How do you plan, create and optimize the Instagram content for your business? In this article, we will mention the top tips to ensure your Instagram marketing is effective.


Instagram is a visual platform which means that you must carefully plan the look and feel of your profile. Therefore, while creating a theme one must give some thought to:

Filters to apply to the content

@bmacadelic has used filters enabling a recognizable theme to emerge.

The type of content to post

You can post pictures and videos with people, close-ups of faces, your products or scenery.

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to one type of photography, but it does help to have a general idea of the types of content you want to post e.g @starbucks

Colours you use

A consistent colour palette that represents tour brand and look is highly recommended.

When you scroll through the Coca-Cola feed you notice that they primarily use their brand colours which range from red, black and white.


What do you want to achieve with your Instagram marketing?

  • Increased sales
  • More engagement
  • More followers

Big and small businesses should use a publishing calendar to plan their content, saving time in the long run and generating better results.

Keep things interesting by posting a variety of content, not just one type all the time E.g. promotional images, videos, stories, photos

Different types of content

  • Share stats and facts in your posts to increase engagement and shares.
  • Posting humorous and cute images of animals and pets is a great way to generate engagement with audiences.
  • National and novelty holidays alike can provide content inspiration for Instagram.
  • Educational tips, advice and other content can help build trust with your audience.
  • Motivational and success quotes are very popular in social media.
  • One can highlight their products in a real-life situation

Tools to plan your content

One can use paid or unpaid methods such as google sheet or Trello which is a handy tool for the initial stages of planning: defining what types of content to post, deciding when to post them, recording your team’s post ideas, and so on.


Big businesses have the resources to hire an agency to do it for them.

However, small businesses have limited options therefore:

  • They post new content when they have the time or inspiration.
  • They prepare their content in advance and make sure they always post new content.

If you want to generate great results from Instagram and ensure you’re doing everything possible to reach your objectives, regularly spend time brainstorming new ideas, putting them into your social media calendar, and creating the content.

Best practises when creating Instagram content

Ask yourself what your content idea achieves

Use high quality imagery, video and sound. When creating your own videos, consider investing in video equipment; a tripod. A lighting kit and a microphone

Make sure your content is the optimal size for the platform

Tools to help create Instagram content

There are resources found online.

  • Free photos: Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay
  • Paid photos: Shutterstock and Getty images

When it comes to creating social media imagery, Canva (free and paid plans, from $12.95/month) is one of the most popular tools. The free plan offers a ton of helpful features and gives you access to a plethora of templates.


Once you have created your content, schedule your Instagram posts to ensure your posting new content regularly and at a time best suited for your audience.

A recommended tool is social pilot or falcon, which lets you manage all your accounts form one place. For small businesses its helpful and cost-effective



Once the schedule and content are finalised you then can incorporate hashtags to maximise a wider audience and attract more followers.

Let’s look at the different types of Instagram hashtags.

  • Branded Hashtags

These are hashtags you create that are unique to your brand and encourages user generated content. It must be succinct, easy to type and easy to remember.

  • Industry Hashtags

They are relevant to an industry and are extremely popular E.g. # Photography

  • Niche Hashtags

These are specific to the target audience you’re trying to reach E.g. #foodphotography

  • Location Hashtags

They are practical for businesses operating in certain locations. One can go for a wider audience by leveraging location hashtags or go for more niche with hashtags for certain neighbourhoods or communities.

  • Event Hashtags

It’s the hashtags associated with large events E.g. #worldcup

  • Holiday Hashtags

Most holidays have their own hashtags, from national holidays to novelty ones E.g #pridemonth

* Best practises for using Hashtags on Instagram

  • Always use Hashtags: Experiment with different numbers of hashtags and see how it affects your results.
  • Research hashtags before using them. Do a quick search of hashtags to see how many and what type of posts there are.
  • Save relevant hashtags in a document for easy access. Then when you create a post, copy over the best hashtags for that content.
  • Go beyond popular hashtags. It might be tempting to only use super-popular hashtags, but the truth is, there’s simply too much content so yours might get lost. Use a mix of different types of hashtags: popular hashtags, niche hashtags, location hashtags, and so on.

Tools to help find and use Instagram hashtags

All Hashtag is a tool for identifying, creating, and analysing hashtags. To start using it for free, type in a hashtag/keyword and indicate whether you want to search for Top (only the most popular relevant hashtags), Random, or Live hashtags.

Keyhole (from $29/month, with a free 7-day trial) is a hashtag, online monitoring, and analytics tool that works with multiple social platforms including Instagram. One feature lets you track a hashtag in real time.

Caption Length

The length of your Instagram caption depends on the type of content you’re posting.

If you want to promote a link in your bio and drive traffic to it, you should keep your caption short and simple so people can see your CTA without having to read several paragraphs.

If, on the other hand, you want to educate or tell a story, use a longer caption.


When you are a small business with low name-recognition, getting results from social media can be a difficult task and Instagram is no exception.

This article provides businesses with a guide to help create and share content that attracts more Instagram followers and builds engagement.

Some mentioned tips include:

  • Using a consistent posting schedule
  • Posting a variety of content daily
  • Leveraging the right mix of hashtags

There are a lot of genuine users who log in every day to see new content from their friends, influencers, and yes, even from brands. And while you might catch the attention of some of them with great content and the right hashtags, another way to keep growing your following and engagement is to engage with users.

Some of the best practises for Instagram engagement include:

  • Use CTAs in your posts and captions to encourage people to interact with your content and leave comments.
  • Spend time every day liking posts, viewing stories and videos, and engaging with your followers, relevant influencers in your niche, and so on.
  • Regularly look for new users who might be interested in your brand and interact with them.