Fab Giovanetti is a writer, published author, marketing consultant, founder of the Creative Impact Group and professional sloth-lover. For over 8 years, she has helped people grow their online audience and monetise their content and unleash their potentials as creatives. Are you looking for more social media guidance? Make sure you check one of her free classes.
One of the things I stand by wholeheartedly when it comes to improving your Instagram game is having a plan. So this time I would like to talk about something I am very passionate about – content calendars.
In the words of Mr. Benjamin Franklin “fail to plan, plan to fail”. This is why I do urge you to start looking at ways to incorporate a schedule for your Instagram posts – and even stories, I would argue.
A few benefits of creating a content calendar include:
- You’ll be able to see the content for each month at a glance
- You’ll have a cleared idea of where you are going with your content
- Be always on top for your schedule
- Never run out of content to post
We discuss in-depth about Instagram content strategy in our Instagram Success Path course, yet I thought I’d give you a taster of an easy three-step solution you can try for yourself.
Pick the right categories
First and foremost, you have to find the “categories” that best your account. I would say pick at least 6 categories that best represent your account and the type of content you put up.
If you use tools like Later, you can even label your media library so that you can make it even easier for yourself to have your categories in one place.
As a food creator, your categories would look a bit like this:
- Breakfast shot
- Vegan product shoutout
- Vegan recipe
- Recipe video
And so on.
Categories can be both visual and more about the topics you’ll cover within the caption. Picking the categories is an essential part of creating a content calendar, and it works perfectly in tandem with filling the calendar in the first place.
Action step: come up with up to six categories for your content.
Choose a set of hashtags for each category
A little trick is to add a series of dedicated hashtags to each category you created for your content and add it to a document for you to use once you upload your content weekly. This will help you reach the right people at the right time with content hyper-relevant to them.
Action step: come up with a series of hashtags (up to 30) for each category
Batch create content
Let’s say you are a recipe developer or food creator. You probably batch-test recipes on a Sunday, for example. I would recommend batch-edit your content on one specific day, and then upload them to your favourite scheduler and tag them appropriately (and voila!).
I love being able to label my content as it helps me come up with things to share without even having to think about it.
Action step: create a batch content appointment for yourself, and try and get all of the content for the upcoming week uploaded and labeled in one go.
Fill your calendar
Even if you are using a tool like Later, I would recommend using a calendar template (like the ones you can download for free on our website).
Use these templates as a guideline to fill your schedule with the categories you want to focus on (Monday is breakfast, Sunday is recipe video etc) rather than the individual posts.
By having a simple template (we use the editorial template, but I’d also recommend looking into the visual one!) you’ll be able to create a snapshot that you can easily replicate via your favourite scheduling tool.
The ease of having a monthly content calendar is that you can add specific dates for yourself, and even flag any stories you may want to introduce into your strategy.
Action step: download our content calendar templates and add categories to your calendar so that you can easily work on your individual posts week by week
In order to get started with creating a content calendar for Instagram you need to
- Pick the right categories
- Choose your hashtags for each category
- Batch create content
- Fill your calendar with categories
A question I get asked often from our course students is….
Is there any place for genuine content outside of my schedule?
Of course, there is, you are your very own boss, so you should be able to adapt and be flexible when needed.
The real magic here is in having categories you can play with and never run out of content ever again. Scheduling your content is one of the key steps of our Instagram Success Path, and I hope this can inspire you to take the matter into your own hands and start working.