In this article, you will learn:
- What is a content plan on Instagram and why you need it.
- How to create a content plan.
- What to publish on your profile.
- Where to get ideas for content.
Also in this article we will share two templates for a content plan and show examples. All tips and tricks are relevant in 2021.
What is a content plan and why is it needed?
Content plan is a schedule of publications for a week, month, half a year or a year. You define the type of posts and specify the time frame. For example, a sales post should go out on Monday, an entertaining post on Tuesday, and an educational post on Friday.
You don’t have to wonder every day about what to publish today. You already have a plan ready.
The content plan also creates a logical chain of touch: you can plan the release of posts related to the launch of your information product.
Example: in a week you want to start training on social media promotion. We have already recorded the course. But first you need to “warm up” the audience.
Therefore, you draw up a content plan for the next 7 days, where you think over the entire chain of audience warming up:
- First, you will publish an informational post – explaining how important it is to promote on social media.
- Then you will publish an announcement of your course.
- The following are course reviews from familiar experts.
I think you get the logic. Having drawn up a content plan, you can focus on the main thing – on promoting your Instagram profile.
Another task of the content plan is to post performance analysis . You can see what you posted a month ago and study the statistics of these posts, Stories or videos. Based on analytics, you can identify the best publications that collect the most likes, comments, saves.
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How to create a content plan for an Instagram account: 4 steps
Let’s move on to the practical part of the article. Let’s see how to create a content plan for your Instagram account.
First step – define your account type. This is a personal blog, business account, or personal profile.
Stage two – based on the type of account, set a goal. For example, you want to increase sales, engagement, and reach. Perhaps your goal is to increase audience confidence in the brand.
The goal will help you understand which posts to focus on: in the case of sales, you need to publish more selling posts; if the task is to engage the audience, then it means you need to publish more informational, educational and entertaining posts.
Third stage – compose a portrait of the target audience. You need to understand who your followers are.
To do this, answer the following questions:
- How old is my target audience?
- Where do they live?
- What are their interests?
- How much do they earn?
By answering these questions, you will have a clear idea of your target audience.
Stage four – create a table. For example, Google Sheets or Excel. This is your future content plan.
First, make a few columns: post type, publication date, release time, text / content, hashtags.
Let’s take a look at each column separately:
- Post type. Specify the publication format here: selling, entertainment, informational, training, Stories.
- Date of publication. Specify the date when the post will be released: for example, 08/25/2020.
- Release time. Specify the exact time when you want to post the post: for example, 13:00.
- Text / content. Here you can write the full text of your post. Then just copy it to Instagram. You can only make the content of the publication – briefly write what the post will be about.
- Hashtags. In this column, write down all the hashtags that you will use in your post.
As a result, you get the following table:
|Selling||08/25/2020||14:00||Post about new wristwatches||#watches, #watches|
|Stories||08/27/2020||15:00||Story with the announcement of the action|
|Engaging||08/29/2020||14:00||A post on how to find a watch for teens||#watch , #watches, #podorhours|
This is your content plan. In the future, you can modify it: add new columns. For example, “Visual” – here you can insert a photo of the publication.
If there are several people working on the account – administrator, editor – then add the column “Author”. Enter the name of the person who created the particular post here.
Post ideas: what to add to the list of posts
Now let’s talk about the posts you can add to your content plan. To do this, we will share publishing ideas: first for business accounts, and then for blogs and personal Instagram profiles.
This will help you diversify your content plan.
Business account post ideas:
- Product description. For example, a store that sells watches might detail their products. The best option is to record a short video review of the watch.
In the description you need to indicate the key advantages of the product – how it stands out from the competitors. Also in the post, be sure to indicate the cost of the goods and payment methods.
- Reviews. Publish testimonials from your customers. This is true for any field of activity: photographers, beauty salons, online clothing stores, psychologists. Testimonials increase audience confidence in your company / brand.
- Examples of work and case studies. If you provide services, then post examples of work. It is even better if these are case studies with a detailed description of how you achieved a certain result.
For example, a marketer can tell how he was able to attract 1,000 buyers for a pastry chef for only 15,000 rubles; the fitness trainer can show pictures of his clients – in the before / after format.
- Benefit. In addition to posts designed to sell your services / products, give your followers a favor. These are expert and educational materials. Share your experience with the audience: for example, tell us how to properly process photos in Photoshop, how to set up Facebook ads, etc.
- News. Share your company news. For example, tell them that you’ve hired new employees, moved to a large office, or went public.
- Workflow. Show the behind-the-scenes life of your company. For example, if you sell handmade toys, make a short video of how the toys are “assembled”.
Blogs & Personal Profiles
Ideas for blog posts and personal profiles:
- Life stories. Share interesting life stories with your subscribers. Such posts increase audience engagement.
- Plans. Tell us about your future plans. For example, how you want to develop your account. You can also talk about the fact that you want to start learning a new profession.
- List of books. Make lists of books you have read or want to read. For example, “TOP 5 books I read over the summer” or “What to read in winter: my list of 10 books.”
- Travel. Share moments from your travels. You don’t have to travel to another country – you can talk about a trip to the lake, which is 5 kilometers from your city.
- Films / TV series watched. Write short reviews of movies and TV shows you’ve recently watched.
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Where to get ideas for content
In order to create a content plan, you need ideas for posts. But where to get them? Let’s take a look at the most interesting content sources.
- Brainstorm. The first way to find ideas is brainstorming. Well, or brainstorming. As it is convenient for anyone.
Take a piece of paper and jot down a list of post ideas. Think about what you can tell your followers: maybe you want to make a series of posts on how to set up Instagram ads; maybe you are thinking about sharing a few words about how you handle photography in Lightroom.
- Competitors. Analyze your competitors. Find 10-15 Instagram accounts in your niche. Moreover, it can be related topics: for example, if you are a psychologist, then look for profiles related to self-development and esotericism.
See what posts are published by competitors. Explore the best publications and add them to your content plan. But there is no need to completely copy posts: add your experience and vision of the problem to them.
- Blogs, websites, forums. Read feature articles on websites and blogs. You can always find interesting ideas for posts in them. Do not forget about forums – there your target audience constantly asks questions and communicates with each other. It’s practically an endless source of ideas.
- Social media. Don’t limit yourself to Instagram – look for competitors on other social networks. Analyze Vkontakte and Facebook groups; read thematic channels in Telegram.
- Books. Read books on your topic. You can find hundreds of topics for your content plan in one book.
- YouTube. Watch YouTube videos on your topic. Do not limit yourself only to Russian-language content – watch videos of foreign bloggers.
Analyzing the content plan
Two to three weeks after you publish the posts from your content plan, move on to the analysis phase. Statistics will help with this. To access statistics on Instagram, you need to connect a business or author account.
How to analyze:
- Find the most popular posts. These are publications with a large reach: they are most often liked, commented on and saved.
- Determine what content is more in demand. For example, if educational materials gain the most reactions, then in the future, when drawing up a content plan, focus on this type of publication.
- List the most unpopular publications. Exclude similar content from your content plan. Don’t waste time creating posts that don’t reach your target audience.
- Constantly compare posts. You can add a separate column to your content plan table. Name it “Reactions”. Record the likes, comments and save rates for each post in it. Then compare the metrics – for example, 3 times a month.
Ready Content Plan Templates
We have prepared 2 ready-made content plan templates for you. They are universal – suitable for most Instagram accounts. The templates are created in Google Sheets. But you can copy them to Excel.
There are examples for each section. This is necessary for you to understand the logic behind filling the columns.
Template # 1:
View / download template # 1 >>>
Template # 2:
View / download template # 2 >>>
Examples of Instagram content plan
Now let’s see 3 examples of Instagram content plans.
Frequency of publication
You are probably wondering how often you need to post to Instagram? It all depends on your account.
For example, if you have a business profile, then 4-5 posts per week is the best option. Also, don’t forget about Stories. They can be published every day.
If you have a blog or a personal profile, then here you can publish 7 posts per week. That is, one publication a day. Also broadcast live and make Stories.
It is also important to choose the optimal time for the release of posts. This is necessary in order for publications to receive maximum coverage.
For information on how to find the time, read our article “The best time to post on Instagram.”
We would also like to share with you useful services that will help in drawing up a content plan:
Parasite. It is an online service for creating deferred posts. You can set a schedule for posting. For example, if you have made a content plan for a week, then in Parasite you can make a deferred publication for 7 days in advance.
LiveDune. This is a tool that will help you to study the statistics of your Instagram account in detail. You can also use it to analyze your competitors.
Zengram. A service that will help you promote your account. It automatically performs massive actions: subscribes, likes. This way you can attract new live and targeted subscribers to your profile.
Now you know what an Instagram content plan is and how to draw it up. As you can see, there is nothing difficult here: the main thing is to define the target audience and set the task. Be sure to analyze the content and, based on this data, make changes to your content plan.