News and insights • Posted on 10 December 2020

Introducing Instagram Guides

Instagram launched its Guides feature in May, allowing selected creators, public figures and organisations to promote wellbeing and mental health tips throughout the first lockdown. Now, it’s being made available to everyone.

Instagram has proven itself to be much more than a fad, influencing day-to-day lives and attracting more and more businesses to join the world’s largest photo-sharing platform.

Here, we explain how the Guides feature works, and highlight what it could mean for your business moving forward.

What are Instagram Guides?

This new feature allows you to bundle several posts into one long-form piece, interweaved with punchy, descriptive text. For all intents and purposes, it looks and functions much like a blog post – but with less text and more of the stunning imagery that Instagram is famous for. Currently, there are three types of Guides for users to create their content:

  • Places: a user recommends places in a city and beyond.

  • Products: a user can advertise and highlight top products.

  • Posts: a user can group and share previous posts.

This is a great opportunity for SMEs that don’t have a website, as they can display their content/shops all in one place.

Guiding consumers

The initial focus of Instagram Guides was to provide users with reliable and useful content around well-being through a difficult time. One of the first, and best, examples of this would be Heads Together’s guides to mental wellbeing and self-care. According to Sprout Social, 70% of US consumers want to see their favoured brands taking a stand on issues that are important to them. This means that to make the most of Instagram, you really should be looking to create content that is socially relevant to your target audience.

Using Guides for promotion

The 2020 Sprout Social Index: Above and Beyond found that 90% of users buy from brands they follow on social media, making it an extremely valuable place for any business to be. Many influencers and consumers, both of which you want on your side, prefer Instagram for its vivid visuals and endless inspiration. Previously, promoting a product on Instagram may have involved a picture or video with an accompanying description, hoping to evoke an eventual enquiry of purchase. Instagram Guides now allows you to take your customers on a journey through a range of products, or features of an individual product, adding brief, on-tone text to link the imagery and reinforce your brand. You can even delve deeper into a product or group many together for an on-trend topic.

Instagram Guides could be the next big thing for businesses of all sizes, allowing them to provide long-form content with a commercial twist. Need more inspiration? Find out how businesses can get the most value from Instagram.

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Written by Alice MacLaverty

Resident wordsmith Alice is dedicated to creating top-quality content that turns heads, builds audiences, gets clicks, and makes money.

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