December 8, 2020

Instagram Guides – How Your Small Biz Can Use Them!

What are Instagram Guides?


Instagram recently launched a new feature called “Guides”, which is essentially a way for users to aggregate content into one place (called a Guide). 



Individuals and businesses can gather, group and share tips, resources, guides, recommendations, product info, behind-the-scenes looks, team insights—whatever types of content best serve their audience—and create a Guide for each theme. This makes it easy for your audience to quickly find and view all relevant posts within a Guide, rather than scrolling through all of your content!


Think boards on Pinterest!


A Guide can include text, photos, galleries, and videos to illustrate the topic at hand. It’s Instagram’s approach to blog writing and longer form content (yay!).


Initially, the feature was launched to a select number of health and wellness advocates to help users struggling through the pandemic. Creators made Guides such as “Our Guide to Kindness” or “Mental Health & COVID-19”. 




After seeing a positive community response, Instagram expanded the feature to all users in hopes that it will be “easier to find, curate and share the product, places and posts you love from your favourite accounts.” 


This means great things for businesses!


How do Guides work?


When viewing a Guide, you can see posts and videos that the creator has curated with their own tips, commentary, or advice. The posts in Guides can come from the creator or from other Instagram users. If you want to learn more about a specific post, just tap on the image or video to view the original Instagram post. You can also share a Guide to your story by tapping the share button.


Guide Types Explained 


There are 3 types of Guides you can choose from: Places, Products, or Posts.


Unsure which Guide type to create? Here’s how to decide: 


1. Instagram Guide to Places


Choose Places when you want to recommend or create travel guides for places in your city, country, or anywhere! This is a great way to spotlight local businesses (including your own), create trip itineraries, or recommend spots to visit. 




2. Instagram Guide to Products


Choose Products if you are curating a list of products through the Instagram Shop feature. If you want to create condensed shopping guides or lists using products in your store or other stores, pick this Guide type.




3. Instagram Guide to Posts


Choose Posts to share a collection of posts. These posts can be from your own feed, or posts you’ve saved. This is useful for sharing tips, thoughts, resources on a certain topic. 




Ready to create your first Guide?


Let’s get started in a few easy steps:


1. Open Instagram and head to your profile. 



2. Tap the “+” icon in the top right corner and select “Guide” from the menu. 




3. Pick your Guide type – Places, Products, or Posts. 



4. Select the locations, products or posts (your own or saved posts from other profiles) you want to add and click “Next”.



5. At the top – add a title, a description about the guide and add a cover photo that compliments it.



6. As you scroll down, add titles and a little blurb for each post in your guide. This is a good place to explain why you picked each location, product or post to feature. 



7. Click “Next”.



8. Look it over. If you love it – tap “Share” to save your guide.




Good job! You created your first Guide!



Need A LIttle Inspiration?


Here are 7 easy Guides you can create as a small business right now!


1. Feature your amazing team by gathering up existing posts into one guide.


2. Go into lengthy detail featuring your core product or service.


3. If using Instagram shop, curate shopping lists based on season, departments, interests, etc.


4. Share client testimonials from old posts to build your brand using word of mouth. 


5. Share lists on a specific topic to better serve your customers.


6. Feature local businesses you support and love. 


7. Share posts or videos for DIY projects or home improvement.  


Now That You’re in the Loop! 


Guides can be a handy tool for every business to use. Take a few minutes to create one that is relevant to your industry and get creative with them.


In a nutshell, it’s a new and easy way to educate your audience, find inspiration, sell more, and get recommendations!


Wanna see how we’re using Guides? 


Check out our guides on the Blue Moose Media Instagram page.