The feature we didn’t even know we needed, until we did. Instagram Guides are here to change the game and Popular Pays sees unlimited potential with how brands can harness the new feature to grow their business.
It’s common for Instagram to reveal new features, but recently they went to town and Pop Pays is here for it. A new feature for sharing curated, scrollable content? Sign us up. Step-by-step guides, tips, and recommendations…sound familiar? The core of influencer marketing: creators sharing authentic testimonials, recommendations, guides and tips with their engaged audience. Guides can only strengthen the bonds between creators and their audience, especially as we look to 2021 and the future of influencer marketing.
What are Instagram Guides?
Instagram Guides are a content format that allow users to scroll through a curated flow of interactive content – similar to a blog post, except without leaving Instagram. A single guide can include up to 30 posts of original content or shared content.
Guides allow users to follow a curated group of posts with commentary designed for step-by-step guides, tips and recommendations. They are another opportunity for creators to connect and create meaningful dialogue with their audience. Instead of influencers hosting all of their written content on blogs, creators have the opportunity to share longer-form content with their audience in just a few taps without ever leaving Instagram.
Did you know? According to Instagram, “We know many people are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we are first focusing Guides on wellness content. We’ll enable creators to connect with expert organizations to share resources during this time, including tips on how to look after your well-being, maintaining connection with others or managing anxiety or grief.
How do they work?
To create a guide, tap the plus icon on the top right of your profile page and select “Guide.” Then choose from one of the three different guide formats: places, products and posts. (Head’s up, the “products” format can only be used to curate products available in an Instagram Shop). Overall, I found the feature to be relatively intuitive.
To access a single guide or a library of a creator’s Instagram Guides, navigate to a specific creator’s profile and select the new Guides icon from the feed tab. Another benefit to guides is that the content can be easily shared to IG stories or with others similar to the standard IG DM. For public accounts, the opportunity to go viral significantly increases with guides. I’m also confident that well-created guides can only support brands and increase website traffic from an SEO perspective if done correctly.
Pro tip: Both creators and brands can share other brand or creator’s content to their guide if they save their content using the bookmark icon to add them to your Instagram saved prior to creating the guide.
What does this mean for brands?
Brands have the opportunity to build even more trust with consumers. Pictures can speak a thousand words, but what’s even better than just a picture? You guessed it, a thousand words. With product guides, brands can drive more traffic to their Instagram Shop to drive in-app purchases, which “the Gram” has prioritized recently regarding beta tests. Guides will help brands and creators enhance posts with extra context and descriptions of their products.
“Instagram Guides have, in some aspects, taken the role of blogs. They allow an influencer to showcase products they’ve been loving and why they love them all within the Instagram app. Now you’ll never need to leave IG to shop a gift guide again!”
– Jane Simon, Associate Director of Partnerships
What does this mean for influencer marketing?
Many creators tout their SEO-optimized websites, but now more creators who may not have custom websites have a shot at longer-form content beyond standard posts. Influencers have more opportunities to connect with their audience, more metrics to share with brands regarding performance, and more offerings to provide brands as far as placements go. It also means that platforms will need to equip brands with the ability to collaborate with creators to create meaningful guides and measure and track their impact. Check out some of our favorite guides: @afspnational, @heads_together, @sudahdong.
As for now, Popular Pays sees a lot of potential with Guides within the influencer marketing space. They are the perfect enhancement to complement a traditional influencer campaign. Looking to get started and collaborate with some of our creators using Instagram Guides? We are here to help!