← Back to Blog
Instagram

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: 

    1. Recording Equipment
    2. Phone Accessories
    3. Editing Apps
    4. Social Media Management
    5. Graphic Design
  • 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). 

    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. 

    #3: Backdrops

    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

    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. 

    #5: Microphone

    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!

    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. 

    Here at Later, we have two favorites we often use for our social accounts:  Lumafusion and Mojo.

    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. 

    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:

    #12: Later 

    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. 

    If you have a little budget for stock photos, you can also try Shamblen Studios for bold, stylized photos. And if you’re looking to add more inclusive and diverse content, check out  Tonl.co. 

    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

    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. 

    #15: Canva

    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. 

    #16: Projector

    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! 

     

    Written By

    Lindsay Ashcraft

    Lindsay is a Social Media Coordinator at Later based in Northern California. You can usually find her wandering around farmers markets or scheming up her next trip. Follow her adventures: @lindsay.ashcraft.

    Schedule Instagram Posts Easily schedule photos, videos & carousel posts with a few clicks Create Free Account
    Instagram Analytics Get the insights you know and love from the Instagram app, plus additional analytics for calculating engagement rates, best times to post, and more. Learn More
    Linkin.bio Add Your Link in Bio & Drive Traffic from Instagram Create Free Account
    User-Generated Content Find photos and videos that’ll resonate with your fans right from your desktop, then share to your social channels in just a few clicks. Learn More
    Schedule Instagram Stories Save time and get more views on stories by planning, optimizing, and scheduling Instagram stories right from your desktop! Start Scheduling Stories
    Instagram Hashtag Tools Extend your reach, get more engagement on your posts, and save a ton of time while managing your profile. Get Started For Free