Instagram Guides: what they are, how to create them and benefits

Instagram Guides are the latest new addition to Zuckerberg’s channel. As the name suggests, this new tool allows you to build digital guides organized according to a theme, using existing formats such as posts, stories, and reels.

In other words, this new function allows you to group and share content in a simple but more in-depth way, implementing the mere publication of images and videos with text, descriptions, and mentions.

This tool was launched in May 2020 initially for a small group of creators employed in the wellness and mental health sector and only later that year made available to all users of the platform.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, then this is the article for you! At the end of the reading you will be able to say with certainty:

  • what Instagram guides are for and what they are;
  • how they are created from A to Z;
  • why it is important to use them;
  • what benefits they can bring to your social strategy;
  • how to delete from your profile.

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What are Instagram Guides and what are they for

Instagram Guides are a new way of communicating, suggesting, and creating content, grouping everything in “digital boxes”. Surely you are used to navigating daily within this platform to view stories, reels, carousels, and posts published by public figures, influencers, companies, and organizations.

Well, then you should know that all these communication formats are the basic ingredients of what is called the Instagram Guide. In other words, it is a mix of existing formats grouped into digital thematic containers designed to make the user’s enjoyment of content quick and easy. But that’s not all.

Guides provide everyone with the opportunity to do storytelling and microblogging on a social network like Instagram, which until now has always focused on the beauty of images or the appeal of videos.

But the question will undoubtedly arise for you after this statement: how come Instagram is no longer satisfied with just “appearing visually”? Before answering this question, I will explain how to get Guides on Instagram.

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How to create an Instagram Guide in 4 steps

I will now explain how to create an Instagram Guide and then go into the specifics of each action:

  • access your IG profile;
  • click on the “+” icon in the top right-hand corner;
  • select “Help” from the Create menu;
  • choose the format;
  • enter up to a maximum of 30 contents at your leisure;
  • choose the cover from your posts;
  • write a short description, insert mentions and tags (this step can be done for every post in the guide);
  • finally, click “Next” and “Share” once you are completely satisfied.
instagram guides examples

Source: IG personal account screenshot

Formats on the subject

Before moving on to the creation of Instagram Guides, you need to focus on the project and the topic you are going to talk about. Finding out, reading, and looking at images of the topic you are going to develop will later help you to enhance your IG Guide and create a strong user or, even better, community interest around it.

Try to put yourself in the shoes of your followers and always ask yourself: what would you like to find inside the Instagram Guides? Just photos and videos, tips, or itineraries? Many users are struggling with their first guide or do not even know where to create it in their profile.

That is why in this first step you should be meticulous in finding all useful information on the subject. Once you have gathered your cultural background by visiting websites, reading the best social media marketing books, and listening to podcasts, the second step concerns the choice of format among those that social offers.

Choose the type of guide

The formats of the Instagram Guides are 3:

  • Places: allows you to bring together content related to cities, towns, and places;
  • Products: serves to group a number of your products or products of a brand/company;
  • Posts: this is most suitable for collecting posts created and published by you or saved posts from other profiles.
type of guides

Source: IG personal account screenshot

The first format I mentioned is ideal for anyone who can tell something about a particular place for work or passion. Travel Bloggers, Travel Guides, Travel Agencies, or simply Content Creators around the world are those for whom these Instagram Guides were designed.

Inside you can find content about cities, restaurants, places, bars, and bistros grouped together thanks to location tags that will in turn help you find profiles of users in the same location as you.

The second, on the other hand, is the format that best suits the needs of shops, brands, and companies that have a range of products to advertise and sell. This type of Guide could be very similar to the Shop Collections already present on Instagram.

In fact, unlike the latter, in which products belonging to different commercial categories such as clothes, bags, beauty routines, and shoes are grouped together, in the Product Format Instagram Guides you have the possibility of creating collections that are more free and according to a logic that is not only commercial.

For example, you can create categories such as “gift ideas for your best friend”, “vegan products under €10”, etc.

Finally, the last one is the most suitable tool to collect your posts on a topic of your interest. You can enter the title, a short description, and from a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 30 posts. You can choose the cover image of your guide from one of the posts selected during its creation.

As mentioned above for this type of format, IG gives you the possibility to use posts from other profiles as well. If the owner of the post that you have included in your Instagram Guide does not want to be part of it, he or she will be able to prevent this action via the “Privacy” menu in Settings.

Take advantage of the features offered by the channel

Once you have identified the most useful Instagram Guide format for your goals, it is time to make the most of the potential that this recent tool has and that all profiles on IG can use to their advantage. In fact, Instagram Guides are an excellent tool for retaining followers and easily creating what in marketing jargon is called a sales funnel.

If you think about it, in fact, inserting content and grouping posts according to a certain topic or product type will make Instagram Guides easier to use and all you have to do is advertise them with a post to entice the user to enter the funnel.

The uses of the tool made available by the social network will thus become multiple: you can use it to propose popular content created by you or collect posts from authoritative profiles on the same theme, and you can create a “handbook” to recommend product lines, courses to follow, recipes to experiment with, beauty trends not to be missed.

Again, you can use it to talk about your travels, recommend places, restaurants, and bars where you can have aperitifs at sunset, and finally, why not, talk about yourself, your company, or a charity you belong to.

Publish the guide and promote it

Now that I have given you all the technical tools and an explanation of how to create Guides on Instagram, the last thing left to do is to publish and publicize them!

Here are some useful tips to make this last step easy and fun:

  1. Collect and publish Instagram guides that contain what your followers want to see: knowing your target audience you will certainly know if they prefer posts about current trends, topics of common debate, trendy travel destinations, etc.
  2. Use all IG tools also within your Guide: videos, photos, posts, reels, mentions, and tags, in short, don’t settle for just one.
  3. Organize content: being a purely visual social network, remember to organize each Guide in a clean and visually appealing manner.
  4. Be inspired and get involved: the beauty of Instagram Guides is to discover content from your followers and be inspired by other profiles, thus creating an inclusive community.
  5. Use the spontaneity that this type of social demands: it is no coincidence that it is called Instagram, precisely because the publication of content should be about the instantaneousness of the moment.
  6. Publicize it: let people know with a post, with reels, and with stories where your latest guide can be found.

Why use Instagram Guides

Having reached this point and understood how to create Instagram Guides, you may be wondering why you would waste time grouping content that is already on your own profile or on the profiles of others. And, as I told you at the beginning, how come Instagram is no longer satisfied with just “appearing visually”?

The simplest and most straightforward answer is that Guides serve primarily to maximize the visibility and longevity of content, inviting the user to navigate through the format and referring them back to the original posts when tapping on the content.

This continuous referral to content already on the platform and the search for Guides considerably increases the user’s dwell time on IG. This aspect, which is by no means negligible, is leading the social network to become an excellent investment ground for many companies and listed companies.

how instagram guides are created

But this is only one of the first reasons that can be listed for this new feature. Instagram’s Guides create organization within the profile by increasing the user’s ease of use of the content, who is more enticed to stay within the platform and more engaged while browsing through the different Guides.

Using Instagram Guides is also a great way to forge collaborations with other companies, brands, or influencers and strengthen existing relationships by creating content that promotes each other’s products or posts. In this way, what we could call “sponsorship” of your Guide will be amplified through the use of other profiles that may have a much larger following and number of followers than yours.

The last important aspect concerns the possibility of storytelling. Think about it: how many times have you wanted someone to collect and group information for you in different containers that can be consulted countless times? If the answer is so many, then you will have already realized that Instagram Guides are a very effective tool for “storytelling”.

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Examples of Instagram Guides

Once you understand how it works, what its potential is, and the advantages of using it, I will now show you examples of the best Instagram Guides on the social channel. I will use a breakdown by type of format so that you can fully understand this tool.

  • Format Places
places format ig guides

Source: Lonely Planet IG profile

  • Product Format
products format instagram images

Source: IG Ghd profile

  • Post Format
post format ig image

Source: Elisabetta Franchi IG profile

Conclusions and free advice

In conclusion, Instagram Guides are a trending tool, but also useful for those who for business or pleasure want to get the word out about themselves. Companies, Influencers, Content Creators, and Social Media Managers have long been aware of the potential of Instagram Guides and for that reason, they use it as a tool within their editorial plans and in amplifying their online visibility.

If you too feel that this tool deserves to be included in the “toolbox” of your editorial plan, ask for a free consultation. An expert will help you understand how to effectively incorporate them into your digital strategy.

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