Instagram Content Planning Tips For Success
As an Influencer, Creator, or even a business, having some sort of Instagram content planning process in place is really important. At the very least, you want to be organized to the point where you don’t have to wonder every single day what you’re going to post. Not having an Instagram content plan in place can be super unproductive and it usually results in content that isn’t completely aligned with your business and won’t help you reach your goals.
At Sidewalker Daily, we work with Influencers to grow and monetize their business on social media and we also consult with brands on their Influencer campaigns. So when it comes to planning content for Instagram, we’ve seen it all!
In this article, we’ll walk you through what a typical content planning strategy session would look like with one of our expert creator coaches, and give a few of our best content planning tips to set you up for success. The purpose of this article is to help you move away from last minute posting and instead identify your goals, clean up shop, and help you create content with purpose. Let’s get started!
Step One: Identify Your Goals
We all have to be on Instagram nowadays. Whether you’re a Creator or a brand, it’s really important to have some sort of Instagram presence in addition to your website or other social media platforms you use. But because we’re all different types of people or businesses with varying goals, the way you need to show up on Instagram depends on many factors. Some businesses just need to show prospective customers general information, while most Creators are active on Instagram all day long to connect with their followers and audience.
Many Influencers and Creators tend to just post what they feel like doing at the moment, and this usually isn’t an effective way to create content that grows your business. If you are a Creator who wants to create full-time (or even part-time!), work with brands, or monetize Instagram in any way, you have to act with intention. Putting more thought behind the Instagram content planning process by identifying long-term goals is the place to start!
There are many different goals when it comes to Instagram, so let’s go over some of the main goals people have and how they relate to the content you create.
Growth on Instagram is obviously one of the most common goals that Creators have! But if you want to make growth a reality, then you have to create the right kind of content on Instagram. For example, Instagram Reels and their extremely friendly algorithm are a great tool for Instagram growth at the moment. They tend to help new people discover your content and account. So if growth is one of your main goals on Instagram, then Instagram Reels would be an area to focus on and build a good plan around in terms of creating and publishing within your Instagram content plan.
sales and conversions
Pitching to brands, working with them, and starting to make money is another really common goal for Creators on Instagram. Even for brands, making more sales on Instagram can really help their business grow and increase their revenue. So if this is one of your goals as an Influencer or Creator, the type of content you create needs to make sense for brands too.
How exactly do you create content that supports the goal of working with brands? The type of content you create needs to be exactly what the prospective brand client wants to see. If you’re a food Influencer and you’re dying to partner with an appliance company, you need to create content that the appliance company would want to see. These are some things to think about:
- How do you showcase products in your content?
- What type of stories do you tell?
- How can a brand be integrated into your content in a way that makes sense?
For brands it’s a little bit trickier. In the goal stage, we have to dive into what type of customer follows these types of accounts and how to best serve that customer the value they need.
Perform An Instagram Audit
Once the larger goals are figured out, it’s time to perform an Instagram audit. We highly encourage that you make auditing your account a consistent part of your Instagram content planning strategy. Why? Because looking at your profile from a bird’s eye view and adjusting based on actual data and insights can help you create content that better serves your audience.
Think about your account from the perspective of anyone who lands on the page. How is your aesthetic going to make them feel? Does your Instagram bio give them an accurate picture of what your account is about? Does your Instagram profile align with your overall brand?
When we’re working with clients at this stage during our private coaching sessions, we provide constructive feedback and allow the Creator to make those adjustments. Before the creating content phase can even happen, it’s important to clean up the existing situation. If there are things that aren’t helping an account take steps toward the goals established in step one, they could be hurting any chances of the right type of growth.
Create Your Content
Once the audit is complete, things can start getting fun! Keeping in mind any identified goals, and using insights from your audit, it’s time to begin topic generating. A great place to start generating ideas is by thinking about any special events or holidays coming up. For example, if you’re a travel blogger going on a trip soon, you should pre-plan the content you want to create for this trip as best as you can.
If you plan content in advance, you can organize how and where you’re going to shoot content. This will really help you create content that is intentional and purpose-driven. Plus, there will be way less stress for getting content up if it’s already done or at least planned out well beforehand.
Tip: Batching Content
One Instagram content planning tip we definitely need to share is using the batching method. Whether you batch create content or batch idea generate, we can’t recommend this enough for pre-planning Instagram content. Your life is going to be a lot easier if you know the 12+ things that you want to post about for the upcoming month. If you know the value you want to add and the topics you want to touch on, it will be a lot easier to actually get out there and create!
Creating Intentional Content
Now that you know you know your goals, you can create content with intention and purpose. Say your goal as a family blogger is to eventually release and sell your own coloring book. Now that you’ve identified this, you can start creating content that caters to an audience who would be interested in this type of product.
Niching down and creating very clear content will help you reach the goals that you set for yourself at the beginning of this process. Again if growth is your goal, you need to be creating sharable content within your niche and find avenues to access other audiences. The content creation stage is so much more productive and impactful when you had the foresight to plan ahead!
Build A Content Calendar & Use A Scheduler
Creating Content for Instagram is all about finding a system that works for you, your business and your goals. We usually recommend avoiding posting day to day but if that’s the best method for you to actually create and post then that’s fine too! We suggest having some sort of plan at least two weeks in advance (for our brand clients we shoot at least a month in advance) for what you’re going to post. And you should leave a little wiggle room for things that pop up! Your Instagram content calendar doesn’t need to be set in stone, but having some guidelines can save you a lot of trouble throughout the month when it comes time to post.
Some Creators like to calendar things out with a tool like Planoly, and others rely on a good old fashioned Google Sheet. Whichever system works for you, use that to build out your calendar and schedule content!
Check Insights To Evaluate And Adjust Your Content Plan
And finally, make sure that evaluating your insights is a part of your Instagram content planning process. Planning ahead can do wonders for your account, but at the end of the day it’s not going to help you unless you’re evaluating your results and refining your content based on how your posts perform.
Once you’re in a rhythm with posting, taking a look at your insights helps you:
- Decide on the content that you’re going to create for the next month
- Make adjustments to your strategy
- Tweak your content based on reaching your goals
For example, if you posted a carousel post that got a ton of shares and saves, this is a clue that you should create more of that type of content. A big part of being a Creator is testing, testing, and more testing. Your content and your business are not set in stone. You will be constantly learning, changing, and refining your content strategy with what works and what doesn’t. When you figure out what’s working, rinse and repeat!
Planning Your Instagram Content
We hope you’re inspired to get ahead of your content planning to make sure you’re creating with intention and purpose to reach your goals. We’ve seen strategic Instagram content planning practices take businesses to the next level, so here is a recap of the steps we covered:
- Identify your goals: The type of content you create needs to stem from your specific goals, so always start here.
- Perform an Instagram audit: It’s important to perform an audit of your account from time to time so everything aligns with your content strategy and your goals.
- Create intentional content: Once you’ve identified your main goals and performed an audit, you’re ready to create content that is intentional, purpose-driven, and actually engaging for your ideal audience. We recommend batch creating or idea generating!
- Build a calendar and use a scheduler: Find a system that work for you, but no matter what it looks like try to have some sort of pre-established posting schedule to save you time and energy.
- Check insights to evaluate: Don’t forget to check your insights! A huge part of being a Creator or Influencer is testing and trying again. Refine your content by what works and what doesn’t.
We get asked all the time at Sidewalker Daily how many times Creators should be posting each week. In reality, there is no right answer! Everyone has different goals and different capacities. Our mission is never to get Creators burnt out and stressed, so if you want feedback on figuring out a content plan and system that works for you personally, you can book a one-on-one consultation with one of our experts at Sidewalker Daily to talk it through. We’d be more than happy to help!
Hopefully this quick insight into a strategy session with us gave you some good pointers for your Instagram content planning process! If you found this post helpful, we’d love to hear your thoughts below.