Create 60 Instagram Images In Less Than 60 Seconds (Without Outsourcing).

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We are going to talk about Evergreen content

What is evergreen content?

It is decent, on-brand content that doesn’t reference current events, new methods, or recent posts you may have created. It is content that can be used anytime to fill in the gaps and keep on people’s feeds.

Sometimes you need some filler, it’s the reason Roseanne put cornflakes in the meatloaf, yes that is a Roseanne reference. BOOM!

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If you are a busy brand manager, content creator, Instagram marketer, social media marketer, or another relevant SEO term, then this hack is for you. So keep reading and learn about evergreen content for Instagram and my hack for how to produce large numbers of these images in only minutes.

This Is Evergreen Content.

This is the kind of image that I am talking about when I talk about evergreen content for Instagram, they are simple, on brand, and they connect with your audience.

Evergreen content is something I did as a marketer for years and never knew what I was doing, it was just part of my marketing mix because it allowed for the maintenance of the brand image while other areas were worked on. Recently my partner at Hustle and Grind, Ross, asked me to make a few simple filler images based on a template he had done and the feeling hit me.

That feeling we all get from time to time.

“UGH! I just don’t want to put the time into this task right now, it takes just enough time that it seems not worth it but I need to do it.”

It isn’t that you don’t know the work is important, it isn’t that you don’t want to do it eventually, it is just that right now you need to focus on something that is more important. This is why we all use Evergreen Content and why this hack is so valuable.

The Hack

So if you were making a few of these images you need to balance 2 factors: quality and time. These images need to have a level of quality that doesn’t degrade your brand but that can be done quickly. Some people use Pablo or Wordswag, and find a quote or statement that you think will motivate or inspire your followers.

But any good graphic takes a bit of time to do. you need to swap out text, colors, designs, etc and to do multiples of them will only compound that time. Sounds fun right, boring and repetitive!

As a developer I always look for a way to reduce my energy-expenditure while maximizing my results, I think Lary Wall said it best:

Three great virtues of a programmer:

  1. Laziness: The quality that makes you go to great effort to reduce overall energy expenditure. It makes you write labor-saving programs that other people will find useful and document what you wrote so you don’t have to answer so many questions about it.
  2. Impatience: The anger you feel when the computer is being lazy. This makes you write programs that don’t just react to your needs, but actually anticipate them. Or at least pretend to.
  3. Hubris: The quality that makes you write (and maintain) programs that other people won’t want to say bad things about.

So by now you have guessed that this might involve code or something, and to be honest when I am done with this concept I intend for it to be a script but I found a midstep that is really simple and really powerful that I just think we all need to know.

CSV + PHOTOSHOP VARIABLES + BATCH FILE SAVING + ??? = Profit

SO for this, you are going to need 3 things: Photoshop, a template file (or two), and a CSV of content (quotes, sayings, powerful statements).

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In Photoshop you will want to make a simple template image 640x640px, standard color background, white or black text, logo and maybe some stylized elements. You want to make the text section evenly spaced and set to be paragraph text box and center it in the template and give that layer a very short but obvious name.

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You will want to collect a list of quotes, statements, etc, into a CSV file in excel, naming the column the same thing you named the layer above by entering it into the first cell of the CSV.  If the layer with your text is named “foo”, then the first cell at the top of the column needs to be named “foo”, too. Not bar, not foos, not FOO, they need to be exactly the same. From here you can go back to Photoshop and go to image > variables > define, here you will select a layer that you will manipulate, turning it from the place holder text – > to the first line in the CSV -> saved psd -> repeat until finished.

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So now you have a whole set of new .psd files that you can turn into jpeg’s… so you just open each one individually and wait for photoshop to load then…..

I am kidding.

From here you want to run an image processor under Files > Scripts > Image Processor. This will allow you to turn every single psd in a folder into jpeg files saved in a folder all their own for you to use right away. This is also a quicker way to sort through these images and check for quality, as jpegs are much easier to quickly go through in a photo-viewer than via original psd files for each image. And yes, there will be quality checks.

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Remember Quality Checks

This is semi-automated so you might get it wrong the first time, you might have a word split to the next line or a weird character pop up so you will need to spend some amount of time doing quality checks. When you master this workflow you will be able to slowly mine quotes and sayings over time, or harvest massive lists of them from source material and crank out any number of these in under 10 min.

Today I made 160 images, of which only 12 had errors.

That is 148 usable images in under 10 min, that is 14 images a minute!

Now I am not saying you scale up all content to be this style but if you mix this into your mix you maintain quality, use fewer repeat images, be able to spend less time on just one aspect of a much bigger picture.

Getting More Complex

As I mentioned above you can start to get more in depth with this and while I intend to eventually write a javascript file that will be able to scale this to an even higher extent.  For now, you need to keep in mind the more elaborate you get with the csv, the more work you will have to do for each batch, so you will want to keep it to a set of easily modified variables. Some basics ideas would be changing the background color, placement of your logo, and maybe some simple graphic flourishes.

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