Why do you need a content plan for a blog on Instagram?
A content plan is a previously created schedule of publications with prepared content.
Having a content plan won't automatically make your sales go up or your Instagram followers grow, but it will help to make your blog more organized. With a content plan, you insure yourself against a runaway muse and procrastination: posts are scheduled, pictures are ready, and unused ideas are stored in case of a creative crisis. In addition, the content plan provides discipline and helps to build a promotion strategy and follow it. You can also apply scheduled posting even if you decide to go to the North Pole for a couple of days - your Instagram won't suffer.
How to make a Instagram content plan?
Before you fill a content plan with content, you need to build its foundation.
- Open the table and write what, when, and in what format you will publish. You can mark a certain type of content or section in any color as convenient.
- Add everything you want in the content plan for Instagram: geotags, hashtags, publication statistics... The main thing is that it should be easy to work with. As practice shows, the best content plan for one will never work for another. Experiment and find your format.
- It's important to remember that a content plan is not a document signed in blood. Stay flexible, respond to the latest info, and adjust it if necessary.
- It is better to develop a content plan for Instagram for a month. If the word "month" in the previous sentence scares you, try a week to start.
You can use special services for content planning as well as Google Spreadsheets or even Google Calendar.
What do you need to know to make a good content plan for Instagram?
Main tips we recommend you for having a good content plan for Instagram.
Tip #1 - Proximate and make your goal real
You're probably going to make a lot of money, but in order to make a good content plan, you have to break that big goal down into a lot of little ones. The main goal in the short term may be to increase awareness and gain new followers and increase audience loyalty or sales.
Tip #2 - Who is your target audience?
You need to understand who you're posting for in order to successfully promote on Instagram. This is the foundation that shapes the content plan strategy, topics, content style... It defines everything.
Women 20-35 years old, married, and with children is not a portrait of the TA. Try to understand what your followers are interested in, what their rhythm of life is, what their budget is, what pain they healing, and what emotions they get on your page.
We acquire this knowledge through communication with the audience and by analyzing the effectiveness of publications. You will see which publications are better for the TA if you have a place for analytical indicators in your content plan.
Tip #3 - What content composition is right for your page?
There are three main page formats on Instagram in 2022: personal blog, expert blog, and profile store. They have different missions, so the amount of one or another kind of content will be different.
Publications can sell, entertain, inform and engage.
Tip #4 - Selling content, what to take into account
In a selling post, we set the goal to sell. This can be a direct sale with a clear call to action or native advertising.
A direct sale is when you say, for example: "There's a big sale at the Christmas store. Discounts on all Christmas trees and garlands up to 70% only until the end of the week. Hurry up!" With native sales, we tell some kind of story that helps sell the product "between the lines”.
You can allocate 20-30% of the content for commercial accounts for sales publications. On other days, it's better to schedule posts in a different format, but based on a photo of your product.
Advertising content is the main source of income for influencers, but you should not overload your blog with it. It is better to allocate for it about 10-20% of the main feed and make advertising native.
We sketched out ideas for you to create selling posts:
- Who I am grateful to.
- What a great emotion to feel when you give thanks! Here is my weekly gratitude post. I want to thank: my mom (for what), my friend Louis (for what), service X (for what) ...
- Example text:
- I refuse to overpay and say thank you to Aliexpress for the same items as close to home but at affordable prices...
- I refuse to stand in lines, so I use XXX...
- Example text:
- I did the math.
- I have calculated that with Bolt taxi service I spend 15 hours less time traveling per week...
- I've been calculating that with Instamart I've saved...
- Example text:
- Review/selection of goods, which includes the client's product.
- I want to have it like her!
- Here XXX (link to a popular influencer) told me about her robotic vacuum cleaner and I also need one, because...
- Example text:
Tip #5 - Entertaining content, what is the best strategy
It is needed in any account, it helps build a warm, trusting relationship with the audience.
You can safely put about 30% of the content plan for entertainment posts. First of all, Instagram is still an entertainment platform, and secondly, you can also carefully add a selling message to them.
Examples of entertainment content:
- short videos as on TikTok are a relevant viral format;
- funny/interesting/motivating cases from life or professional practice;
- influencer-to-influencer challenges (using relevant stickers in the stories);
- mistakes and fails;
- commenting on trends and fresh news - it's important to do while the topic is hot;
- selections of movies, books, useful resources, etc. They are both entertaining and engaging. People often save them, which means they increase your engagement...
Tip #6 - Informative content, how to approach it
Informative publications are useful on any Instagram blog, too. They are especially important to experts. You can convince followers that you are a professional worth trusting with informational content. The same function is performed by informative posts in the store profiles.
The more expensive your services/product, the longer it takes to warm up your audience and the higher the percentage of informational and infotainment content should be. In that case, we increase the percentage of utility and sell less head-on.
You should also choose a few topics that you know best for your personal blog on Instagram. Topical content can be mentioned through a blog for a long time. Otherwise, your page will look like an endless personal diary, and this format is unlikely to be of interest to the audience.
Experts should publish 20-30% of informative posts, with the correction that the entertainment content should also be appropriate to the chosen niche.
It is recommended to leave 15-25% of the content for informative posts for personal blogs and stores.
Examples of informative content:
- top common mistakes;
- helpful tips;
- myths debunking;
- free marathons;
- interviews and guest posts.
Tip #7 - Engaging content strategies
Such content encourages followers to interact with you more. By interaction, we mean likes, comments, reposts, and saves of posts or stopping stories, returning to previous stories, reactions to stickers, etc.
The more actions followers perform with content, the more often Instagram shows your posts. This means that reach is growing, advertising is more expensive, and it's easier for you to develop the page.
The optimal share of engaging content is 10-15%.
Do I need a content plan for stories? Answer is an absolute YES!
According to Instagram statistics in 2022, users watch stories twice as often as the feed. You have to respond to this trend and get your priorities right. Now it's enough to publish 3-4 posts a week, but it's better not to disappear from stories. It's great to be posting 5-10 stories a day. There may be fewer stories on the days you post, and more stories when there are no posts.
If you need a content plan for posts, then it will also be useful for stories. Stories, like the feed, should be diverse and posted regularly.
It's cool if you have features for different days of the week that you supplement with the content of a different kind. You can use the question-and-answer feature, quizzes, share feedback from customers or interesting answers from followers to a question, publish weekly selections, run contests, and challenges for followers, etc.
How to design a visual content plan for the Instagram feed?
It’s almost unrealistic to promote on Instagram in 2022 without an attractive feed. We evaluate accounts in 30-60 seconds, and unattractive profiles immediately lose that battle. Therefore, the visual is worth special attention.
It is better to choose a few basic colors and a couple of matching fonts for the blog. The main colors in the photo should be initially harmonious. You can always edit the shade of grass a little in Photoshop, just don’t use presets - they are out fashioned.
The perception of the feed is very influenced by the positioning of photos in relation to each other. To make the profile look harmonious, it is better to choose at least 3 photo genres (for example, portrait, subject, and text layouts) and alternate between them.
It's better to make a signature style of visuals in both stories and all of your products.
You need to plan the feed in advance to get a good result. There are thousand and one ways to do that in 2022.
Apps you can use to design a good visual content plan for your IG feed
To make it easier for you to navigate, we've already listed options of convenient free apps:
- Additional features: synchronization of the feed application with the Instagram feed, photo editor. Available for iOS only.
- You can create a visual content plan for the feed and stories, there is also a photo editor and analytics tools.
- There is a photo editor and performance analytics, a multi-account mode, and reminders about what time to post, in addition to a grid for scheduling posts.
- Convenient functionality for developing a content plan with a photo editor with a bunch of filters, in-depth analytics, navigator for selecting hashtags.
- Content Office
- There are also post reminders, preview mode, and multi-account mode. You can post from the app and on different devices.
- As a bonus, you get several tutorials, cover artwork layouts, hashtag selections, and more.
- The app only works on iOS.
- The official Instagram partner for planning the feed. You can upload photos from Google Drive and Dropbox, create hashtag collections, etc.
- Standard content planning functionality with the ability to move pics around in the draft and create a collection of hashtags.
- Works only on Android.
Performance analysis: the last step on improving your Instagram content plan
It's important to analyze what content and how it's presented to the audience, and what content is driving up the reach. It is better to analyze the effectiveness of each week and the end of the month.
Look at the stats, evaluate the response in the comments, and put the results in the content plan for clarity. That way you'll pick out the best and worst publications and see patterns.
The best topics should be developed and further content should be planned based on them. The worst ideas should either be discarded or you should think about how to present them differently. It makes sense to try to set up targeting on the most successful posts, and use them to advertise with influencers.
Well, that's all the wisdom, now you know how to properly make a content plan. There is no universal recipe yet, but you can find your own and boast about the result in the comments. Just in case, we have prepared a crib sheet for you and hope it will be helpful :)
We send you the best of luck and wish you success.
To sum-up this guide: the crib sheet!
We are the main ideas and topics for creating a successful Instagram content plan in case you don't want to make anything up:
- a second life for old content (long ago published but successful content is worth publishing again. Better with a new photo and fresh comments if necessary);
- guest posts by experts;
- the story of a close person or team member as an outsider's view of you;
- a selection of useful things;
- a contest for the best funny picture caption;
- the direct question "What are you interested in reading about?"
- a selection of screenshots from the direct messages (just blur the names);
- answers to popular questions;
- gift ideas;