Share your expertise with Instagram Guides.
Instagram rolled out Instagram Guides for all users in the Fall of 2020. The feature was initially used to help health care advocates share resources for COVID-19, but with its expanded accessibility, we are now seeing it used as an effective marketing tool.
From recommendations to helpful advice, this content format can help brands and influencers provide valuable information to their audiences.
Discover how Instagram Guides can help you connect with your audience and start incorporating them into your social media strategy ASAP!
What Are Instagram Guides?
An Instagram Guide is a curated collection of Instagram posts to share with followers. Guides blend elements of carousels (a group of photos) and blog posts (captions). What makes them different from these other sharing features is how you can arrange and caption them to work like listicles.
Instagram Guides include three types of posts:
- Posts: Collection of your previously shared posts.
- Products: Links to an Instagram Store (yours or another user’s).
- Places: Group of public posts tagged to a specific location.
Content creators can use Guides to highlight previous content, share information, or offer users tips related to products or places. It’s a new format for storytelling. You can write a new caption for each photo or video in the Guide. Then users can click on the photo to see the original post and the additional information in its caption.
Guides also make it easier for Instagram users to find information and get recommendations. Instead of scrolling through an entire feed to find a post about sugar-free doughnuts, they can go straight to a guide featuring sugar-free desserts or one that gives them direct links to purchase the ingredients for the donuts.
Who Can Create Instagram Guides?
The initial rollout of Instagram Guides restricted the feature to creators featuring wellness content to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention created a guide highlighting mental health tools during times of crisis.
In November, Instagram gave all users the ability to create Guides. As long as you have an Instagram account, you can make and share your own Instagram Guides.
Where Guides Show Up on Instagram
You can view Guides from a user’s profile page. Look for the Guides icon — which looks like a book or brochure — on the feed tab. Scroll through the available Guides to find the one you want to explore. Users also have the option to share a Guide to Stories or directly with other users.
Why You Should Start Using Instagram Guides
Instagram’s photo-first format presents challenges for some content creators. They found ways to use Stories, IGTV and extended captions to give their content context, but it wasn’t the same as a blog or Facebook post.
Guides solves part of this issue by providing a way to present long-form content. You can arrange and categorize posts with a common theme, using Guides and the linked posts to share information and tips.
This is a great way to repurpose your existing content. That photo of pasta you shared during your vacation in Italy three years ago can now be part of Guide to International Recipes to Make at Home or Must-See Spots to Visit on Your Next Vacation.
Keep Visitors on Your Page
One advantage of long-form content is the fact that it encourages visitors to scroll through your page. They have a reason to view your content so they get to know and connect with your brand and products.
Position Yourself as an Expert
Guides give you an opportunity to teach your customers how to use your products and services. A Guide to Caring for Handmade Jewelry becomes a place to showcase the handmade bracelets you sell. A Guide featuring your tips for Staying Active When You Have a Desk Job gives you a way to share some of your fitness knowledge.
If you have an Instagram Store, Guides give you an interesting marketing tool. You can create gift guides for different occasions and link directly to the products for sale in your store. This can increase your conversion rate since the customer doesn’t have to complete too many additional steps to locate your products.
Expand Your Reach
Instagram Guides also provide a method to expand your impressions and reach. Users have the ability to search for specific keywords instead of only hashtags, which can make it easier for them to find your content. Since Guides are shareable, you can create practical content that others want to share with their markets.
How to Create an Instagram Guide
You can create an Instagram Guide with a few taps. Start by going to your profile page. Then tap the plus sign in the upper right corner.
1. Select Guide from the menu. Choose the option that best fits your content:
- Places: Best for location-themed guides like top lists, restaurant recommendations or must-see spots in an area
- Products: Highlight the items in your Instagram shop or your favorite products from other Instagram users
- Posts: Good option for highlighting your existing posts, creating tips or solving problems for users
2. Choose the photos and videos you want to include in the Guide. Your options vary depending on the type of Guide you selected.
- If you’re building a Places Guide, you’ll provide the location you want to highlight. Then choose from the available public photos tagged to that spot.
- For a Products Guide, you must choose a store and then select items from that store to include.
- A Posts Guide highlights your own content or content you’ve saved, so you’ll choose from content you’ve posted or saved to your account.
3. Create a title for the Guide. The first photo you select is the default cover photo, but you have the option to change it.
4. Write a description of the content. This helps visitors identify the content they want to view.
5. For each linked post, create a title and description. Use this to give information or explain how the post connects to the theme. Repeat this for each linked post.
6. Preview and share the Guide with your followers.
Instagram is continually adding new features and content formats to keep things fresh on its platform. With Instagram Guides, you have a new way to promote your brand and connect with your audience. Start exploring how it works and how to incorporate it into your social marketing strategy.