If you’ve been keeping up with the world of Instagram recently, you’ll have noticed that the platform has unveiled its new ‘Instagram Guides’ feature, which has grabbed attention. The new feature will help brands produce amazing organic content alongside the top creators in their industry, in order to deliver the in-depth content that consumers are craving.
Instagram began the venture into Guides as a response to the coronavirus outbreak, with the wellness field in mind. They recognised that there was room for Instagram to better support the mental wellbeing of their users, and adding Guides meant that instead of having to navigate away from Instagram in order to get in-depth categorised content, consumers could stay on Instagram and get it right there. For example, instead of having to move on to a creator’s blog, website or YouTube channel to access long-form content, they will now be able to navigate their way to it via Instagram Guides.
We’re taking a look at the ways that Instagram’s newest Guide feature will change the way creators craft content for Instagram and how brands can get involved.
The idea behind Instagram Guides is to give people access to reliable information and inspiration from their favourite accounts. Guides will appear in the same panel as IGTV, Tagged Images, and the Grid Selection and will deliver content in an easy to read format that can be shared to Stories and In-Feed Posts.
Some of the first Guides that have been created, include one from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention called “Mental Health and COVID-19”. This is a great example of how Guides will join up the dots and provide longer-form content that offers a well-rounded resource for consumers.
Instagram Guides will mean a few things for creators and brands. Firstly, they will now be able to lead consumers straight to long-form content on their Instagram page, eliminating the need for navigation away from Instagram to a third party site.
This will be great for creators and brands but may need extra thought from brands. If a brand is used to navigating users to their blog or directly to product pages from their content, they will need to think about how they can work with creators, or make their own Guides in order to keep up with this trend. For some brands, using Instagram's Shopping and Checkout tools will mean that customers may now never have to leave the app.
That’s not to say that blogging and navigation to third party sites will become redundant - quite the opposite - but, in these cases, brands will have to think about how they can use organic content to link to product pages, as opposed to directly linking them to their website.
For now, it seems that the Guides feature is limited to the wellness-focused creators and brands that are helping people get through the coronavirus period. However, we expect to see Guides be rolled out to all creators and brands in due course.
These are our early predictions on how brands can get involved in Instagram Guides:
Sponsored Guides: Brands might not be able to create their own Guides at the moment, but what we expect to see more of is sponsored Guides on creator’s pages, whereby a brand might work with a creator to come up with a Guide that will, in turn, feature their product or service. For example, a fitness brand might work with a fitness creator in order to pull together a fitness Guide for users in paid partnership with the brand.
Product placement in organic Guides: We predict that brands might work with creators to get their content and products into the creator’s Guides. While the usual Ad Disclosure Guidelines will need to be followed, this may allow brands to raise brand awareness in a more subtle and organic way. For example, a tourist board might ask for their country to be involved in a travel creator's ‘Beaches Guide’. This will make for great organic and authentic content that also involves the brand’s offering.
If you’d like to discuss the ways that your brand could work with influencers to create Guides, get in touch. Alternatively, you can read up on how influencer marketing can add value across the board and how that value can be measured.