Instagram Guides let you create curated lists of posts from your Instagram account and other accounts. Originally rolled out to selected exercise and travel influencers, they’re now available for everyone and have so many uses for wedding photographers, portrait photographers and more.
In this series on Instagram Guides, we’ve looked at how to create them, and ideas for wedding photographers to use Guides to attract ideal clients. Now let’s look at where you can share your Guides to get them out to your audience.
Where to share your Instagram Guides to connect with your audience
When published, Guides appear in your feed for your followers and a dedicated tab appears on your profile page. But you can get a lot more use out of the work you’ve put into your Guide.
Every Guide has a unique link that you can copy using the Share button, and that’s what we’ll start with. For example, this guide for my Promptographer blog.
Create a short link with Rebrandly
First and foremost, if you’re going to share the naked link, you need to rebrand it. Instagram’s link will be long and ugly, so (please) use a tool like Rebrandly to pretty it up. I have tried a number of link shorteners over the years and Rebrandly is my favorite. At the time of writing, you can add up to five custom domains on their free plan (that’s crazy good). You can also use their default short link domain if you don’t have your own.
Registering a short domain is just as easy as registering your normal website URL, and they are often less than $15 a year to hold. Rebrandly lets you register a new domain directly through your account, or you can register it wherever your main URL is (like GoDaddy) and then point it to your Rebrandly account.
When choosing a short domain, pick something that’s like your main domain, only abbreviated. For example, if your main website is familyfunphotography.com, a great short domain would be ffphoto.cc or something similar. I have a couple of short domains for different purposes, including jemma.cc, pollari.cc and cbstory.cc.
Don’t forget to customize the slash tag (i.e. what comes after the domain) to make it easier for you to use and remember. For example, https://jemma.cc/familypromptsguide.
Share your shortlink to your Instagram Guide on other social media and offline
Now that you have your Guide short linked, share it on other platforms. Pin it to the top of your Twitter profile; share it on your Facebook page, etc. Print it on flyers, business cards or postcards.
Embed Instagram Guides on your website
OK, now that we have taken care of the easier and obvious ideas of where to share your Instagram Guide, let’s dive into some of the other options.
When thinking about where to share your Instagram Guide, consider where your clients look for the information. If you’ve created a fashion guide for model clients, for example, having a page on your website with “FAQs about your model portfolio photoshoot” would be a great place to embed a guide showing clients how to plan outfits for their session.
In the share menu of the Guide, you’ll find the Embed button that will give you the code to copy. All website builders should have a code block you can paste this into.
This is an extremely versatile way of sharing your Instagram Guide because you can talk to people where they come to find you, without duplicating efforts. It also means you can save storage space and loading time on your website, because the large image files are being delivered by Instagram’s mega network of fast image servers, instead of your website host. Website load times are a huge factor in how long visitors will stay on your website, so using Instagram Guides in this way can help you in more ways than one.
Use Instagram Guides as part of your local SEO blog marketing strategy
In the previous article of this series, I talked about creating a Guide to share your preferred venues with your clients. If you have a blog on your website, then using embedded Guides like this can be a great way to work on your local SEO strategy. Depending on your photography specialty you could write blog posts about:
- Local wedding venues or restaurants
- Gyms or fitness classes
- Local shops that sell cute baby/kids’ clothing
- Beaches, forests and fields nearby make great photoshoot locations
- Local business networking opportunities
- Markets or pop-ups that your ideal client would be interested in
Use an SEO plugin to optimize your on-page text and illustrate with helpful Guides to bring people from search to your website to your Instagram with one piece of content.
Because Guides can be created with posts from any account, attributing the photos is done already, and you’re not taking other people’s content and republishing it on your site (as with, say, downloading the images, re-uploading and publishing in a blog post). This saves a heap of time and effort.
As a bonus, if your guide is thoughtful and useful, the accounts you feature in it can share it with their audience too.