10 Unique Ways to Use Instagram Guides for Marketing

Instagram Guides is one of the latest features introduced by the app. It may have slipped under your radar with Instagram Live, Shops, Reels, a rearranged home screen, and a slew of other features introduced in 2020.

Fortunately, putting things on your radar is precisely what Instagram Guides are for. In fact, if you want to stay on top of Instagram marketing tips and updates, We already has a guide for that.

If you’re here just to learn about Guides, we have a guide for that, too—only in blog format. Learn how to create Instagram Guides, how you can use them for your business, and more.

What are Instagram Guides?

Instagram Guides are a cross between Instagram carousels and blog posts. They can be created using pre-published posts, places, or product listings from the creator’s account or public accounts. Each guide includes a cover image, title, introduction, and optional descriptions for entries.

The initial inspiration for Guides was travel. But with worldwide travel bans in place, Instagram decided to launch the feature in May 2020 with a wellness theme. In November, Instagram expanded the feature for all users and topics.

Once created, Guides appear in a dedicated tab on a person’s or brand’s profile and can be shared in Stories or direct messages. Entries can be edited, added, or removed as the account owner desires.

How to use Instagram Guides

New to creating Instagram Guides? Follow these steps to create Guides with posts, products, or places.

How to create an Instagram Guide with posts

  1. From your profile, click the plus symbol in the upper right corner.
  2. Select Guide.
  3. Tap Posts.
  4. Choose a post from your feed or a saved post published by other public accounts.
  5. Tap Next.
  6. Add your guide title and description. If you would like to use a different cover photo, tap Change Cover Photo.
  7. Double check the prepopulated place name, and edit as needed. If you wish, add a description.
  8. Tap Add Place and repeat steps 4–8 until your guide is complete.
  9. Tap Nextin the upper right corner.
  10. Tap Share.

How to create an Instagram Guide with products

  1. From your profile, click the plus symbol in the upper right corner.
  2. Select Guide.
  3. Tap Products.
  4. Search by account for the product listing you’d like to include. If you’ve saved the product to your wishlist, you can find it there also.
  5. Select the product you’d like to add and tap Next. You can choose to include multiple posts for a single entry if available. They will be displayed like a carousel.
  6. Add your guide title and description. If you would like to use a different cover photo, tap Change Cover Photo.
  7. Double check the prepopulated place name, and edit as needed. If you wish, add a description.
  8. Tap Add Products and repeat steps 4–8 until your guide is complete.
  9. Tap Nextin the upper right corner.
  10. Tap Share.

How to create an Instagram Guide with places

  1. From your profile, click the plus symbol in the upper right corner.
  2. Select Guide.
  3. Tap Places.
  4. Search for a place by geotag, in your saved folder, or use one of your pre-published posts. If you search by geotag, select the post you would like to include.
  5. Once you’ve selected a post, click Next.
  6. Add your guide title and description. If you would like to use a different cover photo, tap Change Cover Photo.
  7. Double check the prepopulated place name, and edit as needed. If you wish, add a description.
  8. Tap Add Place and repeat steps 4–8 until your guide is complete.
  9. Tap Nextin the upper right corner.
  10. Tap Share.

Tip: If you would like to include specific images in a place guide, create a folder for them first. For this to work, these posts must include geotags.

10 ways to use Instagram Guides for your business

Not sure where to start with Instagram Guides? Let these examples inspire you.

Create a gift guide

Instagram Guides are an easy way to repurpose product listings into gift Guides for Christmas, Mother’s Day, and other holidays.

Afrocenchix created a Christmas shopping guide with its catalogue, and The Lip Bar has a guide centered on easy, affordable gifts for beginners.

Looking for gifts for botanical lovers? Vintner’s Daughter has you covered.

Compile a list of tips

Each tip features a different brand post, providing a concrete example for inspiration. Explore more marketing roundups on Instagram’s business account.

Gather posts under a theme

Most businesses on Instagram offer multiple products and services. Reorganize your feed with an Instagram guide that groups related posts together.

For example, Hot For Food posts vegan snacks, meals, desserts, and more. But those looking exclusively for dessert ideas can find them with the guide: Just Dessert Stuff.

Red Bull’s Training Day guide brings its “day in the life” series together.

Create a ranked list

Showcase your bestsellers, most popular posts, or top recipes.

If you run a contest that asks participants to cast votes for their favourites, publish the results in an Instagram Guide format.

Run a national sports league draft? Probably not, but this NBA 2020 draft guide is all net.

Share a brand story or message

Create an Instagram Guide that introduces new followers to your company and its values.

French jewelry designer Louise Damas’ guide details the company history with posts about its founder, process, unique pieces, and ladies-first approach.

Guides can also be used to break down new initiatives, highlight social responsibility efforts, or celebrate milestones.

Provide step-by-step instructions

Run an advice series or provide how-to’s on Instagram? Assemble posts into a simple step-by-step guide.

For example, Headspace collected its Money Smart Monday posts into a four-step guide on “how to get on top of your finances.”

Complex topics can be unpacked here, too. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s guide shows people how to have real convos about mental health.

Shoutout others in your community

Create a guide that spotlights members of your community, shares some love, or builds your network.

Yo Soy AfroLatina has a guide for its fav small businesses.

The Secret Mountain uses a place-based guide to promote the indie booksellers that stock its titles.

Collaborate with a creator

Guides open up a new way for brands to collaborate with influencers, creators, and celebs.

Everlane recruited actor Tommy Dorfman, actress Olivia Sui, and model and actress Lenya Bloom to curate gift guides with its products.

Businesses could create Guides that feature all their brand ambassadors, collaborate with influencers to make Guides on their account, and more.

Share a travel guide

It comes as no surprise that the travel industry jumped on Instagram Guides.

Tourism Australia’s Instagram account offers Guides to Gippsland, the Blue Mountains, and Kangaroo Island, among others.

Tourisme Quebec’s guide highlights Montreal’s Chinatown in French and English for Instagram. Brands might want to think outside the box here, too. Share a campus tour or a map of all company locations.

Promote causes and provide resources

For companies that champion causes and engage in social activism, Instagram Guides provide a place to summarize efforts and share resources.

Instagram’s Act for Racial Justice guide curates important explainers that have been shared by the community.

The nicest thing about Guides? They don’t necessarily require you to make brand new content. The easiest way to get started is to take a look at what you’ve already posted on Instagram and start grouping your content into categories you think your followers will find useful.

Decoding the Elements That Make Instagram Cool

In the vast realm of social media, Instagram has emerged as the epitome of coolness, effortlessly blending visual appeal, creativity, and cultural zeitgeist. As users scroll through their Instagram feeds, they are greeted by a curated tapestry of images that exude a certain cool factor. What is it about Instagram that makes it cool? This article endeavors to unravel the aesthetic alchemy that contributes to Instagram’s coolness, exploring the visual elements, cultural trends, and user behaviors that collectively shape the platform’s unique appeal.

Visual Storytelling Through Imagery

At the heart of Instagram’s coolness lies its emphasis on visual storytelling. The platform is a visual playground where users communicate through carefully curated images and videos. The coolness of Instagram is intrinsically tied to the artistry of its users, who skillfully wield filters, editing tools, and composition techniques to craft a visual narrative. The aesthetic appeal of Instagram is heightened by the platform’s square format, which not only pays homage to classic photography but also encourages users to think creatively about framing and composition.

Filter Magic and Visual Consistency

One of the standout features that contribute to Instagram’s cool aesthetic is its array of filters. From vintage-inspired tones to high-contrast black and white, filters on Instagram allow users to infuse their images with a distinct mood and personality. The consistent use of filters across a user’s feed creates a visual harmony that contributes to the overall coolness. The deliberate choice of filters becomes a signature style, making a user’s profile instantly recognizable and adding a layer of artistic cohesion to their content.

Minimalism and Simplicity

In the realm of cool, less is often more, and Instagram embodies this principle through the prevalence of minimalistic aesthetics. Clean lines, uncluttered backgrounds, and a focus on essential elements contribute to the minimalist vibe that permeates many Instagram profiles. The simplicity of design not only enhances the visual appeal but also allows the content to take center stage. The coolness of Instagram lies in its ability to elevate the ordinary into the extraordinary through a minimalist lens.

The Power of the Grid

Instagram’s grid layout is a canvas for users to showcase their creativity and sense of design. The grid serves as a visual portfolio, offering a snapshot of a user’s aesthetic sensibilities. The coolness factor emerges as users experiment with the arrangement of images, creating cohesive themes or alternating patterns that transform their profiles into a visual feast. The grid becomes a dynamic storytelling tool, inviting followers to explore not just individual posts but the entirety of the visual mosaic.

Influencers and Aspirational Living

Instagram’s coolness is closely intertwined with the rise of influencers who have mastered the art of aspirational living. Influencers curate lifestyles that resonate with their audience’s desires, whether it’s fashion, travel, fitness, or home decor. The carefully crafted images of influencers not only showcase products but also embody a certain coolness that followers aspire to emulate. The platform’s appeal lies in its ability to transport users into the aspirational worlds of influencers, where every image is a glimpse into a desirable lifestyle.

Authenticity and Behind-the-Scenes Moments

While aspirational living contributes to Instagram’s coolness, authenticity plays an equally crucial role. Users appreciate glimpses behind the perfectly curated images, allowing them to connect with the human side of influencers and creators. Stories, reels, and candid moments shared in captions create a sense of intimacy, breaking down the perceived barriers between creators and followers. The juxtaposition of polished content with authentic, behind-the-scenes moments adds a layer of relatability that enhances Instagram’s cool factor.

Community Engagement and Social Currency

The coolness of Instagram is not just about individual expression but also about community engagement. The platform thrives on social currency, where likes, comments, and shares become a form of validation and recognition. The sense of community on Instagram contributes to its coolness by fostering a dynamic space for conversation, inspiration, and collaboration. Users engage with each other’s content, forming virtual communities that amplify the cultural significance of Instagram beyond a mere photo-sharing app.

Trendsetting and Cultural Relevance

Instagram is a cultural barometer, reflecting and shaping trends across various industries. The platform’s coolness is intrinsically linked to its role as a trendsetter, where emerging fashion, beauty, and lifestyle trends find a home. Users actively participate in and contribute to these trends, creating a dynamic ecosystem that stays ahead of the curve. The cultural relevance of Instagram lies in its ability to capture and define the zeitgeist, making it a platform where coolness is in a constant state of evolution.

The Explore Page and Discovery

The Explore page on Instagram serves as a gateway to a world of inspiration and discovery. Curated based on user preferences and engagement, the Explore page introduces users to content beyond their immediate network. The algorithmic magic of the Explore page contributes to the coolness of Instagram by exposing users to a diverse range of creators, trends, and aesthetics. This element of serendipity adds an exciting dimension to the platform, keeping users engaged and constantly seeking new and cool content.

Constant Innovation and Feature Evolution

Instagram’s coolness is not static; it evolves with the platform’s commitment to innovation. The introduction of new features such as Stories, Reels, IGTV, and shopping integrations keeps the platform dynamic and aligned with shifting user preferences. Instagram’s willingness to adapt and embrace new trends ensures that it remains a relevant and cool space for users to express themselves and connect with others in novel ways.


In conclusion, the coolness of Instagram is a carefully orchestrated symphony of visual aesthetics, cultural relevance, user behaviors, and technological innovations. The platform’s unique blend of visual storytelling, minimalism, and aspirational living creates an immersive experience that resonates with users on a deeply personal level. As Instagram continues to evolve and shape the landscape of social media, its cool factor remains a testament to the platform’s ability to capture the essence of contemporary culture and provide a canvas for individual expression in the digital age. Instagram’s coolness is not just a fleeting trend; it’s a dynamic and ever-evolving phenomenon that reflects the pulse of a visually driven, connected society.

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