A Look at Instagram Guides

Instagram Guides have been around for a while already, and we’re well past due on covering them. Better late than never, I suppose? Anyway, let’s not waste any more time and get right into what Guides are and how you can use them in tandem with Instagram influencers for your marketing campaigns.

What’s the story behind Instagram Guides?

Instagram released its Guides feature back in May 2020, and the initial rollout was specifically for wellness content. According to Instagram’s press release, Guides came about as a way to provide meaningful content to people struggling during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Instagram stated, “We’ll enable creators to connect with expert organizations to share resources during this time, including tips on how to look after your well-being, maintaining connection with others or managing anxiety or grief.”

A picture of Instagram Guides from the company's initial press release.

The feature has since opened up to all users. Even someone with just a few hundred followers can create a Guide.

What is an Instagram Guide?

The biggest difference between Guides and other Instagram content formats is that Guides are scrollable. They allow you to curate a collection of related photo and video content, as well as add titles and captions to each.

To access Guides, simply look for the Guides tab on an Instagram profile. You’ll find it where you find the other Instagram content types like posts, IGTV, and Reels.

A screen capture of Instagram showing where to find Guide content.

Now that the Guides feature has been unlocked for all users, you’ll find them being used in all kinds of sectors. In addition to the original wellness Guides, we can now find Guides related to fashion, beauty, sports, food and more.

How to create an Instagram Guide

As I said above, anyone can now create a Guide. To do so:

  1. Go to your profile page within Instagram, find the + in the upper right hand corner and click it. 
  2. From the Create Menu, select Guide.
  3. Select which type of Guide you’d like to create: Places, Products or Posts.
  4. Add the content of your choice, titles, and a cover photo.
  5. Share!

Screencaps from Instagram showing how to create an Instagram Guide.

The three Guide types are each a bit different:

 

  • Places lets you recommend a list of places, whether near or far, and feature posts that represent them. 
  • Products lets you recommend products you like. You can feature products from your posts or Wishlist, or you can choose to highlight products from other IG accounts and their shops.
  • Posts lets you create a collection of content from your posts, as well as any posts you’ve saved.

Each of these Guide types has different applications in influencer marketing, so it’s up to you to play around with them and see which is the best fit for your brand.

How can you use Instagram Guides?

Instagram Guides can be used in a variety of ways. The scrollable list format is perfect for any type of content that comes in a collection or a how-to format. Think capsule collections, DIY projects, fit guides, skincare… 

To get a better sense, let’s look at how actual brands are currently using Instagram Guides.

Everlane

San Francisco-based fashion brand Everlane uses Guides to highlight different collections of its products. One standout guide solves a real paint point for many women: what to expect from the company’s different fits of jeans.

A screen capture of an Instagram Guide created by fashion brand Everlane.

The denim guide features influencers of different sizes and statures to show how each fit of jeans compares and contrasts with the others. The products are also linked to let customers easily shop their favorite style.

Tip: Notice the bookmark icon next to the tagged products. Clicking this will add that item to your Instagram Wishlist.

Lush Cosmetics

Unsure what to get your loved ones for Christmas, their birthdays, or in this case, Valentine’s Day? Gift guides can help! Here, we can see an Instagram Guide created by cosmetics brand Lush to help people pick out gifts perfect for February 14th.

A screenshot of an Instagram Guide by cosmetics brand Lush.

You can feature influencers as the models in your gift guides. Or, go a step further and recruit an influencer to create their own Guide, chock full of their favorite products from your brand.

Crate & Barrel

Christmas was a bit duller this past year for most, as many people were stuck at home and isolated from their family and friends. More time at home means more time for domestic projects, like baking cookies.

A screenshot of an Instagram Guide created by home decor brand Crate & Barrel.

The home decor brand sourced recipes from different food influencers and served them all up in one tasty Instagram Guide. 

Visit Scotland

@visitscotland is the Instagram account for the national tourism board of Scotland. As the paper travel guides of the past just don’t have the same popularity they once used to, an Instagram travel Guide is a better fit, especially for younger travelers.

A screencap of an Instagram Guide from tourism brand Visit Scotland.

Visit Scotland collaborated with Ailidh Forlan (@PlateExpectations), a Scottish food influencer. For this Guide, Ailidh traveled all around Scotland to find the country’s best street food, and then she reported back to fill us in. 

Conclusion

These are just a few examples of how brands can use Instagram Guides to expand their influencer marketing content. But the sky’s really the limit with respect to how your brand wants to use the feature. So if you haven’t fiddled around yet with Instagram Guides, get fiddling! And if you need to find influencers to help you create content for those Guides, remember that Heepsy’s always got your back!

Kate works on the Marketing team at Heepsy as a content writer. When she's not online she can be found traveling or trying out a new recipe.
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