When I create content for myself and my clients, I group the posts I’m creating for them in 5 Main Categories- Brand Awareness, Giving Value, Promotion, Partnership, and Campaign Content. We’re going to break down each category for you and tell you when you should be using them so when you sit down to fill out those Editorial Calendars, you’re not sitting there blankly not knowing where to start.
Let’s start with Brand Awareness posts, shall we? Some of my very favorite content is Brand Awareness because it allows people to see the authentic you, and really connect and see themselves in the quirky things that make you, you. Some of my highest engaged posts on Instagram are brand awareness posts- like my Hot Mess Mondays, Happy Hour Fridays, Work Wine Wednesdays. I share about my crazy life as a mom of 6 kids, how I spend the middle of my week to make it suck less, and how I celebrate the weekend. It connects my audience to me, AND what’s even better it gives them a peek into what spending time with me in person is actually going to be like. It allows people to get to know you better, and therefore LIKE you more. Which is super important if we’re ever going to make any money from your audience on Instagram.
On the other hand, Giving Value posts are what are going to build that TRUST with your audience and proving that you know what you’re talking about. It’s giving giving giving before you do any asking for the sale, so you’re coming from a place of helping not selling. I categorize any posts that cause a positive change in your audience a Giving Value Post. This could be education, inspiration, giving them a shortcut or a review- anything that will help them make their lives better. Showing photos of your face is fantastic Brand Awareness, but doesn’t exactly make a positive change to your audience. But sharing your experience with a certain tool and how they can use it in their business IS creating a positive change and would be considered Giving Value.
These are your posts that are asking your readers to do something to benefit you. This could mean selling something, asking to join your email list, asking to join a challenge- or anything else where you’re receiving is Promotional. My big focus is to keep promotion as a much smaller percentage of posts than Giving Value, that way you don’t feel slimy when you are selling something.
Partnership posts are any kind of shout out to another account. These are awesome for building your audience by piggybacking on someone else’s audience. These could be affiliates, business besties, someone you admire or is in your industry, a leader, a mentor- anytime you are featuring someone else in your content.
Campaign posts are short term pieces of content geared toward your specific campaigns at the time. If you’re doing a Course Launch, a challenge, it’s a holiday or really anything you are creating a marketing plan around- your campaign content is what really “bends the rules” in your Editorial Calendar.
Generally with most brands, I recommend starting with a 40/40/20 content breakdown. We focus 40% of our content we create on Brand Awareness, 40% of our content on Giving Value, and 20% on Promotional. If you’re posting two times a day, that will equal 14 posts per week. If you’re sticking to the 40/40/20 Rule, you would be creating 5 Brand Awareness Posts, 6 Giving Value Posts, and 4 Promotional Posts throughout the week.
If you want to add in some Partnership Posts, you can start at 30/30/20/20 and share 4 Brand Awareness, 4 Giving Value, 3 Promotional, and 3 Partnership. Feel free to mix and match these as much as you want! If you’re just starting out your business, you may need to focus much heavier on Brand Awareness at the time. If you’re planning on a launch soon, you may need to pump up your Giving Value posts.
Campaign posts are only time-sensitive, so they would replace whatever current breakdown you are using for a short time. For example, when I was a part of the Creative Brand Summit, I posted much more heavily about the Summit while it was live, which cut into all my other content categories.
The key to using these categories really effectively is to test out a bunch of different combinations and see what your audience responds best to. ANY business can be effective in each of these categories so start your brainstorming with what you can share in each and you’ll be on your way to a strategic and effective Instagram Strategy.
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Instagram Content Categories Worksheet