So what are instagram guides and how should we be using them?

what are instagram guides? Holly Wood looking at phone

What are instagram guides? Everything you need to know...

Yes yes yes, I know, yet another feature we all have to get our heads around with our favourite love-to-hate platform, instagram! BUT, hear me out... I think this one could be worth getting your head round...

Instagram guides is the first tool that I feel is genuinely created with content creators in mind! It's a way that we can share curated, scrollable content - all in one place!

For the first time, our audience can be guided through a curated flow of our content.

You know that frustration when you know 80% of your audience aren't seeing your posts? Or you worry that your followers have missed something you know they'd love or find useful? Well instagram guides are a great way of making sure this doesn't happen. Here's how...

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1 – How to create an instagram guide

Note: it hasn't rolled-out to absolutely everyone just yet, but it's on its way, so hold tight.

As we all know, the new layout of insta is yet another thing we're having to get used to, but it does essentially pull all the options into one place. So simply click the + icon from your profile & tap 'Guide' which should be on the bottom of your options. From there, you can choose to create one of three guide types: Places, Products or Posts.

what are instagram guides screenshot of how to create an insta guide
what are instagram guides screenshot of how to create an insta guide

2 – Instagram Guides: Places

So I got really excited when I saw this and presumed we could collate all our posts via geo-tag. Ie. as a travel blogger, I was hoping that I could pull all my posts where I'd tagged the location as "Tuscany" or "Florence" or "Pisa" into one guide. This sadly, is not the case... yet (come on insta - make this tweak!).

BUT, you can curate your own guides and recommendations according to posts within a location. So if I wanted to curate my 'Top 10 places to eat in Manchester', then I can search for the restaurant and use one of the posts as part of my guide.

The idea being that you're making recommendations and although it's not linking out to your personal content, it is giving you some credibility as an expert of "go-to. So definitely worth a try I think.

3 – Instagram Guides: Products

This is fantastic for those of you that are shops, as it gives another way of showcasing your products. You can only curate products that are available in instagram shop but I think it's a great way of creating "look-books", "shopping guides" and "top picks" of products.

4 – Instagram Guides: Posts

Likely to be the most popular amongst content creators, bloggers and influencers, is the posts guide. This is where you can curate your own posts into themes that flow nicely and take your audience through the relevant posts that they're interested.

Great for those of you that have multiple themes of content (hello fellow lifestyle bloggers!) and have audiences that are only interested in particular aspects of your content. A lifestyle blogger, for instance, could curate all their "foodie" content into a selection of guides, their "travel" content in others and their "parenting" content in others - meaning that your audience can focus on that one topic at a time.

5 – Add a headline and personalise

Once you've chosen which type of guide you're going to create and which posts you're going to include in it, now for the finishing touches...

The beauty about instagram guides is that you can give your guide a cover photo (tip: think about your brand aesthetic here), title and introduction. You can set the scene in a way you usually can't do on instagram.

Then you can add a title and intro to each of the posts too. I love this feature and for the bloggers and copy-writers amongst us, it'll be well received!

The finale: where can you find instagram guides?

For anyone that's created one, you'll now be able to see a new icon on their instagram profile (between the IGTV and the tagged posts icon):

what are instagram guides holly wood flourish how to find instagram guides

And some final tips for how to use instagram guides...

  • Be sure to share them to your instagram stories for maximum reach and so that your audience don't miss them
  • Curate carefully - don't just bung a whole load of random posts in together - think about the story, the flow and the journey you want to take that person on.
  • Think about key word rich descriptions, introductions and titles (I think this will help your guides get found in the long-run)

If you liked this, be sure to check-out my post on the best apps for digital content creators and entrepreneurs.

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About The Author

Holly Wood, has over 10 years experience of building a digital brand and business online. From blogging, to being an influencer, to founding a membership community, to speaking and 1-2-1 mentorship - Holly has a wealth of knowledge in the practical and cognitive steps to building a flourishing brand and successful business online.

Follow Holly on instagram here, connect on Linkedin or follow on Twitter.

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