16 Budget-Friendly Content Creator Tools
If you’re looking to add new content creator tools to your kit list, you’ve come to the right place!
Even with a busy schedule, you can still create gorgeous, consistent content while saving time and money — and the right tools can make it super easy.
Ready to take your content skills to the next level? Here are 16 budget-friendly tools for Instagram content creators:
Table of Contents:
Content Creator Tools Part 1: Recording Equipment
If you’re shooting footage specifically for Instagram, a few simple tools can produce some pretty impressive results.
Plus, by creating higher-quality video and audio content, you might start to see a boost in your view rates and engagement.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite recording equipment to make your content stand out:
#1: Ring Light
When you need help controlling the lighting at home, a ring light tripod combo can do the trick.
Not only does it help you create a bright aesthetic, but it allows you to be hands-free to create more engaging Instagram Stories (or even your next TikTok dance routine).
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Many ring light tripods even have options for dimming the light to control the warmth or coolness of your shot, as well as a remote clicker for seamless content control.
#2: Softbox Lighting Kit
A softbox lighting kit is a must-have purchase for video or product photography shots. Most kits contain two softbox lights, which instantly transforms any room into a professional studio.
Get a soft, diffused light by placing a lightbox on each side of the object or person you’re photographing. They’re especially helpful for shooting content on days that are dark and gloomy.
TIP: Choose a neutral daylight balanced bulb to avoid adding an unwanted tint to your photos or video.
Wish you had marble countertops or colorful wall tiles in your home? Don’t worry — you can easily fake it!
All you need is a bit of speciality paper, just like we did in our IGTV series: Screen Time with Later.
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It’s Wednesday, which can only mean one thing — a fresh Screen Time with Later, hot off the press. A treat for all you social media, branding and marketing nerds. 🤩⠀ ⠀ This week we’re talking #EarthDay initiatives, new Instagram Stories stickers which are *perfect* for small businesses right now, some TikTok news, and everything in between. If you’re a “watch until it hits 1 min” kind of person, just know this — you’re missing out on a hack of the week, every *𝙥𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙚𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙘𝙩* single *𝙥𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙚𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙘𝙩 𝙖𝙜𝙖𝙞𝙣* week. So sit back, get cozy and tuck into this week’s episode of #laterscreentime. ⠀ ⠀ If you’re watching in your feed: ⠀ ⤴ Link in bio: How to Use Instagram’s New Food Delivery & Gift Card Stickers ⤴ ⠀ ⠀ If you’re watching in IGTV, and want to learn more (just tap, tap away!):⠀ 👉 How to Use Instagram’s New Food Delivery & Gift Card Stickers: https://lat.gr/NewStickers ⠀ ⠀ 👉 Instagram Live: A Step-By-Step Guide for Businesses: https://lat.gr/IGLive_Tips
From vinyl photography backgrounds in a rainbow of colors to a simple whiteboard (think back to your school project days) you can create clean and interesting displays for your flatlays or portraits.
#4: Flexible Tripod
You’re probably already quite familiar with the handiness of tripods when photographing, but if you’re regularly shooting flatlays and product photography, finding a MACC (Multi-Angle Center Column) tripod can take your styled shots to the next level.
By easily converting to different angles, this tripod will give you a wider range of motion while stabilizing your camera.
Say goodbye to awkward squats and back pain from hunching over — this tripod is the hands-free answer for every shot.
A microphone isn’t just a sound investment for podcasters, there are plenty of reasons content creators should add one to their toolkit too.
From recording tutorials, narrating video content, or even being a guest on someone else’s podcast, having a good quality mic on hand can often save the day — especially in environments where the audio is challenging.
Sign up for a Later account today to plan and auto publish your Instagram posts in advance!
Content Creator Tools Part 2: Phone Accessories
No space for bulky equipment in your tool kit? There’s plenty of phone accessories that will help you take your content creation up a notch, without taking up too much space.
Here are some of our favorite phone accessories for professional-looking video content that are both light-weight and easy to use:
#6: A Stylus Pen
If drawing with your finger on Instagram Stories isn’t cutting it anymore, a stylus pen is an easy way to elevate your precision.
TIP: Opt for a universal touch screen stylus that you can use across a wide variety of devices.
With the power of a proper pen point, you can use a stylus to add creative flair to your stories for a more polished look.
#7: Smartphone Camera Lenses
While smartphone cameras have come a long way, there’s still some limitations to what you can capture with your phone. That’s where a smartphone camera lens kit comes in!
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With everything from fisheye perspective to macro views, you can transform your phone camera with a simple lens clip that takes seconds to install on your phone.
Plus, it means you don’t have to carry around a bulky SLR lens when you’re capturing quick content on the fly!
#8: Selfie Ring Light Clip
Another clip that’s popular among influencers and content creators alike is a selfie ring light clip.
Simply clip onto your phone and voilà — you’ve got perfect lighting! This is an especially useful hack for on-the-go recording that will give you a nice glow, even on the gloomiest of days.
Content Creator Tools Part 3: Editing Apps
For quick-turn content, editing apps are a content creator’s best friend. From creating animated Instagram Stories in a flash to one-click photography edits, there’s usually an app to help you wow your audience without a ton of work.
Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite apps for editing for photos and videos:
#9: Lumafusion and Mojo for Video
With video content becoming more popular than ever on Instagram, it’s important to have a few go-to video editing apps for content creation.
Lumafusion has the standard trim, speed, dimensions, and audio edits which prove helpful for splicing clips and cleaning up audio. But, where it really shines is in its ability to layer photos, video and audio in the same frame to really make compelling video content for your next IGTV or Reel.
When it comes to Instagram Stories, Mojo is a popular app for creating gorgeous animated videos with dynamic text options and unique visual templates — guaranteed to make users stop their scroll and ask “How’d you do that?”.
#10: LightRoom, Tezza, and A Color Story for Photography
Content creation often involves honing your photography skills and in turn, developing an editing process too.
The best part is that you don’t have to spend hours fussing over individual edits. LightRoom presets can make it easy to batch edit multiple photos at once while keeping your aesthetic consistent.
If you prefer mobile-only editing apps for your photos, Tezza can make your photos feel warm and organic. If you prefer prefer something a little brighter and colorful, A Color Story by A Beautiful Mess has tons of filter options made by a variety of content creators.
TIP: Once you find a filter or preset you love, stick to it! This will help you create a cohesive and consistent aesthetic.
#11: Audiograms for Podcasts
Audiograms have become an increasingly popular way to promote podcasts across social media platforms. An audiogram is a graph that charts sound frequencies in real-time and it’s often paired with a dynamic image of the person talking with subtitles.
One app that makes audiogram creation easy is Wavve.co. Once you create an account, you can easily create an audiogram by uploading an image, your preferred audio clip and pairing it with a pre-made frequency visual element.
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Meet @jamesnord, the founder of the influencer marketing platform @fohr.co. 👋 We asked him to share his insights and data on how COVID-19 is affecting the influencer marketing industry, and most importantly, how to build a *strategy* while the future of the industry is rapidly changing.⚡ There's no doubt that COVID-19 has made a strong impact on influencer marketing: campaigns are being paused and influencers are reducing rates. But on the flip side, engagement on sponsored content is increasing as Instagram usage has increased by over 40%. 💸 With all of these changes, there's still one thing we know for sure: With screen time increasing, so is the standard of content. 👈 Striking the correct tone in your visuals and captions is now absolutely vital. From showcasing sensitivity to surroundings (like relatable WFH struggles) to providing value that builds community and connection – approach and authenticity matters more than ever. Head over to the blog to find loads of data (and examples of creators doing this right) to understand how the influencer marketing industry is pivoting to a new normal. 👀 ⤴ Link in bio: The Impact of COVID-19 on Influencer Marketing ⤴
These types of posts tend to perform really well, and are a great way to repurpose your audio content in a more visual way.
Content Creator Tools Part 4: Social Media Management
As a content creator, you’re often expected to juggle many hats at once: photographer, creative director, social media manager, and more.
Staying on top of all these tasks can be seriously hard work, but thankfully there are some handy tools out there to make life easier:
In case you didn’t know, social media content and scheduling is kinda our thing.
As the #1 Instagram marketing tool, Later is an awesome tool for planning, scheduling, and auto-publishing your content with ease.
Designed to streamline your workflow and help you create a killer Instagram aesthetic with our Visual Planner, Later is your one-stop content scheduling machine.
Plus, you can analyze all your hard work with Later’s built-in analytics to hone your content creation strategy month over month.
Sign up for a free Later account today to preview your feed before you post, the best way to curate a gorgeous Instagram aesthetic!
#13: Stock Asset Resources
If you’re short on time or working on a tight marketing budget, beautiful, high-quality stock assets can be the perfect way to save time and effort without sacrificing results.
Unsplash has a growing library of over 2 million images — and they’re all completely free!
ICYMI: Unsplash is now fully integrated with Later! That’s right, you can access the entire stock photo library of Unsplash when scheduling with Later for even easier scheduling.
For background music, MixKit has a variety of songs and clips to use for b-roll content, or to add a little personality to your Instagram videos.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your stock assets either. Customize them to suit your branding — use them as a background for a quote post with your brand colors and fonts for example.
Content Creator Tools Part 5: Graphic Design
Content creators typically wear many hats, and graphic design is often one of the most worn. Luckily, there are plenty of sites that make it easy to produce professional results that are extremely affordable.
Here are three graphic design sites we love for creative content:
#14: Creative Market
With millions of different fonts, graphics, photos and templates, you can really bring your creative concept to life with Creative Market.
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Got a message in mind? Let's get to work. Thanks to some creative shop owners, you can now replicate this look for your own brand in minutes. Here are some easy steps you can follow to design a social media post that looks like a text or reminder. The link is in our bio 🔗
Independent creators from all over the world contribute to the site, so there’s loads of unique and high-quality options to make your Instagram content shine.
Known for its easy drag-and-drop design style, Canva is a popular choice for all types of creatives, but especially Social Media Managers.
You can use their pre-made templates for Instagram, or even to jazz up for your next monthly social media presentations or report.
Plus, with a Canva Pro account, you can upload your brand’s fonts and colors to make creating branded graphics a breeze! If you’re regularly creating professional-level content, this upgrade is well worth it.
Projector is yet another amazing resource for content creators. With an emphasis on modern, trending design styles, you can create uniquely engaging videos, GIFS and social media posts that stand out from the crowd.
And the best part? It’s completely free and requires zero design skills — simply update the colors and text to reflect your brand messaging.
Now that your content creation toolkit is filled with affordable resources, you can start to create Instagram content that attracts new followers and keeps your current ones sticking around, too.
Ready to kickstart your content creation strategy? Start planning and scheduling your Instagram posts in advance with Later — for free!