Digital Marketing

How to Optimize Instagram Explore Ads


Most people don’t know how to optimize their Instagram Explore correctly. Instagram has been rolling out new ad placements at lightning speed over the last few years. We can certainly optimize where we can do Stories Ads, IGTV Ads and Reels Ads and now, Instagram is also getting access to Instagram Explore Ads.

 

First, what are Instagram Explore Ads?

 

Instagram Explore is a place where people idly search for content, watch, shop, make-up and connect with creators and businesses. Each person's browsing Page is unique and contains content that has been curated and tailored based on their individual interests. And now business people can reach their audience even wider through advertisements on Explore.

 

Instagram's Explore ad appears when we browse content in the Explore section and it doesn't have to appear in the Explore section itself, but in the "similar posts" you see after clicking on the Explore post.

 

Second, why should you use Instagram Explore Ads? 

 

If you’re wondering whether or not you should use Instagram Explore Ads, the answer is definitely YES!

 

It's an opportunity to be a part of something that is relevant and trending while reaching a new audience on the hunt for something new. Advertisers can easily expand their campaigns using automatic placement with simple options to reach audiences in Explore.

 

Third is how to optimize this amazing tool?

 

  • Get to know your target market

Your audience is already following you. So to land on Instagram's Explore page, take "know your audience" a step further. Get to know more about your Instagram demographics, identify the target audience you want to reach and learn what content users are currently creating or uploading.

 

Your business account Explore feed is a good place to start. Delve into posts, categories, and niche feeds and take note of the tactics that you might be able to emulate

 

  • Share Engaging Content

With a good understanding of what content your target market finds interesting, it will create engagement on your own Instagram. Apply your audience research to your content strategy so that the content you create will be more relevant

 

Videos have an advantage over static visuals in the engagement department, as they autoplay in the Explore tab and are often given more real estate in the feed. But still visuals with product tags, carousel formats, or stunning images can also be interesting. Don't overlook the power of compelling text.

 

Follow the best practices for each content format that you will create. Share high-quality visuals, stay engaged with your audience and offer something of value, from storytelling to loyalty rewards. Remember, engagement goes beyond likes and comments. So, aim to create content that people want to share or save as well.

 

  • Try Prominent Format, Such as Reels

It's no secret that Instagram wants Reels to succeed. There's a reason Reels appears in the Explore feed and its own custom tab. Tabs are so important to the user experience of the Instagram app that the entire homepage is completely rearranged to accommodate them. Found in the Reels tab can also mean being found in the Explore tab.

 

Do AB testing using Reel or IGTV to see which vertical provides more reach. Stay tuned for Instagram updates to understand which formats and what kind of content might be prioritized or better reach a wider audience.

 

  • Cultivate an Active Community 

One of the core goals of Instagram's Explore page is to connect people into a community. Building community is key to Instagram's success, which means it should also be one of the key strategies of your marketing plan.

 

The more active your brand community is on Instagram, the more likely it is that Instagram will recommend it to a “look-alike audience” on the Explore page.

 

Give your audience a chance to engage with your account. Start and participate in brand conversations in the comments section, DM and on active brand channels. Encourage your community to turn on notifications for each of your posts so they can engage early.

 

  • Post When Your Followers are Online

Instagram's algorithm prioritizes timeliness (aka recency), which means that if you recently uploaded a piece of content, it will show to more followers and get high engagement with your followers. This is the first step to earning a spot on the Explore page. Try to make the best time to upload your post. A time where everyone is often online on social media, especially those related to your industry

 

  • Use Relevant Tags

Geotags, account tags and hashtags are additional ways to expand the reach of your content within Instagram’s Explore. 

 

Remember, people use Instagram's Explore page to search by hashtags, desires, interests and location as well. If a particular hashtag sparks someone's interest, they can now follow it too. Choose Instagram hashtags and geotags strategically so that your content appears where people are looking.

 

There are other ways for account tags to get your posts out to new audiences. Be sure to tag relevant accounts in your posts, be they place names, brand partners (including influencers), or photographers or illustrators.

 

Share posts from your audience to build community, engage or communicate in your Instagram comments, triggering more reach and engagement at the same time.

 

  • Pay Attention to Analytic

Look at what you've done that's resonating with your audience. When you do AB testing to find out what kind of content they like, you may find that they like your boomerang more than your carousel, or that they like your jokes more than your inspirational quote.

 

If you can get your audience to like your content and leave comments consistently, their engagement will help push you to the Explore page.

 

Check your analytics to see if your biggest posts have reached the Explore page. Tap the blue View Insights button below your valuable post, and swipe up to check where all your impressions are coming from.

 

  • Consider Ads in Explore

If you're open to supporting your organic efforts by setting aside a budget for advertising, consider placing your ad in your Explore feed.

 

This ad will not redirect you to the Explore feed grid. Instead, they put you in the next best position: The scrollable photo and video feed that appears when someone clicks on a post in the grid.

 

  • Skip The Algorithm Hack

Buying followers may offer short-term benefits, but buying followers doesn't pay off in the long run.

 

“Instagram feed rankings are powered by machine learning, which is constantly adapting to new patterns in the data. So they can identify inauthentic activity and make adjustments," explained the @creators Instagram account.

 

Focus on creating engaging, informative, educational content and building a genuine brand community.

 

Optimize your Instagram Explore Ads well to get more audiences and also reach a wider community to help support the success of your brand or business.

 

Always check the latest trends to get the latest insights when you want to create content and also the latest activities that you can do on your social media.


 

Sources:

How to Get On The Instagram Explore Page in 2021 (hootsuite.com)

Why You Need to Try Instagram Explore Ads (and How to Make Them) (adespresso.com)

 


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