There’s a new kid on the block on Instagram.
Whilst it feels like only yesterday that we got Reels (and only the day before that that we got IGTV!), the platform released a brand spanking new feature earlier this month: Guides.
You’re not alone if you think that it’s overkill. Hasn’t IG already got enough content types? However, whilst that certainly was one of the first thoughts that went through our heads here at Team G&G, once we’d done some exploring we realised just how valuable Guides could be.
Whatever your personal brand does, if you’re using Instagram, we think that you should consider adding it as another tool in your social media arsenal. Not only does it allow you to add value to your audience in a new, unique way, but it’s also curated. That means you’re not having to create content from scratch! So it really is a win-win for both you and your followers.
What is Instagram guides?
Think of it kind of like Story Highlights, but for alllll of the other content on the platform. That means grid posts, IGTVs and Reels. It allows you to showcase content that either you or someone else has created in sort of digital guide books that fall into the categories of places, products and posts.
Places: Recommend locations to your followers
Products: Recommend your fave items to your followers so that they can shop them
Posts: Recommend posts that you’ve created or have saved
What makes Guides so great?
One of the things that makes Guides so great is its “scrollability“. Did you know that “On a mobile site, around half of all users start to scroll within 10 seconds, and 90% within 14 seconds.” (Source) So, in terms of creating a positive user experience for your followers, content that they can scroll through is probably the way to go. Think of TikTok! It provides a constant stream of content for your thumb to flick through and is one of the fastest growing platforms out there.
Ultimately, guides are a digestible way to share information in a world where online attention spans are getting harder to grab.
Secondly, the feature is focused on curation not creation. As we mentioned before, this means that you’re not having to create a whole new piece of content (hello, time saver!), but you’re still providing your audience with a serious hit of value. This should be your ultimate goal as a personal brand. By truly helping your ideal customer/follower, they’ll be more engaged which will, in turn, help you to grow.
Guides basically allow you to say “Hey! I’ve taken the leg work out of it for you. Here are some places/products/posts that I know you’ll love…”
How can your personal brand use Guides?
We’re confident that once you’ve got into the swing of it, creating Guides will come naturally. It really is one of the most intuitive and easy-to-create features out there at the moment. But here are some ideas to get you started, whatever your personal brand does:
Posts on Instagram Guides
This is the one that is useful for literally any personal brand out there. It really doesn’t matter what you create, this is a way to bring it all together in one, super-easy-to-scroll-through place!
The easiest way to think about this is to curate a collection of your IG content pieces that either a) answer a recurring question that your ideal follower has or b) focus on a topic that is particularly popular within your audience.
That way, you can truly help or entertain those that matter, whilst also getting more views (and hopefully engagement) on your bloody brilliant content.
Want to start creating bloody brilliant content that adds value to your followers lives? Sign up to our mailing list to receive our Personal Branding e-book straight to your inbox.
Places on Instagram guides
- Maybe you have a physical shop that’s out there in the real world! If you do, you can curate a collection of posts from your customers that have tagged your location. Not only does this help your potential customers by showing them where to find you, but it also allows you to say a small “thanks” to current customers by sharing their posts. PLUS, it’s a great way to showcase content raving about your brand, without going down the typical review/testimonial route.
- If your brand does something related to travel (are you a travel blogger? A business that sells travel-related items? A brand with a summer line?), you could use places to make recommendations for certain locations. Whilst there’s certainly still a place for blog posts that do this, guides allows you to share them in a more digestible way, without having to get people off one platform and onto another.
- You could simply share places that you love. If you’re a service-based business, share where your favourite places to do that service are. For example, photographers could share shoot locations. Wedding planners could share venues they’re obsessed with. And if you’re a creator, share locations related to your niche. For examples, food bloggers could curate a list of their fave restaurants or book bloggers could share their fave bookshops.
Products on Instagram Guides
- This is the DREAM for influencers. Simply share your favourite products in relation to your niche by category so that your followers can easily shop them. Think of it as a YouTube favourites video, with a 2020 twist.
- Alternatively, if you sell a product, you can share those. Consider creating “bundles” to keep things interesting and to add extra value to your customer: Recommend products that go well together or could be used in unison.
Do you have any questions about this new feature or how you could use it? If you’re a member, don’t forget that we’re over in the Facebook group ready to help! If you’re not a member yet but you want in, join today.