When it comes to Instagram, visiting the Explore page is a sure way to gain more exposure. Through the Explore page, you can maximize your reach and get your content in front of relevant users and potential customers. That means more views and impressions and possibly more Instagram followers.
How can your brand make the most of this prime real estate and get on the Instagram Explore page? let’s find out.
What is Instagram Explore Page?
An Explore page on Instagram is a collection of content based on a user’s personal interests. The Instagram algorithm curates content based on similar accounts or interacted content. The Explore page includes photos, videos, reels, and even Stories. Instagram curates the content on this page for each user’s taste, so no two Explore pages are alike.
Instagram users access the Explore page by tapping on the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the app screen.
From the top search bar, you can use keywords to find popular content, accounts, and tags related to a specific topic.
You can further filter the results according to niche categories. For example, the Explore page for “DIY crafts” shows more filters to narrow down your search by content or medium. It helps Instagram users to be specific with their searches. As a business owner, this can give you an idea of the type of content your customers are looking for based on the search results returned by Instagram.
Why Instagram Explore Pages matter to your brand
Your brand should care about visiting the Instagram Explore page because it means more people can see your content. With Instagram projected to have around 1.2 billion monthly active users by 2023, this increased visibility will have several related benefits:
- Increase followers: The Instagram Explore page is visited by over 200 million accounts daily. This platform accounts for 50% of the user base. And among these users, Instagram will expose your content to the people most likely to be interested in your account. This means that you have a good chance of converting some of them into new followers.
- Increased engagement: If users like the content they see, they can also engage with it by liking, commenting, or sharing with friends. So when they discover your content through the Explore page, it can increase engagement for your brand.
- Increased Sales: When more people discover your content through the Explore page, it helps to get your products in front of the right people. In addition, your shoppable Instagram posts can also appear in the Explore page. More people searching for your products can translate to increased sales.
How does the Instagram Explore Pages algorithm work?
Instagram uses a feed ranking system to personalize each user’s feed and explore page. The Explore Pages algorithm relies on machine learning to collect ranking signals and decide what to display. It uses an “unconnected recommendation system,” where the platform chooses posts based on each user’s activity on Instagram.
The Instagram algorithm then ranks these posts based on a number of factors. These factors include engagement, freshness, content quality and relevance.
In short, Instagram personalizes Explore Pages based on the following:
- Posts that are fresh and have a lot of engagement
- The type of content you engage with regularly
- Accounts you’re already following
- The types of posts you’ll see engaging with the people you follow
For example, let’s say you follow a lot of food accounts and join the reels related to cooking. In this case, Instagram will collect popular food-related content for your Explore Page.
The ranking system is currently based on relevance and interaction. Instagram supports content from all types of accounts equally as long as they meet the required criteria. This is great news if you are running an Instagram business account. This means you stand a good chance of getting on the Explore page as an influencer or personal account.
5 tips to get on Instagram Explore page
With millions of posts being created every day, visibility on Instagram is very competitive. This also makes it challenging to show the post in the Explore page. Use the following best practices for Instagram to improve your chances:
1. Share engaging content
Engagement is one of the key ranking signals that the Instagram Explore Pages algorithm looks for. Creating engaging content is easier said than done. Take a look at your existing content and your target audience. What type of Instagram content do they engage with the most? A quick Instagram audit can help you with these searches.
Ideally, your content should have two main qualities – it should be useful and it should be eye-catching. Does your content add value? Does it help your followers achieve something or solve a problem? Or perhaps it informs and educates them. You can also create content to entertain them only if it aligns with your brand persona.
2. Get inspiration from other posts on the Explore page
If you’re not sure how to create engaging content, see what types of content usually make it onto the Explore page. This can lead you to create the types of posts that your target audience is engaging with. It can show you what approach is working for other accounts relevant to your industry so you can get inspired and design your own content strategy.
Maybe people are enjoying the bite-sized how-to videos. Or maybe the infographic carousel sees a high level of engagement. Do you see more “before and after” changes than regular customer stories?
Pay attention to winning “recipes” and find a way to use them for your own Instagram content strategy.
3. Perfect Your Time for Optimal Engagement
Timing is an important factor when it comes to engagement on social media. With thousands of new content arriving every minute, if your post doesn’t see immediate engagement, it can get lost in the feed. The key to dealing with this problem is to post when your followers are most likely to see it.
The best time to post may vary by location, industry, and audience. So watch how your own followers are behaving to understand when to publish your content. A platform like Sprout Social makes it easy to find your best time to post. With the Optimal Send Times feature, Sprout uses engagement data from your profile to identify the best times to post for the most audience engagement.
4. Keep Things Fresh With New Formats
When Instagram introduces new content formats, it features these formats prominently for users to engage with. Note how the reels have a dedicated tab on the Instagram app. This is because Instagram wants the feature to be successful.
Building a reel increases your chances of increasing engagement and organic reach. It can also help diversify your feed, so you can keep your audience interested and engaged. Beyond the reels, make sure you experiment with other content formats as well. This can include stories, carousels and shoppable posts. Ideally, take a look at the trending content format right now and then leverage it for your strategy.
For example, Sprout’s Instagram account regularly changes formats to include videos, carousel infographics, employee spotlight photos, and keeps the reel feed diverse.
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5. Consider Investing in Paid Ads
Reaching an audience through organic posts can be difficult, so it helps if you can ramp up your efforts with some paid ads. Instagram allows you to run ads in Explore, which prominently display your content to users browsing the Explore page.
Keep in mind that these ads will not guarantee you a place on the main Explore page. But they will appear when a user clicks on one of the posts from their explore page and scrolls down. It still improves your content visibility significantly. And it allows you to reach relevant users even if you didn’t make it to their organic explore page.
Earn your spot on Instagram Explore Page
There are over 157 million Instagram users in the US and the second largest audience by country. So leveraging the Explore page gives you the ability to reach millions of new and relevant users.
The good news is that getting on an Instagram Explore page doesn’t have to be rocket science. Using the right mix of good content, timing and fresh content formats can get you ahead of the race. But to perfect your vision, you need to have a better understanding of what your audience wants to see from you.
Want to know what consumers expect from brands on social? Download The Sprout Social Index, Version XVII: Accelerate the discovery of valuable insights about social consumers.
The post How to Get on the Instagram Explore page first appeared on Sprout Social.