Engagement rates on Instagram are 15 times higher than Facebook and 20 times higher than Twitter.
81% of people use Instagram to help research products and services with the intent to purchase.
And if you’re thinking that Instagram is just for B2C companies, think again.
36.2% of B2B decision-makers use Instagram to research new products or services.
You know that Instagram is a gold mine for gaining qualified followers and engagement that can convert to real customers or clients.
But as a business owner, creating content on Instagram can often feel super overwhelming!
Maybe you feel uninspired, are suffering from writer’s block…
…or maybe you’re at a loss of where to even start when it comes to Instagram content.
If that sounds like you, then keep reading.
Because today, we’re sharing the 10 step blueprint to create fast, effective content on Instagram from scratch.
Let’s dive in!
Types Of Content On Instagram That You Can Create
You have feed posts, which are probably the most common.
These can be images or videos up to 1 minute long, and you can have up to 10 of either in a feed post.
You have Instagram Stories, which only appear for 24 hours unless you save them to your Highlights which can be organized by topic.
They will remain permanently visible in your Highlights unless you choose to delete them.
50% of people have visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product or service in Stories.
So, this is definitely something you’ll want to include in your Instagram content creation.
You have Reels, which are the latest content type.
Reels are, “short, entertaining videos on Instagram where you can express your creativity and bring your brand to life.
People come to Reels to participate in cultural trends, collaborate with the community and discover new ideas.”
They can be up to 1 minute long, they automatically loop, and they’re booming in organic reach as the newest content type.
We made a thorough introductory post on Instagram Reels if you want to learn everything you need to know about them starting out.
The next content type we have are IGTVs. These are long-form videos that can be up to 1 hour long.
Then we have Instagram Lives, which are only visible in real-time when they are being filmed.
That is unless you save them and publish them as an IGTV.
And then last on our list of the types of content on Instagram, we have Guides, which Instagram says are:
“a way to more easily discover recommendations, tips, and other content…
…from your favorite creators, public figures, organizations, and publishers on Instagram.”
Instagram Guides are curated lists of places, products, or posts.
And this is an example of how this small business artist is using Guides.
10 Steps To Create Content On Instagram
Step 1: Figure out what your audience finds valuable.
Determine what your audience would find valuable as it relates to your product or service and industry by making a list of their pain points and goals.
We have talked about this in a lot of posts.
But if you’re new here, we will quickly say that you need to make content for your target market, not just about your company.
So as opposed to writing about how great your company is or how you’re the best at XYZ…
…you instead need to address your audience’s needs by providing a solution to a problem they may have or a goal they want to achieve.
And the implication is that your product or service is the solution.
So instead of just using your Instagram posts to sell sell sell…
…you’re taking the stance of actually caring about your audience, proving you want to help them, and providing value to them.
This is what catches their attention to actually stop and read your post.
And, it also lays the foundation for brand-consumer trust and brand recall.
If you need help making a list of your audience’s pain points and goals, read our digital marketing for beginners post and that will help get you started.
Step 2: Conduct a competitor analysis.
Look at what they’re posting on their Instagram and make note of what is getting a lot of engagement from your shared target market, and what isn’t.
You want to start by looking at any of your direct competitors that are on Instagram.
And then, also look at interest accounts that may share your audience.
For example, let’s say you sell ice skates, and you look at the content and engagement…
…from an account called “Figure Skating Tips” that shares tips for skaters to perfect their jumps and spins.
The account isn’t competing with you in that they are not also selling ice skates.
But, it would be good research to see what topics of theirs get a lot of attention…
…since your sought-after target market is likely to be following and engaging with their content.
You want to make note of 3 things when conducting your competitor analysis:
- The topics they’re talking about.
- The copy or verbiage in how they’re addressing them.
- The creatives they’re using.
We’ll touch more on how you’ll utilize all of this information in a minute, but first, be sure to check out our new social media ads training course after this.
Step 3, Make a topic map based on the information you’ve compiled so far.
We usually suggest making a topic map of 5 main topics that you can break down into subtopics, if necessary.
But start by writing down 5 main things you think your audience would find valuable…
…to see from you on IG based on the research you’ve performed thus far.
These will be the topics you start your content creation around.
And, they’ll also be handy to refer back to anytime you feel stuck or get writer’s block in the future.
Step 4: Outline your content for the next month.
We usually do this in a Google Doc for our clients, but you can physically write it down on a big desk calendar or however you want to do it.
You just want to start pulling from the list of topics you’ve written down and transferring them to date on a calendar.
This is so you can start forming a plan of posting about topic A on this date, topic B on this date, and so on.
Step 5: Do a quick Google search of upcoming holidays.
In addition to obvious holidays like Christmas, there are tons of national and international holidays out there like:
- National Coffee Day
- National Author’s Day
Go through all of the holidays for the upcoming month and see if there are any that are related to your industry, product, or service.
And if so, plug that into your content calendar so that you know what to post about that date.
Once you’ve got a working calendar of topics you want to post about and when, let’s move on to the next step.
Step 6: Determine the content type you want to use.
This will determine how steps 7 and 8 go with copy and creative creation.
Do you have a lot of frequently asked questions you want to answer and put out there as a resource for your audience?
If so, an Instagram Live that you save as an IGTV would be a great way to do that.
Maybe you want to share a how-to of something, but it’s easier to show your audience than to explain it?
A 15-60 second Reel would be the perfect way to share that.
Or, maybe a good ‘ole feed post is all that’s needed?
Either way, go ahead and determine which content type you want to use, and jot that down in your calendar for each day.
Step 7: Create the copy for your posts.
Everything you’ve done so far has set you up so that you know what you want to post about on which days.
Now you just need to create the posts, so the easiest way in our opinion is to start with the captions.
Depending on the content types you’re using, the way you write your copies will vary a little from day to day.
For instance, Reels usually don’t need extensive copies because the majority of people are just watching the video and not even reading the caption.
Stories don’t have a separate space for captions, but you can write text on the image or video.
Depending on your industry, feed posts actually can see greater engagement with longer more in-depth captions.
So the format of your copies will vary, but what should stay the same throughout is that they remain audience-oriented.
Remember what we said at the beginning: your Instagram posts should be about and for your target market, not you.
Step 8: Make your creatives.
It is where a lot of business owners get stumped:
Whether you’re just using a single, static image, or you’re about to embark on making your first reel or IGTV…
…or you’re nervous about launching your first Live, creatives can often be what stop business owners in their tracks.
Lucky for you, our blog is entirely dedicated to providing resources for small business owners like you.
We have tutorials here on how to use free programs like Canva to:
- make attention-grabbing digital marketing graphics and videos,
- how to take quality product photos with your phone
…and so much more.
But in addition to learning how to make your creatives, the important thing to remember when making them is again needs to be audience-oriented.
The same rules that apply to copy also apply to what’s being said verbally in your videos or via text on your creatives.
So think back to what creatives performed best in your competitor analysis research.
Instagram is specifically more of a visual platform than any other social media platform, so the creatives are that much more important.
Some industries, like the fashion industry for example, often pay attention not just to individual posts…
…but also to how all the posts will look collectively in the feed.
These are things you’ll want to think about as you create your visuals.
We have a whole post on how to use Instagram hashtags…
…and in our how to gain Instagram followers post, we show you how to use hashtags and keywords together for extended reach.
So be sure to read those two posts next.
But for the sake of this creating content on Instagram tutorial…
…we just want to point out that hashtags are still relevant and should very much be included in your posts.
If it’s a feed post, you can use up to 30, and you may want to put them in the first comment as opposed to your actual caption for aesthetics.
For Stories, you can put hashtags directly on the creative (and if they don’t look appealing, you can always cover them up with a gif or sticker).
But regardless of content type, the key with hashtags is to do these 3 things:
- Switch them up so that you’re not using the exact same set every day (or else Instagram will lower your reach for that because they’ll read it as spammy),
- Do your research to choose hashtags of varying sizes to get a big reach and targeted reach.
- Make the hashtags relevant to your post.
Step 10: Schedule them all.
There are several social media scheduling software out there to choose from including the free one Facebook offers from the convenience of your FB page…
…which we showed you how to utilize in our Facebook publishing tools post.
Some things, however, cannot be scheduled in advance such as Stories, Reels, etc.
But we would advise that you schedule what you can in advance, and make note of what has to be published in real-time.
That’s how you can go from having nothing to having a full content calendar for your Instagram.
If you’re looking for affordable Instagram marketing services to help you with your IG marketing efforts, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!