Getting on the Instagram Explore page is the social media the same as striking gold: when it happens, life gets easier. It’s also like striking gold in that there are not any guaranteed ways to make it happen. However, with some hard work, keen-eyed technique, and gritty perseverance, your odds of success increase.
In this post, we will provide you with knowledge about what, why and how to reach and engage audiences that an Instagram brand can get by getting on Instagram Explore page.
But first, let’s find out the answer to our most burning question:
What is the Instagram Explore page?
The Instagram Explore page is made up of pictures, videos, Storie, and merchandise—tailored for each consumer based on “the people you follow or the posts you like,” according to Instagram.
In other words, it is a limitless scroll of accounts you might wish to follow, posts you might wish to like, and products you might wish to purchase.
More than half of Instagram users check out the Explore page each month. (That’s about 500 million individuals, according to the latest Instagram statistics.) So, what, exactly, does the feed show individuals? That’s determined by the Instagram algorithm, which considers things like:
- Posts that individuals you follow have liked
- Posts with high engagement
- Accounts similar to ones you already follow
In May 2019, Instagram launched the Explore page to make it simpler for users to take deep dives into their niche interests. Specifically, the platform needed to help individuals discover what they’re searching for, and what they like, more easily.
The most important change is a navigation bar at the top of the screen, which features filter shortcuts, as well as Instagram’s next massive bets on user experience: IGTV and Shopping.
Let’s have a closer look at each of these channels.
- IGTV is a customized feed of long-form (i.e., longer than one minute) videos. The algorithm will include creators you already follow, but also ones it thinks you need to follow.
- Shop is a personalized feed of shoppable posts from brand accounts. There is also a convenient wishlist tab within the top right corner (the ribbon icon). And besides, that (the storefront icon) is a list of brand accounts you follow—together with some pertinent recommendations as to ones you might want to follow.
- Topic channels are personalized subject-oriented feeds. As an example: Nature, Travel, Trend, Food, Beauty, Science & Tech, etc. That mentioned, the algorithm is better at populating some topics than others.
- Stories are still rolling out in Explore, so not all accounts will see them yet. (In fact, you can seek for them.) However, those of you that have access will see auto-playing Stories in your Explore grid. Once you tap the Story, the algorithm will cue up similar stories to give you a limitless rabbit hole of latest content, all by accounts that you don’t follow and would never otherwise see.
Advantages of getting on the Instagram Explore page
That is simple: landing a post on the Instagram Explore page means more individuals will see your content. Accordingly, the advantages may or may not include:
- An engagement spike on the post or Story that made it discover, as your content gets surfaced to wider viewers than your followers;
- A bump in new followers (people who like your post enough to take a look at your profile and are impressed by your amazing bio, highlight covers, and so on.);
- Residual increased engagement going forward (from those new followers);
- More conversions (in case you have the right call-to-action ready for all these fresh eyeballs).
Convinced? Let’s take a look at the way to make it happen.
The way to get on the Instagram Explore page: 7 suggestions
1. Publish when your followers are looking
This is our number one tip because it’s the simplest win.Instagram algorithm prioritizes timeliness (a.k.a. recency), which means in case your post is brand new it will likely be shown to more of your followers. And earning high engagement with your followers is the first step in the direction of getting a spot on the Explore page.
Try our evaluation of the best time to post on Instagram for your industry by taking a look at your analytics.
2. Learn from high-performing posts that you see on the Explore page
In case you are already following accounts that are relevant to your industry and your viewers, your own Explore page ought to have plenty of insights for you as to what the algorithm is noticing. And what your potential viewers like.
As a result, although Instagram isn’t showing like counts anymore, you can still get a sense of what’s working for other brands just by seeing what the algorithm promotes. In other words: if a post shows up on your Explore page that has absolutely nothing to do with your interests, you can probably bet that it has killer engagement.
So go ahead and do some low-key recon or high-key social listening to break down themes, aesthetics, formats, and value propositions of the posts that you wish you’d posted.
3. Pay attention to analytics
Check out what you’re doing that’s already resonating with your viewers. You might discover that they like your boomerangs more than your carousels. Or that they like your jokes better than your inspirational quotes.
If you can get your viewers tapping hearts and leaving comments consistently, their engagement will help propel you to the Explore page.
Pro Tip: In case you have a business profile on Instagram, you can verify your native analytics to see whether your greatest posts have already hit the Explore page. Tap the blue view insights button under your precious post, and swipe up to examine where all your impressions came from.
4. Post visually compelling Stories that are representative of your brand
Not everyone seems to be seeing Stories on Explore yet, however, we will only imagine it will roll out quickly. You’re going to want to optimize your Stories for discovery. But how?
The Instagram algorithm has some specific preferences in terms of bumping Stories up onto the Explore page.
A user’s potential “interest” (a.k.a., Stories similar to ones from accounts that you already followed) is the most important ranking signal. However, the algorithm prioritizes the following, as well:
- Videos (they tend to attract more attention because they auto-play in Explore, but an excellent picture will do better than a mediocre video)
- Extremely visual Stories (that don’t have too much text)
- Stories that are similar to/representative of your account’s typical content
Meanwhile, what are some techniques that can make a story less likely to get featured on Explore?
- Reposts from other users
5. Try long-form video, a.k.a. IGTV
Let’s take a look at the information:
- IGTV has its own dedicated space in Explore. (Instagram pins its button to the top!)
- IGTV was derided as having a lackluster first year because of a lack of buy-in from content creators.
- I don’t find out about your IGTV channel, but mine is full of… um, the great word for it is ‘clickbait.’
Instagram is pushing IGTV hard, but up to now, a long-form video has not been as popular as Stories. Seems like a chance for a creative brand to enjoy a push from the full force of the algorithm, yes?
6. Make your shoppable posts stand out
The Shopping Channel is just like IGTV in that Instagram is promoting it hard in Explore. It’s a lot more popular than IGTV because what B2C brand in their right mind isn’t using shoppable posts?
With this type of market saturation, your product posts need to be flawless and attractive to make it onto the Explore page.
7. Buy an ad on Explore
As of June 2019, brands can buy Explore page advertisements. These advertisements don’t show up within the feed. However, after an individual clicks on a video or picture, to be less intrusive to individuals.
To get ROI on an ad on the Explore page, it’s going to have to be as compelling as the posts that surround it. A tall order, right?