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How to Get the Most out of Instagram Guides for your Business

Instagram Guides are a wonderful marketing tool for brands because they are easy to create and fun for users to explore. Find out here how to create your own Instagram Guides and how to get the most out of them for your business.

Instagram Guides were one of the many new additions to Instagram in 2020. And while other new features such as Instagram Live, Instagram Reels and Instagram Shops got a lot of attention, Instagram Guides got somewhat overlooked by many brands.

Wrongfully so! Instagram Guides are a great marketing tool for businesses; they can help you increase the reach of your brand on Instagram, and they will also save you a lot of time and work.

What are Instagram Guides

Instagram Guides can be described as a cross between a carousel post and a blog entry. Every guide includes several picture or video posts with descriptions that users can scroll through from top to bottom.

Guides are a great way to put together new and old content to tell a story, provide useful information, or even to motivate people to shop. Users can interact with the guides and also share them.

There are three types of guides on Instagram:

  • place guides
  • product guides
  • post guides

Each guide includes a cover image, a title, a short introductory description about the guide, and individual descriptions for each entry.

If a profile you follow has created guides, you can find them by tapping the open book icon, which is located between the bio and the post feed. If you don’t see the icon, the user has not created a guide yet.

Under the shop icon below your post feed, you can also find the category “Guides.”

Once you tap on it, you will be able to see several product guides.

Obviously, you can not only look at other people’s guides, but also create your own.

How to create an Instagram Guide

Creating a guide on Instagram is very straightforward, and only takes a few steps.

  1. Go to your profile and select the “+” sign.
  2. Tap on “guide.”
  3. Choose one of the three guide types (saved or new post, product or location) that you want to create.
  4. Select a photo and a title for your guide and write a short description. The first picture you select will be your cover image, but you can edit this later.
  5. Now you can select the individual entries and descriptions to put together your guide. Once you have finished your guide, you can preview it and then share it with your audience. It is also possible to edit your guide to add or delete entries after it has been published.

You can send your new guide as a direct message to your followers or share it as a story. Unlike posts on Instagram Stories though, guides don’t disappear after 24 hours. So, they are the perfect format for content that is meant to last.

Why your business will benefit from Guides

If your brand is on Instagram, you probably share new content pretty regularly. Most of your content will be seen by users shortly after you post it, and then either disappear after 24 hours, or be forgotten in your post feed.

Which means: you are putting a lot of time and effort into content that is usually very short-lived. Instagram Guides now give you the chance to re-purpose that content in a creative way and give it a second life. Your followers end up with useful content, while you save time and also get the most out of your content.

Guides can also help you to re-direct users to older posts. If users tap on an individual post in your guide, they will be directed to the original post. So by simply reposting older content in a new guide, you can increase the reach and engagement of these posts, as more users get a chance to interact with them.

It should also be mentioned that Instagram users love scrolling through guides rather than just reading a blog post for example, because the content is fun to look at and easy to digest. They appreciate well-made guides because they can pick up important information on the go without having to leave the app.

Instagram Guides are therefore not only a great way for your brand to revive old content and save time and effort, but also help provide your followers with useful content. You can also use them to increase the reach of your posts on Instagram, and even boost engagement.

8 ways to use Instagram Guides for your brand

Since they allow you to put together old and new content in whichever way you like, Instagram Guides are a very flexible and creative format. So, the following list of ideas can serve as inspiration for getting started with your own Instagram Guides, but is by no means exhaustive.

1. Gift Guides

From Valentine’s Day to Father’s Day to the holidays: there are numerous occasions throughout the year when people are looking for gifts, and will be very thankful to find gift guides to help them find something special for their loved ones.

For you, it’s a chance to have users discover and buy your products. The cosmetics company Vintner’s Daughter, for example, created a gift guide for botanical lovers that contains their own products in addition to a variety of other creative gift ideas. So, the guide is both helpful for users and good for their business.

2. Useful Information

Easy dinner recipes, marketing tips for businesses, or a guide for mental health resources – think about your brand in relation to the recourses that would be useful for your customers, and then put these resources together in an informative guide for them.

3. Product Highlights

Putting together a guide of highlighted products from your brand allows users to re-discover your products, or see them in a new context. If you organize your products into categories, such as shoes or skin care, it will also make it easier for customers to shop for specific items.

4. Travel Guides

Location-based guides are obviously a great way for tourism brands to create travel guides that can both highlight their services and provide helpful tips for travelers.

5. FAQs

Similar to compiling useful information for your customers, you could also create a FAQ guide to answer their most common questions. Alternatively, if you frequently receive questions about certain products, you could also create a how-to guide to help your customers.

6. Tips

Guides are also perfect if you want to compile a list of tips for your followers. The yoga teacher Kylan Fischer, for example, has created a practice guide for her followers where she gives them tips for exercising at home.

7. Share important brand messages

What does your brand stand for? Many customers decide where they’ll shop based on the values of a business, so it’s important for you to tell your customers what you are about. One way of doing this is to share issues that are important to you in a guide. The beauty brand Sephora, for example, supports female business owners, so they created a guide that showcases some of the female-owned brands they also carry aside from their own products.

8. Recognize other businesses

Aside from creating guides about your brand, you can also recognize other businesses in your guides. This can be a great way to highlight collaborations with other businesses or influencers, or to just give a shout-out to somebody from your community. The children’s book publisher The Secret Mountain, for example, created a place guide to promote small, independent booksellers that carry its books.

Getting started with Instagram Guides

As you can see, creating Instagram Guides is very easy, and a great way to put out fun content for your followers. Before you get started with your very first guide, make sure to keep a few basic guidelines in mind.

1. Carefully select the content

Be thoughtful when selecting content for your guides. In a way, guides highlight your content, so you want to make sure that the content stands out, that it makes sense for your business, and, most of all, that it is helpful for users. Otherwise, they will skip right through the guide without engaging with your content or sharing it.

2. Update your guides

You can easily add new posts to a guide, which keeps your guides current and fresh. Obviously, you don’t want a guide that is very long and boring, but when it makes sense to incorporate new content, do it. It will save you time from making completely new guides and also add more value to your guides.

3. Promote new guides

As with any new content, make sure to promote new guides on Instagram so more people can find them. You can send the new guides as direct messages to your followers. In this case, you want to make sure that users are okay with receiving marketing messages from you. Otherwise, they will just perceive it as spam. Or, you can share a new guide through Instagram Stories. If you use a planning tool like Storrito, it will save you even more time and effort.

Storrito is a web tool for creating and scheduling Instagram Stories from any device, which makes planning and sharing Instagram Stories really easy and effortless – including stories to promote your latest Instagram Guides.

Try it out for free now!

Tobias ManrothAuthor image
Tobias Manroth
CMO at Storrito

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