Instagram is making some big moves. Whether it’s rolling out IGTV, Reels, or Instagram Shop, the powerhouse social media app will not stop dreaming up new ways for audiences to consume media. It’s latest feature, Instagram Guides, allows users to curate a list of Instagram content for their followers.
Guides rolled out in May of 2020 on a limited basis for accounts offering COVID-19 resources. Thankfully however, use of Guides was expanded to all users this November, giving marketers everywhere the opportunity to quickly and easily repurpose Instagram content in new + engaging formats. There’s really no downside to keeping pace with the platform and jumping on this Instagram Guides train. As our startup marketing agency knows, it’s important to stay on the cutting edge in a competitive world.
That’s why we took a deep dive into these “Guides” in order to learn exactly what they are and how you can use them to supercharge your content. Here’s everything we know:
Guides are Instagram’s latest approach to native content, allowing you to string existing posts together into a longer, more cohesive narrative. This means you can revamp and reframe old content to keep your audience’s eyes on you for longer than the amount of time it takes to scroll past a single post.
From our experience as a startup marketing agency, we know this is big news. When it comes to content marketing, we can attest to the huge time-saving benefits of being able to add value to existing assets instead of reinventing the wheel every time we want to put new ones out there.
And it’s okay if you don’t already have your own extensive library of content. Guides are flexible–you can use several different types of Instagram content in your Guide. The platform offers three different types:
Users can click any individual post in your guide to be taken to the original post. And on a Products Guide in particular, choosing to learn more about a particular product will direct users either to your Instagram Shop or your website. Creating any one of these Guides is a quick and painless process:
Navigate to your Instagram homepage and click the plus sign to create a new post. In the dropdown menu, choose “Guide.”
Choose whether you want to make a Places, Products, or Posts guide
Select content according to which Guide type you chose
Add a cover photo, titles, captions, and links (for Product Guides), as needed.
It’s that simple! And now that you’ve created one, there are plenty of ways your audience can discover your Guide.
Creating and sharing Guides is quick and easy, yet still incredibly valuable. Guides offer endless opportunities when it comes to making existing content exciting, especially since they can be edited and reshared any time you feel like making some tweaks.
Since Guides are such a versatile tool, they can work toward any kind of marketing goal. Guides give you plenty of options, whether it’s featuring products, sharing resources, or getting more eyes on your brand. The trick is finding out which type of marketing strategy works best for your particular business.
Whatever your brand’s story, Guides expand the possibilities for how you can tell it with your existing content. Check out how some brands are using Guides today:
Instagram Guides are still a relatively new feature, which means there’s low competition in this space for now. We’ve been having a blast keeping up with all the creative ways brands are capitalizing on this and turning their old content into new assets. Here are some of our favorites:
In a guide we coffee enthusiasts find particularly informative, NYC lifestyle publication Gear Patrol uses product recommendations for upgrading your morning coffee ritual to show off their expertise in city living.
And we love to see this clever move by furniture + decor store West Elm coming in with a yearly roundup of their most liked bedrooms. This Guide lets them both inspire customers and pin their best performing content at the same time:
The Traveling Child family travel blog uses the Places Guide to share valuable information about tourist locations in Morocco. We’re packing our bags!
Sustainable clothing brand Alohas is killing the game too. They’re keeping the needs of their followers in mind by using a Product Guide to make all their black footwear easier to find. After all, black goes with everything.
And finally, how could this mouthwatering chocolate recipe guide from Buzzfeed Tasty not make our list?
These Guides are a great example of how different businesses are making Guides work for their brands and resources. Whether you leverage other people’s content for your brand message like Gear Patrol, or refresh old content with a new theme like West Elm, you’ll have no trouble getting a bang for your buck with Guides (especially since they’re free).
Guides just make sense for our startup marketing agency, because we’re storytellers at heart. Making a Guide is really just a fun and easy way to find a new story hiding in existing content. And of course, the other thing about marketers is that we love getting our hands dirty and exploring new trends as they come along.
If you’re thinking about joining the party and making your own Guide, just shoot us a message, and we’ll help you get started.
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