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Instagram Tips & Resources

7 Creative Ways Brands Can Use Instagram Guides

Updated on December 11, 2020
9 minute read

Looking to start using Instagram Guides for your business? From creating gift guides to offering resources, we're sharing 7 creative ways to use Instagram Guides.

Published December 11, 2020

Looking to start using Instagram Guides for your business?

From creating gift guides to offering resources, Instagram’s latest feature is a user-friendly, creative, and interactive way to share new (and old!) content with your audience.

Ready to jump in? We’re sharing 7 ways small businesses can use Instagram Guides:

What are Instagram Guides?

Guides are a brand new way to share and consume content on Instagram. Originally exclusive to a small group of health and wellness advocates and creators, it’s now available to everyone.

Instagram Guides allow users to scroll through a curated flow of interactive content – similar to a blog post (except without leaving Instagram!).

You can choose 3 different guide formats:

  • Places: Recommend places in your city and beyond

  • Products: Recommend your favorite products from your own shop or others

  • Posts: Recommend posts you’ve created or saved

To access Instagram Guides, visit an Instagram profile, and tap the new Instagram Guides icon on their page. If a profile doesn’t have the tab, it means they haven’t created any guides just yet.

From here, you can scroll through and browse through the user’s guides.

Looking for product guides? Explore new guides by tapping the Shop tab, and swiping over to “Explore Guides” in the top bar.

Ready to create your very own Instagram Guide? Check out our quick tutorial to learn everything you need to know!

Why Small Businesses Should Use Instagram Guides

If you’re active on Instagram, you’re probably sharing several times a week. That’s a lot of valuable content that could be forgotten about after it’s seen once!

Enter Instagram Guides: it’s time to maximize your Instagram content shelf life! Instead of leaving valuable content on your feed for people to search through themselves, make it easy for them and compile your posts together in the form of a guide.

When a user clicks on an individual post in a Guide, they’re directed back to the original post. Hello, evergreen content!

Instagram users are no stranger to long-form content, with IGTV and Instagram captions, but Guides bring a whole new spin to it on the app.

Instead of sharing a collection of posts on your stories (and having them disappear after 24 hours!) or rounding up products in a single carousel post, you can keep them organized in a dedicated place: the Instagram Guides tab.

In 20 minutes or less, you can curate your very own Instagram Guide and share it to your Instagram Story. The user-friendly process allows room for creativity and helps your audience consume your content in an easily digestible way.

Not only can users tap in to see the original post (or purchase the product) right from the Guide, but you can also add additional copy to further drive home your message.

Creating Instagram Guides are a great alternative to blog posts, especially during the holiday season or if you’re struggling to get traffic to your website.

Another benefit of using Instagram Guides? They are highly shareable!

One of the best ways to grow your Instagram following is creating sharable authentic content, and Instagram Guides can help facilitate that. If you create a guide that your audience finds valuable, they may feel inclined to share it on their Instagram Stories to their followers.

7 Creative Ways Brands Can Use Instagram Guides

  1. Gift Guides

  2. Offer Resources

  3. Product Highlights

  4. How-To Guides & Tips

  5. Travel Guides

  6. Roundups

  7. Answer FAQ

#1: Gift Guides

What better way to use Instagram Guides than to curate a gift guide?

Whether it’s the holidays or Mother’s Day, creating a gift guide is a great way to give your audience what they’re often looking for during that time: gift ideas.

In a few simple steps, you can curate an Instagram guide dedicated to your own products or a collection of products from other brands and small businesses.

Support small businesses and spotlight some of your favorites like @baileyjst did in her “SHOP LOCAL” Instagram Guide series. To make it as easy as possible, she organized her gift guides into different categories like “Home”, “Accessories”, “Skin + Beauty”, and “Wellness”.

Another great option is collaborating on a gift guide and offering a specific promo code for the featured products. See how Vancouver-based undies company @wearhuha curated a list of products from women-founded companies and offered their audience a specific discount:

#2: Offer Resources

Instagram originally introduced Guides as a way to spotlight helpful resources and wellness content. So it’s no surprise that this is one of the best ways to use Instagram Guides for business!

Take a look at how @afspnational created a Guide on “Mental Health Resources For The Black Community”.

Each one of the 15 posts directs their audience to helpful resources from their own page or accounts like @realdepressionproject and @inclusivetherapists.

Depending on what your brand or business is, you can collect a number of resources for any topic you’re passionate about. From a collection of Instagram tips and tricks to meditation resources, the sky’s the limit.

#3: Product Highlights

Using Instagram Guides to highlight your products is a great way to curate and organize content for your followers.

You can organize your products based on bestsellers, new releases, categories, or demographics.

Take sustainable fashion brand @alohas “Looking For Shoes in Black?” Guide for example. This is a short and snappy guide that is straight to the point. Their audience knows what they’re getting when they click!

Plus — their followers can easily click the products to purchase, creating a quick and smooth sales process.

#4: How-to Guides & Tips

Have you ever wanted to give your followers an extensive list of tips and tricks or an in-depth how-to guide? Now you can!

Businesses and creators alike are getting creative with the Instagram Guides feature. By curating these lists, you’re offering additional information that will hopefully inspire them to share your tips with their followers.

Take @jadedarmawangsa’s “How to Journal (My 15 min Exercise)” Guide for example.

This guide is an amazing resource for her followers who are looking to start journaling. Instead of putting these tips on her stories, Jade’s journaling exercise now lives under her guides tab *forever*.

Another great example is from @ifundwomen. Their guide, “Startup tips” is an incredible resource for their audience.

To increase the shelf life of the tips they share on their feed, @ifundwomen collected 13 of them and compiled them together in a  handy guide:

When a user clicks on a post in the Guide, it takes them back to the original post. You could start seeing high engagement on some of your past content — which is a good sign to the algorithm!

#5: Travel Guides

Instagram Guides are great for creating guides full of travel inspiration, local gems to visit, or hotel recommendations.

If you’re a travel brand or influencer who frequently travels, travel guides are the perfect way to use this new feature. You can compile your past posts in different locations and include some additional copy about each spot.

Let’s look at @christinagalbato for example. Her Guide “Where To Visit In Jordan” is a collection of 6 of her previous Instagram posts in each location.

Another great travel location Guide is from @thetravelingchild. Her “Two Weeks in Morocco” Guide features 12 posts, each offering a different helpful recommendation.

#6: Roundups

Monthly and yearly roundups are on trend, so why not create one using an Instagram Guide?

You can create product roundups, monthly favorites, or go as big as a yearly roundup!

At Later, we did just that. Check out our “Year in Review: The Biggest Social Media Moments of 2020” Guide:

The guide is compiled of the top 10 biggest social media moments of the year. While each post in the guide is sourced from other Instagram accounts, they’re each accompanied by on-brand copy written by the Later social media team.

Looking for a more simple approach? Look at @sooveritshop’s “November Faves” guide. As outlined in the Guide description, it’s a new feature where they’re sharing their “fave local and sustainable brands/products from the previous month.”

#7: FAQs

Whether you’re an influencer, content creator, or a small business owner, you likely receive an influx of questions in the DMs.

If there are frequently asked questions, it may be worth creating a guide dedicated to that topic.

See how @vestaireco did it. They created a “Care Guide” offering their audience “5 Ways to Keep Clothes Clean Without Washing”.

Instead of adding additional copy to the guide, they kept it simple, directing their followers to click on each post to learn more.

What is the Future of Instagram Guides?

Since Instagram Guides is a new feature, the creative options are endless and brands are only starting to tap into their potential.

It’s a good idea to jump on Instagram Guides while the competition is still low, especially since Instagram usually gives prominence to new features.

We predict brands and businesses jumping on the trend, and collaborating with influencers for paid partnership opportunities spotlighting certain products. Watch this space!

At the moment, there are no Instagram Guides analytics and users cannot save Guides. Unfortunately, this proves to be a bit of a time-kicker when you want to visit it again in the future. But as Guides take off, we expect to see in-depth analytics and a save button.

And, as more and more creators share Guides, keep an eye out for their own dedicated tab somewhere on the app.

Whether it’s expanding your Instagram posts’ shelf life, highlighting your products, or sharing resources there’s a creative opportunity waiting for you with Instagram Guides.

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