How to batch your Instagram content
Ready to save you time, well I’m going to be teaching you how to batch your Instagram content. Did you know that you can look at your phone and see just how much time you are spending on Instagram? Well, you can and it is terrifying. Just knowing that something is keeping tabs on your use should make you cringe a little bit. But, I get it. You have a business so your time on Instagram is time spent growing your business. Okay, friend. I love you, but I have to call you out. That’s not true. You know it. But, don’t worry. I have a solution.
Instagram CAN grow your business, but I believe we are giving that app a little too much credit and not enough strategic thought when we are creating out content. So, let’s take control of our Instagram use and start using it to grow your business instead of wasting our time. You in?! This is going to be fun!
Psssst. Did you see my podcast that helps you figure out how to plan your summer schedule? Listen to it here.
How to batch your Instagram content:
What is batching Instagram content?
Instead of creating Instagram content every day, batching content is when you create multiple posts at one time and then schedule them out throughout the week.
Why would you batch Instagram content?
Imagine yourself deciding that you need to post on Instagram today. You open your phone, stare at the screen not knowing what to post about. Then you have an idea, so you type it out. Now you need a picture, so you go through all of your pictures trying to find one that fits the caption and fits your feed. You can’t find one that is perfect, so you set up the shot. This requires you to do your hair and makeup and find a husband or a kid to take your picture. By the time you are done, it has taken you an hour to create an Instagram post, times that by five days and that is 5 hours/week just for posting.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Batching Instagram content will save you time because you can sit down, after looking at your content calendar, and create all the captions you need for the week. Then, knowing the type of captions you are going to use, you can create a shot list and take some time to take all the pictures that you need for that week. This whole process took 2 hours will writing, taking pictures and scheduling your posts. Compare that to the 5 hours above and you can see that this is the better way to do things.
In fact, I usually do one big photo shoot each month and don’t do it every week, which further cuts down on my time spent. This is why you batch your Instagram content. It saves you time.
How do you batch Instagram content:
Step 1: Get the photos
If you’ve been around Instagram very long, you know that good pictures are everything. As a photographer, I really must urge you to take your pictures seriously, so make sure they are high-quality pictures. Schedule an afternoon where you take a bunch of different pictures, in different outfits, with different hair, doing different things.
Not sure exactly what pictures you need? Think about what content you will be creating that month and what types of pictures you will need. For example, if I know that I’m going to be talking about my podcast, then I will make sure that I have pictures of me with my air pods in or with my podcasting headphones. Or maybe you will be sharing makeup tips, make sure you put makeup shots on your list. Or maybe you will be sharing your favorite summer recipes, put cooking pictures on the list.
Other than that, I will take pictures of things I normally do throughout the day and take pictures of them all during that photo shoot time. I will take pictures of me cooking, working, with my kids, without. I change my outfits and my hair throughout so that I get a lot of different shots and so that it looks like I took different pictures over a bunch of days.
Think about the things that you love and want to share. Do you love traveling, makeup, photography, healthy recipes? Whatever it is, add these onto your shot list and make sure that you get a bunch of different options. The more pictures you take, the more content you have.
How do you get these pictures?
You can take these pictures in a few ways. 1. Self-timer or remote. Set-up the shot and push that button. 2. Have a friend, husband or child take the pictures. My kids are usually my photographers. I make sure the camera settings are correct and then hand over the camera. 3. Hire a photographer. This is a really fun thing to do because it takes the guesswork and stress out of the pictures. You can leave it to a professional.
Once you take these pictures, you will have a bank of great photo content for your Instagram feed.
I like to think of my Instagram feed as the story that I’m telling my audience. I want to take them along with me. To do this, I have to be really strategic and dedicated to the types of subjects I talk about on Instagram. My brand is around building a business as a mom. This is my story and because of this, I share topics relevant to this story. I share thoughts on motherhood, motivation, business tips and tricks, my daily life and build my community of women-run businesses. This is my story. I know exactly who I am talking to when I am writing this story.
You need to know this. You need to know exactly who you are talking to and the story you are taking them on.
I also take into consideration content that I am creating on my other platforms and how I can use that content on Instagram or how I can increase awareness of that content on Instagram. I want the content across all of my platforms to be cohesive.
Lastly, I look at any promotions or products that I want to be selling during that month. I look at how I can naturally bring those into my Instagram feed.
Once you decide on the story you are telling, the content I’m creating across other platforms and the things I will be promoting, I have a solid Instagram strategy and am ready for the next step.
Step 3: Create a beautiful feed
Instagram is all about your feed and making it look on purpose and cohesive. Achieving this can be pretty hard if you are doing your pictures one at a time, but batching this content allows you to make your feed flow.
I use the free app, Planoly, to design my feed and to plan my Instagram posts. Planoly allows you to upload your pictures and drag and drop them to create the perfect feed for you. You can create your captions in the app and then have it automatically post to Instagram for you. Planoly is a game changer.
This Planoly link is an affiliate link.
So, how should your feed look? Make sure that all of your pictures are edited in the same style. Choose one way that you edit your pictures and then stick with it. I also like to choose the colors and feel for my feed. I will alternate close up shots, group shots and far away shots. This isn’t an exact science, but move your picture around until you get a grid that you like.
Here are some examples of great feeds:
Step 4: Write those captions
Now it is time to write those captions. Each Instagram post should either educate, empower, entertain or engage your audience. Keep this in mind when you are writing your captions. When deciding what to write, I will look at my content calendar to see what other types of content that I’m releasing that week, what products I’m promoting and what is happening in my personal life that my readers will want to know about and last consider what is happening in your audiences lives? Is it summer time? Is there a holiday coming up?
With all of that information, I will then create my captions around these themes.
Tips for creating great captions:
- Tell stories. Want your followers to read to the end? Add a story in there.
- Be as brief as possible.
- Use your writing voice. I always try to write like a talk. I think about writing like I was speaking directly to a friend. This helps keep my writing voice consistent.
- Edit. Yes, I want your posts to sound like you, but I do want you to take the time to edit them. This can be as simple as reading it over once to catch anything you might have missed on your first draft.
- Call to action. Remember, your posts are being written to people, real-life people! Use your posts as a conversation starter. I try to end almost every post with a question or other call to action. I want my readers to know exactly what I want them to do when they are done reading my post.
Step 5: Post and engage
You have your pictures taken, content planned, your grid figured out, your captions are on pointe, now what? Now is the time you’ve been waiting for. You post. I usually have my Instagram posts scheduled to post automatically through Planoly, but whenever they post, I get a notification on my phone that my post is live. Once my post has been posted, I will go on and engage on Instagram. I will scroll through my feed and engage on other people’s content and then I will engage with anyone who has commented on my posts.
Doing this will help with the algorithm. Instagram is a social app and because of that it rewards you for being social. I usually try to spend 20-30 minutes engaging and interacting right after I post.
I will also go on to my stories and talk about what I talked on my post about. I have found that my audience that watches my stories is different than the audience who engages on my posts. I want to make sure that that post serves and reaches as many as possible. So, I will go on my Instagram Stories and do a few clips about the topic and then I will share my Instagram post to my stories.
Alright friends, this is how to batch your Instagram content. This might seem a little overwhelming at first, but believe me when I tell you that this is a better way. This will save you time and frustration. Imagine how it will feel to wake up every morning and not have to worry or scramble to get an Instagram post up and ready.
Thanks for following along, friends.
Have you picked up your summer business planning guide? Well, make sure that you download it here and you can read all about how to implement it here.
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