How to Plan and Organize Your Instagram Content Calendar?

How to Plan and Organize Your Instagram Content Calendar?

Learn how to make an Instagram content calendar from scratch with tools to help you save time and stay consistent. Discover free templates and the 12 best Instagram post ideas to complete your calendar.

Have you ever wondered how some brands are so consistent on Instagram? It seems crazy how they pump out engaging and trendy content daily. Maybe you have heard of something called an Instagram content calendar! If you are struggling to keep up with your Instagram posts and not creating consistent content, you also need to create a calendar for your Instagram.

You don’t need to think, what do I create next? Do I need anything else for this post, or when was this post supposed to come out? You are completely liberated from the mental space that was occupied by these questions once you start using an Instagram content calendar.

So, if you are looking for the easiest way to create an Instagram calendar, you have stepped in the right place. In this blog, we will see how to create a content calendar for Instagram from scratch.

Let’s go!

What Is an Instagram Content Calendar?

An Instagram content calendar is a well-organized publishing schedule for all of your content. It is a content production headquarters, and it has everything, such as captions, media, dates, time, hashtags, and the process, laid out in one place for weeks of your posts.

If you are a beginner and want to manage Instagram marketing effectively, a content calendar might seem like a big commitment, but trust me, it pays off in the long run. Following this process can free up a lot of your time. Your calendar can be as personalized as you want or as complex as you need it to be.

Why Instagram Content Calendar Is Important?

When all your content ideas are spread across small pieces of paper, the content calendar helps you stay in control and organized for your plan and time on the platform. It gives you the power to create a regular posting schedule through batching and also saves you from burnout.

To Save Time

Alex is a marketer who manages five brands on Instagram that have unique demands and audiences. Now, just imagine his life without an Instagram content calendar. He will have to write down ideas on paper and then shuffle between them for hours daily to find the right fit for the day.

With an Instagram calendar, he can designate a few hours weekly to plan posts for each brand for the month. This frees up his time and allows for strategic tasks like reviewing performance and engaging with the audience. It also ensures that no brand is neglected due to time restrictions.

To Maintain Consistency

Regarding consistency, each brand Alex manages demands regular posting at set time intervals so that the audience is engaged and the brand is building an Instagram presence. This means Alex has to determine the best time to post on Instagram and tailor the social media strategy to the audience and the brand identity.

Having his plan defined on the Instagram content calendar helps him ensure each brand shares posts consistently at the optimum time and nurtures the relationship with the audience. This way, he can maintain the brand voice and aesthetics across all posts.

To Balance Content Types

With five different brands with diverse identities and audiences, the type of Instagram content (photos, videos, Stories, carousels, and Reels) that will work well for them will also differ. As each brand’s identity changes, the theme of the content also shifts.

Alex cannot ensure the balance of all this post-type and content mix and how often to post along with maintaining their freshness with manual planning using pen and paper. Only with a content calendar can he visualize the content plan, prevent any post-type from dominating the feed, and share what is suitable for a particular brand.

To Sequence Content for Storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful tool in social media marketing, especially for Instagram, where visual storytelling is most entertained. Prior to discovering the Instagram content calendar, it was impossible for Alex to plan storytelling arcs and connect with the audience in a progressive journey.

A calendar is a catalyst for planning out several posts and unfolding them through storytelling. For a product launch, which starts with a teaser launch video a week before, then moves to a live launch event, and finally, sharing a customer testimonials series on the stories each week, a content calendar enables Alex to visualize the sequencing of the storytelling arc.

To Conveniently Automate

Life without an Instagram content calendar means planning and sharing posts on Instagram for the day, every day. But, with the calendar, Alex plans weeks of content for each brand he manages by dedicating just a few hours to creating a post and then a few minutes to scheduling a post on Instagram.

With a content calendar, by reducing the manual posting cycle, Alex can schedule all the content he has planned and make sure that posts go live at the right time to attract most viewers, even if he is unavailable at those times. Scheduling posts enables flexible rescheduling to adjust based on analytics and real-time engagement.

This is how managing five brands at once and generating results for each of them becomes a breeze for Alex. If you would also want to achieve something similar, stick around because this is the updated guide to making an Instagram post calendar from scratch.

How to Create an Instagram Content Calendar?

Creating a content calendar tailored to Instagram and your audience preference will enhance your social media efforts 360 degrees. It is supposed to ease your job, especially when you are handling multiple brands or clients.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making an Instagram Content Calendar:

1. Determine Your Instagram Strategy

Before you move on to making a calendar, you need to establish a clear Instagram marketing strategy. This step is like setting a destination before starting the journey. This strategy is made with the suggestion of all stakeholders based on the outcome they expect from their efforts (investment).

In an Instagram post calendar, having a strategy benefits you as it keeps you aligned with the goals. Defines if you should generate brand awareness, conversions, more reach, or improve engagement on Instagram, based on the goals, set metrics, and KPIs you must focus on achieving.

2. Run an Instagram Audit

You can conduct an Instagram audit, either before or after strategy making. This is an important step in making a content calendar, as it’s like checking the health of your vehicle before your road trip. You should audit your Instagram based on three aspects:

Profile Audit: Optimize your Instagram profile bio, picture, user name, links, contacts, keywords, hashtags (optional), highlights, pins, etc. Below is an example of an optimized Instagram profile.


Content Audit: Identify which content type has performed best in the past and which hasn’t. Look at the recent posts and evaluate captions, hashtags, content, and time to see if they need optimization! Based on this, you can balance different post types on your calendar.

Competitor Analysis: Analyze your top competitors and find out which content is performing for them. Compare your profile with them and look for gaps.

An audit also helps craft the goals and strategy for the calendar so you can conduct one before developing your Instagram strategy.

3. Define Your Instagram Content Pillars

The next step is to pick your relevant content pillars for creating a calendar. Content pillars are the foundation on which your calendar stands. These pillars are a set of a few broad themes that define the basis of your content creation. They also support your brand’s objective and resonate with your brand. In short, they help maintain a cohesive Instagram approach.

Examples of Instagram content pillars and post themes:

  • Educational: Tips, how-tos, and tutorials.
  • Entertaining: Memes, behind-the-scenes, and fun facts.
  • Inspirational: Motivational quotes and success stories.
  • Promotional: Product launches, sales, and offers.
  • User-Generated: Customer reviews and user photos/videos.

Post type for Instagram for different themes:

  • Images: High-quality images that represent your brand
  • Videos: Interactive and informative videos
  • Reels: Short videos and keep it entertaining
  • Stories: Brand’s or product daily updates
  • Carousels: Instagram storytelling with videos or images

Decide a few content pillars and themes that align with your brand identity and audience and distribute them across the calendar, balancing different post types.

For a beauty brand, product tutorials, customer testimonials (UGC), and beauty tips will be their major content pillars, and they can plan them for various post types on their calendar.

Tip If you are a new brand starting Instagram marketing, you should prioritize quantity over quality and avoid sharing similar content together.

4. Create a Posting Schedule

After aligning your strategy and content pillars, you can start laying down these pieces on the calendar to make a posting schedule. However, to make a schedule, you need some more essential elements of an Instagram post calendar for effective planning.

Essential elements of the Instagram content calendar are:

  • Day: Date of sharing a certain post.
  • Date: To plan the post for a certain date.
  • Time: For different times of the day when you plan to share content.
  • Post type: Content pillar most relevant to your brand and audience.
  • Post Format: Different types of content formats (images, videos, Reels, Stories, etc) you will share on your feed.
  • Description: Caption and explanation of the post.
  • Hashtags: Prepare hashtags based on post type, theme, and format.
  • Media: Images, videos, reel with cover attached to the calendar.
  • URL & UTM: Product or website links that will be shared with the content in the first comment.
  • Campaign: To track down the designated campaign of the post.
  • Goals: Expected goals or KPIs for the content or even for the campaign.
  • Status: To track which stage your content is currently in (review, published, draft, scheduled).

Before making a schedule with the help of essential elements, you need to finalize certain aspects to create an effective posting schedule that yields results. Here are the factors you should consider:

  • Posting frequency: This means how often you post your content. If you are managing more than one brand, this frequency will vary for each one.
  • Content mix: Balance the mix of different content types and formats on your calendar to keep your feed interesting and engaging.
  • Best time to post: Identify your best time to post based on audience insights for different brands and their various post types.
  • Seasonal content: Lay out the holidays, events, and important dates that you will acknowledge in your plan or create a campaign around them.

Depending on your preference, you can prepare a weekly or monthly Instagram calendar to help your team better understand the plan, maintain consistency, and maximize the impact of your content.

5. Prepare Content in Advance

Once you know what to post, when to post, and why to post, more than half of your job is done. Now, you only need to create high-quality content and align it effectively with your plan. If you have planned a carousel product promotion post for the 1st of the month, just prepare and keep everything ready in advance for scheduling.

This is similar to packing our bags before a trip and keeping every necessity we might need while traveling. When you have already finalized the day, date, time, post type, and format in the previous stages, you now have to get the following elements ready:

  • Description/Caption: Prepare an engaging caption with a few options for a post.
  • Hashtags: Instagram has different hashtag counts for every post format. Stories should have only 1-2 hashtags, but a Reel can have up to 30. Find the relevant hashtags for the post or generate them using AI.
  • Media: Prepare the media in advance based on your post format and theme. If you are sharing an image post, ensure it is high quality. A video should be informative or entertaining, and a story should be relevant and interesting.
  • URL & UTM: Keep the links handy that will be shared with the post, either with the caption, in the bio, or the first comments. They should be relevant to the theme of the post. For instance, if you are sharing a customer testimonial, you might want to share the link to the product they are talking about.
  • Campaign: If you have an upcoming campaign planned for a certain event or holiday, ensure that you mention that while preparing your content.
  • Goals: The campaign goal expected from the post is also included. For example, if you have a Mother’s Day campaign planned for a specific women-friendly product, you might want to see increased sales of that product.

With this plan in hand, your Instagram content calendar is almost complete. Now, you only need to save the time wasted sharing every piece of content manually, which means you need automation.

6. Schedule Posts with Social Media Management Tool

Strategizing, planning, and preparing are already overwhelming, and now if you don’t want to do the double work of manually posting every post every day on Instagram, then you need to schedule your posts in advance, which can be done in two ways:

Use Instagram Native Schedule

It lets you schedule images, videos, and reels in advance on the application. However, the Instagram native scheduler comes with several restrictions and lacks advanced scheduling, and you can not schedule Stories.

Use a Third-Party Tool

A scheduling tool works for you rather than asking for manual work. It manages your posting time, sends reminders, and automates your social media posts. SocialPilot’s Instagram scheduler will help you automate your social media scheduling efforts in advance.

You can schedule Reels, Stories, or posts on Instagram using SocialPilot with just a few clicks. While scheduling, you can also queue posts, save them to draft with a date or repeat posts multiple times after a certain time interval.

SocialPilot’s Instagram scheduler

After scheduling your post on Instagram using SocialPilot, you can send it for approval to the clients and stakeholders and get it published directly.

7. Monitor Performance and Adjust

The aim of the Instagram content calendar does not end with publishing posts on the platform; it goes beyond that to analyze and adjust the performance data. Having a calendar means better future planning and much better goal achievements.

You can analyze your Instagram content performance in two ways:

Instagram Analytics Insights

If you have a business account, Instagram provides you with insights into the performance of each post. This data will help you understand how your audience reacts to different content shared by your brand.

Here is what the analytical details of your Instagram Reel look like after publishing:

Instagram Analytics Insights

SocialPilot Analytics

When you use SocialPilot to schedule Instagram post, you also get analytics and reporting for each post’s performance. SocialPilot provides comprehensive Instagram analytics, allowing you to track personalized metrics and KPIs and download branded White Label Reports.

It makes it easy to understand the performance data, share it with clients, and, if necessary, plan an improved Instagram content calendar for the future.

instagram analytics

This updated planning guide for Instagram’s content calendar is data-driven and aims to improve engagement and consistency. However, this procedure is moldable based on your brand voice and how you wish to approach your audience. It provides a well-structured journey that leads to your destination while leaving room for spontaneous adventure along the way.

So, after establishing a foundation for a standard plan, your next step is to create a tailored approach to fit your unique calendar needs and audience.

4 Personalized Instagram Content Calendar Template

A marketer can use a social media calendar template for several purposes. He can use it to plan content for different brands and clients, plan campaigns around holidays, or even schedule content according to the best time to post.

Here are a few examples of an Instagram content calendar that you can use to create a calendar for Instagram posts that fits your needs and plans effectively.

Instagram Content Calendar of Clients

When managing more than one client, it becomes confusing to identify which post will be shared for which client and when!

Here is a purposeful Instagram content calendar example to help you overcome this difficulty. It gives you an easy way to manage the Instagram accounts of multiple clients effectively.

Instagram Content Calendar of Clients

Instagram Content Calendar for Best Time to Post

Even if your planning is on point, not posting the content at the optimum time will eventually waste your efforts. So it’s crucial to post at the best time, but how do you plan the schedule while preparing your content calendar for Instagram?

Here’s a sample that showcases how you can plan your Instagram content for the best time to post on the calendar template for different post types.

Instagram Content Calendar for Best Time to Post

Finding it hard to discover your best time to post on Instagram?

Here’s a handy tool for finding the best and worst times to post on Instagram and increasing your engagement and reach.

find best time to post instagram

Instagram Calendar for Campaigns and Activities

If you want to plan and organize your Instagram strategy around different campaigns and activities for a brand, below is a sample of a monthly calendar template that can make your planning and execution process smooth.

Instagram Calendar for Campaigns and Activities

Holidays-Specific Calendar for Instagram

Holidays and events are crucial to every content plan as they offer unique opportunities to connect with their audience.

So, to help you plan your social media holiday calendar around popular dates, here’s a holiday-specific Instagram content calendar template so you can capitalize on seasonal trends and generate higher engagement.

Holidays-Specific Calendar for Instagram

However, managing all these calendar templates separately might become overwhelming after a time, and eventually, you will feel a need for an auto-filled content calendar that combines all these aspects of your planning in one visual calendar and offers many other helpful features.

An All-in-One Social Media Content Calendar Tool – SocialPilot

Imagine how much of your Instagram efforts will be saved if you have a tool like SocialPilot that schedules all your social media posts and then generates an auto-filled visual Instagram content calendar. You don’t have to manually create a separate sheet.

SocialPilot’s Content Calendar enhances your marketing and also schedules and publishes your content. This automation is nothing less than a 360-degree plan to manage your social media, combining planning and execution for Instagram and all the other major social channels in one place. It is one such Instagram calendar tool that does all this and more. You can use it for:

  • Holiday and Special Day Indication
  • Filter for Different Clients
  • Color-coded Calendar Notes
  • Post Tagging
  • Customizable Daily, Weekly, Monthly View
  • Drag and Drop to Any Time Slot
  • Preview of Scheduled Posts
  • Schedule for Multiple Accounts
  • Delete Published Posts
  • Collaborate with Team on Drafts
  • Schedule Drafts by Date
  • Know Content Status
  • Quick Clarity of Post Type
  • Post Approval Workflow
  • Reshare Existing Posts
  • Event and Campaign Planning
  • Advanced Search and Filter
  • Historical View of Posted Content

Unlike a spreadsheet, where you have to alter the entire calendar just to fit in a new post or reschedule an existing one, using the SocialPilot calendar allows you to drag and drop a scheduled post to another date in seconds without hampering your other posts.

Social Media Calendar

As a Marketer, the SocialPilot tool solves all your Instagram content calendar worries with the benefits of planning, scheduling, publishing, and analyzing.

Engaging Instagram Posts Ideas to Fill Your Calendar 

If you are looking for Instagram post ideas for your content calendar Instagram, here are a few popular ideas on which you can prepare your upcoming Instagram post.

1. Holidays

While posting about certain holidays, look for a unique way to connect them with your brand to keep them original and fresh. For example, Hauser Wirth promoted their newest bookstore on World Book Day with weekend discounts for visitors to encourage sales.



2. Promotional Posts

There are several ways to promote your product, but you must find a creative way so your audience remembers it. Microsoft promoted its newest version, Windows 11, with a cake showing the transition from Windows 10 to 11.



3. Company Culture

Showing the culture of your company and how your internal operations work will develop a higher connection with your audience. Below, you can see how Big Bake Face shared an appreciation post for their employees for how hard they work.



4. Industry Updates and Event

In any specific industry, you often come across new updates and events, and to build authority, you can share this information with your audience and keep them informed.

This is a post by SocialPilot discussing recently rolled-out features by social media platforms and what they actually mean for users.

Industry Updates and Event


5. Customer Testimonials

Sharing customer testimonials is a popular way to promote your product, build authority, and connect with your audience in real-time. You can share your customer reviews on Instagram in the form of a post, Reel, or Story on Instagram, as it works wonders on the platform.

Here is a representation of how Biteable has shared their customer testimonials on their Instagram Stories.

Customer Testimonials


6. Polls and Surveys

If you want your audience’s opinion on something or are looking for what most of them prefer, polls and surveys are a great way to achieve that. On Instagram, you can share Stories with polls asking your audience to pick what they like most, or you can share posts about something and ask them to comment down their preference.

Just like WePollDaily, you can also ask your audience anything.



7. Contests and Giveaways

To promote your products, increase sales, and get more engagement, contests, and giveaways, do great on Instagram. Here is how SocialPilot promoted their latest collaboration with SMMW with a giveaway for a free ticket to the event.

Contests and Giveaways


8. FAQs and Q&A Sessions

Asking questions to your audience or letting them ask you questions is a perfect way to increase engagement and share more insights about your brand and products. Most popular way to connect with your audience for a Q&A is on Stories, brands also create a separate Story highlight for them on their Instagram profile when they answer these questions.

Here’s how to allow your audience to ask you anything and promote products, brands, and engagement.

_FAQs and Q&A Sessions


9. Brand Values

When it comes to Instagram best practices, one effective strategy is to Share what’s more valuable about your brand. This means enlightening your audience more about the depth of your efforts. You can post about the intention behind your campaign or product and easily create an impact on people.

Recently, Slack shared a post about its brand value, which was explained by its CEO when she attended an event recently.

Brand Values


10. Infographics

An infographic is a type of post that contains complex information on a specific topic. Yes, it’s believed that long-form content is the right place for infographics, but now you can often see infographics on Instagram.

Similar to SocialPilot, you can also share detailed content with infographics in the form of a Story, Video, or post.



11. Influencer Collaboration

Influencer collaboration is most popular on Instagram. Nowadays, almost every brand collaborates with creators to promote products or services. This collaboration can be for a single Story, a post, or a series of collaborative posts for a campaign.

As shown in the Instagram post example below, Semrush promoted its product using a simple influencer collaborative Reel that talked about how it helped several entrepreneurs succeed.

Influencer Collaboration


12. Brand Milestones

If you want to build a happy community, you must keep your Instagram family updated about your achievements and milestones. Sharing posts on such concepts creates a sense of togetherness in people, making them part of your journey after all.

Here’s a post example from when Salesforce celebrated its 25-year anniversary with its Instagram audience and thanked them for believing in the idea.

Brand Milestones


These are the 12 most engaging Instagram post ideas that can ensure you better reach and connection with your audience. You can alter them for your Instagram content calendar as per your brand and campaign to fit your plan effectively and schedule them in advance using Instagram automation tools.

Parting Words

Forming a strategy for an Instagram campaign, creating an engaging posting schedule, drafting a balanced calendar for Instagram posts, and scheduling posts to be published at the best time are the four pillars of success not just on Instagram but on every social channel.

Hopefully, this blog has taught you all that is needed to create your own business Instagram content calendar and achieve your company’s goal with efforts in the right direction. If you are looking for a partner to be a catalyst for your success, SocialPilot is here to help with its features like Calendar, publishing, Collaboration, and Analytics.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Social Media Calendar?

SocialPilot has the best social media calendar that auto-fills as you schedule posts on a channel. It combines all your planned content for every social channel in one place in the form of a visual content calendar.

How to Plan a Content Calendar for Instagram?

To plan a content calendar for Instagram, you should follow these given steps:

  1. Determine Your Instagram Strategy
  2. Run an Instagram Audit
  3. Define Your Instagram Content Pillars
  4. Create a Posting Schedule
  5. Prepare Content in Advance
  6. Schedule Content with Social Media Management Tools
  7. Monitor Performance and Adjust

This way, you can create a personalized Instagram content calendar for your brand.

How to Organize Instagram Content?

To organize your Instagram content, you need a calendar that shows which content will be shared on what date and time. You can also automate your Instagram content by scheduling it in advance.

The smartest way to organize and automate your Instagram content is to use the SocialPilot Calendar and Scheduling tool. It helps you plan, organize, and schedule your content weeks in advance to stay on track for achieving your goals.

How Do You Plan 30 Days of Instagram Content?

To plan 30 days of Instagram content for your brand, start by analyzing your previous month's content and figure out what went well and what didn’t. Then, you can create a content strategy based on your business objective and then define content pillars to focus on.

Next, you will have to create a successful posting schedule using the SocialPilot calendar based on the best posting frequency and the best time to post. Then, you will start preparing your content with media, descriptions, hashtags, etc. Once your content is ready, you can schedule it using SocialPilot, and Voila, you are done.

What Should I Include in My Instagram Calendar Template?

In your Instagram calendar template, you can include the following components:

  • Day
  • Date
  • Time
  • Content-Type
  • Post Format
  • Caption and Hashtag
  • Post Media
  • URL
  • Content Status
  • Campaign Name
  • Goals

About the Author

Picture of Megha Sharma

Megha Sharma

  • linkedin
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Manage social media effortlessly.

  • Trial Begins Immediately
  • No CC Required
  • Change Plans Anytime
  • Cancel Anytime

Start Your 14-Day Free Trial