Does your Instagram profile mean business?
If you use Instagram to build brand awareness and grow your business, there’s one feature which you really shouldn’t ignore: Instagram Guides.
While it’s not the most popular feature on the platform, they’re incredibly powerful for:
- Building credibility
- Showing expertise
- And extending the life of your Instagram content
The best news is, if you’re already creating content for Instagram, all it takes is 5 simple steps to repurpose that content into a Guide.
In this episode and blog post, I share my top tips for creating an Instagram Guide that shows your profile means business! I explain what they are, how to create them, and why they’re so powerful.
Hit play to listen to the podcast episode…
…or read on to discover how to repurpose your existing content into an authority-building Instagram Guide.
What are Instagram Guides?
Confession time – I completely missed the launch of Instagram Guides. In fact, it wasn’t until our quarterly content review meeting when a team member suggested we create them, that I had to admit I wasn’t familiar with them at all!
It’s safe to say they’re not the platform’s biggest feature. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be using them (I’ll get onto the reasons why they’re a business’s secret weapon shortly).
Instagram Guides are essentially a content curation feature. They allow you to group together Instagram posts into a collection or a “Guide” that is then shown to anyone who visits your profile and clicks on the “Guide” tab.
If you’ve never created a Guide on your Instagram profile before, the tab won’t be there. Just like an IGTV or Reel, the new tabs only appear when you’ve created and shared that type of content on your Instagram profile.
Why should I repurpose my content into Instagram Guides?
At this point you might be thinking, “Oh great, another Instagram feature to create content for…why should I bother?”
Let me tell you why it’s worthwhile creating Instagram Guides if you want your business to grow via Instagram.
When people visit your Instagram profile, they get a quick preview of your business/brand/who you are. Your profile has to efficiently and effectively communicate what you do and what you’re an expert in.
But there are limited ways of getting that message across.
Your bio is limited to a certain number of characters and it’s unlikely that first-time visitors will want to click on your website link to find out more.
It’s also difficult to communicate ALL of your brand’s messages in every post you share on your Instagram grid.
This is why Guides are so powerful.
Just by having Guides on your Instagram profile, you’re showing new visitors that you mean business. You have expert knowledge and you’re sharing it right here, for free, on a platform they already use.
By creating Guides that communicate what you’re an expert in, visitors will clearly and quickly be able to see what value you’re giving away and why they should follow you.
So really, there are four main reasons why businesses and brands need to be using Instagram Guides:
- They show your expertise
- They build credibility
- They’re helpful for anyone new landing on your profile
- They’re a brilliant way to curate and repurpose your existing Instagram content
How do I repurpose my content into Instagram Guides?
Instagram Guides are a fantastic content curation feature (and therefore perfect for repurposing). They take existing Instagram content and create a new user experience – which means you don’t have to create any new content.
This also means it extends the life of your social media content. Social media posts are often fleeting, but there are some brilliant ways to help them live longer, which I shared in How to Create and Repurpose Your Highlights on Social Media.
Before I dive into the step-by-step process to repurposing your content into an Instagram Guide, you might want to check out some accounts who use Instagram Guides brilliantly:
@yoursocialteam do a fantastic job of using Instagram Guides to show what they’re experts in
@madedotcom show how to repurpose your content into a Guide like a pro
@instagramforbusiness has lots of inspiration for all the platform’s features, including a wide range of Guides
And, of course, you can check out my Guides on @content10x
Now let’s get into how to create your own.
5 steps to repurposing your content into Instagram Guides
1. Decide what guides you want to create
Before you even open the Instagram app, plan out what topics your guide will cover. You could feature your products, services, industry subjects that you want to be known for, or…anything really!
If you’re stuck for ideas, here’s a few to get you going:
- A how-to guide
- Your recommended resources
- Your top tips for X topic
- A guide to your products and services
- A collection of your favorite video/podcast episodes/quotes that inspire you
But bear in mind that repurposing your existing Instagram content into Guides means you need to have that type of content already on your profile. So if you want to create a guide about your products, for example, you’ll need to have posts on your Instagram profile related to your products.
2. Select what type of Guide you want to create within Instagram
Now it’s time to open the app! To start creating Guides, you need to go to your profile page and hit the plus (+) button. From here, you can select the Guide option.
If it’s not working for you, it might be that you’re choosing the plus button on the main homepage. This won’t bring up an option for Guides – you can only create these from your profile page.
There are three different Guide types to choose from:
- Places – these categorize your posts by location and are great for travel tips or recommendations
- Products – these categorize posts by product type and are perfect for businesses selling directly through Instagram
- Posts – these are suitable for all posts on Instagram, they’ll allow you to select from either your own posts or posts you’ve saved
There isn’t a huge difference between the three types of Guides, but if you have a specific need, it’s best to choose the one that fits it. For this post, I’m focusing on Posts Guides only.
What is interesting about Posts Guides is that you can also curate other people’s content. If you’ve saved a post to your profile, you can then curate it into a Guide. All you need to do is hit the save button on the post you like and then selected it from your saved folder.
So you could mix up your own content with others or put together a collection of other users’ content as your own Guide.
3. Select your content
Once you’ve chosen your Guide type, the next step is to add in your content. It’s incredibly straightforward, just select what posts you want from your own profile or your saved folder. It’s content curation made very simple.
This is where the repurposing comes in – you won’t have to create any brand-new content for your Guide, because the images are already on your profile! You could even select posts that are years old to add them into your Guide and give them a new lease of life.
Make sure all of your content works together as one piece. Your final Guide will read somewhat like a blog post, so think about your choices editorially and keep in mind your original plan (see step number one).
4. Write the titles and captions
Each post needs some supporting text to tell the viewer what each post is about. All the Guide will show the viewer is a still image, so adding a title and caption to each post gives context. Remember, the finished Guide will read like a blog post.
Keep in mind what you want people to do when writing the text for your Guide. If you want them to read it thoroughly, then the text should be compelling enough to keep people’s attention. However, if you want people to click on a post to learn more, you’ll need to include plenty of hooks and calls to action.
Expert copywriter, Joanna Wiebe, shared her top tips for writing a great hook and call to action in our interview for episode 188 of The Content 10x Podcast. If you want help with those, check out that episode here: How to Write Better Content with Joanna Wiebe.
5. Share your Instagram Guide with the world!
Now your guide is complete, it’s time to hit publish and share it on your Instagram profile. Your Guide will instantly appear on your profile, under the Guide tab, but there are plenty of other places you could share it too, for example:
- On your Instagram feed
- On your Stories
- Send it to people via direct message
To keep your Instagram Guides up-to-date, review them periodically or put a reminder in your content repurposing system to check if your new content could be added to them.
And that’s it! Just 5 simple steps to repurpose your content into Instagram Guides.
I hope you’ve found this post useful. I’d love to see how you repurpose your content into Instagram Guides, so do share them with me on Instagram!
For a complete and comprehensive guide to repurposing your content for social media, check out the Content 10x book: More Content, Less Time, Maximum Results. It’s a handy companion, packed full of tips and advice, for all kinds of content repurposing processes and projects.
If you want help with repurposing your content, check out our specialist end-to-end services. If you have a podcast, create video, or are just getting started on your content journey, click here to find out how we can help you build authority and become a leader in your industry.