Is your Instagram account becoming a chore to run? Ditch your tired approach and build an Instagram content library that works for you
As we all know, Instagram is a social media platform that relies heavily on beautiful imagery and short, yet informative captions to communicate a brand or personal aesthetic. So to see success on Instagram and get more followers and engagement on your account, you need to be organised and have a great content library on hand at all times to ensure that planning your weekly Instagram content doesn't become a chore.
While a good content library shouldn’t be rushed and thrown together, it doesn’t have to take up hours of your time, energy and resources. In fact, you can create your weekly Instagram content and maintain an impressive content library in just one hour each week! Here are the tips and tricks we use!
Curate An Instagram Content Library
Our first tip is to build an Instagram content library by capturing content when it happens, so go about your day with a new perspective and always be on the look out for new content opportunities. Whether it’s a picture of your tasty breakfast, morning coffee or a colourful sunset, these generic lifestyle pictures are great for Instagram. Start capturing images wherever you can (in the office, at lunch, on the weekend, at a meeting) and save them to a new folder on your phone or laptop, aptly titled ‘Instagram Content Library.’ It’s so easy and painless, and it will give you a great selection of images to work with when it comes to creating and scheduling your weekly Instagram content.
Prepare All Of Your Images
Now that you have a content library bursting with images to choose from, it's time to go through and prepare the images you're going to use on Instagram in the week ahead. This should take about 20 minutes but will save you a world of time when it comes to publishing each Instagram update throughout the week. Start by selecting the images you’re going to use for the week and edit each one using photo editing apps (VSCO, Photo Editor and Snapseed) or the default Instagram filters. Here you can also consider putting a text overlay on them with Canva or the new Adobe Post tool. Adding text and graphics to your images makes them more interactive and is great for industries that are not in the lifestyle and fashion sphere.
For more Instagram tools, check out 8 Free Instagram Tools You Should Be Using.
Create Quote Tiles
Our next tip is to develop branded quote tiles as they add bulk to your Instagram content library and deliver a short, succinct message to your followers. Whether it’s a brand announcement, call-out, product update or light-hearted, humorous text, quote tiles encourage your followers to engage and share information with their friends. Design a branded template and then all you have to do is edit the text with new quotes and information (it should only take about 10 minutes to create 10 new quote tiles). Not sure what we’re talking about?
Check out the scrunch Instagram account (@scrunchdotcom) and have a peek at the image tiles we use and the pattern we’ve created.
Plan Your Schedule
Once you’ve built your Instagram content library it’s time to start planning and scheduling your weekly content for Instagram. If you prefer to do it manually, create a content calendar on a Google Doc with the date, time, image and caption (including tags and hashtags) of every Instagram post for the week ahead and set an email reminder for every time a new post has to be uploaded. This way, you can go straight to your content calendar, copy the caption and then upload the picture and you’ll be back to work in less than a minute. If you want to automate the process even further, you can use scheduling apps such as Hootsuite, Latergram and Schedugram to pre-schedule your Instagram updates in advance so they go live automatically. Here you can also see if there are any gaps in your schedule, or if there are any last-minute pieces of content to create, which leads us to our next tip....
Flatlay To Fill Any Gaps
One of our favourite Instagram tips is to master the art of the humble flatlay and start adding them to your content library because they’re great for fillers and behind-the-scenes action when you have gaps in your planned schedule. They’re super easy to create, and there are no rules whatsoever, so grab a few of your favourite products, find some natural light and a great background and start arranging and snapping. Your flatlay style and composition will improve the more you practice.
Maintain Your Library
Now that you’ve developed a system for capturing, curating and preparing your Instagram content, all you have to do is maintain it by keeping your content library full and up to date. Delete or archive images when they've been published so that your Instagram content library is only images that are available to use. This will also help you realise when your stockpile is low. If you keep it maintained on a regular basis, you'll be able to create and schedule your weekly Instagram content in an hour, max. Wouldn't that be nice!?
Do you use an Instagram content library, or have you been thinking about building one? Tell us your number one tip in the comments below!