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Instagram Explore: The Ultimate Guide for Businesses

For businesses, getting featured on the Instagram Explore page is like hitting the jackpot. It puts your brand on the fast track to increasing your reach, enhancing engagement, and gaining new followers. In this guide we’ll look at how the Instagram Explore page works, how it can help your business, and how you can get featured on it.

What started as a simple social media app for uploading photos and sharing them with your friends has turned into one of the most important social media marketing platforms for brands.

Today, there are more than one billion active users on Instagram, and 200 million users look at a business account on Instagram every day. On the one hand, this means that your brand can potentially reach a lot of people on Instagram. On the other hand, with so many businesses trying to get users’ attention, competition is tough.

One way to stand out is to get your content on the Instagram Explore page. According to Instagram, more than 50% of users search for new content on Explore every month. This is a big opportunity for your business to reach more people.

Instagram Explore: Like a storefront window for your brand

Instagram Explore essentially features and promotes new content. The idea is for users to discover new brands and creators they like. If you make it to the Explore page with your content, it is like being featured prominently in the display window of a store.

It gives more people a chance to see your content and discover your brand, and ultimately, it can increase your reach and help you gain new followers.

In order for users to get to the Explore page, they have to tap the search icon at the button of their screen. Once they get to Instagram Explore, they will find an endless feed of photos to like, accounts to follow, and products to buy.

However, the feed users see on Explore is not random. The Instagram algorithm decides which images, stories, videos and products make it to the Explore page.

Note that every user’s Explore page looks different, as Instagram’s algorithm tries to show each user the content that best fits his or her interests.

This is based mostly on:

  • The types of content a user likes,
  • The types of content a users’ network likes
  • The accounts a user follows
  • The engagement rate of posts: posts that have a high engagement rate are more likely to make it to the Explore page.

The Explore page also features different categories, such as architecture, decor, style, food, art, DIY, and many more to make it easier for users to find the content they like.

Aside from the topic categories, the Instagram Explore pages also feature shoppable products and long-format videos separately in sections called “Shop” and “IGTV,” as these are features Instagram wants to push. Instagram is also planning on rolling out a “Stories” category. Stories are already featured on the Explore page, but most users are not able to search specifically for stories yet.

Why should you get your brand on the Instagram Explore page?

There are several benefits to being featured on the Instagram Explore page.

First, more people will see your content, as the posts on Explore appear not only to your followers, but to a much wider audience. Keep in mind that Instagram selects the content on the Explore page based on what it thinks the users will be interested in.

So, chances are that if users see your content on their explore page, it is a topic they have already shown an interest in. Consequently, if they already care about a certain topic or have liked similar posts before, they are more likely to engage with your post and possibly even follow your account.

If your brand’s posts are featured on the Explore page, they will get higher engagement numbers and you will gain many new followers. This can spill over to your other content, as more people will also end up on your profile page and get a chance to explore and engage with your older content as well.

So, with only one post on the Explore page you can not only increase the reach of your brand, but also your overall engagement and follower numbers. If your post includes a call to action, you will also see higher conversion rates.

With results like these, it is understandable why so many businesses are trying to get their posts on the Explore page.

So how do you go about getting your content there?

How to get on Instagram Explore

Nobody knows exactly how the Instagram Explore algorithm works. However, there are a few factors that seem to increase the chances of content making it to Explore.

1. Post when your followers are active

Knowing the habits of your followers is key to getting on the Explore page, as the Instagram algorithm prioritizes the time that posts are made by showing users content that has been posted recently.

So, it is best to post right around the time when users are likely to check their Instagrams, so your posts will show up for them as recently posted. For restaurants, the best times might be around lunch or dinner time, while for companies in the entertainment business, evenings might be a better time to post new content.

If your work hours don’t line up with your followers’ active time on Instagram, consider using a scheduling tool for your posts and stories.

Posts that make it to Instagram Explore must be getting something right. Don’t be afraid to check out the competition to find out what other successful brands are doing in their posts.

It doesn’t mean that you should copy their content, but it could give you clues as to how to improve your own content. Obviously, you can’t know for sure that what shows up on your Explore page will also be successful on other users’ Explore.

However, there are also factors such as style or type of content that are generally factored into the algorithm, and can help you get ideas how to increase your chances of getting featured on Explore.

3. Crunch the numbers

Take a deep-dive into your Instagram analytics. The numbers will show you when your audience is active, who your target audience is, and which of your posts are the most popular. Use this information to create engaging posts that have a better chance of making it to the Explore page.

4. Post longer video content

Instagram is prioritizing longer video formats on the Explore page through the IGTV category. Use this to your advantage, and create engaging videos for your fans.

5. Create engaging stories

As mentioned before, high engagement is one factor the Instagram algorithm considers when pushing content to the Explore page. As Instagram Stories is one of the formats with the highest engagement numbers on the platform, stories will increase your chances of ending up on Instagram Explore.

Stories are even more likely to end up on Explore if they are videos, if they prioritize visual content over text, and if they are representative of or similar to your account’s typical content.

Also, keep in mind that some users are already able to see stories in their Explore feed, and while this feature is not available to everybody yet, it will already bump your story above other content for some users. Once Instagram finishes rolling out the Stories category on Explore, creating good stories will be an even more effective method for ending up on Explore.

Especially when creating stories for Explore, you want to make sure that the timing is perfect and that you post high-quality content. A planning tool such as Storrito can help you with this.

Storrito is an online tool for creating, editing and scheduling Instagram stories on any device, including your desktop PC. It is also a collaborative tool so multiple users can create content together. Storrito also allows you to schedule several stories at once, which can come in very handy when trying to time your stories around your target audience’s habits.

So when it comes to creating Instagram stories that really stand out and will get featured on the Explore page, Storrito can be a very helpful tool for your business.

Try it out for free now!

Tobias Manroth Author image
Tobias Manroth
CMO at Storrito

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