What are Instagram Guides?
First introduced in 2020, Instagram Guides are essentially miniature blogs on Instagram. Unlike other features on the platform such as reels, posts, and stories, you don’t actually need to make new content (yay!). Instead, Instagram Guides are all about curating existing posts or reels that together with commentary, form a scrollable blog. Each guide is focused on a single story, idea, topic, or product range, and brands can use guides to stand out from competitors. They have a dedicated tab on your Instagram profile, so users can easily discover and scroll through the curations.
According to Instagram, 50% of their users discover new brands, products, or services on the platform, therefore creating Instagram Guides is a great way for brands to elevate their Instagram page and showcase themselves in a differentiated way.
The three types of Instagram Guides
Whether you are creating a product gift guide, your pick of best restaurants in Toronto, or a step-by-step ‘how to meditate’ guide- there are 3 unique formats that can be used.
This format is a collection of places. You can choose any of your past posts with a geo-location, and other public posts that you search for with a specific location. This is perfect for a travel blog, city guides, or restaurant recommendations within a certain location. e.g. ‘Best Bruch spots in Montréal’.
This type of Instagram Guides is connected to Instagram shops and can be used to showcase products for gift guides, product launches, and product recommendations. This is an effective way for businesses that sell directly from Instagram to grow sales on the platform. For example The Body Shop’s ‘Our Beauty Gift Guide’.
This type offers the most flexibility in terms of what the topic or focus of the guide is, your past posts and any public post can be used in this format. This form is great for step by step guides and sharing educational content. E.g. GoPro’s post guide on ’10 things you didn’t know about GoPro’.
Why should brands include Instagram Guides in their digital marketing strategy?
- Revive Old Content
Instead of past posts gaining dust at the bottom of your Instagram page, you can give content a new lease of life by including posts and reels in Instagram Guides. This is also a cost and time-effective way to enhance your Instagram profile and promote your products or services, as you are not creating any new posts, just collating them together with some added commentary.
- Tell your brand story
With only 150 characters allowed in your bio, and new posts being created every day, it can be hard for new audiences to understand what your brand is about. However Instagram Guides offers to opportunity for brands to showcase their history, values, top-selling products, and even employee bios, creatively in more detail. With 90% of Instagram users following at least 1 business, it is important to get the right brand messaging across.
- Leverage user-generated content
A unique feature of Instagram Guides is the ability to combine your own content with content from other users. This offers an opportunity to build brand authenticity and showcase how customers are currently using the product.
- Drive traffic to your blog or website
Instagram Guides should aim to showcase products, places, and topics without going into too much detail, this will encourage users to click onto the brand website to find out more, increasing traffic to your site or blog.
- Promote products authentically
In the eye of the consumer, the difference between a paid ad and an organic post can often be hard to tell. However with Instagram guides, brands can promote their products more authentically, without coming across like a sales pitch. Instead of just promoting products, brands can use guides to add value to the reader by including tips, tricks, and gift ideas. For instance, a product guide could be titled ‘how to style oversized sunglasses’.
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jillwrren (2020). Instagram Guides: Everything You Need to Know about the New Feature. [online] Later Blog. Available at: https://later.com/blog/instagram-guides/ [Accessed 15 Nov. 2022].
McLachlan, S. (2022). 35 Instagram Stats That Matter to Marketers in 2022. [online] Hootsuite Social Media Management. Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-statistics/ [Accessed 15 Nov. 2022].
Smith, A. (2022). How to make Instagram Guides and 6 examples to inspire you. [online] Sprout Social. Available at: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/how-to-make-instagram-guides/ [Accessed 15 Nov. 2022].