How To Use Instagram Guides To Promote Your Business

Any tech-savvy, social media-aware business knows that creating a business page on Instagram is no longer just a good idea. It is an absolute necessity.

Since 2010, this visual content-oriented platform has changed social media interactions for businesses forever. And, with years of updates and new features, it has only gotten better.

Yes, the algorithm is ever-changing and pushes you to innovate, ideate, and create in newer ways every day. And this can be challenging. But the rewards make it all worth your while.

In the ever-expanding universe of Instagram features like Reels, Stories, Posts, and IGTV, 2020 saw a new entrant – Instagram Guides. 

Instagram Guides 

So, what are Instagram Guides? How different is it from a carousel post? 

Well, with Instagram Guides’ introduction in November 2020, this app has officially entered the long-form content game. Not only that, but Instagram has also embraced the content curation model with this new feature.

Instagram Guides allow you to curate content under a single topic and share it with your users for easy access and understandability. Instagram hails this feature as one of the easiest ways for users to find grouped information, product recommendations, and guides from their favorite businesses and creators. 

You can create individual guides using existing posts that run on a singular theme and keep adding to it as you create content on that particular topic. 

Content creators and digital marketing experts have dubbed it as a feature akin to story highlights but for Instagram posts. 

Why use Instagram Guides to promote your business? 

One thing that is similar across all social media platforms is that they heavily promote their new features to increase the adaptation rate among creators. While this should not be the only reason you dabble in Instagram Guides to promote your business, it is a good incentive.

In addition to helping beat the rollercoaster that Instagram’s algorithm can be, Instagram guides provide a great opportunity for businesses to engage their users. 

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Source: Hootsuite

Some of the advantages of using Instagram guides in your content marketing strategy are: 

Engagement 

The reason why SEO made a shift towards long-form content and why you must invest in creating helpful guides on Instagram for your users are quite similar. Long-form educational content keeps your audience engaged for a longer period on your profile. 

Additionally, Instagram Guides links back to your previously created posts, videos, and IGTVs improving the engagement of those individual content pieces as well. The content that would have otherwise been buried in the sea of everyday updates has become easily accessible for a new follower as well. 

Imagine this to be a bookmark/highlight section for your important IG posts to impress anyone who comes across your profile. 

Searchability 

A feature that probably did not get as much attention as the rollout of Instagram Guides is the updated searchability using keywords and hashtags in Instagram. The social media platform has now enabled content search via hashtags which then lead to well-designed guides.

Curating your content under a single hashtag into a topical Instagram guide can improve the searchability of your profile. Get discovered by a large audience by the power of well-curated and designed Instagram Guides. 

Brand Awareness

Public memory is short-lived. That is a well-known fact. And there are a ton of brands competing for your audience’s attention. So you’ve got to be prepared to make the best possible impression when someone lands on your account.  

Say one of your Reels blows up. Or a post goes viral. Or you have a really successful ad campaign. All of a sudden you have a ton of traffic coming to your Instagram account. 

If you have an Instagram Guide already set up, you can make the most of this opportunity. The Guide could detail your brand’s story, product or service offered, and any other highlights. Whatever you choose to include, it’ll make it easier to sell your potential customers on your brand when they can access all that content via a single click. 

Exhibit Subject Matter Expertise

The road to convincing your followers to become customers is a tricky one. 90% of customers on Instagram follow a business page. The key to building brand loyalty and gaining the trust of your followers is to establish yourself as an expert.

When you create educational content about your offerings, customers will gravitate towards you considering you to be an authority. 

This builds brand loyalty and makes the process of customer acquisition and retention a lot easier. Instagram Guides are a great way to repurpose your long-form web content such as blogs, articles, and case studies to establish your business as a subject matter expert. 

Value addition for customers 

Do you want to create content not just for the algorithm but something that helps your customers too? Great, because that’s how it is supposed to be. Instagram Guides are a great way to do that.

Content strategies like weekly topics, themed content, and reviews are always considered helpful to users. With Instagram Guides, you don’t have to make your followers scroll through your profile looking for the previous posts. You can have them neatly added to a Guide for a better experience. 

Content and Instagram Guides 

Curating content that can be added to your Instagram Guides is a little more nuanced than say adding images to a photo album. The social media platform has provided three principal formats for this content type for creators. 

They are: 

Places

Under the “Places” Guide type, brands or content creators can curate content specific to a location. This can be used to curate travel recommendations, user-generated content from a location, and highlight stores in a particular locality. 

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Source: Hootsuite
Product 

The “Product” Guide type is akin to a product catalog and enables you to link the product being highlighted to an Instagram shop. So, if you have created content on a particular product highlighting its feature, reviews, and how-to guides, you can curate it under a single Instagram Guide with a link to buy option. 

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Source: Later
Post 

Do you create topical content or educational content for your customers? You can now curate it under a single Instagram Guide using the “Post” type. Instagram Guides are a powerful curation tool that allows businesses to share their favorite products and personalized recommendations to their customers, says Shilpa Sarkar, Guides product lead at Instagram in an interview with Vogue

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Source: Hootsuite

Popular Content Ideas for Instagram Guides to Promote your Business

Store Locations 

For a small business, most of the time, the aim is to generate more foot traffic and sales. With Instagram “Place” Guides, you can now curate your store locations in a particular city or locality for easy access. 

Even for an online business, the Instagram “Place” guide can serve as a way to curate delivery locations, shipping charges, and/or warehouse pickup spots. 

Reduce the friction and make it easy for your customers to reach you with this tool!

Travel Guides 

Travel guides are another amazing way to use the Instagram “Place” guide feature. If you are a business that works in the hospitality or logistics sector, create location-specific travel guides. This includes everything from hotels, to trip and adventure organizers, to tourism and transportation companies, 

Instagram Guides such as “10 places to see in X” or “5 ways to reach Y” will invite followers and potential followers to explore your page while allowing you to subtly pitch your services. 

These posts are also visually engaging and likely to be an instant attraction with your followers. 

Gift Ideas 

As a business, you have to plant ideas in your customer’s minds about your products. And if you can do this while establishing an emotional connection or demonstrating that you can solve a problem they face, even better. Customers are more likely to consider a purchase linked to an emotional value or that demonstrates utilitarian value. 

The same goes whether they are buying something for themselves or for someone else. 

At the same time they don’t want to go wading through a ton of content to find the right products. Enter Gift Guides. Everyone likes innovative ideas for gifts and content that helps them with those ideas.

So, curating your products using the “Product” or “Post” Instagram Guide features for various gift ideas can catch a customer’s attention more than a regular promotional post.

Some examples are “Best Christmas Gifts under $100”, “Breathtaking valentines’ day gifts for your partner”, or “Thoughtful Mother’s day gifts”. 

FAQ 

Reduce friction between the customer and the purchase process as much as you can. With Instagram Guides post curation option, you can now curate your frequently asked questions for productions, shipping, delivery, returns, exchange, and any other information in one place.

Ease of access to this information will make the customer trust you and take a step closer to purchasing from you. 

Important Resources (How-To-Guides)

How-To-Guides are wildly popular among customers for the educational value they hold. So much so this is no longer just a nice-to-have. Shoppers across the board expect you to make important information easily accessible across platforms. This includes how-to-guides, and other important resources and educational content that enhance the product’s value. 

By making vital information available to them on a platform they regularly use, businesses can show their customers that they care about them and are willing to go the extra mile. 

Curated Topical Content 

Do you create a lot of trending content on your Instagram page? Is it quite popular with your followers? Why not step it up by curating the topical content into specific Instagram Guides using the “Post” feature? 

Customers can easily find the content and don’t have to scroll endlessly. What’s more, it links back to the original post, so the older posts will also have constant views in addition to the new ones. It’s a win-win. 

You can also repurpose other long-form content such as blogs, articles, or case studies into Instagram Guides and segregate them under different categories. 

Content creation is hard, so it is time to look at distribution and repurposing to reap its rewards. 

Brand Story 

At the beginning of this piece, we stressed how important Instagram Guides are for your brand awareness efforts. So, yes, having an Instagram Guide that details your brand story is indispensable for every business. 

You do not have to create fresh content. But it is important that you masterfully curate the content you do include. You must have shared brand updates, product stories, reviews, news coverage, and other important events on your feed already.

So simply repurpose them. Arrange those posts so that they narrate your brand’s story for every customer who visits your page.

Good Design and Instagram Guides 

Yes, Instagram Guides is more about content curation than creation. You must be wondering then why the fuss about design?

Well, the feature itself does not require new designs, yes. But this means that your post designs have a lot more riding on them. Each one is now potentially new “Guides’ ‘ material. 

And the design of each post will decide how good your Guides look in the end.

There are a few steps that you can take to ensure that your post designs are up to the challenge: 

  • Following a similar color scheme for similar content
  • Ensuring that the branding elements are present in every IG post
  • And maintaining branding consistency across the posts

OR, you can hire a dedicated design team at Kimp and they’ll take care of making all your IG posts shine individually and in your Guides.

Kimp – Social Media Design par Excellence 

On a visual platform like Instagram, your social media post designs can be the difference between holding the attention of a user or losing out on the follower.

Keeping track of different posts, themes, and designs can be challenging for a business owner like you.

That is why Kimp offers flat-rate design packages that will handle all your design needs while you get to focus on running your business.

The result: A gorgeous-looking Instagram feed that is bound to captivate anyone who stumbles across it. 

Hire Kimp for all your design needs and get ready to have your expectations blown away every day.