As small business owners, we’ve mastered the art of visual storytelling. With videos and images dominating social media, we often underestimate the role of words. Here’s some of the reasons why captions can make or break our social media presence.
Search beyond Google
Google stopped being the only player in search a long time ago. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world currently, and over half of Gen Z women prefer TikTok to Google for search.
That’s before we even think about Instagram, Pinterest, and even Linkedin.
We spend a lot of time optimising websites for Google, but need to think about all the words in all the places.
Crafting captions: more than just words
Captions deserve to be more than an afterthought.
It’s a lot to get the right images and videos together, but captions help to get even more out of the time and money you’ve spent on those things.
Tailoring captions to our audience can help engagement and boost discoverability. Make them descriptive and relevant. And while keywords might have entered your thinking for content on your website, in social captions, you’ve also got hashtags to help support your keywords and phrases.
Beyond the image: the power of context
While our images and videos can convey a lot, they can’t tell the whole story. Captions fill in the gaps.
We can use them to provide context, additional information, even some guidance on how we hope people will interpret the image. They can be a tool to try and ensure a message isn’t misinterpreted and potentially pre-emptively tackle any potential misconstruing of our intent.
It won’t necessarily make your content a troll-free zone, but at least you’ve got your stance out there first.
Captions are mini stories to capture hearts and minds
Stories always have the potential to engage us on a deeper level than any facts ever can. A caption can have the power to evoke emotions and spark conversation. Whether we use emotion or humour or just share knowledge and advice, a story, no matter how mini, has the opportunity to resonate better with audiences.
When it’s well-crafted and sparks conversation, that’s when a caption gives us a chance to build a deeper connection with people.
What business doesn’t want that?
Trends come and go
It used to be pointing at bits of text on our videos. That still happens.
Right now, TikTok seems to have lots of videos that are text over an image or video. Now, those will have to be some compelling words to keep people watching.
In copywriting, or any writing, the purpose of the first sentence is to get you to read the second. The second to make you read the third, and so on.
The same applies to TikTok.
New platform, old “rules”.
Seizing every opportunity
You might have gathered I’m a fan of a well-crafted caption.
But as organic reach is becoming increasingly challenging, strong captions can help us stand out in the ever more crowded digital space. I know no one ever talks about a caption going viral, but let’s not underestimate its influential supporting role!
What’s your biggest bugbear when it comes to writing captions?