If you’ve been on Instagram in the past six months, you’ve likely noticed one of their newest features, Instagram Guides. Like any new social media feature, you’ve likely wondered if you need to be including Guides in your 2022 Instagram strategy.
Launched in 2021, Instagram Guides allows users to create content similar to micro-blogs, featuring both their posts and the posts of others with additional text to expand on the topics.
The question still remains, should you use Guides and how should you use them for your business?
We’ve done a deep dive into Instagram Guides (and tested them ourselves) to give you a little bit of a head start when you go to use this new feature.
Keep reading to find out what Instagram Guides are, type of guides to use for your business, the benefits of Instagram Guides, PLUS our top 5 ways to use Instagram Guides in 2022.
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Last winter, Instagram debuted their newest feature called Instagram Guides. The feature gave business accounts a new way to showcase their content and others in a form similar to a micro blog.
Using a combination of text and Instagram posts, Guides are a visually appealing way to showcase your product, service and brand to the world. You can even feature posts you’ve been tagged and mentioned in! Did we mention they’re a great way to support your social media marketing strategy?
As of mid-December 2021, there are only three types of Instagram Guides — Posts, Products and Places — with each type working slightly different to the others.
Post Guides are arguably the easiest way to get started with Instagram Guides. They are exactly what you would expect them to be; a Guide created from your pre-existing content. This type of guide is typically used for frequently asked questions, DIY guides, general product information and more.
If you’re looking to test your first Instagram Guide, we recommend starting with a Post type.
Product Guides are an easy, simple way to feature your products in another way on Instagram, particularly if you have an online store. They are great if you are an eCommerce store with an Instagram Shop attached to your profile as you can create your own product guide and link directly to your store.
For example, if you run an online store with seasonal launches, you could create an Instagram Products Guide for each season featuring the items from the collection. You can also feature products from other stores, making it easier for you to run paid promotions through your Instagram Guides.
Places Guides allow you to create Guides around a location. In fact, if you can feature any publicly available Instagram photo which has your location of choice tagged in a guide.
There is no doubt this is a big win for cafés, event venues, restaurants and tourism attractions. For example, if you run a wedding venue you can use Instagram posts from other users who may have attended your venue, as long as they have tagged the location you’ve selected for the guide.
It’s no secret creating content for your social media takes time, and lots of it. Instagram Guides give your content a second life, allowing you to recommend it to more users through a guide. You can then share your guide to your story or feed therefore giving yourself more content — talk about a time saver!
Did we mention your followers can share your Instagram Guides too?
Thanks to the micro-blog layout of Guides, it gives you more room to show off your product and service than a traditional post or story. Whether this be in simply a product gift guide, a DIY project or a how-to, you have the ability to write a short paragraph about each recommended post.
You can edit and update your Instagram Guides endlessly. While this may not seem like a huge benefit to some, it is to those with an Instagram Business account. It means if you add a new product or service to your offering you can slip them into all your guides therefore gaining more awareness around your new product. Similarly, it allows you to remove posts from guides which may no longer be relevant to your business.
Guides are a great way to group your product posts together into a nifty product guide. This is especially useful for eCommerce stores who can directly link to their Instagram store from the guide. You can create product guides for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The best part is, you can then share your guides on your Instagram feed or story.
Product how-to guides are a great way to make use of Instagram Guides, especially if you have a product that may be a little tricky to use or setup, like a new home security system, flatpack furniture or smart home device.
On the flip side, if your product can be used for DIY projects, such as arts and crafts or home improvement, a DIY Instagram Guide is a great way to showcase the capabilities of your product.
The perfect example of this is if you’re selling craft kits for kids, you can create an Instagram Guide with instructions on how to craft different things using the kit.
An adult version of this would be demonstrating simple ways to use a drill (or another tool or material) to create something new for your home, like a dog toy box!
Every business has questions they are frequently asked, from what are your open hours and what services do you offer, to how to care for a certain product and so much more. These questions are an easy way to build your content calendar, including in Instagram Guides.
An example of how to use FAQ in your Guides is a pet store or vet creating a guide of ‘must-haves’ for new pets in the home. The guide can then be shared with your audience via your Instagram feed and stories.
While a travel Guide may not work for some businesses, it is ideal for those running a hospitality, tourism or event business. For example, if you own a small café in Rockhampton, you could create a guide of things to do in your local area, ensuring to mention grabbing a delicious coffee at your very own café.
Have you recently launched a new product or service? Maybe you’ve just put together the artwork for a new billboard in your local area. You might even have recently moved location. Regardless of what it is, there is no behind the scenes story too big or small for Instagram Guides.
While none of us can be sure what Instagram plans to do with it’s Guides feature in the future, what we are sure of is that it’s only the beginning. As social media moves more and more towards a platform for information and learning, it seems we may likely see more features like Guides coming our way. But for now, we’re predicting the feature will soon allow creators to see analytics regarding their Guides.
Yes, Instagram guides are worth it. While they may be a relatively new addition to Instagrams repertoire of content options, they are one we are sure aren’t going to disappear any time soon. They are a great way for businesses to promote their products and services in an educational and informative way to consumers.
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