Instagram Explore

How to get your business on the Instagram Explore page

1 billion people use Instagram every month. And it’s not all famous celebrities and photogenic brunches. It’s a hugely powerful tool for businesses.

In fact, 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile every single day and a whopping 90% of users follow a business account.

With 70% of users using Instagram to look up brands, it’s clearly a great place to be for businesses.

But how can businesses really make it on Instagram?

By gaining a spot on the Instagram Explore Page.

In the world of Instagram, landing your content on the Explore Page is the equivalent of strapping a rocket to your bottom line.

So, how can you get on the Explore Page? After all, you can’t just click your fingers and expect to win your place. But, with some hard-work, perseverance and by following our top tips, your chances of landing on the Explore Page will skyrocket.

In this guide, we’ll take you through our 6 top tips to landing that all-important top spot on the Instagram Explore Page, in turn gaining invaluable and free engagement and reach.

First things first, what is the Instagram Explore Page?

 

As always, let’s start with the basics. What exactly is the Instagram Explore Page?

The Instagram Explore Page consists of a range of content – from photos, videos, stories, Instagram TV videos and products, all tailored to specific users based upon the people they follow and the content they like.

Instagram presents content on the Explore Page to users based on new accounts it thinks they’ll want to follow, content they’ll want to see and products they’ll want to buy.

It’s no wonder that massive 500 million, or half of all Instagram users check the Explore Page every month. It’s a goldmine for discovery.

What’s more, following changes to the Explore page in May 2019, Instagram made it a whole lot easier for users to find relevant content based upon their niche interests – so it’s super easy for users to find interesting, relevant content at the click of a button.

So, how does Instagram decide what content to display on the Explore Page?

The content that’s shown on a user’s Explore Page is determined by the Instagram algorithm which takes into account factors such as:

  • Accounts similar to the ones a user already follows
  • Posts that receive high engagement in a particular niche
  • Posts that that have received a lot of likes from accounts a user follows

And what does the Explore page look like?

As we’ve already touched on, the Explore page features photos, videos, stories and shoppable posts.

And, if you’ve been paying close attention, you’ll have noticed that recently one big change rolled out to the Explore Page was the introduction of the navigation bar to the top of the page.

This bar features filter shortcuts based on a user’s interests, as well as the platform’s next biggest things: Instagram TV and Shop.

Instagram Explore Page

Let’s take a look at this in more detail:

  • IGTV: this is the Instagram TV channel, packed full of videos all longer than one minute. Clicking on this will show users IGTV videos from the accounts they already follow, as well as videos by accounts Instagram thinks they should like and follow.
  • Shop: this tab takes you through to a personalised feed full of shoppable posts by brand accounts. Again, Instagram will show content by accounts you already follow, as well as those it thinks you’ll be interested it.
  • Topic Tabs: the topics that appear in the rest of the menu are personalised to each user. Here, the user was recommended Food, TV & Movies, Style, Animals and so on. Again, if we click on one of these topics, it will take us into a personalised feed of content in this subject area.

For further details of changes to Instagram and how to keep up with these, check out our handy guide.

Whats so good about the Instagram Explore Page?

 

Well, landing a spot on the Explore Page means more people setting eyes on your content, for free.

This is great for:

  • Brand awareness: showing your business to a brand-new audience
  • Reaching highly targeted audiences: because the Explore page is built on individual’s interests, your content will be shown to a highly-targeted audience
  • Gaining new customers: new audience members means new customers
  • Getting more likes: more users seeing your content means more people liking your content
  • Receiving more followers: those that see what they like will follow your account
  • Increased engagement: with more likes, views, comments and follows comes more engagement

And, it’s completely free.

So, down to the nitty gritty – how can you get on the explore page?

  • Tip #1: Post when you know your followers are active

     

    This is a super easy tip that’s also super effective.

    The Instagram algorithm prioritises timeliness. In fact, several studies have repeatedly found that the time you post has a big impact on how well your content will perform.

    Posting when your followers are most active will increase the chances that your post will attract more engagement because of the simple fact that your followers are online to like, comment and engage with your post.

    But how does this improve your chances of getting on the Explore page?

    Well, content that attracts a ton of likes, comments and high levels of engagement sends a signal to the Instagram algorithm. It tells Instagram that this content is interesting, valuable and worth displaying on the Explore page for more accounts to discover.

    What’s more, posting when your current audience is most active means there’s a high chance that your prospective audience – those you want to connect with on the Explore Page – will be online too.

    So, when it the best time to post?

A study by Later analysed 12 million Instagram posts and concluded that the best time to post was between 9am-11am, but, as every business is different there’s no one size fits all, which is where Instagram Analytics come in handy.

You’ll find the best time for your business to post by checking out the Insights tool built into the Instagram app. This highlights when your followers are most active and likely to interact with your content.

If you’re new to Instagram and don’t have lots of data to work with yet, check out this handy study on the best times to post on Instagram.

Tip #2: post content your audience will love

 

As we’ve discussed, Instagram puts content on the Explore Page that it thinks users will like and interact with.

In Instagram’s own words:

The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood youll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”

 

To resonate with your audience, earn new audience members and win your spot on the Explore page, it’s important that you identify what types of content resonate with your audience and keep on doing more of it.

  • This isn’t as hard as it sounds. Chances are, if you’ve created killer buyer personas and know your audience inside out, you’ll be pretty in-tune with what content they’re looking for.It’s also a great idea to head over to Instagram Insights where you’ll see what content is most popular with your audience. 

    You may find that inspirational quotes consistently gain the highest levels of engagement, or perhaps videos are always a big hit with your audience. Whatever it is, you’ll be able to identify what’s working, and incorporate that into your Instagram strategy.

    If you can create more of the content your audience love, you’ll drive more likes and comments, helping propel your posts to the Explore page.

    Tip #3: Tag your products to appear in the Shopping Channel

    If your business sells products, getting features in the lucrative shopping section of the Explore Page is a killer way to get more sales in the bag.

    After all, 70% of shoppers turn to Instagram for product discovery, with 130 million people tapping on Instagram shopping posts to find out more about products every single month.

  • Tagging products in your posts tells Instagram what your content is all about and what products it’s selling.This means Instagram can go on to create a super easy, seamless shopping experience for users who can browse products based on their likes and interests. And the best thing is that thanks to Instagram’s new checkout feature, users don’t even have to leave the app to make a purchase. 

    There are a few types of shoppable posts:

    • Shopping Feed Posts: this is much like a normal post, with the exception that brands can tag up to 5 products from their shopping catalogue. That means every time someone sees your post, they have the chance to tap on a product and purchase.
    • Shopping Carousel Posts: this method involves tagging products in a carousel post. With this format brands can tag up to 20 products, making it super easy to show off a whole product range or collection.
    • Tagged products in Stories: here, brands can add a super handy product sticker to their Instagram stories which leads users straight to the product.

    There are huge opportunities for product discovery and increased sales, but only those that tag their products will make it onto the Shopping section of the Explore Page. It’s that simple.

    For more help with setting up shoppable posts, check out this super handy guide by Facebook Business.

Tip #4: make use of video content

 

We all know that video is killing it at the moment.

Mobile video consumption rises by 100% each year, and it’s forecast that this year there will be almost 1 million minutes of video crossing the internet every single second.

And Instagram’s no stranger to the power of video.

In fact, TechCrunch has reported that videos have the potential to be ranked higher than photos since they auto-lay in Explore and get more attention.

In other words, video content has more chance of making it onto the prestigious Explore page.

This means it’s time to get into action and start recording.

Here are some super easy ways to create video content for your Instagram account:

    • Shoot on your mobile: forget spending thousands on specialist equipment, cameras on smartphones are so good these days that it’s super easy to shoot on your phone. Then, simply edit your footage on super easy to use apps such as Splice
    • Create GIFs: everyone loves a GIF, it’s no surprise that this type of content regularly goes viral. What’s more, they’re super easy to make. There are tons of free sites online where you can don your GIF making skills, one of our favourites being
    • Create a stop-motion: this is the perfect way to turn your beautiful imagery into video form, making it an easy option for those with plenty of amazing images stashed away. Again, there are loads of easy to use apps out there to help you including the likes of LifeLapse.
    • Add movement to your images: another super easy way to create video footage is to add movement to still images. With apps such as Englight Pixaloop, you can easily transform static images, adding in subtle motion to chosen elements of your picture.

Tip #5: make use of hashtags

 

Instagram posts that utilise hashtags have an average of 12.6% higher engagement levels. This means that if your brand has any chance of winning a spot on the Explore page, it’s got to be using hashtags.

Hashtags are a super powerful tool for getting your content discovered – helping your posts land on the Explore Pages of users who interact with the hashtags you use. That’s an amazing way to reach a whole new, highly targeted audience.

But, you shouldn’t just use any old hashtags and hope for the best. You need to get strategic.

Rather than simply using super popular hashtags with millions of hits, look for more specific hashtags in your niche area. Even if these hashtags have fewer uses, they’re far more specific to your content and brand and will help you find your audience.

For more help with finding the best hashtags for your brand, check out this handy guide by Hootsuite.

 Tip #6: post on-brand, kickass Instagram stories

 

500 million users use Instagram stories every day, with 86.6% of Instagram users posting on Stories.

Stories are a new feature to the Explore page, and not every user can see them yet. But, when they are rolled out to every user, they will soon take off, so why not get one step ahead of the game?

This means that brands need to optimise their stories to be discovered.

So how can you go about doing this?

According to an interview carried out by Tech Crunch with the Product Lead for Discovery at Instagram, the Instagram algorithm looks for specific things when deciding to place Stories on the Explore Page:

  • The most important ranking signal is a user’s potential interests, in other words, stories like ones from accounts that they already follow
  • Quality, engaging video content or highly visual stories, aka not tons of text, also perform well
  • On-brand story content that is representative of your account’s usual content and feel are a big tick
  • Reposted content does not tend to perform well with the algorithm, which is worth considering when creating content for your story

Next Steps – ready to tap into Instagrams goldmine?

Instagram is hugely profitable place for businesses, and winning a top spot on the Explore page is the equivalent of striking gold. For more help with all things Instagram, Report Central have got your back. We’ll help you craft the perfect pictures and create killer campaigns to help drive traffic, build brand awareness and get you more of those all-important customers.

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Request a free consultation with our team of experts.

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