Instagram has become a favourite social media habitat for the majority of people. It has become a hub of entertainment, knowledge, business, promotions and networking.
Needless to state its popularity among the people. If we look at numbers, Instagram owns 1 Billion+ active monthly users. Another big surprising number happens to be the number of businesses on Instagram, which is around 25 Million+ as per the reports of Statista, a company that provides statistics and survey results headquartered in Germany.
These stats show that businesses are trusting Instagram for their growth. Branding and Marketing of businesses are happening online these days with the help of the Digital Marketing Strategy and Social Media Marketing strategy. When Social Media Marketing is considered, Instagram Marketing happens to be the prominent go-to for most brands, marketers and influencers. Brands are banking on this platform for their promotions to take advantage of the vast user base it has.
Whether you’re a freelancer or an entrepreneur, an influencer or a brand, this platform has a lot of opportunities for everyone regardless of their work background they belong to.
Instagram has been regularly adding updates to the platform to aid the user's needs. It was not long before Instagram introduced IGTV and the most discussed feature, Instagram Reels recently. As soon as Reels were introduced, they created hype among the public and were promoted widely by the platform as well. Just a couple of days back, Instagram rolled out a new feature named Instagram Guides. Earlier this year, Instagram guides were available only for the health and wellness advocates to spread awareness about the ongoing pandemic.
But recently, the Instagram Guides feature has been made available to all users. Moreover, Instagram Guides in India also have been rolled out earlier this week. If you are wondering how do I make an Instagram Guide, let’s have a quick walkthrough of how to use Guides.
How to Create Instagram Guides
Click on the + icon on your Instagram profile to create a new Guide similar to how you create a new Reel.
Select the Guides option from the menu that pops up.
You are presented with 3 options to create a Guide:
Places: Create a Guide for the places in your city, and also your favourite ones, including the restaurants, cafes, parks or any place.
Products: Recommend your favourite products that are available on the Instagram shop.
Posts: Create a Guide comprising any of your posts, and also the ones that you have saved from other creators.
After you select the ones that you wish to add, give a title to your Guide, add a cover photo, a title for each post that you include in the Guide and add an optional description for the Guide.
Finally, share the Guide or save it as a draft to publish later.
You can find the published Guides on your Instagram profile page where a new tab gets added along with the posts, IGTV, Reels and Tagged tabs.
Now that it’s clear how to share and access Guides, let me share an in-depth review of Instagram Guides. The foremost things that influence people on social media are likes and comments. But Instagram has not provided the feature of likes and comments on Guides, nor did it provide the insights. It gave an impression to people that Guides cannot expand their reach. But that’s not completely true. There are some underlying advantages to using Guides for brands, businesses, influencers and individuals. So, let’s find out what are the advantages of Instagram Guides.
ADVANTAGES OF INSTAGRAM GUIDES
1. Filling the Content Gap
Instagram is trying to make the platform a complete hub of the content of varied genres. You have the features like capturing images, and videos, beautifying them with effects and filters, adding short and long videos and messaging your friends. That makes it a complete hub. But something is still missing. Let’s find out what’s that? Generally speaking, what is content?
Content can be classified into four types: Images, Video, Audio and Texts.
Images: If you look at Instagram, images have always been the highlight of this platform. Images convey messages better, and that’s what leads Instagram to popularity.
Video: If video content is considered, we already know how popular Reels are with people these days. Even the IGTVs are doing good for longer videos, tutorials and interviews.
Audio: Speaking about audio, though Instagram doesn’t have a direct option to upload audios, you can upload your audios on an IGTV by having a static image and adding the audio to it making a video. Maybe witnessing the popularity of audio content, especially podcasts, Instagram may come up with audios too in the future.
Text: Now let’s speak about the text. Instagram allows you to add captions for your posts and descriptions for your IGTV and Reels but other than that there is no option to add long texts. Obviously, people try to add text to the images and also upload carousels of 10 images to convey information in the form of long texts. But most of the time, this may not suffice. Consider the long text tutorials you wish to share, or if you wish to share your blogs, there is no such option to do so. But with the introduction of Guides, you can conveniently add long texts and publish your long blogs supported with the related posts.
2. Additional Content Space for Bloggers and Writers
As mentioned above, with the Instagram Guides you can create blogs on this platform as an Instagram blog, and this comes as a great aid for the bloggers and writers. What bloggers usually do is that they share a gist of their blog or images from their blog on Instagram to promote it and then direct visitors to their blog outside the platform. But visitors usually don’t navigate outside the platform to an external space. They just consume the content on Instagram being satisfied with that. They don't move out unless and until if they are very much intrigued by the topic. With this limitation, bloggers are not able to exhibit their talent efficiently to visitors. This is not only with the bloggers but also with the writers, poets, authors and story writers.
But now you can share a couple of blogs or stories on this platform, and start building a community of interested readers here, who would then eventually navigate to your blog in an external space. This is a great marketing strategy for all bloggers and writers to drive traffic to their websites.
3. Efficient Marketing Strategy
We have highlighted the marketing strategy for bloggers and writers, but this marketing tactic can be useful for brands and businesses as well. Wondering how? What is one of the most prominent methods of marketing? Storytelling. Every brand tries to adopt storytelling to promote its products and services. Storytelling can be done efficiently with the Guides, and you can also include the best of your products or posts in the Guides for reference. By this method, people or potential clients would know more about your brand and products and can be easily influenced to buy your products or services. It is also helpful for the artists, freelancers, designers and everyone to give a holistic overview of their work. Doesn’t that sound to be a good marketing strategy?
4. Create Detailed Tutorials and How-to Guides
You can share detailed tutorials in various niches and how-to guides that add value to the visitors. You can share your insights on various topics, and also you can share others' posts on your Guide to add more points to the discussion or add your perspective to the post. The bigger topics that you would have included in multiple posts due to the length, can now be clubbed into a single Guide.
5. Curation of the Products by Influencers
Instagram influencers are often known to inspire the audience with the best products and services available in the market. They collaborate with brands to promote their products. For instance, consider a fashion influencer. If they wish to share a complete festive or party look including the outfit, makeup, footwear and accessories like watch, handbag and jewellery, the 10-images carousel may be insufficient, and they’ll have to add multiple posts and stories for the same.
When you break an individual topic into multiple stories or posts, continuity is missed and the visitors might lose interest. But with Instagram Guides, these multiple posts can be added to a single Guide, making it a complete guide of the entire look. This is not only for the fashion influencers but for other niches as well. Sponsored products of brands can be well promoted by influencers using Instagram Guides. Curation becomes easy and more detailed with Instagram Guides.
6. Pinning of Best Posts
"The first impression is the last impression". When a visitor comes to your page, the page must be well aligned such that visitors get a complete overview of your page in a couple of minutes. The best of your works/posts get lost among the other posts on your profile. To influence the visitors in one go, it would be good if you could pin the best of your works on the top of your profile.
Twitter enables users to pin the best of their posts on the top of the profile so that when a visitor visits their Twitter profile, they find the best ones at first.
Just like Twitter, what if you can pin posts on your Instagram profile?
Though Instagram does not allow you to pin posts, there are a couple of Instagram hacks to do it.
Wondering how to pin posts on Instagram? Hurray, I have got you covered!
There are two methods to pin posts on Instagram.
Highlights Method: Pin Posts on Instagram using Highlights
Add the post you want to pin to your Instagram story and make a highlight of that story. Highlights on the Instagram profile are a great way to show the visitors the best of your work. These highlights stay on top of your profile forever. But highlights can be added only from the stories. And visitors might not slide through all the highlights.
There is a second method as well.
Guides Method: Pin Posts on Instagram using Guides
Though Instagram doesn’t support the pinning of posts feature currently, Instagram Guides can be used to do so. You can now pin the best of your posts in Instagram Guides making it available on the guides tab of your profile forever until you delete them.
7. Advantage of being a New Feature
We know that Instagram tries to promote the new features extensively as it did for IGTVs or Reels. Firstly Reels button was granted a place near the + icon on the bottom, replacing it with the search button. The explore page also started promoting Reels, and Reels got a place on the home feed as well. Clearly, Reels are gaining all the attention, and the reach for Instagram Reels is also assumed to be better than the stories and posts.
So now it’s time for Guides. Instagram may try to promote Guides too making them a great feature on the platform. Now a question arises that Instagram Guides do not support likes and comments, nor is it explorable through hashtags, so how can you promote your guides?
Share your Guide on Instagram Story and add relevant hashtags there so that you get a reach to your Instagram Guide using those hashtags. Additionally, Guides have the feature to be shared which can expand your reach. When the guide is shared, new visitors would visit your profile and also visit the profile of the creator whose posts you would have included in the Guide, making it an advantage for brands when influencers use your post on their Guide. So now you would have got a clear picture of how advantageous Instagram Guides could be! If you have additional suggestions on how these guides can be helpful, please do share them below. It’s time to explore the Guides and make the most out of them.