How to Create an Instagram Content Calendar (and Why You Need One)

Instagram engagement rises when you use the right hashtags and include captions that are relevant, long, and intriguing. Plus, regular Instagram posting can increase your Instagram follower count and keep them engaged. Haphazardly adding photos to your Instagram account could fill out your content, but it probably won’t give you the engagement you want, so keep it relevant.

That comes from having a clear strategy that meets the needs and interests of your followers. An Instagram content calendar is a plan for your content that you can follow day-by-day to always stay on top of posting.

Why Use an Instagram Content Calendar?

Person working on digital Instagram content calendar

An Instagram content calendar creates a specific plan for your Instagram posts. It can be useful for: 

  • Knowing what to post: Your calendar provides a day-by-day schedule of what to post on Instagram, including the caption and hashtags to go along with each post. 
  • Posting at the right times: Include scheduled times when each post should go live on your content calendar. When you have your Instagram posts mapped out on a calendar, there’s no guesswork involved in posting on the right days and at the right times to maximize engagement.
  • Sticking with an aesthetic: Some Instagrammers like laying out their posts in a specific way, such as alternating photos and quote posts or having photos with matching filters running diagonally across their feeds. A content calendar can help you plan the layout of your posts ahead of time to make sure everything fits your aesthetic.
  • Saving time: Having a plan in place for your Instagram feed saves you time. There’s no last-minute scrambling to figure out what to post or trying to squeeze in another photoshoot for more content. Planning posts is half the battle of having an active Instagram account, so once that’s out of the way, you’ll free up some time for your business.

How to Create an Instagram Content Calendar to Plan Your Content

Person holding a smartphone showing an Instagram post in front of a laptop

Want to get started on your own Instagram content calendar? Here’s a simple 3-step guide to get you on your way to consistent Instagram posting.

Step 1: Understand Your Audience to Determine Your Strategy

The better you understand your Instagram audience, the more you can tailor your posting strategy to accommodate their needs. Use Instagram’s analytics to see when your audience engages the most with your posts. Spend a few weeks monitoring what happens when you post more or less frequently, such as twice per day instead of five times a week. Do people become more engaged when you post more often? If so, you can bulk up your content calendar.

Also, decide what your audience might prefer regarding the type of content you post or a theme to follow. Does your audience care if your posts follow a theme, like three photos followed by a different type of content, such as a question post, carousel, video, or meme? Or, does your feed still get a lot of traction without a theme? Again, you may need to experiment for several weeks to learn what works best for your account.

Step 2: Map Out Your Content and Hashtags

Now, work on filling out your calendar. Many Instagram users with content calendars do one, two, or three-month plans, but you can budget your time to create a six-month or 12-month calendar if desired. However, a shorter timeframe leaves you some wiggle room to account for new launches and last-minute events that you may not have planned yet. 

Consider each holiday, special event, and other important things to include in your calendar each month. Mark these down first with your content ideas. You should also consider upcoming blog posts that you want to promote on Instagram and leave some space for posts with stories about you or your business for a personal touch.

Then, build the rest of your calendar around those dates, being sure to account for post frequency and themes you want to stick with. 

With each piece of content, write a quick description for the image and copy you’d like to use. Also, add hashtags that you want to be included in the post. Use our guide to Instagram hashtags if you need help. Jot down other important information, too, like people you want to mention in each post or any links to add to your bio or in the caption.

Step 3: Delegate Tasks

Consider hiring the help of a freelancer or team member to take over your Instagram content calendar. This person can be in charge of filling the calendar with new content ideas, posting scheduled content, and responding to comments. Or, if you’d still like to have most of the control over your Instagram posting, you might instead just hire someone to create a calendar that you can follow along with. 

An Instagram content calendar makes it easier for you to fill your feed with engaging, thoughtful posts. Now that you’re putting all that effort into your Instagram strategy, you want as many people as possible to see your carefully crafted content. Install the Instagram follow button on your blog or website to give your visitors a simple way to follow you on Instagram – with a single click!

Beyond all of that, if you’re looking for even more ideas on how to grow your Instagram following, we’ve also created a series of free Instagram resources, including: our guide to the Instagram text limit, our guide on sharing a post on Instagram, and our guide to creating a great profile photo on Instagram.

And, if you’re looking to grow your Instagram follower count even further, check out our post on how to write a giveaway post on Instagram.

About ShareThis

ShareThis has unlocked the power of global digital behavior by synthesizing social share, interest, and intent data since 2007. Powered by consumer behavior on over three million global domains, ShareThis observes real-time actions from real people on real digital destinations.

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