10 Unique Ways to Use Instagram Guides for Marketing

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Instagram Guides is one of the latest features introduced by the app. It may have slipped under your radar with Instagram Live, Shops, Reels, a rearranged home screen, and a slew of other features introduced in 2020.

Fortunately, putting things on your radar is precisely what Instagram Guides are for. In fact, if you want to stay on top of Instagram marketing tips and updates, Hootsuite already has a guide for that.

If you’re here just to learn about Guides, we have a guide for that, too—only in blog format. Learn how to create Instagram Guides, how you can use them for your business, and more.

What are Instagram Guides?

Instagram Guides are a cross between Instagram carousels and blog posts. They can be created using pre-published posts, places, or product listings from the creator’s account or public accounts. Each guide includes a cover image, title, introduction, and optional descriptions for entries.

Instagram guides layout

Source: Instagram

The initial inspiration for Guides was travel. But with worldwide travel bans in place, Instagram decided to launch the feature in May 2020 with a wellness theme. In November, Instagram expanded the feature for all users and topics.

Once created, Guides appear in a dedicated tab on a person’s or brand’s profile and can be shared in Stories or direct messages. Entries can be edited, added, or removed as the account owner desires.

How to use Instagram Guides

New to creating Instagram Guides? Follow these steps to create Guides with posts, products, or places.

How to create an Instagram Guide with posts

1. From your profile, click the plus symbol in the upper right corner.

2. Select Guide.

3. Tap Posts.

4. Choose a post from your feed or a saved post published by other public accounts.

5. Tap Next.

6. Add your guide title and description. If you would like to use a different cover photo, tap Change Cover Photo.

7. Double check the prepopulated place name, and edit as needed. If you wish, add a description.

8. Tap Add Place and repeat steps 4–8 until your guide is complete.

9. Tap Next in the upper right corner.

10. Tap Share.

How to create an Instagram Guide with products

1. From your profile, click the plus symbol in the upper right corner.

2. Select Guide.

3. Tap Products.

4. Search by account for the product listing you’d like to include. If you’ve saved the product to your wishlist, you can find it there also.

5. Select the product you’d like to add and tap Next. You can choose to include multiple posts for a single entry if available. They will be displayed like a carousel.

6. Add your guide title and description. If you would like to use a different cover photo, tap Change Cover Photo.

7. Double check the prepopulated place name, and edit as needed. If you wish, add a description.

8. Tap Add Products and repeat steps 4–8 until your guide is complete.

9. Tap Next in the upper right corner.

10. Tap Share.

How to create an Instagram Guide with places

1. From your profile, click the plus symbol in the upper right corner.

2. Select Guide.

3. Tap Places.

4. Search for a place by geotag, in your saved folder, or use one of your pre-published posts. If you search by geotag, select the post you would like to include.

5. Once you’ve selected a post, click Next.

6. Add your guide title and description. If you would like to use a different cover photo, tap Change Cover Photo.

7. Double check the prepopulated place name, and edit as needed. If you wish, add a description.

8. Tap Add Place and repeat steps 4–8 until your guide is complete.

9. Tap Next in the upper right corner.

10. Tap Share.

Tip: If you would like to include specific images in a place guide, create a folder for them first. For this to work, these posts must include geotags.

10 ways to use Instagram Guides for your business

Not sure where to start with Instagram Guides? Let these examples inspire you.

Create a gift guide

Instagram Guides are an easy way to repurpose product listings into gift Guides for Christmas, Mother’s Day, and other holidays.

Afrocenchix created a Christmas shopping guide with its catalogue, and The Lip Bar has a guide centered on easy, affordable gifts for beginners.

Looking for gifts for botanical lovers? Vintner’s Daughter has you covered.

Christmas gift guide

Compile a list of tips

Hootsuite’s 7 Instagram Tips For 2021 guide builds off an article published on the company blog (read it here).

Each tip features a different brand post, providing a concrete example for inspiration. Explore more marketing roundups on Instagram’s business account.

List of tips

Gather posts under a theme

Most businesses on Instagram offer multiple products and services. Reorganize your feed with an Instagram guide that groups related posts together.

For example, Hot For Food posts vegan snacks, meals, desserts, and more. But those looking exclusively for dessert ideas can find them with the guide: Just Dessert Stuff.

Red Bull’s Training Day guide brings its “day in the life” series together.

gather posts under theme

Create a ranked list

Showcase your bestsellers, most popular posts, or top recipes.

If you run a contest that asks participants to cast votes for their favourites, publish the results in an Instagram Guide format.

Run a national sports league draft? Probably not, but this NBA 2020 draft guide is all net.

create ranked list

Share a brand story or message

Create an Instagram Guide that introduces new followers to your company and its values.

French jewelry designer Louise Damas’ guide details the company history with posts about its founder, process, unique pieces, and ladies-first approach.

share brand story or message

Guides can also be used to break down new initiatives, highlight social responsibility efforts, or celebrate milestones.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri’s guide offers a “thank you” for the app’s birthday. Here’s a guide to how the Lakers reached the NBA finals. Arizona State University’s guide celebrates its ASU 2020 grad achievements.

Provide step-by-step instructions

Run an advice series or provide how-to’s on Instagram? Assemble posts into a simple step-by-step guide.

For example, Headspace collected its Money Smart Monday posts into a four-step guide on “how to get on top of your finances.”

provide step-by-step instructions

Want to learn how to make your Instagram Shop shine? Instagram has a how-to guide for that.

Complex topics can be unpacked here, too. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s guide shows people how to have real convos about mental health.

Shoutout others in your community

Create a guide that spotlights members of your community, shares some love, or builds your network.

While Afrocencnix has a guide for its own products, it also created a guide that spotlights different British Black businesses.

Yo Soy AfroLatina has a guide for its fav small businesses.

The Secret Mountain uses a place-based guide to promote the indie booksellers that stock its titles.

shoutout community members

Collaborate with a creator

Guides open up a new way for brands to collaborate with influencers, creators, and celebs.

Everlane recruited actor Tommy Dorfman, actress Olivia Sui, and model and actress Lenya Bloom to curate gift guides with its products.

Businesses could create Guides that feature all their brand ambassadors, collaborate with influencers to make Guides on their account, and more.

collaborate with a creator

Share a travel guide

It comes as no surprise that the travel industry jumped on Instagram Guides.

Tourism Australia’s Instagram account offers Guides to Gippsland, the Blue Mountains, and Kangaroo Island, among others.

Tourisme Quebec’s guide highlights Montreal’s Chinatown in French and English. Brands might want to think outside the box here, too. Share a campus tour or a map of all company locations.

share a travel guide

Promote causes and provide resources

For companies that champion causes and engage in social activism, Instagram Guides provide a place to summarize efforts and share resources.

Instagram’s Act for Racial Justice guide curates important explainers that have been shared by the community.

Teen Vogue’s guide unpacks sex, dating, and relationships.

promote causes such as racial justice

The nicest thing about Guides? They don’t necessarily require you to make brand new content. The easiest way to get started is to take a look at what you’ve already posted on Instagram and start grouping your content into categories you think your followers will find useful.

So what’s stopping you? Time to try making your first Instagram Guide!

Save time managing your Instagram presence using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can schedule and publish posts directly to Instagram, engage the audience, measure performance, and run all your other social media profiles. Try it free today.

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