Using Instagram Guides To Increase Brand Engagement: Tips & Tricks
There is a new format for sharing curated content on Instagram, by the name of Instagram Guides. It is one of the latest features introduced by the app in 2020. It allows users to consume and share recommendations and tips in an uncomplicated format that is easy to understand. Initially, the Instagram Guide was rolled out for some of the health and wellness advocates at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it has now been rolled out for all users.
A cross between a blog post and an Instagram carousel, the Instagram Guides can be made by using pre-published posts, product listings or places. Every Instagram guide consists of a title, cover image, introduction, and optional descriptions for entries, which allows the users to navigate through a curated flow of posts. These posts are often accompanied with commentary, as a result of which they work very well as step-by-step guides, recommendations and tips.
The Three Types of Instagram Guides: For Products, Places and Posts
Anyone can create an Instagram Guide, regardless of their account size or industry. When you open your profile on Instagram, the guide feature can be found in the options that pop up when you press the plus sign in the upper-right corner. From there, one can choose between the three guide formats to see which one is most suitable for your brand.
- Places: This option allows one to create an Instagram Guide about some specific place one would want to share the information about. One can use their pre-published posts, or search up to five photos or videos of a specific place with the help of a geotag. Thereafter, a Guide title is added, along with a description to give some context about the places. The same process can be used to add all the places in the guide, after which it can be published.
- Products: One can use the Instagram shop option to highlight the products of their brand or their partners. It can be done in a few simple steps, starting with searching for the product listing one wants to include. It is important to note that only the products available on the Instagram shop can be used. A single entry can contain multiple posts, which will then be displayed like a carousel. Choose around 5 of the most vibrant images and videos for each product, and then add the title, cover image, descriptions and other miscellaneous information. You can repeat these steps to add multiple products in the same way.
- Posts: Brands can also use their existing posts to create an Instagram guide. You can curate specific posts, and then customize them under a guide, with a title and description, besides other relevant information. The process is pretty much the same, and it can be repeated for multiple posts until the guide is completed.
How to Use Instagram Guides to Increase Brand Engagement?
1. Your Brand Story
There is a story behind the inception of every brand. Instagram Guide can be a great tool for familiarising the consumers with the journey of a brand, the reason one may have launched and the meaning behind the brand’s mission. This unique narrative can be built using insightful posts in the Instagram Guide, which becomes an excellent marketing tool for reeling in new users and for keeping the present users engaged. The guide will present your brand story in a way that will hold the interest of users and prevent them from clicking away.
If the brand is still fairly new, and their story is underway, you can keep adding the new information to your guide from time to time. This information can be taken from relevant posts or from some entries in the Instagram shop. You can also use the places option to weave a brand story around the location that is specific to the brand. The content of the brand story can consist of striking images from other creators, besides your own pre-published posts. The captions can be used to highlight the personality of the brand.
2. New Product or Service Promotion
There are times when we have tried all the ways to promote our brand, and exhausted every marketing strategy to get brand engagement. One of the best ways to promote a new service or product from your brand is with the help of an Instagram Guide. The guide presents itself as an excellent avenue to launch new products and services in the form of a portfolio. After you have chosen the specific products to create the launch-focused guide, a call to action can be added to the product description. The guide can be further highlighted to generate more engagement and interest by sharing it in the Instagram story or reels. Even after the completion of the promotion of a new product, the launch-focused guide could serve as a story of your efforts. The users can continue to use guides as a reference when they navigate through your products.
3. Create Product Highlights
Instagram Guides are excellent tools for curating, organizing and highlighting products for your followers. If you have certain relevant products regarding an upcoming event like a holiday, or your product or service provides a range of solutions to certain problems, then this can be used to create a comprehensive guide. In such a guide, the products or services can be organized on the basis of categories, bestsellers, new releases, demographics, or any other such categories.
The first step of the process is selecting the theme for the guide which will feature a list of products having some commonality. Captions can be then added to these posts to familiarize the users with the highlight of the range of products or services. The sales process is also streamlined in the process as the users have an option to click certain products they are interested in purchasing. Each item in such a guide can link to an Instagram post or the Instagram shop, which will drive up organic engagement and generate sales. These guides can be further highlighted by sharing them in the Instagram stories.
4. Create Gift Guides
Curated gift guides are an excellent solution when it comes to driving up your sales. A holiday-themed guide that consists of products centred around specific themes can familiarise the followers with the purpose of certain products. Description can be added in the caption so that users can get some unique gift ideas, and also explore similar gifts from the Instagram shop tab. The gift guides can be categorized into different themes like ‘Home’, ‘Accessories’, ‘Wellness’ and others in a roundup, which is a mix of carousel and standard posts along with links to products. Another good tip is offering promo codes for featured products in these gift guides to incentivise your sales with discounts. Be sure to add make the description eye-catching by adding interesting titles, emojis and pricing of the products.
5. Create How-to Guides
With the help of Instagram guides, brands can create an in-depth guide about certain issues or an extensive list of tips and tricks. This is a creative way of using Instagram guides, which allows brands to add general information relating to some product or service. Since stories can be quite limited in terms of creating a full-fledged list, the Instagram Guides can be quite helpful in this regard. The added advantage is that the guide is available forever under the guides tab of the brand profile. It does not only inspire the followers, but also increases engagement in the past content, which significantly affects the algorithm thereby increasing brand engagement.
6. Answer Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you are a small or large business, there is always a huge influx of DMs regarding queries about the brand and its products and services. And since answering to each and every query can be tasking, an Instagram Guide can be created for answering the frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding a topic. The first step in the process is drawing up the common questions the brand needs to address.
Thereafter, one can decide which of the options among the posts, products and places in the Instagram Guide can be used for creating the FAQ. The questions and their answers can be typed in the title feed, and the captions can be used to add to the context of the queries.
The content in these FAQs can link to certain products in your catalog, which would allow the users to make their decision easily. After the FAQ section has been created, the brand can redirect the followers to it every time they ask a common question regarding the brand. This helps in saving the time, and also makes things quite easy for the consumers.
Instagram Guides are a great tool for a variety of purposes as they can significantly boost organic engagement for a brand. Whether yours is a small or large business, the Instagram Guides can maximize the shelf life of your content, making it evergreen. The users can always check out your old products and services too, which often get buried in the feed. They are a great alternative to blog posts as they are more shareable since it does not require any external linking.
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