Creating long-form content is an incredible way to engage with people online and offer them a rewarding experience. Isn’t it?
Believe it or not, many people crave meatier content. But how can you create long stories for your Instagram audience?
Just sit tight because I have got news for you!
Instagram has launched a new feature called ‘Instagram Guides’ that enables businesses to present longer-form content to their audiences.
Because so many people still don’t know about it, I decided to come up with this post that will explain everything Instagram Guides, how they work, and how you can create one.
Launched in 2010, Instagram has been disrupting the social media scene like never before. Facebook-owned photo-sharing app completely reshaped the way people share their visual stories.
While Instagram enables users to share video content, its prime focus has always been static visual experiences that are exciting and shareable. And that’s where businesses often struggle to find the right context.
We know Instagram is not a very ideal place to showcase long-form content. Brands often have to be a little creative to deliver their lengthy messages.
Instagram Guides is one of Instagram’s notable efforts to enable long-form content.
As an influencer, coach, or entrepreneur, you can now easily use your existing content and create guides, tips, recommendations, and other cool stuff for your audience on Instagram. This means the freedom to put forward more in-depth content directly on the platform.
Let’ get started and explore almost everything about Instagram Guides and how they can be beneficial to your business!
What Are Instagram Guides?
There was no such thing as Instagram Guides until the mid of 2020 when the platform launched this feature. Initially, it was only limited to the health and wellness industry.
However, Instagram extended this feature to all users in November.
It was a successful attempt to help brands and individual users create single resources around different topics or products.
For example, a health coach could create a guide, let’s say, “tips on improving mental health” and combine all the relevant posts into one guide.
Do you have Instagram posts that you could use to create comprehensive guides? I am sure you do. You can not only group together your own Instagram stories but also include content from other users.
Still unable to wrap your head around the idea of Instagram Guides? Let me help you out!
Let’s say you run a business that offers three different products or services.
Now, if you want to highlight a product or service, you can take all of your published Instagram posts related to that product or service and turn them into an individual album or a single resource.
Wondering how it’s helpful for your audience?
If they need to learn more about one of your products or services, they would have everything available in a single guide - no need to scroll through all of your posts to find more information about something particular.
It’s a very useful way to publish content on Instagram. From your audience’s perspective, Instagram Guides is a new way to discover content.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, marketer, or run a B2C brand, there are so many creative ways you can curate your Instagram content in a way that makes things easier for your audience.
With these guides, you have more possibilities to promote your brand.
Cosmetics brands can create step-by-step makeup guides. Retailers can use guides to provide their customers a catalog for DIY hacks or gifting ideas. Marketers could come up with actionable marketing guides and so on.
No matter what your business is all about, there must be a way to improve your Instagram experiences with guides.
After all, you want your audience to stay on your content longer and learn more about your business.
How Do Instagram Guides Work?
Not sure how Instagram Guides works?
Since you are reading about Instagram Guides, I think it would be fair to assume that you already have an Instagram account.
Where can you find Instagram guides?
Well, if you just want to see some great Instagram guides from your favorite brands, just go to their profile and you’ll see four to six icons there depending on what you do: Posts, Reels, Guides, IGTV, and Tagged.
Just click on guides (newspaper icon) to see all the Instagram guides.
You probably won't see guides on most Instagram profiles because it is still a new feature and many people have not started utilizing the new Instagram feature.
So many businesses still have to discover how valuable this feature can be. But I am sure you will be able to see more and more guides down the road.
Before we learn how to create an Instagram guide, let’s take a look at different types of them. It will help you use the right type for your business or personal brand.
What Are the Types of Instagram Guides?
Instagram offers three options for Instagram guides:
If you want to create a guide for a local audience, Places would be an ideal one because it will allow you to highlight user-generated content that showcases your business location.
When you go with the Places option, Instagram will display all content tagged with that location.
Businesses like retail stores and restaurants have a physical location. They might have some location-based tips for their audience.
Or, let’s say you’re a local influencer and you travel a lot, Places is where you create things like tour guides and restaurant recommendations, or a list of hidden gems off the beaten path. For example, one of your guides may highlight the top 5 fast-food restaurants in a town.
This type of guide enables you to put together Instagram posts related to a single product or service. Just like the Red Bull Products Guide I mentioned earlier in the post.
Go with the Products Guide if you want to feature a specific product.
After selecting Products as the guide type, Instagram will ask you to select the shop and product. Remember, you can feature only one product per guide.
Besides, in the Product guides, users can see featured products and buy them right from Instagram Shopping.
Did you notice that Instagram Guides is also a great way to re-use your old content in a more organized and meaningful way?
Next comes the Posts Guides which allow you to curate previous or saved posts you want to recommend in the guide. In this case, you will assemble old posts on a topic and create an entirely new piece of content.
If you want to add content from other accounts to your Instagram guide, you need to add them to your Instagram saved content.
You can include up to 30 posts to compose a single guide on Instagram.
These guide types have been designed to meet content creators’ varying needs.
For example, if you like to tell great stories or provide guidance on a subject, the Posts guide type is ideal. Likewise, The Products guides are designed for businesses that sell products online.
Since anyone can use your content to curate a list of products, tips, or recommendations, Instagram guides open up a new door for influencer partnerships.
It would be of immense value if like-minded brands or influencers start adding your posts to their list of recommended products.
How To Create An Instagram Guide
So, are you ready to use Instagram posts to create great guides for your audience?
Let me show you how to do it in a few simple and easy steps.
Step 1: Choose Your Guide Type
We have already talked about different types of Instagram guides. So, first of all, you have to decide what type of guide you would like to create.
Find and tap the + icon in the upper-right corner of your Instagram profile.
This will take you to the “Create” page where you can create a bunch of different stuff from stories to guides. You have to select “Guide” from the Create menu.
In case you don’t find the option to add a guide, just go to an Instagram profile that has a guide and open it. If you scroll to the bottom of the guide, you will find the option to create your own guide.
The next step is to choose the guide type:
What type of guide do you want to create?
Let’s say you want to create a Posts guide. Now, you have to choose all the posts you want to add to your guide.
You can even choose videos and create Instagram guides that are completely interactive!
Step 2: Format
The next main step is to format your guides.
Once you have selected the guide type and the content for your guide, what you have to do is tap on the ‘Next’ button. This will take you to the formate page where you can add all the details.
Here is what you need to do to format your Instagram guide:
- Add a clear and enticing title for your guide. You can’t proceed unless you add a title.
Add a description right under the “Add Title” option to tell your audience what your guide is all about. However, this is optional.
Change the cover photo for your guide if you want to.
There is no way you can add a custom image for the cover photo section. So, choose one from your saved posts of feed.
Each post needs to have a title - Instagram wouldn’t pull up captions from the posts you want to feature.
If you want to add more posts to your guide, just click on the “+Add Posts” button at the bottom of the format page.
You can delete or rearrange posts in your guide. If you want to remove a post, tap on “Remove From Guide”.
If you want to change the order of the posts, tap “Reorder Posts” and just drag posts to rearrange them.
All good? Tap Next to proceed.
Steps 3: Publish
Before you go ahead and publish the guide, make sure to preview your guide to see if everything is spot on. The “Preview” button is below the cover image.
Ready to publish?
Just tap on Share.
You can also save your guide as a draft in case you want to add or formate more stuff later.
A newspaper-like icon will appear on your profile once you publish your first guide.
Now people can view and share your guides. But there is one more thing you should be doing.
Step 4: Promote
The final step is to tell the world that you have some pretty cool content in the form of Instagram Guides.
Instagram guides are shareable. You or anyone who views your guide can share it. Also, Instagram allows you to share guides to your stories or via direct message on Instagram.
It’s simple to share a guide.
All you have to do is tap on that paper airplane icon in the upper-right corner. If you choose to share it via direct message, you have the option to include a message. This is where you should tell why people should view your guide.
Don’t hesitate to share your great content on Instagram.
Final Thoughts + Resources
Instagram Guides are yet another incredible technique for you to build your following and boost conversions. It enables you to introduce long-form content to your Instagram audience.
Use them to deliver shopping opportunities directly to your audience through Instagram Shopping, showcase your business location, or deliver educational posts.
I can’t wait to create more guides on my Instagram profile to inspire my audience.
What about you? How are you going to use this amazing feature?