The iScream Social Media Blog

Why You Should Be Adding Captions to Your Instagram Reels

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Marketers using Instagram are now focusing more on video since videos receive twice as much engagement compared to other posts. Yet posting a video and engaging effectively with followers are two different things. With the majority of viewers, 92% to be precise, choosing to watch videos without sound, marketers must add captions to Instagram reels to reach them effectively.

Instagram video captions are easy to produce and offer, making them an essential piece of a social media strategy.

Why Captioning Instagram Videos is Important

If your goal is to increase your audience reach, Instagram video captions are a huge benefit. 80% of people now use Instagram to decide whether or not to buy a product or service.

With captions, Instagram videos become searchable. Users can search for keywords that appear in the captions rather than being restricted to searching for hashtags or picture captions. This searchability can drive more people to your business profile, leading to more sales, customers, and growth.

Additionally, it’s equally important to consider if your brand’s Instagram offers an inclusive and equitable experience to diverse viewers. Non-inclusive content means missed opportunities to connect with potential customers and can have negative effects, including pushing consumers away.

Adding captions for Instagram videos therefore isn’t just best practice to account for today’s silent viewers; it provides much-needed accessibility for users with disabilities, including those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. With lawsuits related to the Americans with Disabilities Act on the rise, your brand simply can’t afford to not be inclusive. Plus, 64% of consumers are known to take action after watching an ad they consider inclusive, so it’s really a win-win.

How To Add Captions To Instagram

Instagram’s automatic captioning feature makes it easy for creators and business leaders to offer quick accessibility for their videos. The captioning feature was released for 16 languages in mid-2021, and many Instagram influencers and content creators are using automatic captions for their stories and reels. 

Using Instagram’s captioning feature is quite simple, but it’s important to caveat that the captions are typically not entirely accurate and can make a business or brand look unprofessional when they’re riddled with errors. However, captions are better than no captions.

Here’s how to add captions to Instagram stories and reels if automatic is the only option for you: 

Step 1: Open the Instagram app and scroll to the Instagram Stories or Reels camera. You can either record a new video or select an existing one from your camera roll.

Step 2: After your video is ready, tap on the sticker icon at the top of the screen.

Step 3: Select the blue “Captions” sticker.

Step 4: Once you select the sticker, the words “Transcribing audio…” should appear on the screen. After a few seconds, the automatic captions will start to appear. Users can move the caption text around and customize the caption format using four different text formats and multiple color options. 

Once captions are complete, be sure to review the captions for accuracy. While Instagram’s automatic feature offers a quick way to provide captioning, it’s likely to include errors and misspellings. Worse, Instagram doesn’t allow users to manually edit captioning mistakes. 

It’s also important to note that some Instagram users don’t have access to this captioning sticker. In those cases, users can manually add text to videos to provide captioning, but it can be incredibly time-consuming, especially if you’re faced with uploading dozens of marketing or influencer videos.

Does this whole process sound a bit tedious? Yeah, a bit. But that’s social media marketing in a nutshell. If you need help with your own Instagram marketing or any other social media services, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation.