Instagram is on a roll with its new releases, and whilst Guides were teased before and only visible on specific, selected accounts, they are now available for all users. Guides are a really great way to add another layer of discoverability to your profile, but also an interesting way to compile relevant information to help people who are interested in your niche. You can use Instagram Guides to troubleshoot what your audience is already asking, using new or repurposed content in a guide format. So, let’s get to know Guides, and how they can be useful for your account growth.
What are Instagram Guides? 🤔
Think of Instagram Guides like blog posts. They are a cool way to curate content, share information, and put more of an editorial spin on your posts and videos. They have different benefits depending on whether you are a brand or a creator. Users can select to create a guide based on three different ‘themes’:
- Places – a guide of your favorite places based on location, saved posts, or your own existing posts.
- Products – search for brands and add their products into a ‘gift guide’ or ‘wishlist’ for example.
- Posts – share your existing posts in a guide around a specific topic.
In a similar way to hashtags, Guides are another way to categorize content, because you can put related posts to one topic in a guide for your followers to look through. For example, if you are a life coach, you might create a guide around ‘confidence’ and put all of your posts, carousels, or videos related to confidence in this specific guide. You then have the option to add text, a title, and more advice to accompany your individual posts.
What are the benefits of Instagram Guides? 📖
Before we get into how you can use Instagram Guides, let’s take a look at why they can help your account grow, in an organic way.
- They give your audience a deeper understanding of your own voice, as they give you the option to add personal commentary to your posts in a format that is different from a caption. Because Guides look more like blog posts or articles, the flow of reading is much more natural and the commentary feels a little rawer. Authenticity makes followers stick around, and this could be a great way to retain followers.
- They are much more tailored to your audience. Instagram has dedicated a whole new tab to Guides, so when users click on this section, they can see all of the Guides a person has made. They can then select the guides they want to view based on their personal interests and have a ‘tailored-to-them’ experience, which features the posts they are most likely to resonate with.
- They can increase your discoverability. If someone is looking through a Guide you have created, they may have the opportunity to discover some of your older content that isn’t fresh on your feed. This almost repurposes your content for you and could drive more conversions on your page.
- As a business, the option to create guides based on products and locations is a real win. If you partner with an influencer to create a gift guide, for example, this could be a natural and relevant way to place your products in front of your target audience’s eyes.
- You can continue to build on them. Just because you’ve created a Guide, doesn’t mean you can’t come back to it. They are editable, so if you create fresh content that fits in with one of your Guide’s themes, you can directly add it in there – almost like a Pinterest board!
- If Instagram rolls out a new feature, it is usually beneficial to take advantage of it from the get-go. Users claim that you may get rewarded by the algorithm by trying out new features when they first launch, as they are a lot less competitive in the initial stages of introduction.
How to use Instagram Guides 📲
Now that you know why you should be using Guides to up your chances of growth, even more, let’s talk about how to use Instagram Guides more specifically.
If you want to create a Guide, just go to your profile and click the ‘+’ button in the top, right-hand corner.
Select Guide, and then select whether you’d like to create a Guide based on ‘places’, ‘products’, or ‘posts’.
Select the products, places, or posts you’d like to add to your guide.
Add a relevant title, select a cover photo, and add a brief description for the overall guide.
Go through each post and add a title and commentary. We recommend you do this, because the more descriptive your content is, the more likely people interested in the Guide will be able to discover it.
Time your Guides in a relevant way to make the most out of the new feature. For example, if you’ve decided to create Guides around different lookbooks, you might think about releasing an Autumn-themed lookbook in October. It’s unlikely people will be searching for ‘summer outfits’ in the winter-time, so try and think strategically about what you create.
We hope you learned a little more about Guides, and how to effectively use them! We’re excited to see how the feature expands to include things like Insights, analytics, and more. If you’d like to continue learning about how you can improve your Instagram strategy and see organic growth, click on the banner below.