Instagram Guides is a fantastic feature that I think has a lot of potential for increasing awareness about your art gallery, exhibitions, and artists. The social media platform is already becoming a first point of contact with your gallery for many of your target art buyers. Guides really make marketing your art gallery on Instagram an even more powerful tool.
This feature is a tool for better content discovery. They are created by curating a string of consecutive previous posts, either from your page or saved posts you like from perhaps your artists’ accounts.
The interesting element comes into play from the additional context created with a cover image, title, introduction text, and extra descriptions for each post within the guide. Guides enable you to provide followers with a bigger or more focused view on a topic than you can create with a single post or even a story.
We will look at some examples below of how museums and others use guides to sell art and promote exhibitions. I hope you’ll be inspired.
Hootsuite put it nicely. They describe guides as a cross between Instagram carousels and blog posts. They can be used in so many interesting ways as a sales and marketing tool for your gallery.
There are three types of guides you can create.
- Products: This type can allow you to feature works by an artist. Items in this guide are selected from your Instagram shop.
- Posts: This guide type can be used similarly to an online viewing room on your gallery website. Choose from images you already posted or saved from other profiles.
- Places: This is probably the type of guide your gallery is least likely to use unless you want to highlight places around your community, which could be fun for your followers.
How your art gallery can use Instagram Guides
When I first learned about this feature, my imagination began running wild on all the marvelous ways an art gallery business could use them to promote their artists and serve their collectors. Guides essentially provide a new way to learn about art or gallery services without leaving the Instagram platform.
As you know, Instagram loves it when users spend more time with an account.
- Organize your message – Organizing posts into related categories. For example, create a guide for different mediums, subjects, or artworks by price range depending on how your client base likes to discover new art.
- Instagram Viewing Room – You post a lot to support your exhibitions. Use guides to add more long-form content around an exhibit for your Instagram followers. You can combine many posts in a guide and, in doing so, allows you to tell a more complete story on Instagram with additional copy to enhance context.
- Curated gift guide – Select available artworks you have posted in the past to highlight as potentials unique gifts – Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Father’s Day, Anniversary. These gift guides can, of course, link to your Instagram Store.
- Virtual artist studio tours – Share images and videos of your artists at work in their studios as a sort of ongoing studio tour via Instagram.
- Brand loyalty – A guide that tells a story of your gallery’s values and highlights your amazing staff would help build brand loyalty. With so much more competition online, that feels like something harder to come by these days.
- Gallery services – Create a guide that shares how to engage the gallery for consulting or other gallery services. Many may be intimidated to inquire without knowing what to expect first. Some of your followers may not even be aware you offer services, so guides are perfect for marketing an art gallery’s services on Instagram.
Benefits of creating guides as part of your gallery marketing plan
Guides are a perfect tool for marketing an art gallery on Instagram. Now you can offer more in-depth discoverability of what your gallery has to offer. The long-form format means people will spend more time with your content and have a different experience with your gallery and art while on the Instagram platform.
Because guides can use your existing posts, they are relatively fast and easy to create. As you add titles and descriptive copy to build your guide, you can take your followers on a fresh journey. And guess what… all that new copy you’re writing, make sure it’s keyword-rich because guides can help your SEO.
With an additional means of creating fresh content, your gallery can use the Guides format to help build or reinforce your reputation as a subject matter expert aligning with your gallery program. This will be appreciated by new art collectors looking to educate themselves before buying and finding a source they can trust.
Add tips and advice, when appropriate, into your guides to develop brand loyalty amongst your Instagram following. Guides can be shared via stories and direct messages as well. Proactively encourage your loyal following to do so when you publish a new guide.
Examples of Guides for Marketing your Art Gallery on Instagram
Check out these examples I found. @highmuseumofart created a guide to highlight an exhibition. The Scout Guide Richmond (@tsgrichmond) put together a great example of a gift guide showcasing art. I hope these will fuel your imagination for your art gallery might create.
To the Point
Instagram Guides are an exciting feature to share more long-form content on a topic with your gallery’s followers. They are a new way to discover, experience, and learn without being forced to locate all the related posts on your feed one by one.
I think they have endless possibilities for marketing an art gallery on Instagram.
They are also super easy to set up, post, and share in stories or direct messages to prospective art buyers.
Make this feature part of your art gallery’s future Instagram marketing strategy. I can’t wait to see how you use it.