Everyone's a content creator today. No matter if you’re a social media influencer, a business owner who needs to promote the brand's Instagram page or just a person who loves posting on social media — you produce content. And to do it on a regular basis, it’s vital to have a stock of ideas piled somewhere. To make content work and bring results in accordance with your strategic objectives, it shouldn’t be chaotic but systematic.
One way to do this is to create a content matrix. Let’s see how you can do so on the example of developing one for your Instagram page.
Content Matrix for Instagram: What This Is & Why You Need One
A content matrix is basically a backlog of ideas sorted by the content form, topic, and any other facet you find relevant. A content matrix is a starting point when you're about to create a content plan. It also helps you come up with content ideas, pick optimal formats for them, and maintain a balance between the objectives your content should serve: entertainment, education, sales, virality, leads capturing, etc.
💡Suggested read: 8 Ways to Find Instagram Content Ideas
The content matrix also allows you to estimate if the idea that has just crossed your mind matches your goals and the overall content pattern.
Developing Content Matrix: Preparation Steps
Before writing down the ideas on your matrix, do the following:
- Think through the goals you want to achieve with content.
- Come up with a clear image of your target audience.
- Research which content formats the platform you’re targeting can place and think about content forms you’d like to create: long reads, videos, infographics, interviews, short news, etc.
Instagram always adds new features. For now, you can share:
- A single photo, photo carousels, and short video clips in your feed. Make mutual posts with other accounts.
- Stories, including options for AR lenses, polls, questions, links, shopping, and fundraising tags.
- Story highlights.
- Instagram Live video streams, including shared streams with other accounts.
- Guides, which are collections of posts around a specific topic.
- Products in an Instagram shop.
When it comes to social media, businesses are typically advised to pick one or two channels to focus on. But within that channel, you should use all of the different formats available to maximise your impact. Posting across these formats creates a consistent presence and steady flow of content and ensures you reach potential followers wherever they are on the platform.
4 Steps to Create Content Matrix
Now let’s consider our example: let’s imagine we’re creating content for an Instagram business page that is aimed at selling coaching services to people who want to start eating healthy. What are our steps?
The content matrix will help us understand what we should post — formats and topics — and how to diversify them.
Step 1. Start with an empty template — a sheet with, say, five columns and five rows.
Step 2. Come up with content forms and enter them in each column.
💡Content form is a package in which your content is wrapped. For instance, a gluten-free cake recipe might be presented in a carousel with a step-by-step tutorial, as a Reel, or as a regular feed post with the image of the prepared cake and steps to make it in the caption.
Step 3. Come up with specific topics for your Instagram blog to divide the content forms by topics.
💡Not to be confused, when coming up with a form, ask ‘How’ you want your content to be published. Ask ‘What about’ when it comes to a topic.
Step 4. Now come up with specific topic ideas for each post (headlines, even) and fill out the table.
To help you find ideas more efficiently, we’re sharing these techniques.
Techniques to Tune in to a Creative Flow
Here are two tactics you can leverage to never feel you’ve run out of ideas. These will also help you transform your existing ideas into something new and take a look at the matter from different angles.
🎩Six Thinking Hats Method
The technique helps you to structure the discussion when there are several presenters (as in a live stream with an invited speaker or guest). What are the six hats?
🔵Blue hat is for management and process: defining the purpose and flow of the discussion.
⚪️White hat is for information and facts: collecting information about your topic.
🔴Red hat is for emotions and feelings: sharing your feelings during the discussion, giving space for intuition.
🟢Green hat is for creativity: exploring and looking for new alternative ideas.
🟡Yellow hat is for benefits and optimism: looking for support and plus points, giving logical reasoning.
⚫️Black hat is for criticism: spotting mistakes, risks, and weaknesses.
How does it work? Each guest or presenter wears (actually or figuratively) a hat with the specific colour from the above. The one wearing a blue hat is a moderator who defines the flow of the discussion. The one in a white hat states facts and research they’ve found on the matter. The one in a black hat criticises the statements made by the one in white, and so on. The green one gives new food for thought, and so on.
This method allows you to discuss a topic from multiple perspectives and touch on non-obvious angles of it.
With the help of this technique, it is convenient to transform ideas, translating dull notions into something fresh and appealing. The name of the method stands for these seven verbs:
- Substitute. What elements can you exchange for others?
- Combine. What elements can be connected?
- Adapt. What elements can be adapted to your task?
- Modify or magnity. What can be strengthened and scaled?
- Purpose. How can you applly it differently?
- Eliminate. What can be removed or simplified?
- Reverse or rearrange. What elements can be swapped?
⛔️Topic before: A nutrition coach gives advice on how to control insulin levels.
✅Topic after: A nutrition scientist with a specific focus on endocrinology shares actual recommendations on how to control insulin levels of healthy people without diabetes and reduce the risks of getting type 2 diabetes.
Build a Consistent Content Posting Routine with Combin Scheduler
Now that you have lots of fresh and new ideas, it’s time to create content and schedule it for publication on Instagram. Combin Scheduler will help you with the latter.
Planning Instagram posts ahead saves time, keeps your content in the limelight, and increases your productivity.
Combin Scheduler, unlike many other content planning tools, actually posts content for you, not sends you reminders to post it manually. Use Combin Scheduler to auto-publish posts and stories while you're asleep or away.
Follow the steps below to schedule posts to your Instagram account.
- Install Combin Scheduler. It’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
- Log in to your Instagram account within Scheduler.
- Once you are logged in, Scheduler automatically locates you at the posts scheduling page. Click Add New Post at the bottom of the application window to start planning your post.
- Drag and drop images or click Choose Photo to select pictures for the post.
- Add text for caption into the input field. Intervals, paragraph breaks, symbols and emoji will remain unchanged in the published post.
- If you want to, you can tag location in the post. Type the name of the place into the Location input field.
- Select the posting date and time. Scheduler synchronises with the timezone of your OS.
- Click Post Now. Your post will be published at the scheduled time.
Keep Combin Scheduler launched until your posts are on Instagram. If the look of the opened Scheduler window annoys you, leave the application running in the background instead of quitting it.
At the menu bar, click Tools and select Preferences. Enable the setting Run Combin Scheduler in the background when it’s closed. After that, Scheduler will be minimised when you click X to quit it.