Driving discovery on Instagram is more crucial than ever before. With over 1 billion monthly active users spending 30+ minutes per day on the platform, strategic visibility unlocks immense opportunities for brands.
In particular, mastering the Instagram Explore Page in 2023 should be a top priority in your growth strategy. This personalized feed dedicated to new content discovery represents the golden opportunity to expand your reach beyond your existing audience.
As a digital marketing expert with over 10 years of proven success fueling influencer campaigns and viral content, I will provide an in-depth playbook to optimize your presence on Instagram‘s Explore tab this year.
Why Conquering Instagram Explore Matters
Getting onto real users‘ Explore feeds allows you to:
- Expose your brand to new relevant audiences outside your followers
- Increase awareness by getting discovered through tags and recommendations
- Boost engagement with more likes, shares and comments
- Drive website traffic from curious visitors
- Grow your followers by converting impressions into subscribers
- Unlock sales from serendipitous product discoveries
Based on Instagram‘s internal data, accounts see a 48% increase in followers within 6 months of first appearing on Explore. Clearly, this underutilized visibility channel compounds growth and impact for brands who can crack the code.
Let‘s examine how the Instagram Explore page actually works before diving into the key strategies to master it this year.
How The Instagram Explore Page Algorithm Works
Instagram‘s Explore Page contains photos, videos, reels and stories curated uniquely for each user. This personalized feed is determined by the Explore Recommendation System.
The algorithm behind Explore functions through an "unconnected recommendation system." This means it surfaces content from accounts you don‘t yet follow based on your interests and activity patterns.
Specifically, the Instagram Explore algorithm selects posts to display based on:
- Hashtags and Places you‘ve interacted with
- Posts and Videos you‘ve liked or saved
- Accounts and topics you‘ve shown interest in
- Trending content among the community
It then ranks these posts in your Explore feed based on:
- Relevance: How closely the post matches your taste and preferences
- Recency: How recently the post was shared
- Relationship: If your friends or followers have engaged with it
Understanding how the Instagram Explore page determines relevance based on your niche interests and behavior is key to unlocking visibility. With this context, let‘s get into the top proven growth strategies to deploy this year.
Step 1: Optimize Your Instagram Profile
Give visitors a reason to check out your brand when they discover you organically. Ensure your:
- Profile Photo: High quality image conveying your brand persona
- Username: Includes your niche keyword so users can search and find you
- Bio: Explains what you do + includes a strong call to action to convert visitors
Pro Tip: Include targeted keywords in your bio as well as photo captions and descriptions. This helps Instagram‘s AI better understand your content style and niche to match you with interested users.
Step 2: Post Consistently With A Cohesive Brand Aesthetic
The Explore page algorithm looks for consistent behavioral patterns to recommend your content. Maintain steady cadence with:
- Post Frequency: 1-2 Instagram posts per day
- Visual Style: Use consistent filters, aspect ratio and compositional style
- Content Topics: Align to your niche with an intentional content calendar
Establishing this consistency across your Instagram grid trains the algorithm to recommend your content to targeted users interested in your niche.
Step 3: Strategically Use Branded Hashtags
Leverage 3-5 branded hashtags with each post to help users discover your content through searches. For example, McDonald‘s uses #McDonalds.
Conduct hashtag research to identify the most popular tags aligning with your industry niche, location, products or services. Tools like Ritetag, Display Purposes and Hashtagify help streamline discovery.
Incorporate both high volume tags to increase visibility and long-tail, niche tags targeting more specific user interests.
Step 4: Collaborate With Relevant Influencers
Working with influencers provides an immediate credibility signal to showcase your content to untapped audiences.
Leverage Instagram‘s new Collab feature to co-author Reels, increasing distribution on both profiles. Or execute an Instagram takeover with an influencer in your industry creating content featuring your product.
Micro-influencers are extremely strategic collaboration partners right now, as they boast higher engagement and can attract targeted niche communities.
Tools like Ainfluencer provide simplified influencer discovery and campaign management for seamless collaborations.
Step 5: Create Vertical Video Content
Video is 5X more engaging on Instagram today according to internal data. Specifically short-form, full screen vertical videos excel at stopping scrollers on Explore.
Vertical videos shot in portrait orientation earn 30% more completions with mobile users. compact aspect ratio also means more content real estate on the explore feed.
Top performing video formats include:
- 15-60s Reels with music, effects and trending hashtag challenges
- 60s vertical Stories that lean into trends and interactivity
Leverage Instagram Reels remixes or TikTok cross-posting to double down on video views and Explore visibility.
Step 6: Analyze Performance Data in Instagram Insights
Dive into your Instagram Insights data regularly to reveal higher performing content styles, formats and topics your audience engages most with.
Assess metrics like:
- Which posts earn more saves and shares?
- Do certain filters or interactive elements perform better?
- When are my followers most active to inform scheduling?
These lessons allow you to continually tailor winning content optimized to land on more Explore feeds. Never stop testing and learning.
Additional Tips For Getting on The Instagram Explore Page
- Respond to all comments to boost engagement
- Use interactive stickers and elements like polls or Quiz stickers
- Schedule Instagram posts using Facebook Creator Studio for optimal timing
- Run contests and user-generated challenges to drive shares and tags
- Ask followers to tag friends relevant to your post topic
The key is crafting content tailored to mobile that genuinely captivates your niche community. Consistency fuels organic discoverability on Instagram Explore.
Implement these advanced tactics meticulously this year to unlock visibility beyond your followers and accelerate awareness for your brand.
Now over to you – which Explore page strategy resonates most for fueling growth? Let me know in the comments.