In this post, I’m going to show you how to plan Instagram content to achieve maximum success and drive your business forward.
Whether you are building your personal brand, managing your company’s social media, or managing multiple clients for your agency, we all know how important it is to find efficiencies to help us save time. Content planning for your business takes time, but is well worth it.
The key to building a high-conversion Instagram account is planning. Success does not happen by accident. There are so many things to consider before posting to your social media. Your audience, the times to post, your messaging and your visual content all have a part to play in the success of your social media strategy.
There are two types of Instagram accounts. Those that convert, and everything else. If you are serious about using Instagram for your business, then you already know which one of these you need to focus on!
How To Plan Instagram Content: Find Your Community
Before you start filling out your instagram grid or even begin to create a content plan, it’s important to know who your followers are. Have a look into the way your community and industry behaves online.
What kind of posts are they putting out? Is there anything similar in the messaging? Asking yourself these questions can give an indicator of trends in the industry.
Knowing who your audience is, is a fundamental part of any business, so make sure that you are following that ideology and method through your social media plan as well. Messaging, both in your captions and hashtags, as well as your actual photo, is extremely important. On Instagram, your post will only have a second to catch the attention of your target audience-ensure that you’re making that second count.
How To Plan Instagram Content: Be consistent
This is true of any social media. Your followers might love your posts, but if they don’t hear from you on a regular basis, they are liable to get bored and move on. There is no magical number of posts per day/week/month. The key is to be consistent with your content, so your followers know when to expect more of it.
How To Plan Instagram Content: Schedule Ahead
Create a social content calendar and work on your content in batches. Not only is this more efficient, but it allows you to group your posts together in a way that makes sense. No more random “one-off” posts. Batching also gives you the freedom to set it and forget it, allowing you to focus on other areas of your business rather than trying to think of something to post each day. There are many services that allow you to schedule your content in advance. Hootsuite and Buffer are two popular options but check out our article here for a complete list of Instagram management tools.
How To Plan Instagram Content: Captions Matter
Instagram grid captions for your IG photos are important too! Instagram is all about the visual – photos and videos. Don’t let that fool you though.
There’s a reason that Instagram gives you room for 2200 characters. Captions allow you to add context, stories, calls to action, and more! Use that space wisely!
Tip #1: Only the first 3 lines of your caption will be displayed in Instagram’s feed, so make those count! Instagram recommends using fewer than 125 characters if you want your entire caption to be displayed in the feed, otherwise, your followers will have to click “more” to see the rest.
Tip #2: While there’s something to be said about brevity, don’t be afraid of using the full 2200 characters if your photo deserves it! Every photo should tell a story. Maybe that story doesn’t require many words to go with it, but if it does, then use it. The important thing to remember is that the caption enhances the photo in some way.
How To Plan Instagram Content: Know Your #Hashtags
Hashtags allow users to quickly search for related topics. Hashtags are essential to social media growth, and Instagram allows for up to 30 hashtags in a single post. That’s a lot. You probably don’t require more than a handful, but ensure they are relevant to the post, and your audience.
Interested in learning more about hashtags? Sign up for my FREE mini-course: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram to Optimize Your Business
How To Plan Instagram Content: Instagram Grid Planner
Use them properly or not at all. I’ve all seen that Instagram post comprised of grid photos that look like a chaotic mess. They’re cringe-worthy.
Using a grid template allows you to organize multiple photos in a very effective story, but only if you put thought into it. You can use visual calendars to see how your grid will look!
Using an app like Preview to construct your Instagram grid posts gives you full control over the layout. For a great list of 9 different Instagram grid layouts, check out this article from The Preview App.
How To Plan Instagram Content: Let Your Photos Tell A Story
Snapchat may have had them first, but Instagram has perfected the art of stories. Instagram stories now boast twice as many daily active story users as Snapchat, and there’s no indication that they are slowing down any time soon. If you’re not using Instagram stories to tell your brand, then you’re not keeping up with the latest trends.
Stories allow you to post photos or videos that disappear after 24 hours and do not clog up your Instagram feed. You can use these to build engagement with your followers, especially if you are posting on a consistent basis. People will want to check in often, so they do not miss anything.
How To Plan Instagram Post: Post At An Optimal Time
You’ve followed every step listed above and crafted the perfect post for your followers. You even loaded it into your scheduling service and queued it to go to the masses. After a few days you check your analytics and see zero engagement with this post! What happened?
Quite possibly no one even saw your post. If you aren’t posting when your audience is online, you’re wasting your time. The internet is a vast wasteland and you can’t count on your audience to go hunting for your content. You need to make it easy for them!
How to know when your audience is most active:
Tip #1: You can view this in your account insight analytics under followers. This will give you a breakdown by hour and day. You should be posting your content during these heavy usage times.
Tip #2: Let a service like Hootsuite or Buffer schedule for you based on their suggestions. Be sure to verify with your own analytics so you can trust their accuracy.
Using Instagram to connect with your followers is a fantastic way to promote your business or brand. Instagram has quickly become one of the dominant social networks, and if you are ignoring it (or worse, wasting your time and energy by using it improperly) then you are missing out on a valuable resource.
Benefits of Scheduling Instagram posts:
Saving time: Going through the steps to post every day or more can be a time suck for your company. Schedule all your posts for the week in advance, and allow yourself to focus on other things, without worrying about social media
Consistency: it’s especially important for business accounts to stay true to the brand. Planning your posts will allow you to think about and preview what your feed will look like so that you can make sure to stay on brand.
Interested in learning more about Instagram, online marketing, or how I can help your business get to that next level? Contact me today and be sure to follow me on Instagram @paynesbrain
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