Social Media has changed the way we communicate and interact with one another forever. Behind Facebook, Instagram is the most used social media platform in the United States. The app has progressively become more popular over time by adding new features that users have the opportunity to explore, such as Instagram Guides.
Instagram Guides is a new feature to the popular social media platform which allows accounts to share their content into a single useful and creative resource. This feature was first released in May 2020 with the idea that Guides were designed for travel.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and travel restrictions, the feature was launchedwith a wellness theme instead. It wasn’t until November 2020 that Guides were introduced to all users and updated to include more themes.
Instagram Guides are designed to allow users the opportunity to share step-by-step directions, lists, recommendations, and more. It allows accounts to streamline information by compiling posts into one source instead of spreading it out over multiple Instagram posts.
How do you Create an Instagram Guide?
There are a few easy steps to creating a Guide on Instagram.
Go to your profile page and find the plus icon at the top right of your screen.
Click on the plus icon and you will find “Guide” at the bottom of the list.
Once you choose Guide, you have the option to create whatever type of guide suits your best interest (Places, Products, Posts).
Once completing the above steps, users have the option to include:
a cover image
pictures associated with the guide
an optional description for entries
After you have finished creating the guide, the published product will appear on your profile page on the same tab as posts, reels, and tagged photos.
Similarly to posts, reels, andIGTV, Guides are able to be shared on one’s Instagram story and with others.
“Places” are one option to choose from when deciding which Guide to create on Instagram. The Places Guide allows one to recommend or document places around a city or state that you have visited or want to experience in the future.
This guide allows users to choose up to 30 different places per Guide as well as the opportunity to pick 5 different posts associated with those places.
Another option one has to choose from is the Products Guide. This guide is designed for accounts to recommend their favorite products from any store in the Instagram shop.
The Products Guide only lets you choose one store product at a time, but users can choose up to 5 images in that product feed if applicable. The limit of 30 products also applies to this type of guide as well.
The last guide type is designed for users to share posts they have created or saved over time. In order to share other creator’s content, you will have to save their post by tapping the bookmark icon on the bottom right side of their post. It will then show up as part of your saved posts and you will be able to add it to your guide.
The unique aspect of the posts guide is each post has an individual section and isn't compiled together like a slideshow, as the other two guide types do. Nonetheless, the same 30 posts limit applies just like the places and products guide.
Benefits and Opportunities
Instagram Guides is now available to every user on the platform and it has created an abundance of opportunity for influencers, businesses, and creators. The new benefits appeal to everyone looking to make a Guide on their account.
Wondering if Guides are for you? There are plenty of reasons to start utilizing this fresh new feature to better engage with your Instagram audience.
Long-form Content: Unlike an Instagram Story, Guides were invented to be long-lasting and will not disappear after 24 hours. This adds value to your account and extends a wider reach to new audiences.
Easy Access: There is no need to search through numerous old Instagram posts anymore since they are all compiled into a single, scrollable guide.
Ability to Get Creative: There is no limit to the creativity of this new feature. Users can create shopping opportunities, educational posts, gift guides, tips, and anything else one can think of.
Tell a Longer Story: Users have the ability to upload a Guide, which acts much like a blog, and access it directly on Instagram. This way people don’t have to go to a different social media platform to search for the same content. They can also elaborate on a series of posts and their experience, opinions, or suggestions.
Guides as a Marketing Tool
Guides are not only great for the everyday Instagram user, but they are an extremely helpful tool for businesses and influencers marketing their products and services. The ability to have long-form content helps to provide necessary educational content for customers or prospects to consult time and time again. Through curating your own Guides, you can expect to:
Boost conversions: Users can directly shop and access websites from the different types of guides with few hurdles. As a result, conversions are more easily made since prospects don't need to go off platform to make a move on something that catches their eye.
Strengthen your brand message: A Guide will allow businesses to create cohesive, informative, branded content that's sharable. This is a place for your business to cultivate and grow its identity online so that more people can see the heart of what you do and how you do it.
Showcase user generated content: Guides allow users to find and share user generated content that is associated with their company or business. This will encourage engagement between the company and the user, as well as prompt other users to share for a chance to be featured in the next guide.
Keyword searches: People no longer have to look up brand names or specific hashtags. Instagram now allows users to search for content by keywords and includes Instagram Guides in their search results.
Using Guides to Enhance Your Social Media Presence
Instagram Guides allow everyone greater access to explore a different medium and share the content they desire. The feature not only benefits individual users to share their own ideas, it also lets businesses market their products, tips, and any other relevant recommendations.
If you’re looking for tips on how to utilize Instagram as a marketing platform, contact us to learn more today.
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