Are you an influencer just starting out on your journey with social media? If you’re anything like me when I began, you’re so excited about all the opportunities this passion can provide – but perhaps a little overwhelmed at just the sheer amount of tasks that come with being an influencer. Creating content, showing up online, providing value, engaging, and admin can begin to feel like a lot. Maybe you’ve tried to get it done all at once without a plan, and felt frustrated and wanted to give it up. Attacking it all at once may feel like the best way to start, but having a content strategy that allows you to show up consistently will yield better results long-term.
So how do you create a content strategy? By approaching social media in a methodical way and setting up systems that will keep you going even when the going gets tough. In this post, I’ll walk you through six questions to ask yourself when devising your content strategy. And if you’re just starting out with your skincare page, be sure to check out my 12 Tips to Starting your Skincare Instagram.
Now without further ado, let’s create a content strategy that works for you!
#1. The Most Important Part of a Content Strategy: What Is the Purpose of Your Account?
The first thing to think about when brainstorming strategy is to consider what is your purpose. Is it to build a community? To launch a product or service-based business? Do you want to become a full-time influencer where you get to travel and review products for a living? Whatever your answer may be, it will guide you in creating a strategy.
#2: How Many Times a Week Can You Post, Consistently?
So many of us have heard that you need to post everyday on Instagram in order to see results. And on that, I call bullshit. Posting high quality content every single day would, of course, bring in high engagement. But for the vast majority of us, if you put pressure on yourself to post every day, that content will not be high quality and in turn posting just to post everyday will actually harm your account.
Instead, think about what amount of posts is manageable for you in a week – and not just in a week where you have loads of time (such as during lockdown) but week in and week out. I would aim for somewhere in the 3-5 range to start.
#3: What Aspects of IG Do You Want to Utilize?
Now that you’ve decided how many times a week you want to post, consider which aspects of Instagram you want to show up on. There are quite a few options: stories, grid posts, carousels (also on the feed but multiple slides), reels, IGTVs, Lives and guides. You can try to show up on all; Undoubtedly, the account that can do this will experience the most success. But that is unrealistic for many of us. Instead, think about the content types that will best serve your account’s purpose.
stories: Should be a part of everyone’s content strategy. They are fun, personal, and a great way to connect authentically with your audience. These can be a mix of impromptu and planned.
grid posts: For most influencers, grid posts/photos are a given as part of our content strategy. These photos build up the aesthetic part of our feeds and are where we show off our style.
carousels: carousels – slide posts with multiple photos – may or may be the best choice your account. It depends on what type of content your audience enjoys. They are best for sharing lots of valuable information with your followers, which most audiences gravitate towards. Personally, I’ve seen incredible growth with this type of content and I do think they can work for all account types.
reels: These short-form videos are Instagram’s answer to Tik Tok and are blowing up right now. The algorithm heavily prioritizes them, so it is worth trying them out! But if you absolutely hate them or your audience doesn’t respond to them, it may be worth setting them aside.
IGTVs: Long-form videos can be great for product reviewers, travel bloggers or people focused on educational content. However, they are very time consuming to make and may not have enough ROI for you.
Lives: this was probably the aspect of Instagram that was most intimidating to me until I started doing it. It can be scary to be speaking live to your audience! Depending on how engaged your audience is, I would recommend giving it a go and seeing how it feels. The bonus to lives is that they can double as IGTVs since you can save them to your channel after.
Guides: Guides are not really a separate content type but rather a way to curate already-created content in one place on your profile. These are quick to make and can work for all niches. For example you can curate your brand reviews, tips for traveling, or FAQs you see in DMs often.
Again, the best strategy is some mix of all of these content types. But showing up in all these ways is beyond overwhelming, and instead I would recommend choosing 2-3, in addition to stories, that you feel comfortable utilizing consistently. If you get confident with those 2-3, try branching out to more.
#4: Executing Your Content Strategy – What Days Are You Most Productive?
Once you’ve determined how many days a week you will post and what type of content you want to create, the next step is to actually create that content. While you can create day-of, flying by the seat of your pants can lead to inconsistency when things get busy. I recommend choosing a day each week that is consistently your shoot day. If you create all your content in one productive 1-2 hour block, showing up on Instagram the rest of the week will be much easier and most importantly, less stressful.
#5: How Will I Find Inspiration For Content?
Once you have your schedule outlined, and a shooting day set, you need to fill that schedule with content ideas to execute. I find inspiration in a lot of spaces, some of them being:
- my fellow content creators, with hashtags they create or content I admire
- prompts from communities I’m a part of
- Oftentimes scrolling on tik tok!
- From questions I get from my community
Look for inspiration, but don’t copy – be confident and know that your unique experience is exciting and you can find your voice in the influencer community.
#6: In addition to a content strategy, figure out your engagement strategy.
Even more so than creating beautiful posts, you need to dedicate time to forming real relationships with your community. If you post, but no one responds, you will struggle developing influence and authority. And the way to build that influence is to engage with others authentically. There are no quick hacks to building a following. Buying followers may get you a bigger number, but that will be inflated and won’t mean anything to you, potential brand partners, or real people who may want to engage with you.
Genuine engagement is the best way, but it takes time. My preferred strategy is to decide on an amount of time I can engage each day – maybe 30 minutes, an hour, two hours – and set a screen time limit using my iPhone settings. During that time I focus on engaging intentionally with accounts that inspire and motivate me, as well as showing support to those who are supporting me. When my time is up, I’m off Instagram. This prevents me from spending too much time scrolling.
I hope this post helped you devise your content strategy. Let me know if you have any more questions about strategy in the comments!