How to Create an Instagram Content Calendar?

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Instagram is a major marketing tool but knowing what to post and when to post it can be tricky. That’s where an Instagram content calendar comes in. 

An Instagram content calendar will help you to plan and implement an Instagram strategy that will resonate with your audience and help you to achieve your marketing goals. 

If you’re unsure how to create a content calendar for Instagram then don’t worry. We’ve put together this useful guide taking you through every step of the process. Your Instagram is about to go viral!

Why Plan Instagram Content?

An Instagram social media calendar documents all of your upcoming posts, sorted by date, and features everything you’ll need to post to your Instagram including assets, captions, hashtags, and other accounts to tag.

But why should you bother planning your Instagram content in advance?

Instagram is now a major marketing tool and you should treat it in the same way you would any other platform you use to promote your business. Gone are the days when Instagram uploads were instant. Now Instagram feeds are carefully thought out and curated for optimum impact.

There are various benefits to planning your Instagram content in advance including:

  • Ensures you are posting consistently
  • Saves you time and stress
  • Allows you to plan ahead
  • Gives you the opportunity to run large-scale campaigns
  • Ensures all of your content is on-brand

Posting regularly and consistently on Instagram will help to boost your engagement, build greater brand awareness, grow your audience and generate sales.

Planning your Instagram content in advance also helps you to avoid common pitfalls of posting ad-hoc including typos, tone of voice errors, and incorrect information.

Instagram Content Calendar: How To

Now that you understand why it’s important to create an Instagram social media calendar, take a look at our step-by-step on how to put one together:

Audit Your Social Accounts


Step 1

Before you begin creating your content calendar for Instagram, you need to make sure you have a clear understanding of your current social presence. 

Undertaking an audit of your social media channels allows you to build a picture of how you are currently performing, what’s working, and what isn’t. Knowing what you can improve on and what works well for your audience will ensure your Instagram content calendar is a success. 

When undertaking your audit ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which social media platforms are you on?
  • Which social media platforms aren’t you on? 
  • Which of your social media accounts have the largest and most engaged following?
  • What type of content has performed well for you in the past?
  • What type of content hasn’t performed well for you in the past?
  • Who is engaging with your content?
  • Who is your key target audience demographic?
  • Does your current social media audience match your target demographic?
  • Are there any gaps to be filled in your social media presence?

Decide Your Tone & Style


Step 2

Maintaining a consistent tone of voice and style across Instagram is important to building your brand.

The best business Instagram accounts have honed their brand so that the tone of voice and visuals reflect their values and mission. 

The goal is for users to instantly recognize your brand from an Instagram post without having to check the handle and username to confirm it’s come from you. 

Target has curated a brand on its Instagram account that matches the branding across its other online channels including the famous red and white logo.

In order to ensure you have a confident tone of voice and style across your Instagram account (and that this matches with the rest of your online channels) we recommend creating a set of brand guidelines. 

Brand guidelines are exactly what they sound like – guidelines for the creation of your brand that cover everything from the tone of voice you should use in content and captions to the colors and themes of your images and videos.

If you’re unsure what style you want your Instagram posts to take, research some of your favorite accounts and take a look at what your competitors are doing. From this, you can create a mood board to refer back to when shooting your content.

Establish Roles


Step 3

An important part of the creation of your Instagram content calendar is establishing who is going to be responsible for populating and implementing it. 

It’s all well and good having a content calendar to follow but if nobody on your team knows whose responsibility it is to put it into action then you’re wasting your time.

Roles and responsibilities to establish include:

  • Who will populate the calendar with new, upcoming content?
  • Who will create the content (e.g. photos, videos, captions)?
  • Who will proof and sign off on the content?
  • Who will schedule and/or post the content?
  • Who will ensure the calendar is being correctly followed?

Establish an Instagram Strategy


Step 4

Before you create your Instagram content calendar you need to establish your wider Instagram strategy. 

Your Instagram strategy should be researched and well thought out to ensure it meets the main KPIs (key performance indicators) and goals you have for the platform. 

The Instagram strategy you create will then underpin your weekly Instagram content calendar.

When creating your social media strategy for Instagram you should think about:

  • What is the purpose of the Instagram account?
  • How often do you want to post to Instagram?
  • Are you going to follow a content theme?
  • What time of day is your audience most active and engaged on Instagram?
  • What type of content will you post? Do you want your content to be educational, entertaining, or sales-driven? The best accounts use a mix of both!

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: Remember the 80:20 rule when deciding the types of content you want to include. 80% of your posts should be driven to educate, inform, and entertain, while 20% should directly promote your business and generate conversions.

Create Your Instagram Content Calendar


Step 5

Now that you’ve completed all of your research, planning, and prep it’s time to create your Instagram content calendar.

There are various platforms you can use to create your calendar – some people opt to use an Excel spreadsheet, or you can sign-up for specialist tools such as Loomly or Sprout Social. 

Loomly is a social media management tool that allows you to create and populate Instagram content calendars.

When creating your Instagram content calendar you need to make sure that it includes:

  • Publish date
  • Content type
  • Content theme
  • Assets (images or videos)
  • Captions
  • Additional information such as hashtags or accounts to tag
  • Who is responsible for each aspect

Remember to make sure that every member of your team involved with creating and implementing the calendar has access to it and receives all of the relevant updates and information.

Instagram Social Media Calendar: Inspiration

Deciding what content to include in your Instagram content calendar can be hard so we’ve listed some content ideas below to get you started.

  • Industry news – have there been new updates or announcements relevant to your industry that you can share?
  • Company news – are you launching a new product or service that you can promote?
  • Holidays – national holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and dedicated appreciation days offer great scope for theming your content.
  • Quotes – everyone loves an inspirational quote, just make sure it’s relevant to your business!
  • User-generated content – share your customers’ images of your products or services.
  • Educational posts – use your Instagram to educate your audience on your industry. Position yourself as an expert and industry leader.
  • Reviews and client testimonials – share any good reviews and testimonials that you receive to help build faith and trust in your brand.

Instagram Content Calendar: Summary

Instagram content calendars can transform how you use the social media platform for your business and creating one doesn’t need to be daunting. 

Having a clear and detailed content calendar will save you time and stress in the long run and helps to ensure you are posting consistently and professionally. 

In order to create a great Instagram content calendar you need to:

  • Audit your social media channels
  • Decide on your tone and style
  • Establish roles
  • Put together an Instagram strategy
  • Create your calendar using Excel or another tool

We can guarantee that creating an Instagram content calendar for your brand will enable you to get the most out of the platform as a marketing tool. If you’re looking for more information on how you can use Instagram for your business then check out our guide on making money on Instagram, or this one on using social media effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

An Instagram content calendar allows you to plan your Instagram content in advance, ensuring that you are posting regularly, that all of your posts are on-brand, and helps you to avoid any typos or misinformation. 

Within an Instagram content calendar, you should include the dates for posting, the content type, the assets for the post, captions, and hashtags as well as who is responsible for each aspect.

It’s up to you how far in advance you plan your Instagram content. We recommend making either a weekly Instagram content calendar and planning for the week ahead or a monthly version and prep posts for the whole month. 

Written by:
Black and white headshot of Lucy Nixon smiling at the camera
I’ve been a content writer for Website Builder Expert since 2021. Through almost a decade in the digital marketing industry, I’ve built up knowledge on everything from growing ecommerce businesses to building websites. I love breaking down tricky topics into digestible and engaging content for readers. Breaking down the jargon and uncovering the best platforms, tools, and strategies, I’m a meticulous researcher who’s committed to providing our readers with tips and advice that’s tried and tested.

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