Instagram has been an extremely popular social media platform since its initial launch in 2010. In fact, 26.3% of the world’s 5.27 billion active mobile phone users have access to a personal Instagram account. With such great engagement, Instagram is consistently releasing new features to boost user experience and help influencers gain more traction on their platforms. Netinfluencer explains everything you need to know about Instagram Guides and how to use them effectively.
What Is an Instagram Guide?
In May 2020, Instagram announced the arrival of Guides. This new feature aimed to bring creators and audiences together to discover new recommendations and gain valuable information on important topics. Instagram first promoted Wellness Guides as a way to support users during the COVID-19 crisis.
Since then, Instagram Guides have been an integral feature on the platform and allow influencers to build an array of long-form content with ease. These Guides give influencers the opportunity to share an assortment of relevant photos and videos with their audience. As such, they have helped many creators become thought leaders in their respective fields.
Instagram Guides can be categorized into three different types:
- Place: Allows users to select a location from a list of places and provide five relevant posts surrounding that area.
- Products: Users have access to a range of items from the Instagram Shop and can provide a review or description of one product per guide.
- Posts: This is a more general approach that allows users to select photos and videos from their own gallery. Users will have to save the content to Instagram first and are allowed to upload up to 30 posts in one Guide.
Why Should You Use Them?
Instagram Guides act as miniature blog articles, providing influencers with the space to express their opinions on a collection of different topics. They can also be used to recommend products, restaurants, and services. In turn, this feature is able to condense all of the information found on a conventional web page into a more digestible format.
If you are working on a specific brand collaboration, Instagram Guides are a great way to explain the campaign to your audience. This feature allows users to link affiliated brands and products, making it easier for audiences to discover the company you are working with. As such, this has the potential to boost engagement and can offer more brand opportunities in the future.
Product Guides also allow users to purchase items directly from the Instagram Shop. This is extremely beneficial if you own a small business and are looking to boost your online sales. The fact that audiences can learn more about your product range without leaving Instagram can help to encourage them to actually finalize their purchases. Consequently, this can eliminate incomplete sales and give your business more financial stability.
How To Create an Instagram Guide
- Open the latest version of the Instagram app.
- Go to your profile and tap the + symbol at the top right corner.
- From the ‘Create New’ tab, select ‘Guide’.
- Select either Places, Products, or Posts.
- Add the relevant footage and text to your Guide.
- When complete, publish the Guide to your profile.
- You can also share your Guides to your Story for added visibility.
What Makes a Successful Instagram Guide?
Due to the versatility of Instagram Guides, it can be difficult to determine the best creative practices for this feature. Described below are just a few tips that can help you increase engagement on your Instagram Guides.
Solve an issue for your audience
Instagram Guides can cover a wealth of topics but that does not mean that they should not follow a sense of direction. Like other guides, this feature should be used to educate and inspire your audience, giving them a small glimpse into the working of your industry. For example, if you are operating in the beauty niche, try creating a Products Guide that lists your favorite items that you use on a regular basis. This can help to show brands that you are experienced in your industry and can also communicate effectively with a diverse audience.
Use optimized pictures and copy
It is no surprise that social media responds well to SEO and Instagram Guides are no different. Relevant and trending keywords can help make your Guides more visible when audiences are searching for content in that niche. Therefore, your work has a higher chance of being viewed and engaged with, especially with regard to organic traffic. Images are also impacted by SEO. When uploading images to your Guide, the pictures will be edited into a 1:1 format, which is the standard size across Instagram. However, cover images use a 3:4 format so it is important that you use images that will fit this size effectively.
Provide educational resources
Data from FutureLearn informs us that 37% of Genz and 22% of Millennials use platforms like Instagram to educate themselves on prominent socio-economic issues. Therefore, Instagram Guides can be an effective way to raise awareness of a topic you truly care about. You could use a Place Guide to describe LGBTQ+ safe spaces during Pride Month or promote businesses who offer veterans discounts. Educational content helps to make social media a more viable space and encourages others to engage in positive practices across multiple platforms.
Many influencers have built an extremely large audience during their time in the Creator Economy. This can lead to audience members asking a lot of questions, particularly about what type of content they produce and more personal details such as their country of residence. By creating a guide that focuses on these frequently asked questions, you are better able to connect with your audience in a more controlled way. They can also be used in a more professional way, informing potential brand partners on the best way to contact you or what your standard rates are.
Create content surrounding your niche
As an influencer, it can be hard to break into your desired niche, especially if it is over-saturated. Instagram Guides are a perfect way to explore a range of different niches and discover which industry works best for you. Although Guides are considered to be long-form content, they can offer influencers the chance to experiment with various industries in short bursts. Thus, influencers can diversify their content strategy whilst also discovering new areas into which they can expand into.
Instagram Guides provide more insight into the growth of long-form content as well as Instagram itself. This intuitive feature can be used to express your knowledge of your niche and help create successful brand collaborations all within the confines of one platform. To discover more about boosting engagement on Instagram, visit our website.