The ultimate guide to Instagram Guides

8 Dec, 2020 | Podcast, Season 4

Hands up if you noticed a new feature on Instagram this week!

Did you notice they’d snuck a new tool in without telling anyone? It looks amazing, but with all new features we know it’s brought up a heap of questions, so this week Katie guides us through the feature, If you’ve got questions, we’ve got you covered. If you’re wondering what Guides are, how you use them, and why you should use them – this is the podcast for you. Grab your notebook and let’s jump into this week’s episode. 

Today’s episode is sponsored by our Instagram MOT. This 20-point checklist will take you through all the most important things you need to get right in your Instagram marketing. Click below to sign up for the free training and download the checklist.

Instagram Guides! Not another new function surely? 

First of all, as new features go, Guides are so much easier to use than the Reels function – so if you’re worrying about learning another technical tool, you can rest easy!

Guides are a little like Story highlights, but they sit on your feed, rather than the highlights area. You can use your own feed posts, those you’ve saved, shopping posts for your own business or other peoples.

If you haven’t seen one before, don’t worry – we’ve got you!

  1. Open Instagram
  2. Tap the magnifying glass
  3. Search thewhinco (that’s us!)
  4. Scroll past story highlights – above the feed you’ll spot a few icons.
    • You’ll see a grid, reels, IGTV, a little book and a tag.
    • The little book icon is the Guide feature

    5. Tap on the icon and it brings up all of Katie’s guide posts, the first one is a roundup of the most important podcast episodes on Instagram. It’s called Lessons in Instagram Marketing.

What’s the structure of a Guide?

When you tap a Guide to look at it, it’s structured like this:

Top: is a cover photo and a title
Next: Description
Then: Series of individual posts (each with a title & description)

You can tap on any picture on the Guide so you can read the original post caption

Can I share a Guide? 

You have a couple of options here:

  • As a direct message to one person
  • As a Story. You can’t share directly to your feed

How will Guides fit into my content strategy? 

When we create content for Instagram, we usually take a large idea and break it down into smaller pieces to use as Instagram posts. The new Guides function allows her to join the smaller pieces back up so people can see how things fit together.

It’s another excellent way to share your own business journey with your audience – so have a think about how it might work for you and your own ideas.

How do I pull together a Guide? 

  • Go to your own profile and choose the posts you’ll include
  • Browse and make a note of the posts to include – up to 30 posts, including feed posts, IGTV, photos, videos carousel all work
  • Choose posts based on the photo or video cover – captions don’t show up in a Guide
  • Go to your profile page on Instagram – at the top, click on the PLUS icon
  • Tap + and choose guide from the list that appears
    • There are 3 to choose from – in this case we’re going for ‘post guide’
  • Select all posts for the post. Make sure you’re paying attention to the order so they come in the right place
  • Tap next – and choose a cover image for your guide from the images in your feed.
    • Unfortunately you can’t upload a new image for the Guide cover, but Katie’s found a clever workaround – you’ll get all the details in the podcast episode so don’t skip it!
  • Give your Guide a title. You get 3 lines of text, so keep it short.
  • Add a description – because the titles are so short, make sure you use the description to give your audience all the great information
  • Links aren’t clickable in guides, so make sure your links are in the bio
  • And finally – add in a title for each post in the Guide. You can add descriptions into the individual posts too.
  • Hit publish – you’ll see a new icon for Guides on your profile – well done! 

Does the algorithm love Guides as much as Reels? 

Right now, there’s no insight information for Guides, so it’s difficult to measure if it’s working. 

“Don’t invest lots of time into creating original and cool content for Guides, keep the original ideas for blog posts, IGTV or even Instagram feed posts, because you can’t measure how the Guide itself is working,” – Katie

What if I want to make a Guide of posts from other people? 

If you want to make a guide of posts from other people, browse through your feed and other Instagram accounts and make a list of the posts you want to include. Click on your label icon and save it to a collection so its easy to find in the future.

Instead of choosing ‘feed posts’ when selecting your posts, choose ‘saved posts’. You can then create your Guide post following the steps above.

Is it the same format for a Product Guides? 

Save posts from the shopping tab into a wish list – including your own products – and create your Guide the same way. 

Creating a Location-based Guide

This is a little trickier because there’s no way to save a list of posts in advance, and you can only build the guide around one specific tagged location, so it can be more challenging to find posts that cover the full area you want to focus on. 

What’s the best way to use Guides? 

We’ve come up with 5 great suggestions for using the new format:

  1. Use a product guide to share suppliers or collaborators you work with in your business
  2. Spend time creating posts on your IG feed about the different services you offer in your business, then create a Guide that links all the services in one place
  3. If you have a venue or premises that people will tag in their own posts (cafes, restaurants, bars, workshop space etc) – make a Guide of posts called ‘customer reviews, customer feedback) and include all the posts where people tag you and recommend you, and why.
  4. If you’ve ever done a post series – an alphabet challenge, a meet-the-maker challenge or something similar, create a guide that joins the posts all together, to get a better overview of the story you’re telling for easy browsing.
  5. If there’s a cause, a charity or movement that matters to your business, create a Guide with a combination of posts with resources to learn, you’re connection to the cause and other ways to donate money, or get involved.

Other ways to use Guide posts

These are just 5 great ways to use Instagram Guides, but there are so many more. We’re setting you a challenge this week to find Guides that spark your interest, or create one of your own and send it to us.

Here at The Whin we love to see how people creatively use new features – you can tag us @thewhinco.

What if I want in depth training on Instagram so I can grow my business? 

Good question! The Whin’s Instagram Masterclass is THE place to go for comprehensive training on Instagram.

4 modules with detailed explainer videos and practical exercises so you can:
master growth,
sales and
planning your Instagram content

Next year, we’re adding a whole section on Instagram Reels and the price will go up – but if you book the Masterclass before 31 December 2020, you can bag it at the low price of £97, and still access the Reels module in the new year.

How do I find out more about using Guides for my business? 

Book a one-to-one Instagram Power Hour for an audit of your profile and a clear plan for your next move. 

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