Have you heard the news? As of December 15th, 2023, Instagram Guides will be removed as a feature from Instagram. One thing we can always rely on is that social media will change. This is a good reason to always be using different post types and features, as you can wake up one morning to the news that one of your staple features is going away.
Although Instagram Guides are joining IGTV and the Swipe Up function in the Instagram junk yard, this doesn’t mean you should stop creating ways to organize your posts and create gift guides through Instagram. Gift guides create convenience for your viewer as it helps them to shop and quickly find the items they are looking for. Imagine you’re on a website and you want to search for “Gifts for Mom” but you have to scroll through every product page to manually field the assortment available to you. It would be much easier and more helpful if there were categories to shop from, and the same thing goes for your social media. Previously, we would have recommended using Facebook Albums and Instagram Guides to neatly organize your posts, but now we have to share some alternatives for Instagram.
Here are 4 Alternatives to Instagram Guides.
Post or Story Product Guides:
Laying out several items in one image mimics the look of a classic magazine gift guide. You can easily do this by removing the background of a product image in Canva. Alternatively, if you have an iPhone, you can copy and paste an individual item out of a photo (by tapping and holding down on the item and then selecting “Copy” when it comes up) and pasting several of the items into an Instagram Story to showcase items in one category.
Here are a few great examples that clearly highlight the products and link to where to learn more or purchase.
Stories can be saved indefinitely as a Highlight in small circles under your Instagram bio. This is a good alternative to Instagram Guides, as you can name and categorize content, including posts that you have shared to your Story.
You can share your posts to your Story by selecting the small airplane icon below the post and choosing to share it to your own Story, and you can even include a direct link to the product page. After that, you can save that Story to a Highlight under the correct category.
Carousel posts are still one of the most engaged with content types on Instagram, as an individual post prompts the user to scroll through up to 10 pieces of content, as well as read the caption. This keeps the user on this one post for much longer than a single image.
To create a giftguide in a carousel, post several product images that belong in one category into one carousel post. You can choose up to 10 products, but we recommend including a title slide that shares the category of the gift guide, and then 9 product images to follow. Also, don’t forget to include all the information a viewer may need to make a purchase in the caption!
You often see Reels sharing the best restaurants in any given city, or the top 5 places to check out this holiday season. Why not build some Reels including the top picks for gifts in a video guide? You can easily snap a short video of the product and include a short clip introducing the category, and a final clip about how to shop the products mentioned!
This is a great example from World Market. A couple of best practices to consider for this would be to use a cover image for the Reel that includes the gift guide title and to add a voiceover explaining the product.
Here are some gift guide categories to consider when building your gift guides outside of Instagram Guides:
- Most Gifted Items
- Gifts Under $100
- Gifts for different friends and family members (Mom, Dad, Partner, Grandparents, Teenagers, Coworkers)
- Secret Santa Gift Guide
Many businesses liked to use Guides as Instagram’s version of Facebook Albums. It was a way to organize your posts into categories to help viewers sort through your content and find what they are looking for. Maybe this feature will find its way back one day, but for now, try to use the alternative options to organize your posts on Instagram.
What I Want You To Take Away From This Blog:
- Use images in a Story to showcase the best products
- Use Instagram Highlights to organize your posts and Stories
- Use carousel posts to post several categories of a product within one post
- Use Reels to create lists of the top products to buy in any given category
Okay, over to you…
Will you miss IG Guides? I know we will, but it’s always important to stay up to date with the latest features. We will be sharing the latest and great social media strategies and best practices at EVOLVE 2024, a conference made to transform your business happening April 2024 at the Gaylord Rockies Resort in Denver, CO.