Instagram introduced a new feature called “Instagram Guides” in May 2020. Well, the feature is now available to all the users worldwide which were previously available to only a few wellness creators.
“We know many people are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we are first focusing Guides on wellness content”: Instagram
What is an Instagram Guide
An Instagram guide is like reels just another way to share and consume content on the platform. It is basically a long-form content that the creator has curated adding more context with text and posts (Images, IGTV, and Reels).
The posts that you can include in a guide can be your own posts or other posts. So it’s basically a blog post because it can include text, photos, and videos.
Still not sure what’s an Instagram Guide is? Go to my Instagram profile and see what a guide actually looks like and what it can consist of.
You can tap on the individual posts in the guides to view the original Instagram post.
And this guides can be share across stories and in DMs.
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Why Instagram Launched it
The guides are the best way to share tips, recommendations, how-to, and why to guides, and any other things that need a bit of explanation and can’t be put in a single post.
But this feature is helpful to any Instagram creator who wants to share step by step guides or recommendations.
How To Create A Guide
Creating a guide is simple! Tap the ‘+’ icon showing on the top right corner of your profile page. From the list of ‘Create’ options, select ‘Guide’.
And now you’ll be having 3 different guide formats to choose:
Places (Recommend places in your city and beyond): It is perfect for sharing your location-based recommendations from city guides to restaurants and cafes.
Ex: If you are a travel blogger, you can recommend the best places to visit in the city, the best restaurants for vegans or non-vegans, etc.
Products (Recommend your favorite products): You can use this to recommend products that are available in an Instagram Shop (Own products or others).
Ex: If you are a fitness coach you can recommend the best outfit choices to wear and list out the products in the guide with descriptions and prices helping your audience choose an outfit.
Posts (Recommend posts you created or saved): This format can be used to curate a thread of Instagram posts by adding text and headlines.
If you are someone who uses Instagram for personal branding these posts feature is a great way to educate your audience.
Brands and Businesses can use the product guide feature to showcase multiple products and recommend those to their audience by adding commentary.
You can recommend places to visit in your city to your audience with the location guide feature.
Some More Things You Should Know
- You can choose any post that you want to put as a cover photo for the guide and you can remove that post from the body of the guide if you don’t want to keep it without disturbing the cover.
- Unlike reels, you can’t set a custom cover pic for guides.
- You won’t get any notification if someone includes your post in their guides & Viceversa.
- Guides are visible through both the mobile and desktop version of Instagram.
- Product guides can be featured in the Shop tab of Instagram. But other guide formats don’t have this advantage of being found easily as of now.
- Soon Instagram is going to be a search engine where you can find content by typing the keywords in the search bar. As of now, you can only find other Instagram accounts with the keywords. So we might be able to find guides with the search bar. And guides will soon be available on the explore page.
6 Ways You Can Use Guides
Using Instagram guides can make sure your content stays evergreen. So you can curate quotes, art, products, etc. But that’s not it. Here are 6 ways you can use Instagram guides that might help you or your business.
Although people who visit your Instagram profile might know what your business is about after they see your bio, they might want to know more.
So add content related to what products/services you sell, how you can help them, and what problem you have, what others are saying about your service (Testimonials), etc.
Creating a guide with industry updates can be a good idea. You can curate the list of posts that features information on the latest topic and share it in your stories so that your audience can learn all about that topic in a single guide.
If you are someone who creates content to educate your audience, you might have created a few posts on the same topic with different information. Use those and add commentary to create a complete tutorial guide. You can add other creators’ content on the same topic to the guide if it makes sense.
If you are an influencer, you can curate a list of products that you use and recommend to other people. If you are not you can still create a list of restaurants or cafes that you would recommend to your friends.
If you share user-generated content (UGC is something like when a user posts a photo of him/her using your product) then pull out all those posts and put them in a guide. The same goes for a service-based business. Curate all the customer testimonials and create a guide.
If you have an Instagram shop setup on your account you can create shoppable product guides to showcase a particular section of your products like product categories, new product releases, etc.