In the fall of 2020, Instagram launched guides for its users. Over the last few years, Instagram guides have become one of the platform’s most useful marketing tools. They provide a great opportunity for brands and influencers to expand their reach and access a broader audience. From recommendations to helpful advice, guides serve as an outlet to help creators provide valuable information to their audiences.
Follow along to discover how Instagram guides can connect you with a larger audience and how to start including them in your marketing strategies.
What are Instagram Guides?
Instagram guides are the perfect tool for expanding your platform and reaching more Instagram users. Guides act as an outlet for creators to share curated content in an easily accessible and scrollable way. From groups of photos to blog posts and captions, Guides blend elements that allow creators to introduce their content differently from the feed posts. Guides are a unique form of sharing on Instagram because they allow creators to arrange and caption their work like listicles.
Three different types of Instagram posts:
- Posts: Instagram guides allow followers and users to see a collection of your previously shared posts
- Products: Guides allow creators and other users to view your favorite products by sharing links from yours and other accounts.
- Places: Guides allow others to see groups of public posts tagged to a specific location
Guides allow creators to share their previous content and posts and highlight some of their favorite products and businesses through links and locations. If you want to tell your story and share your favorite finds with your followers, Instagram guides are just the tool for you. When using Instagram guides, creators can write new captions for each specific photo and video within the guide. Users can then click on the photo and view the original content and the additional information in the captions.
Another awesome benefit of guides is that they act as a source for users to find information and recommendations easier. 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. Guides allow for more specificity, which makes the users’ experience much easier and more enjoyable.
Who can create Instagram guides?
The short and sweet answer is anyone and everyone. Creators and brands in various niches can create Instagram guides for others to enjoy. If you have an active Instagram account, you can create and share your guides.
Where can you find guides on Instagram?
Instagram guides are on any user’s profile under the guides icon, which looks like a book or brochure. Creators that choose to share guides will have this icon on their feed tab, where you can easily scroll through and explore. In addition to being directly on the feed tab, creators and users also have the option of sharing guides directly to their stories.
Why should you start using Instagram guides?
Over the last few years, photo-first formats have presented challenges for some content creators. Guides are a fun and easy way to view content that isn’t formatted like the typical Instagram posts. They allow creators to give their content extended captions, unlike blogs or Facebook posts. Guides can be used to spice up the creator’s profiles and categorize posts with a common theme, and link posts to information and tips.
Reuse old content
Instagram guides are a great way to reshare and repurpose content that you have previously uploaded. 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 your followers engaged
By using Instagram guides, you freshen up your feed and allow for your content to be viewed in an easier and more fun way. By creating guides, you are creating long-form content that helps keep your followers engaged and excited to scroll through your posts. Guides help keep followers and viewers on your page longer, which leads them to see brands and products that you’re passionate about.
Position yourself as an expert
Using guides as a creator allows you to teach customers and followers how to use your products. By doing so, you can showcase the products you create and those that you support. In addition to sharing products, Guides are a great way to share tips and information that may interest your followers. Maybe you are a makeup artist looking to share how to use the best foundation correctly or a chef explaining what kinds of pots and pans are best. There is no limit to what you can share through Instagram guides.
Guides are ideal for local influencers, who can share roundups of restaurants, events, attractions, and more.
One of the best features of Instagram guides is that it allows your followers and viewers to experience the brands and products you are passionate about. Guides allow you to influence your followers by showcasing products in your Instagram store or products you recommend trying out. Guides can also increase your conversion rate by helping customers avoid the lengthy process of finding your products and rather showcase them. By creating guides, you can even upload gift guides for different occasions and sell them directly in your store.
Expand your reach
The major benefit of Instagram guides is that they let creators reach a broader audience. Because users typically search for keywords rather than just hashtags, guides make it easier for them to reach your content. Because guides are sharable, users can share your content amongst all their friends and fellow users leaving you with more awareness.
How to create an Instagram guide
Creating an Instagram guide is quick and easy to do for all active users. To start, go to your profile page and 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 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 can 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.
Start exploring how guides work and how to introduce them into your marketing strategy.