What Instagram Guides Means for Influencer Marketing?

By Keith Bendes, Head of Brand Partnerships

Instagram recently announced its latest feature – Guides. It has big implications for brands and the influencer marketing industry in general. 

What are Instagram Guides?

Guides are basically long form content on Instagram, about either: Places you’ve been, Posts you’ve made, or Products you love. The introduction of long form content on social media is important because the powerhouse player (Instagram) has not historically offered creators a long form option, and blogs have always stepped in to play that role in influencer marketing. Now that Instagram has long form content, it changes what the platform can be for influencers, and thus brands. Guides also offer a level of permanence that Stories do not, given the fleeting nature of Stories. The combination of long form and long tail makes Guides an attractive option for brands.  

Influencers create Guides by first selecting from the three Guides options: Places, Posts or Products. They then choose the content they want to feature and write commentary around each element. Word count is unlimited, allowing for long-form, blog-like content right in Instagram! 

Where are Instagram Guides?

You can find Guides on an influencers’ profile as an icon (similar to IG Live and Reels). It’s the icon that looks like an open book and it will instantly bring you to all of the Guides that influencer has created. To drive more visibility and traffic to Guides, influencers can link to their Guides in their Instagram Stories. 

How does Instagram Guides tie into shopping? 

To create a Products Guide, the products need to already be established in Instagram Shop. For influencer marketing, this can make the connection from story to commerce that much more seamless. In Guides, you have unlimited space to tell your story of why you love a particular product, and then it links out directly to the product for consumers to instantly purchase.

Depending on how the Guide is set up, it can enable the consumer to purchase through Instagram Shop, link out to the brands DTC website, or link to a third-party retailer like Walmart. Here is an example of a Guide by Sephora that sends users directly to Instagram Checkout, and here is another example of a Guide for Maty’s that links to a Walmart purchase page.  

Social commerce is growing rapidly, and at such an accelerated pace given the macro events that have happened in the world in the last year. This trend will only continue as social commerce tools get more intelligent and pervasive, and Instagram is ahead of the game in realizing the need to have different features and functions to win out over competitors.

Now is a great time to test out Instagram Guides in your next influencer marketing campaign.