Instagram Guides are one of the newest features and an amazing way to add even more value to your profile. Today, we’re going to be showing you how to create your first guide and how to make sure they’re strategic for your brand. Be sure to stick around ’till the end where we’ll be sharing how to get your videos into your guide!
What Are Instagram Guides?
Have you ever been on someone’s Instagram page, and you know they have the answers to your question, or they have content around it, but you just can’t find it. That’s where guides come in handy for organising your most frequently asked questions and your best content into one place for people to easily find. Just like highlights are made for storing your best Instagram stories content, guides are the perfect place for organising your best products, locations, or posts.
Let’s first cover what are Instagram Guides? They’re essentially a collection, a folder of your content or products or places that can be stored under a little tab on your profile. So they live on your profile but they also can be shared via DMs or to your stories. And you also can discover product guides on the shopping tab. Instagram Guides were initially created for wellness brands to create mental health resources but now it’s available to all account types.
The Benefits of Instagram Guides
One of the benefits of utilising guides is people can find the answers to their frequently asked questions, or they’re looking for content related to certain topics or categories. They can easily find it on that tab in your profile which really makes your content more evergreen, and it doesn’t get lost in your grid.
Three Types of Instagram Guides
Now let’s break down, what are the three main types of guides you can create? And you have to choose just one, you can’t mix and mingle them.
So Places are utilising the location tag or feature inside Instagram. As you see in this example, this is a travel blogger that’s sharing small businesses local to her space. So this is really great for businesses that are location dependent or for travel brands.
Product guides are specifically for linking to shoppable products that are within Instagram shopping. So you can actually discover new guides when you use this product feature.
And the last type is posts. So this is taking existing feed posts on your Instagram or posts that you have saved from other accounts.
It’s important to understand that whether you’re doing places, products, or posts, all of these can include your own content or someone else’s posts.
Post guides are probably going to be the one that you utilise the most. Because you can use them for a few different ways. You can use them for educating and giving really quick tips, you can also use it for sharing user-generated content from your customers or clients, or you can use them to tell a story by sharing multiple posts in a row in your guides.
Places Guide Ideas for Businesses
So we want to give you three ideas on how your business can utilise guides. And let’s just give concrete examples. If you’re a store, a restaurant, or a service provider that serves a specific location you can utilise the places feature for kind of making a guide on where you can go for your shoot, where else to visit when they go to your location, or where you can host your event.
Product Guide Ideas for Businesses
If you have a physical product there’s two ways that you can utilise guides. One is by actually tagging your products in a product guide so people can easily shop what they want. And this is a really great opportunity to kind of make a gifting guide, not only for holidays but if people are just getting introduced to your brand.
Another option, if you have a product, is by organising all of your user generated content. So go and save all of your customer’s photos and organise those into a guide.
If you have a product you want to use guides to show people how to use your product. So if you’re selling clothing this is great for a look book. Or if you sell cookware you can use it for demonstrating recipes.
Post Guide Ideas for Businesses
As for service providers, this is your opportunity to position yourself as an expert. If you’re creating tutorials on your feed this is a great opportunity to organise all of those in a how to guide, so people can binge all of your tutorials. And don’t forget to break down your services so if you have posts related to what you offer, your different packages and customer testimonials, add those to a guide.
How to Create an Instagram Guide
Now I’m going to show you how to create your first guide.
So you’re going to tap the Create a New Post button and you’re going to see the guides icon.
Then you’re going to choose which type of guide you want to create. In this example, we’re going to create a post guide.
So when you go to create your post guide you’re going to see the option to access your saved posts or your own posts. So just tap to select all of the posts you want to include in this guide.
Selecting a Cover for Guides
Then you’re going to tap next and you’re going to have the options to create the title and the cover for your guide. While you can’t upload your own cover like you can for IGTV or reels, when you’re changing your cover you’ll have the option to choose from your posts, your saved posts, and all the posts that you’ve already compiled in your guide. And Instagram portrait posts work perfectly for those guide cover dimensions. Our favourite thing to choose for guide covers is either an infographic or a high quality photo. You just want to choose whatever is going to be the best preview in your guide or what explains what the guide is about.
Creating Titles and Descriptions for Guides
For each section of your guide, you’ll also have the option to add a title or a description. All descriptions are optional, but they’re really great for adding even more context to the posts that you’re including in your guide. With the title of the actual guide you essentially want to summarise what it’s about. And you kind of want to think of this as like a blog title or a newsletter subject line.
Editing and Publishing Guides
You’ll also have the option to reorder your posts. And you can do this after you’ve published it as well, if you’re ever adding in new content.
And then you’re going to tap next to either publish your guide, or to save it as a draft to post it later. You’ll also have the opportunity to preview your guide to see what it’s going to look like once it’s published.
Once you’ve shared your guide there’s an option to add posts in the future. So as you start to expand on that topic get more questions, create more content, be sure that you’re updating your guides.
Now that you’re starting to utilise guides in your content strategy, we’re going to show you a few shifts on how you think about what you post on Instagram.
Tips for Guide Creation
You can think of your content in two different ways. Evergreen content, which is content that’s not going to go out of date once you add it to a guide and it’s always going to be relevant to your target audience. Or we have seasonal content, which is really great for your launches, your campaigns, or even holiday gift guides. Both of those content types are really great. And you want to be intentional when thinking of those for the guides you’re going to want to create in the future.
Let’s say you have a big topic idea. Instead of putting it all into one post, break it down into posts over a month or a few weeks and then you can create a series around it in your guides. And you can utilise guides to add even more value for your own audience by including content from other creators and brands. So you can essentially stay in your lane and you don’t have to talk about topics that you’re not an expert on. It’s important to note that Instagram will notify people when their content is added to a guide. So it’s a great way to collaborate.
How to Share Videos to Your Guides
If you’re utilising videos in your content strategy but you didn’t post them to your feed, there’s an easy way that you can still add them to your guides. Go to the video that you want to add, tap the three dots, and save the video. So then when you go to add that post to your guide it’s the first thing under your saved posts!
And if you want more content creation tips on how to create better content for your guides, stay tuned, and check out more of our Instagram for Business posts!