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Utilising Instagram Guides Creatively.

You may or may not have seen a new feature pop up on Instagram recently, taking form in the shape of Instagram Guides. Guides are a brand new way to share and consume content on Instagram. Originally exclusive to a small group of health and wellness advocates and creators, but with the pandemic, the feature is now readily available for anyone to use. From creating gift guides to offering resources, Instagram’s latest feature is a user-friendly, creative, and interactive way to share new (and old!) content with your audience. But just how do you make the most of this feature? How can you utilise it for social media success, but also in creative and fun ways? If these are the questions you're dying to learn more about, keep reading.

What are Instagram Guides?

Instagram Guides allow users to scroll through a curated flow of interactive content – similar to a blog post or a Pinterest board (except without leaving Instagram!).

You can choose 3 different guide formats:

  • Places: Recommend places in your city and beyond

  • Products: Recommend your favourite products from your own shop or others

  • Posts: Recommend posts you’ve created or saved

To access Instagram Guides, visit an Instagram profile, and tap the new Instagram Guides icon on their page. If a profile doesn’t have the tab, it means they haven’t created any guides just yet. From here, you can scroll through and browse through the user’s guides.

Looking for product guides? Explore new guides by tapping the Shop tab, and swiping over to “Explore Guides” in the top bar.

Are you a small business owner? Get yourself on Guides now!

If you’re active on Instagram, you’re probably sharing several times a week. That’s a lot of valuable content that could be forgotten about after it’s seen once! Enter Instagram Guides: it’s time to maximize your Instagram content shelf life! Instead of leaving valuable content on your feed for people to search through themselves, make it easy for them and compile your posts together in the form of a guide.

When a user clicks on an individual post in a Guide, they’re directed back to the original post. Hello, evergreen content!

Instagram users are no stranger to long-form content, with IGTV and Instagram captions, but Guides bring a whole new spin to it on the app. Instead of sharing a collection of posts on your stories (and having them disappear after 24 hours!) or collecting everything into a single carousel post, you can keep them organized in a dedicated place: the Instagram Guides tab.

In 20 minutes or less, you can curate your very own Instagram Guide and share it to your Instagram Story. The user-friendly process allows room for creativity and helps your audience consume your content in an easily digestible way. Not only can users tap in to see the original post (or purchase the product) right from the Guide, but you can also add an additional copy to further drive home your message.

Creating Instagram Guides are a great alternative to blog posts, especially during the holiday season or if you’re struggling to get traffic to your website.

Another benefit of using Instagram Guides? They are highly shareable!

One of the best ways to grow your Instagram following is creating shareable authentic content and Instagram Guides can help facilitate that. If you create a guide that your audience finds valuable, they may feel inclined to share it on their Instagram Stories to their followers.

Creative Ways to Utilise Guides as a Business

  • Gift Guides: Coming around to a time of year where gift exchanges are most popular? What better way to use Instagram Guides than to curate a gift guide? Whether it’s the holidays or Mother’s Day, creating a gift guide is a great way to give your audience what they’re often looking for during that time: gift ideas. In a few simple steps, you can curate an Instagram guide dedicated to your own products or a collection of products from other brands and small businesses.

  • Offer Resources: Instagram originally introduced Guides as a way to spotlight helpful resources and wellness content. So it’s no surprise that this is one of the best ways to use Instagram Guides for business. Use it to compile all of your free resources and value-driven posts!

  • Product Highlights or Features: Using Instagram Guides to highlight your products is a great way to curate and organize content for your followers. You can organize your products based on bestsellers, new releases, categories, or demographics.

  • How-to Guides and Tips: Have you ever wanted to give your followers an extensive list of tips and tricks or an in-depth how-to guide? Now you can! Businesses and creators alike are getting creative with the Instagram Guides feature. By curating these lists, you’re offering additional information that will hopefully inspire them to share your tips with their followers.

  • FAQ's: Whether you’re an influencer, content creator, or a small business owner, you likely receive an influx of questions in the DMs. If there are frequently asked questions, it may be worth creating a guide dedicated to that topic.

What's in store for Instagram Guides?

Since Instagram Guides is a new feature, the creative options are endless and brands are only starting to tap into their potential.

It’s a good idea to jump on Instagram Guides while the competition is still low, especially since Instagram usually gives prominence to new features. We predict brands and businesses jumping on the trend, and collaborating with influencers for paid partnership opportunities spotlighting certain products. Watch this space!

At the moment, there are no Instagram Guides analytics and users cannot save Guides. Unfortunately, this proves to be a bit of a time-kicker when you want to visit it again in the future. But as Guides take off, we expect to see in-depth analytics and a save button.

And, as more and more creators share Guides, keep an eye out for their own dedicated tab somewhere on the app.

Whether it’s expanding your Instagram posts’ shelf life, highlighting your products, or sharing resources there’s a creative opportunity waiting for you with Instagram Guides. Start experimenting and see where this new feature takes you!!

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