Long-form content is an incredible way to connect with people online and provide them with a fulfilling experience. But how can you create extended Instagram content for your audience? Super-long captions, stories, or creative posts that make up a series have often been the answer. Even so, Instagram was never really the place for long-form content. After ten years, Instagram has finally entered the long-form content game. Instagram introduced Guides as one of the app’s latest features that enable businesses to present longer-form content to their audience. They are a hybrid of Instagram carousels and blog posts, and they are a simple way to reuse your best content. When Instagram first introduced Guides in May, they worked with experts and creators to create guides focused on well-being tips. After seeing the community’s response and requests for increased availability, Instagram is expanding Guides to everyone and making them easier to create. If you want to stay on top of Instagram Marketing Tips and Updates, LOCALiQ already has a guide for that.
What are Instagram Guides?
Instagram Guides are a brand new way to share and consume content on Instagram. They can be made from the creator’s or public accounts, using pre-published posts, places, or product listings. Each guide has a cover image, a title, an introduction, and optional descriptions for entires.
Travel was the initial inspiration for the creation of Guides. However, due to global travel limitations, Instagram opted to launch the feature in May 2020 to the health and wellness industry. Instagram opened up the feature to all users and topics in November. It was a successful attempt to assist brands and individual users in the creation of centralised resources around different topics or products. A health coach, for example, may write a guide like “Tips on Improving Mental Health” and combine all of the relevant posts into one. Guides are made on a separate tab on a person’s or brand’s profile and may be shared in Stories or direct messages once they have been created. The account owner can update, add, or remove entries as needed. Do you have any Instagram posts that you might use to build in-depth guides? I’m confident you do. Not only can you combine your own Instagram stories together, but you can also incorporate content from other users. Still having trouble grasping the concept of Instagram Guides? Let me help you out! Assume you own a business that sells three different types of products or services. If you want to emphasise a product or service, you can now compile all of your previously published Instagram posts on that product or service into a single resource.
How are Instagram Guides helpful for your audience?
If your audience wants to learn more about one of your products or services, they can get all the information they need in a single guide – no need to navigate through all of your posts to locate it. It’s a very useful method to share content on Instagram. Instagram Guides are a new method for your audience to discover content from your perspective. There are so many innovative ways to arrange your Instagram content in a way that makes things easier for your audience, whether you are an entrepreneur, marketer, or run a B2C brand. You have more opportunities to market your brand with these guides. Cosmetic businesses can develop step-by-step tutorials. Retailers can utilise guides to provide a portfolio of DIY hacks and gift ideas to their customers. Marketers might create actionable marketing guides and so on. There’s a variety of ways you can better your Instagram marketing efforts with guides, no matter what your business is about. After all, you want your audience to spend more time with your content and understand more about your business.
How to create an Instagram Guide
Given that you are reading about Instagram Guides, I think it would be fair to assume that you already have an Instagram account. To create your first Instagram Guide, tap the “Plus” icon on the top-right of your profile page.
Then select “Guide”.
From here, you can choose from 3 different “Guide” formats:
• Places: Recommend places in your city or beyond.
• Products: Recommend your favourite products.
• Posts: Recommend posts you created or saved.
The different types of Instagram Guides
Each format is tailored to suit a creator’s needs.
Places: Places is a great option for creating a guide for a local audience because it allows you to promote user-generated information that highlights your business location. When you go with the places option, Instagram will show you all of the content that has been tagged with that location. Businesses like retail stores and restaurants have a physical location. They might have some location-based tips for their audience. Or, if you are a local influencer who travels a lot, places are where you can develop things like tour guides and restaurant recommendations, or a list of off-the-beaten-path, hidden gems. One of your guides, for example, might highlight the town’s top 5 fast-food restaurants.
Products: This type of guide allows you to group Instagram posts related to a single product or service. If you wish to highlight a certain product, use the Products Guide. Following your selection of products as the guide type, Instagram will prompt you to choose a shop and a product. Remember that each guide can only feature one product. Users can also see featured products in the product guides and purchase them directly from Instagram Shopping. Did you know that Instagram Guides are a terrific method to re-use your old content in a more meaningful and organised way?
Posts: Next comes the Posts Guides which will let you curate previous or saved posts you want to recommend in the guide. In this case, you’ll put prior posts on a topic together to produce a completely new piece of content. You must add content from other accounts to your Instagram saved content if you want to include it in your Instagram guide. You can include up to 30 posts to compose a single guide on Instagram. These guide types were created to fulfill the diverse needs of content creators. The Post Guide type, for example, is fantastic if you like to tell great stories or give advice on a subject. Likewise, the Product Guides are designed for businesses that sell products online.
Why you should use Instagram Guides
For the first time on Instagram, brands can build long-form content. Here are a few reasons why you might want to utilise Instagram Guides for your business:
Keep users on your page
Longer-form, scrollable guides keep consumers engaged with your content for longer periods of time, allowing them to learn more about your brand and products. They won’t have to go to another website to find out more, as they would with regular Instagram posts.
Harness the power of keyword searches
Instagram’s search feature has been changed as a result of them offering longer-form content. Instagram Guides can be found by searching for content using keywords. That means finding new content on Instagram has gotten a whole lot easier. Users no longer need to know your brand name or use a hashtag to find you.
Extend your reach
You can create guides that target your brand’s new audience now that users can find you using keywords. Guides can also help you put your brand forward as a subject matter expert in your industry. You can focus on the solutions people are searching for, even if they aren’t in your target audience, by developing content that addresses micro-movements.
Build brand loyalty
This feature is yet another way to increase loyalty by providing helpful and trustworthy content. Tips, tricks, step-by-step directions, and any other valuable content will keep your target audience coming back for more. You can boost loyalty even more by giving your guides the first crack at content or product deals, or by sending out a newsletter announcing new guides.
Product Guides allow customers to shop right from Instagram, cutting the buyer’s journey in half. Users can view product descriptions and prices, as well as other products from your shop.
Create shareable content
Guides can be shared through stories and direct messages. If your audience likes your guides, they will spread the word and tell others about them.
Share and share alike
Sharing guides from other users on Instagram, similar to sharing articles on LinkedIn, demonstrates your expertise in your industry and increases the likelihood that your guides will be read and shared.
Extend partnerships with influencers
With influencer collaborations, guides provide another format to explore. Collaborate with local influencers to create guides that feature your products or services.
Where to find Instagram Guides
As previously mentioned, you can currently create three types of Instagram Guides: Places, Products, and Posts. Check the lower-left corner of the guide to see which one you are looking at. To find an Instagram Guide, go to a creator’s profile page and select the new Guides icon from the feed tab.
You’ll be able to view which guides a creator has shared from here, similar to how the IGTV tab works. Notice how, right above the title, each guide tells you exactly what it is (a place, product, or post guide) and how many Instagram posts it contains.
By tapping the paper plane icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, guides can be quickly shared to Instagram Stories or with other users. This new feature is currently available via the Instagram Explore Page as well as directly via a user’s profile.
7 creative ways businesses can use Instagram Guides
Not sure where to start with Instagram Guides? Let these examples inspire you.
Create a gift guide
What better way to put Instagram Guides to good use than by curating a gift guide? Whether it’s the holidays or Mother’s Day, creating a gift guide is a wonderful way to provide your audience with what they’re often looking for during that time. The Body Shop created a Product Guide of Mother’s Day gifts that were suitable for their audience, no matter what their budget was this year.
Instagram originally introduces Guides as a method to highlight helpful resources and wellness content. It should come as no surprise that this is one of the most effective ways to use Instagram Guides for business! Pretty Little Thing created a Guide on “Mental Health Awareness Week”. Each one of the 9 posts directs their audience to helpful quotes from their own page.
You can gather a number of resources for any topic you are passionate about, depending on your brand or business. The possibilities are endless, from a collection of Instagram tips and tricks to meditation resources.
Using Instagram Guides to highlight your products is a fantastic way to organise and curate content for your followers. Your products can be organised by bestsellers, new releases, categories, or demographics. Take, for example, the “TRENDING: All Brown Everything” guide from online fashion and cosmetic retailer, ASOS. This is a short and snappy guide that gets right to the point. When their audience clicks, they know exactly what they’re getting!
How-to guides and tips
Have you ever wanted to give an extensive list of tips and techniques or an in-depth how-to guide to your followers? You can now! With the Instagram Guides tool, businesses and creators alike are getting creative. You’re providing additional information by curating those lists, that will encourage them to share your advice with their followers. Take Dove’s “4 Tips for Sensitive Skin” Guide for example. This guide is an amazing resource for their audience who are looking to give their skin that extra-special care.
Instagram Guides are ideal for designing guides full of travel inspiration, local attractions to visit, or hotel recommendations. Travel guides are a great way to use this new feature if you’re a travel brand or influencer who frequently travels. You can compile your previous posts in several locations and include some additional copies about each one. Let’s look at Christina Galbato’s “Favourite Tulum Hotels” guide. It is a collection of 6 of her previous Instagram posts in each location.
Monthly and annual roundups are popular and on-trend, so why not create your own with an Instagram Guide? You can make product roundups, monthly favourites, or even a year’s worth of roundups! Look at the guide “2020 – What You Loved This Year” by The White Company. The guide is made up of 12 posts for each month and is a roundup of what people loved in 2020.
If you are an influencer, a content creator, or a small business owner, you are probably getting a lot of questions in your DMs. It may be worthwhile to create a guide dedicated to a specific topic if there are frequently asked questions. See how Office did it. They created a “How to Wear: Chunky Boots” guide, offering their audience different ways to wear the chunky boot of trend for Autumn Winter 2020.
What is the future for Instagram Guides?
Since Instagram Guides is such a new feature, the creative possibilities are limitless, and brands are only now beginning to realise their full potential. It’s a smart idea to take advantage of Instagram Guides while the competition is still low, especially since Instagram favours new features. Brands and businesses are expected to jump on the trend by engaging with influencers for paid partnership possibilities that highlight certain products. At the moment, there is no analytics available for Instagram Guides, and users cannot save guides. Unfortunately, if you wish to visit it again in the future, this is a bit of a time-kicker. But as guides take off, we anticipate seeing in-depth analytics and a save button. Keep an eye out for their own dedicated tab somewhere on the app as more and more creators share Guides.
Whether it is expanding your Instagram posts’ shelf life, highlighting your products, or sharing resources, there is a creative opportunity waiting for you with Instagram Guides. So, what’s stopping you? Time to try and make your first Instagram Guide!