Tired of creating Instagram content day after day? Wondering if there's an easier way?
In this article, you'll discover how to build an Instagram content strategy that works without leaving you feeling drained, even when you have nothing to promote.
Why Instagram Still Matters for Marketers
Instagram has been going through quite a few changes lately, leaving a few people feeling disenfranchised and left behind. You might be wondering if you should still be using Instagram for your marketing or head over to a new platform like TikTok that's vying for your attention.
The truth is, even with other social platforms trying to grab their share of our attention, Instagram remains one of the top social media platforms for marketing. Instagram has built a robust platform with tools designed for business use and growth including:
- Direct messaging and automations
- Engaging content formats such as Stories
- Innovative content formats designed to expand reach such as Reels
- A fully developed audience network and advertising platform
It's hard to find a social media platform with this many tools already built and fully developed and ready for marketers and brands to take advantage of. Additionally, these tools have been tested and proven effective.
As new social media platforms continue to emerge and younger crowds adopt them as their platform of choice, the truth is that the majority of Instagram's audience is loyal to Instagram. The people who grew up with Instagram and adopted it as their platform of choice aren't going to leave quietly to learn a new channel. The consumer market on Instagram is as lively and active as ever and they aren't going anywhere.
Of course, an ever-changing platform can lead to a feeling of constantly chasing your own social media content strategy. And just when you think you have it figured out, the platform changes or introduces a new feature. Before you know it, your content strategy has been flipped on its head. It's no wonder so many marketers are starting to feel burned out.
Here's a framework you can follow to build an Instagram content strategy and avoid burnout.
#1: Block Out Time Off and Promos on Your Instagram Content Calendar
Let's start with taking a look at your year from both a personal and professional viewpoint in addition to your social marketing viewpoint.
You probably already know the most effective seasons for holding your biggest promotions and product launches so those weeks will be fairly easy to block off on your calendar. Take a minute to add in 4-6 weeks of themed social media content that you'll use to warm up your audience leading up to your launch.
Around these launches and the accompanying warm-up periods, take a look at times you want to take off from work and marketing. These might be vacation days, family days, or even professional development days when you want to attend a conference.
What you have left are several gaps between your promotions and your desired time off. Now, this is where a lot of marketers would then create content that was maybe a little more generic, or at least not necessarily related to their products or services, and try to schedule that content out. And while you could do that, another solution would be to leave those gaps open.
We'll talk about what kind of content you can create for these gaps later in this article. First, we'll get into how to plan content for your promotions.
#2: Plan Promotional Content for Instagram
After you've determined the times you'll launch a promotion or a product, here's how to plan your content for Instagram.
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Plan Content Leading Up to Your Promo
The 4-6 weeks leading up to your promotion is your time to warm up your audience and get them ready for the promotion. You do this by using pre-promo content.
Pre-promo content is educational in nature, reframing mindsets, debunking industry myths and misinformation, as well as fun and relatable content that helps build a relationship between you and your audience.
During your pre-promo phase, the content you post is focused primarily on growth, connection, and engagement. It helps establish you as an authority with your audience. It lets them know who you are and why they should follow you.
To avoid burnout, this is a good time to focus your efforts on the types of content format that will give you the biggest bang.
Instagram Reels, as of right now, provides the biggest reach and discoverability, getting you in front of new eyes. Instagram image carousels are also great for reach and are often saved, helping to deepen that connection after someone has discovered you. And Instagram stories are a great way to carry on a conversation and connect with your audience after they've started following you.
Go Live With Your Offer
Live promo content is exactly as it sounds: content that you create and post while your promotion is live. You've spent the past 4-6 weeks warming up and growing your audience and having a conversation around fun and relatable content, myths, and mindset reframing. Now it's time to shift gears a little bit and talk about your promotion or product launch.
During this time, your content will focus more on your promotion itself, what it is and who it's for, as well as why it's unique. You're also going to focus on your audience's pain points, what they're struggling with, and how your product or service can help them resolve those struggles.
As the name implies, the best type of content to post at this time includes Instagram stories; Instagram reels; and posts that feature Q&As, tips, and going live on Instagram.
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Tips for Avoiding Burnout When Creating Promo Content
As you know, product launches and promotions can be big, and sometimes big can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you manage content creation:
Create your content in batches: Implementing a system to get through your content creation will help minimize feeling overwhelmed. If you're by yourself, you might want to build a system that includes a way to batch-create your graphics and posts, and schedule your Instagram content using either Facebook's Creator Studio or a third-party app.
If you have a team to help you, you can build your system to allow your team to handle a lot of the research and content ideas for you, and depending on the content, they can even help produce the posts for you. You can also repurpose some of your content from an earlier launch.
Get your team involved: Building a team that understands your brand can also be an enormous help for keeping some of the pressure off of you. Your team can deliver content, Q&As, engagement, and tips, all based on content that you've already created and delivered. This would allow you to focus on the pieces you have to do and ensure you're able to take a break when you need to.
Many new entrepreneurs and business owners get stuck in the idea that they have to do everything. But it's important to remember that even if you're going it alone, that doesn't mean that you have to be on your own. A strong team can help carry your brand through any launch and be there for your audience when you need to be there for yourself.
Build a system to manage comments: You can also slow down the burnout and stress by managing comments and engagement with a system and getting your team involved.
#3: Develop Instagram Content Themes for Gaps Between Promotions
As we mentioned, Instagram is a fast and ever-changing platform. When they release a new feature, it happens quickly. And the people who are able to hop on and adopt that feature first tend to reap the benefits fastest.
Therefore, if you're trying to avoid the burnout of doing extra work or play catch-up with a platform that refuses to stagnate, a better solution is to define themes for those gaps. As you get closer to the dates of those gaps, you can create and publish content based on what's happening on the platform in real time, as well as the type of day you're having.
If your day is already overwhelming and you're juggling a lot, then perhaps posting a fast Instagram story is your best bet. If you happen to be having a stellar day and are highly motivated, perhaps recording some reels would be beneficial.
The themes you choose to fill your days with can be anything. You can scroll to see if there are any events happening, big news in social media, or other time-sensitive items that you may want to publish.
You can also use more generic themes as a backup should you be unable to find a specific topic to post about. For example, you might want to post a motivational Monday post in which you share a motivational quote or a tip. You could then continue that theme for every day of the week, with twofer Tuesdays or wacky Wednesdays.
One of the unique advantages of themes is that they're easy to move around should news pop up that would bump them in your schedule. They don't cause a lot of problems in your content strategy, they're easy to relate to for a larger audience, and you can batch-create a lot of posts or batch-record a lot of videos that fall under this theme. Then you can sprinkle them out as needed.
Another thing to consider as you plan the content for filling these gaps is where can you get the most bang for your effort?
If you're trying to get more reach while avoiding burnout, then instead of posting everywhere on Instagram, you might just want to take advantage of the feature that promotes the most reach, which right now is Instagram Reels. On the other hand, if you're trying to start a conversation with your followers or generate some content based on your followers' needs and questions, then a story with a Q&A sticker might be the best bet.
The idea here is to choose the most effective content format that will help you achieve your goals without driving you closer to burnout or overwhelming you. Open gaps within your year between your promotions and launches allow you to keep the flexibility you need to run your business effectively while still taking care of yourself. It also helps you avoid leaving any money on the table and ensures you're taking care of your audience at the best times.
Again, for those days that you don't have pre-made content to post, you can choose the content format that will move you closest to what it is you're trying to accomplish that day. If you're feeling burned out and you had planned on posting four to five Instagram stories that day, it might be better to post one reel instead. Giving yourself the flexibility to change your content based on the day can help you fight off burnout.
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