If you want to grow your business with Instagram, creating high quality, engaging Instagram content is more important than ever before.
Why? Because not only is there more competition in the Instagram world, but our audiences are super tuned-in to what they like and don’t like seeing in their feed.
Plus, there’s the Instagram algorithm making it even tougher for brands to stands out.
This means that in order to create high quality Instagram content, you need an action plan and strategy in place for planning, shooting, editing, and posting your content.
Watch our free video below with Instagram influencer and educator Christina Galbato to find her secrets to creating high quality Instagram content, or read her blog post below:
Why is High Quality Instagram Content so Important?
Let’s talk about the Instagram algorithm. It gets a lot of bad rep, and businesses have definitely found it harder to grow their Instagram account since it changed. But it’s important to realize that the algorithm isn’t stopping you from growing, it’s just changing how you can grow.
Having high-quality Instagram content is more important than ever before. If we think back to the early years of Instagram, it was a lot easier to grow a following with low-quality images and sporadic posting.
But now, consistency is key and you need to be able to regularly produce and post content that your audience is going to like and engage with.
And once the algorithm picks up that you’re creating content that resonates with your audience, it puts you and your posts in a better position and in front of new audiences.
The second reason why high-quality Instagram content is important is because it gives you another opportunity to monetize your account.
Lots of brands and businesses want to collaborate with Instagram influencers and bloggers to create content for their website, or Instagram account. So if you can showcase your best work on your Instagram account, it can become an awesome portfolio for your skills and can open up opportunities to work with great brands, collaborate on social media projects, and get paid for your Instagram content!
Do you want to get brand work from Instagram? Get my 5 Tips to Jumpstart Your Instagram Growth and Start Getting Brand Deals guide now for free!
But creating great Instagram content doesn’t just happen overnight! Putting some time, effort and creativity into your Instagram content really does pay off.
Here’s our 4-step plan to help you kick-start your Instagram content strategy:
Step #1: Instagram Content Planning
Before you start, you should ask yourself these two questions:
Firstly, what type of content aligns with your brand? And what does your audience want to see?
Being able to pinpoint the who, what and why about your Instagram brand is a really important step for planning out your content. If you know what your brand is about, and what kind of content your audience likes to engage in, you’ll really be able to hone in, and create the right type of content from the start.
Finding your brand niche and really dedicating your efforts to just that niche will pay off. A lot of Instagram accounts get sidetracked with posting content outside of their target audience and niche, and that could be slowing down your growth.
So if you’re a food business, plan your content so it’s 100% based around food (and not selfies from your vacay!). This level of targeting, and not straying from your brand niche, is really important if you want to grow your Instagram account.
Once you’ve answered those two questions, you can get down to planning your content for the week ahead.
Start by making a list of everything that you’ll want to post on your Instagram page this week (or longer if you’re feeling super-organized!). Just make sure you have variety in your week’s content. For example, if you’re a fashion blogger, you might want to have 4 outfit shots, and 3 flat lays this week that you can mix and match from.
One of the best time-saving tips is to plan out your photoshoots for a specific day and get content for multiple days worth of Instagram posts. For example, on Monday, you could decide to take photos for your outfit shots and then on Friday, dedicate your time to flat lay images.
Being able to batch your shoots together like this saves you so much time in the long run as you can gather content that will be posted maybe weeks into the future!
The more organized you are with your time, the better it will be for your Instagram content!
Want to learn more about growing your Instagram account? Sign up for our free online Instagram conference, Later Lectures, for more free videos and education from leading experts:
Step #2: Shooting Your Instagram Content Photos
One thing you’re going to need to create Instagram content is a camera. But if a fancy DSLR camera (and all the accessories that come with it like light boxes, tripods, and lenses!) aren’t in your budget, don’t worry.
There are some amazing Instagram accounts that are all shot with the camera on your phone, and the reason why they’re a really successful account isn’t because they’re using the most expensive camera out there!
What’s more important is the content and composition of your photos. So don’t worry about investing in your kit if it’s not feasible, but always plan what your photos are going to look like.
Start thinking about the angles the photo will be taken from, your position in relation to the camera, the lighting, and composition – just get your creative muscles pumping when it comes to shooting your photos.
One tip that you should try out on your next shoot is to take as many photos as possible. Think about changing the composition, your distance from the camera, your pose, having a close-up, or changing the angle from where the photo is taken – all these slight changes means you’re getting a good variety of photos.
Not only will this mean you’ll be able to pick the best from the bunch to post to Instagram, but you’ll also have more content for the future.
If you’re a food blogger, for example, you may want to post a photo of an amazing recipe you created this week, and then in a few weeks time, you might want to remind your followers of that same recipe. So having a variety of different photos from the same shoot, means you can do that, without repeating content!
Tip #3: Editing Your Instagram Content
If you look at some of the most successful accounts on Instagram, you’ll notice they all have one thing in common, regardless of what industry they’re in. They all have a strong Instagram aesthetic that they stick to!
Having one consistent look really is key to helping your audience know about your brand and overall aesthetic. A new viewer can make up their mind about your content in just 3 seconds, so if you want to leave a good first impression, building a consistent look and feel across all your photos will really help.
One of the easiest ways to achieve this is through Adobe Lightroom. It’s an awesome piece of software (and free mobile app) that allows you to use Lightroom presets on your photos.
Presets are one-click photo editing tools, often available in ‘packs’ that share similar tonal qualities or aesthetic looks, that can really help speed up your editing process. If you want to make your photos look more professional, and build a strong Instagram aesthetic, Lightroom presets can really help!
Another great time-saving tip is to edit the content for the week in one sitting. By setting time aside just for editing, not only will it help you see what your final photos for the week will look like, but it helps you be more organized for Step 4: Posting!
Step #4: Posting Your Instagram Content
Now that you’ve planned out your content, shot it, and edited it, it’s time to post!
But, you need to be strategic about your posting too if you want to build your Instagram account, and make the most of that beautiful aesthetic you’ve just crafted!
When you plan out your content, avoid posting photos that are too similar side by side, or even too close to each other, otherwise, your followers might get tired of seeing the same content over and over again.
One of the easiest ways to plan out your posts is with Later’s Visual Planner – it lets you see a preview of your planned posts in your Instagram feed, and swap them around to an order that you like with just a few clicks!
Once you’re happy with the way your future posts look, it’s time to schedule and post!
But the work doesn’t stop there if you want to grow your Instagram account – you have to engage too. For every comment you get on your photo, make sure to respond to that user, visit their account and like and engage with their posts too.
This serves two purposes: Firstly it’s telling the Instagram algorithm that you have a relationship with this follower, that you like each other’s content and you’d like to see more. This will help your content appear higher in your follower’s feed.
Secondly, it also helps you get to know your followers, and build strong and loyal relationships with them, which is what the Instagram community is all about!
So that’s it – 4 easy steps that you can start working on today to create high-quality Instagram content that really grows your account.
By being dedicated to your niche and audience, and spending time planning, shooting, editing and posting your content, you’ll start to see some real growth in your Instagram account!
If you’re looking to super-charge your Instagram strategy, you can check out Christina’s signature course, The IG Bootcamp: A 5-part training course designed to take you through the entire Instagram journey with a reference book, online training videos, and resources every step of the way. Plus, you can save 20% off using the code “LATER20”, exclusively for Later readers!