Do you love being online but don’t like it ruling your life as you create Instagram content?? Sameee, sister, same.
Today I’m sharing my Instagram content strategy for the remainder of 2020—how I moved from planning a week of content in a day 👉 to a month of content in a day.
I’ve officially been batch creating Instagram content since 2016—there’s been more trial and error put into figuring out a content calendar system in my business than I’d ever want to publically admit on the internet. 😉
I’ve planned 4 weeks worth of Instagram content maybe 5 times ever and loved it, sooo I’m making it a thing and taking you behind the scenes of how that rolls.
I’ve made videos about Instagram before, but this little app has changed so much over the past few years, right?! So like any framework or workflow I give you—I want it to be kind of like the Mary Poppins bag.
If you want to throw in everything but the kitchen sink—kind of like I do—then go for it. If you listen to my system and just want to snag the essentials and use them for your own system—do your thing. 🙂
I’m giving you the outline, it’s up to you to see how crazy you wanna make it.
Let’s jump in!
No. 1| Blueprint Out a Calendaring System With Content Themes, Ideas, & Prompts.
The first step here is having content themes. If you haven’t heard my sermon on how I’m super passionate about pre-launch content and taking the “content bucket” concept with a grain of salt, watch my playlist on launching here. This will help you in planning out a marketing calendar and give you some insight into my process and the strategy— ’cause the whole point of marketing is to lead into the sales funnels.
Regular posting on social media apps supports this from a hero, hub, and hygiene content standpoint. So, yep we need a place to capture our content theme ideas.
It was REALLY hard for me to narrow down things to a few topics I want to be known for. So now, I have 5 content buckets, but then I let myself have ideas/subthemes under that … problem solved!
I like to house these buckets in a app called Plann— if you’re getting stumped here, there is a new feature I saw in Plann the other day … you can click “content prompts” and it opens up a window of a ton of posting ideas. I actually scrolled through this the other week to see if there was anything I wanted to add! (based on your industry).
As far as marking this out day by day—eventually all roads lead to Rome. I’ve done this so many ways in the past, so I’m about to show you my Mary Poppins bag—my Asana calendar—but give yourself grace if this feels like a little much.
I hate starting any kind of writing with a blank page and no story, no idea, or no hook. The goal here is to start the Instagram content writing process with a wealth of ideas that I could talk about and then take one of those and run.
Here is how I set this up inside Asana:
So that is essentially what the overview looks like inside my content calendar built out in Asana. 🙂 I won’t lie, setting up something like this takes 2-3ish hours butttt it’s ~SOOO~ worth it.
Before I did this, I would plan a week at a time inside my notes app on my phone or on my desktop. If what I just showed you looks crazy, then try starting with the notes app.
As you do more than maybe 7 at a time, it will be more helpful to move to a system like Asana—unless you want that notes app to kinda be as long as a CVS receipt! 😉
No. 2| Brainstorm & Look at Your Calendar.
No matter what, I always start brainstorming on paper—I get my ideas out better when I’m holding a pen. I print out my content calendar planner that is inside my Primed to Launch Playbook and I use this to mark up ideas.
I’ll look in advance on the calendar to see what things are coming up that I could talk about on certain days. For example, Labor Day is around the corner and I’m speaking at the school styling on a later date—so I’ll mark these down and I can arrange content around this.
I just need to start brainstorming on paper and then I move it over into Asana because eventually, I need everything to go there. My team is all spread out and they can’t see everything that’s on these pieces of paper in my office. If I’m traveling or just want to get to things faster, it’s so much easier house it digitally.
Relying on themed days is SO helpful for me … I feel like I have a template to go off of. A prompt. When I’m stumped I use this. If you’re inside Primed to Launch you know this, I like to have themes for each day to give me a starting point. Every Monday I post about this every Tuesday I post about this…so on and so forth.
They’re also in Asana, so when I’m transferring my sloppy copy into Asana, I can see what template idea I’m using.
No. 3| Write the Copy
I like to rotate through longer captions and then try shorter ones in my Instagram content planning—I don’t *really* have a rhythm or a system. I’d also be lying if I said that I don’t depend on my own caption party starters. If I am really struggling with writer’s block, I can at least go off this list of prompts and play a little to them.
I also tremendously lean on snippets from my copy bank and my story bank to get myself going and write faster—you can see how I set that up here in last week’s video on my Youtube channel.
I like to write AWAY from the app for sure. I brainstormed on paper, now I’m putting my fingers on the keys to type the copy.
This usually takes me a bit, but the beauty of batching is I don’t have to be creative on demand … I can write in the early morning hours and knock out a bunch (I’ll tell you how I clean them up in a sec).
No. 4| Assign Imagery to Each Post & Schedule
Remember, I said that this app has changed a little bit over the years—THIS is where I’ve seen a BIG change. It’s not necessarily about having the most beautiful and captivating grid anymore.
Instagram expert Sue B. Zimmerman talks about these as neighborhoods. When the neighborhood was only the feed, the grid was way more important. Now there’s DMs, IG TV, Stories…there’s sooo many different parts of Instagram content that you can put out there.
Creating beautiful images isn’t bad, just not as important as they used to be. That’s why I don’t start with the images anymore like I used to—it’s captioned driven now.
However, I’m still *not* totally on board when the experts say that you don’t need to have a beautiful feed anymore.
For two reasons:
➡️I like pretty things and I think that’s okay
➡️I work with a lot of wedding industry entrepreneurs, visual artists, creatives, and for those of us that are in these kinds of industries your grid is in essence part of your portfolio when you’re being adjudicated on it.
Bonus Tip: If you make an appointment with yourself this is a whole lot easier to knock out. As a part of my rest to work windup routine I look at what is scheduled that day to post on Instagram and also Facebook and I “jujuuu.” I play with it, I get it to where I want it, edit a little bit and then I’ll post it.
Let me make this clear: NONE of my posts are going straight from being batch written and created straight to publication. I need to get in there and edit them and maybe ask some people on my team what they think about it before I post. However, batch planning gives me something to roll with.
Now you know how to batch create your Instagram content, make sure that you have a system set up to capture different story ideas, copy baking ideas, swipe filing, and more. In last week’s video on my YouTube channel talks all through my system on how I do that. Watch it here!