Is it just me, or is Instagram pumping out new features like crazy? In just the last few months we’ve added Reels and now Guides. We all know Reels was Instagram’s answer to TikTok. Reels are fun, and a great way to extend your reach. If you aren’t sure how to use Reels for your business, read this blog post.
But what about Guides? What’s the deal with Guides? I have fun with Reels, but I am really excited about Guides. If you are creating high-value content on Instagram (spoiler, you should be), Guides are a great way to organize content you’ve already created. Let’s get into more about what Guides are and how you can use them for your business.
What Are Guides?
Guides were initially created to allow the sharing of health and wellness information during the start of the pandemic. They were only available to a select number of health and wellness creators for sharing resources around physical and mental health, as well as staying connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, guides are available to everyone and allow users to follow a curated flow of posts with commentary — which is great for step-by-step guides, tips, and recommendations.
How Can Businesses Utilize Instagram Guides
Here are some reasons why Guides are great for business:
- You Don’t Have To Create New Content: I talk a lot about repurposing content you’ve already created, and that is exactly what Guides is. You are curating and organizing content you’ve already created.
- They Are Easy To Create: Piggybacking off the point above, because you aren’t creating any new content, Guides are really quick and easy to create.
- Longer Shelf Life: Guides are a great way to get more leverage out of your content and gives them a longer shelf life. Generally an Instagram post has about a 24-48 shelf life. That means the great content you create just sits in your feed without being seen unless you go back and reshare it to Stories, etc. With Guides, rather than getting lost in your grid, your Instagram content becomes more evergreen.
- Be Featured In Other Users’ Guides: When a user creates a guide, they can add both their own posts and posts they’ve SAVED. That means people can add your content to their guides, giving your content a chance to reach a bigger audience. This is another motivator for creating high value content.
- Organize Your Content Strategically: Get the same questions all the time? Create a guide for FAQs. Want to highlight products or content? Create a guide based on your top calls to action. Have an area of expertise you want to highlight? Showcase your knowledge with a guide.
Where Are Guides Found
You will find Guides on a user’s profile above their grid. If they have created guides, you will see a little book icon. Click that to see their collection of Guides. If you don’t see that icon, the user has not created a Guide.
When viewing a Guide, you can see posts and videos that the creator has curated, paired with helpful tips and advice. If you want to learn more about a specific post, you can tap on the image or video to view the original Instagram post.
How To Create a Guide
Creating a guide is simple. Here are the steps:
- Go to your profile and click the + button
- Select Guide from the options
- Choose your Guide type
- Select posts you want to include in the Guide
- Add a title and description to the Guide and each post in the guide
- Publish and share your guide
Once you’ve created your Guide you can share it to your Stories or also copy the link and use it in your link in bio, email it to your list, or add it to your website.
What Kind of Guides Should You Create?
As with everything, think about your ideal customer, first. What content are they looking for? Here are a few places to start:
- Start with Insights. You know I love to dig into Insights. Pull up your Insights and scroll to “content you’ve shared”. Click there so you can see all of your posts. Filter by the posts with the most Saves and then look at the ones with the most Shares. Those are a great place to start because your audience has already told you they find that content valuable.
- What topics do you talk about most? Do you have a few topics you share about frequently? Create Guides for each of those topics.
- What products or services do you want to promote? Don’t forget about your overall business goals. Do you have a lead generator you want people to download? Or a product or service you promote often in your feed? Curate all those into one Guide.
- Introduce yourself or your team: Have you created introduction or “get to know me” posts? Add those to a Guide so when new followers are checking you out, they can quickly learn about you and your team. This is a great way to highlight your personal brand and your team if you have one.
- Answer FAQs: Do you get the same questions over and over? Wish you could send someone to a specific post that answers their question? Now you can!