions, your video’s view length drops, and users are spending less time engaging with your brand. Also, transcriptions of your audio boost your SEO. While search engines aren’t able to view your videos, their algorithms can gather information via captions. Search engines can then index these captions and verify keyword usage. This improves your video’s searchability and thereby results in higher engagement.

How Do You Add Captions to Your Instagram Videos?

There are two options to add captions to your Instagram videos. Each one comes with its own set of benefits, but the best choice for you ultimately boils down to how much time you have. To learn about each of these options, watch my video by clicking on the image, or you can read the written instructions below.

An image of Catrina's Instagram caption instructional video.

How to Auto Generate Captions

If you’re running short on time, you can simply have Instagram automatically generate your video’s captions for you. You can accomplish this via the following steps:

  • While editing your video, swipe up to open a menu of editing options.
  • You will see a white button with blue text that says, “Captions.”
  • Selecting this button adds speech-recognition captions to your video.

This option is so easy that there’s no reason not to take the extra minute to add captions.

How to Manually Add Captions

This is a bit more time-intensive, but viewers tend to appreciate this method even more. It allows viewers to read through the captions at their desired pace. You can manually add captions by doing the following:

  • At the top right of the video editing screen, there is an “Aa” button.
  • Clicking on this button allows you to manually add in your words.
  • You can also click and drag the text where you want it to be displayed on the screen.
  • When adding captions to an Instagram Reel, there are extra steps required if you want the caption to only remain on screen for a specific window of time.

While it takes longer than simply autogenerating text, it gives you more power over what’s displayed.

Adding captions to your Instagram videos is certain to increase your views and engagement, but you also need to be consistent and produce content that resonates with your audience. Staying on top of your social media accounts can be a tough task, which is why many businesses will outsource their social media management to a marketing partner like Vision Advertising. Not only are we adept at creating content geared toward your ideal client, but you can also benefit from our expert brand management. If you would like our help creating engaging content, contact us today.

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About the author : Catrina Gardner

Catrina Gardner is a Communications Manager at Vision Advertising. With a background in social media marketing, photography, and graphic design, she brings her marketing savviness and design skills to her clients. Outside of the office, Catrina is on the Board of Directors for the Young Professional Women's Association of Worcester.

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