From the outside in, a lot of people look at successful social accounts and influencers as if doing their job is easy. But, the general public fails to realize how intentional businesses and celebrities are with their social media presence. For the most part, the most engaging social media accounts organize their content into a calendar, plan it effectively, and share it in a strategic way.
Especially when it comes to Instagram — the most effective Instagram influencers and business accounts strategically plan their content calendars in order to see results from their social media marketing campaigns. In this post, we’ll discover some of the best ways to manage your Instagram content calendar and ensure you’re driving real results from your Instagram profiles.
Instagram content ideas and plans
The first thing to think about is the goal of your Instagram presence. What are some key metrics you need to track to determine the efficacy of your content? What kind of content are you trying to create for your followers? If you’re an agency managing Instagram accounts for your clients, what are your clients trying to gain from an Instagram presence?
Before you set out on building an Instagram content calendar, you need to better understand the larger strategy behind it. For instance, a lot of Instagram accounts will post static photos only, some will do videos only, and others will create stories or a series of content. For instance, if you want to do a larger campaign around the Christmas holiday season, you could plan out more serialized content from the beginning of December to the end of the month.
Having a general plan and defining a few key themes or events to focus on during the year can help you plan a more strategic Instagram content calendar and build out a larger content library to pull from. Let’s dive into more of the nitty-gritty when it comes to planning a well-crafted Instagram content calendar.
Setting a schedule (weekly, monthly, daily, etc.)
Determining the kind of content you’re willing and able to create adds constraints to your workflow. These constraints allow you to put together the right schedule for your resources and for your audience. And, based on industry tips related to when you should be posting and how often you should be posting to Instagram, you can start to set a schedule. Building a schedule and organizing content by categories helps you put together a more organized Instagram content calendar.
You can segment the content not only by when it’s going to be posted but also by the audience you’re looking to target. Adding relevant hashtags to your scheduled posts can also help you organize some of your campaigns, giveaways, interactive communities, etc. Everyone’s schedule will be slightly different depending on your business and the people you’re trying to reach. So, it’s important to do your research and understand how other successful influencers and companies are managing their Instagram content calendars.
Organizing multiple categories of content into daily, weekly, and monthly schedules and laying them all into one master calendar can help you really organize your content calendar — especially for agencies managing multiple Instagram accounts. By adding all pieces of content into a calendar and adding tags and categories to organize the content, you can better strategize everybody’s Instagram content calendar at the same time.
Establishing an organized calendar
A basic editorial calendar for Instagram will simply be adding a piece of content for each day and time you want to post. But, what about unforeseen events you want to promote? Or partner content you want to share out on social media? An organized Instagram content calendar will be well organized for thoroughly thought-out content but also organized for ad-hoc content that may fit into your agenda.
In order to help you keep your ducks in a row, we’ve compiled a few tools you can use to help organize your Instagram content calendar.
Microsoft Excel / Google Sheets spreadsheet
Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets spreadsheets are quite simple but with a lot of content calendars, simplicity can be quite beneficial. Whether spreadsheets are your sole organizational tool for a content calendar or you supplement your process with other tools, they can help you easily get a high-level overview of your schedules. The organizational style of spreadsheets is also great for determining your order of operations when it comes to what content needs to be made next.
To supplement the organization of your Instagram content calendars outside of spreadsheets, you can use specialized calendar applications. Tools like CoSchedule are great for helping you organize content across all social platforms while also managing other content for your website (blogs, landing pages, etc.). Calendar apps are typically more robust than spreadsheets because they add drag-and-drop scheduling, content categorization & tags, and a way for multiple users to collaborate around a single calendar.
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Cloud Campaign as a way to really level up your Instagram content calendar. By integrating automation into your calendar across all aspects of social media management — publishing, scheduling, analytics, collaboration — Cloud Campaign allows you to manage multiple clients and social profiles quickly and easily. Not only can you manage your Instagram content calendar but, with Cloud Campaign, you can set granular schedules based on categories, bulk upload content, and automatically post when you want to.
A basic Instagram content calendar template for you
Combining all of these thoughts can lead to a helpful template for building your own Instagram content calendar. Every business is different — different goals, different clients, different marketing tactics. But, establishing a framework for your Instagram content calendar will lead to more flexibility in workflows, better content that connects with your audience, and more defined success benchmarks to measure the success of your social media presence.
Your basic Instagram content calendar template should include four elements:
- Content creation and organization
- Scheduling and collaborative calendar view
- Flexible schedules for ad-hoc content or partner programs
- Detailed reporting
Whether you can manage those four elements in just one tool or you need a few tools, keep those key points in mind. Being able to easily manipulate calendars, manage and structure content, share it on Instagram, and understand your content’s impact on your audience via accurate reporting will lead to more successful social campaigns.
At the end of the day, depending on the size of your team, the type of content you’re making, and your audience, your Instagram content calendar may not look exactly the same as someone else’s. But, being organized and intentional about the Instagram content you put into your calendar will lead to more interaction, higher engagement, and ideally more revenue. The key to a powerful Instagram content calendar isn’t in how you manage it but in the fact that you’re proactively managing your content calendar at all.
See how Cloud Campaign helps agencies manage their social media marketing operations for multiple clients and social accounts. Sign up for a 14-day, free trial or request a demo to learn how we help agencies scale via content automation, collaborative workflows, and detailed analytics.