The Instagram Explore page remains a vital source of organic reach. The Instagram algorithm finds content each user might like and recommends it to them. It does this through machine learning. The recommendations are becoming more and more accurate as the algorithm constantly evolves and learns.
On Instagram, it can be challenging to get on the user’s Explore page as there is a lot of competition. However, it’s not impossible.
Here are tips you should follow to get on Instagram Explore pages.
Identifying and understanding your target market is essential to any content marketing strategy or SEO campaign. Just think about it. If you know your audience well, you can come up with content that resonates with your audience. Knowing your audience also helps in SEO campaign management. If you know your audience, you can easily determine what types of keywords to target and monitor in your campaign.
Knowing your audience is also important when it comes to getting on the Instagram Explore page. To create content that appeals to your target market, you need to know your target audience.
So, if you don’t have an Instagram account just yet, sit down and think about the audience you want to cater to. It helps to create an audience persona, a visual representation of your ideal target audience:
You can get the information to develop your audience persona from surveys and interviews.
If you already have an Instagram account, you can use Instagram’s built-in analytics feature to determine who your target audience is. The core of your audience already follows you on Instagram. You can have access to this data if you’re using a business account.
Let’s go through how to change to a professional account and check your insights.
1. Open your profile and click the settings icon (three horizontal lines in the top right corner)
4. Choose your category and click “Done”
With Instagram, you get access to information such as your audience’s top locations and age range.
When you know your audience, you can determine what their interests are. For instance, an older audience is more likely to be interested in Frank Sinatra’s music. A younger audience will more likely prefer music from its generation, like music from Ariana Grande.
Taking the time to understand your audience will help you craft content strategies that will yield positive results.
You also need to pay attention to your Instagram posts’ analytics. The rationale is simple. If you create content that already resonated with your audience in the past, it’s more likely the same content will still resonate with your audience. Content that resonates with your audience is more likely to get you on the Instagram Explore page. You can analyze each post’s performance on Instagram through metrics such as impressions, likes, saves, shares and comments.
Once you access your post analytics, it’s just as simple as looking at which posts have the most engagement. You may find your audience likes short “How To” videos and carousel posts or enjoy your more light-hearted captions. Take note of all the details.
Now that you know your audience and the posts that interest them, you can start creating content that will resonate with them. For instance, if you see, based on your research, that your audience in the 35 to 44 age bracket likes your tech posts, you might want to produce tech content. The content should be written in a language your 35 to 44-year-old audience relates to as well.
Generally speaking, video content is more engaging than static images on Instagram. Static images on your audience’s feed are more easily ignored and scrolled past.
Aside from videos being naturally more engaging, they also perform better on the Explore algorithm. Video content auto-plays in the Explore tab. Also, as you can see in the screenshot below, video content takes up more space on the Explore page, making it stand out more.
That’s not to say still images can’t be engaging. Carousel posts, for instance, like the example below, allow you to be very visual. Besides, you don’t have to write a long caption that people are likely to skip over.
Whichever content type you choose, your aim should be to create exciting content that offers value. Content that engages people to talk and encourages likes, comments, and shares will perform well. It is more likely to get you on the Instagram Explore page.
If you’re unsure about how to create engaging content, look at what types of content are currently trending. To do this, follow these steps:
Search your niche market on the Explore page. So, in this case, let’s search for the word “hardware.”
Then click on “Tags” to see the most popular hashtags. We’ll discuss hashtags in more detail later. But this is what I get when I look at the most popular hashtags for the term “hardware.”
Click on any of the hashtags you see. You’ll get a list of content that appears under the hashtag. This is what I get when I click on the “restoration hardware” hashtag.
If you follow this strategy, you can determine the popular topics, trends, content types, and formats you can emulate.
However, as Instagram is a fast-paced platform, note that trends don’t last very long. What was viral on Monday could be old news by Wednesday. So, make sure you closely monitor recent trends so that you can strike while the iron is hot.
Hashtags are additional ways to extend the reach of your content. When you include hashtags, your content is more likely to extend to the Explore ecosystem. After all, users can also search for specific hashtags on Instagram Explore. When they do this, content that carries that hashtag shows up. Here’s what I get when I search for the hashtag #travelblogger:
Besides, users can also follow a specific hashtag. That means if you’re not using hashtags on your posts, you’re missing out on the possibility of being seen on the Instagram Explore page.
However, hashtags are not the only visual elements you should use in your posts. Users also search for products and services in their area using the “Places” tab on the Explore page.
For example, the screenshot below shows a search for “web hosting Cork”. Under the places tag, a list of web hosting companies in the Cork area appears.
In other words, to increase your chances of being found on the Explore page, make sure to include location tags, too. This will also help potential customers know you’re nearby.
Account tags provide another way to reach new audiences and help increase your chances of getting on Explore pages. Tagging brand partners, influencers, or employees can create a boost in engagement. With account tags, your posts will appear in the feeds of people who follow your brand partners, influencers, and employees.
Influencers, in particular, can be very valuable here due to their huge following. You can reach out to them easily for possible collaborations (the they-tag-you-and-you-tag-them sort of collaboration). Just look for their Instagram handle and message them. Nowadays, it’s also easy to find an email address. That includes the email addresses of even the most popular influencers.
Another important aspect of Instagram’s Explore page is community building. The more active your brand community is, the more likely it is that Instagram will recommend you to similar audiences on the Explore page. So, you should be as interactive as possible with your existing Instagram audience.
But how exactly can you get your audience to interact with you? Simple. Your content should encourage healthy debate and conversation among members of your community. Instagram polls, quizzes, and Q&As, for instance, are great ways of giving your audience a voice. Check out this example of an Instagram Story quiz on the Premier League’s account.
Besides, according to Outgrow, visual content that includes online quizzes, polls, and Q&As is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media networks.
These types of content can act like email forms, too. If used correctly, they can capture your audience’s contact information, which you can use to further nurture your relationship with them.
However, you don’t always need to start the conversation from scratch with a post of your own. An even more authentic method is to interact with social media posts from consumers that mention your brand. You can even answer comments other users make in those posts. Check out this example from Chipotle:
People don’t expect brands to respond and interact in this way, so it makes a big impression when you do.
In summary, getting on the Instagram Explore page should be part of your content marketing strategy. It can provide huge opportunities to increase exposure and engagement.
The good news is, getting on the Instagram Explore page isn’t that hard.
Just know your audience and look at your Instagram post analytics. Then create engaging content based on your audience research and Instagram post metrics. Focus on trending topics, too. Just make sure you strike while the iron is hot. Add relevant hashtags and tags as well. Finally, focus on building your community.
Follow these steps, and you’ll be popping up on Instagram Explore pages in no time!