With video gaining popularity across generations at breakneck speed, it is safe to term it as the zeitgeist of the 21st century. For influencers and marketers alike, it is essential to tap into the “trending” thing to gain traction.
So, before you dive head-first into different strategies to promote your profile on the IG explore page, you should look into how video can help you stack followers in your favor.
What Is the IG Explore Page?
Explore is a page on Instagram dedicated to helping users to find new content. It varies for every person since it is tailored specifically to each profile based on the pages they follow; stories they watch and posts they like. In a nutshell, it is a relentless stream of accounts, users might want to engage with.
For influencers and marketers, Explore is Instagram’s undeniably powerful feature– it is built in a fashion to aid brands to get more exposure which results in engagement.
Appearing on the IG Explore Page is the marketing equivalent of hitting a gold mine. Once you get on there, your chances of developing new touchpoints with unconnected users surge, helping you establish a chain-reaction of follows, impressions, and reach.
Since the Instagram Explore Page algorithm is programmed to give priority to relevant content, your profile is more likely to appear in your niche area.
With Instagram hosting a billion monthly users, it is the Holy Grail for brands who want to garner views on social media.
How Video Can Help You Get on the Instagram Explore Page?
According to marketing visionaries, video has the propensity to increase the average session duration of a user on a website. Lucky for us, when it comes to Instagram, it doesn’t disappoint either.
Tech Crunch’s findings indicate that since video auto-plays in the Explore section, users are drawn towards them for a longer-term. Videos on Explore have amazing retention powers because each of the videos that play after the one you clicked on, will be based on your interests.
The infographic below gives further insight into the merits of video for Instagram:
How to Leverage IGTV and Stories
With Instagram introducing features such as IGTV, Stories, and Instagram Live, it is evident that video has taken the center stage.
Let’s see how these features can help you appear in the Explore section.
IGTV is Instagram’s foray into long form video. With a dedicated IGTV button on the Instagram Explore Page, the opportunity to make your content more discoverable is enormous.
The catch to upload videos on IGTV is that your video has to be longer than a minute. Brands use this feature in their favor all the time by using long form video to establish a personal connection with their prospects.
You also get the chance to educate viewers about your services or products, without them ever having to leave Instagram.
Just as posts appear in Explore, Instagram will also showcase Stories based on your preferences. Unlike IGTV, stories can help you put up in-the-moment content. This is an opportunity for you to seem relevant to your prospects.
The 10-second videos enable you to cash in on candid moments and quirky captions. With interactive buttons such as Polls, Questions, Countdown, Join Chat, and etc. Stories increases the chances of users engaging with your content.
Now that (hopefully) you are thinking about the idea of harnessing video in your quest to appear on the Instagram Explore Page, here are some tips to optimize your video and enhance its chances of appearing on Explore.
1. Put Your Analytical Skills to Good Use
If you have been on Instagram for a while, and credit yourself for creating quality content, then it may be possible that you might have already appeared on Explore once or a few times.
You could have easily misinterpreted the sudden surge of engagement.
But it’s alright, it happens to the best of us.
However, the good news is, you can now easily monitor where your post generates traffic from, through the Post Insights tab.
Once you have made your way there, you can swipe up to see even more metrics indicating your post’s performance.
Post Insights is available for videos you put up on IGTV and Stories as well.
By putting your analytical skills to good use, you can take inspiration from the practices that worked for you and steer clear of the ones that didn’t.
2. Make Hashtags Your BFF
Adding hashtags may be annoying for some people, but the fact remains that they are paramount for brands looking to increase their reach. You can use up to 30 hashtags and by using the most specific ones, you will enable users to find you.
Studies show, having at least one hashtag surges your engagement by 12.6%.
For example, if someone is looking for photography inspiration, a quick #photoinspiration will show the most popular results in that niche.
More importantly, people interacting with this hashtag will quite likely see you in their Explore page, if your post were to gain traction because the Instagram Explore Page algorithm would consider your post to be worthy of appearing in the feeds of more people.
Hashtags can be used in Stories and IGTV too, so be sure to utilize them.
3. Maintain Your Aesthetic
It takes one look at your Instagram feed for users to decide whether they want to follow you or not.
Let’s assume that you created a killer video and put it up on your Stories. With the location and hashtags, you added you are able to reach out to your prospects. They like the video which entices them to visit your profile, but what they see on there is completely different than the video they first saw.
It is quite likely they will flee leaving no traces of any engagement. No engagement translates into scarce chances of appearing on Explore. So, you made all that effort for nothing.
This means you need to stay true to your aesthetic regardless of what you post. Whether it is a video you put up on IGTV or a just a 10-second story, be sure to honor your aesthetic.
According to Tech Crunch, “Stories with content more similar to and representative of a creator’s typical feed posts are more likely to show up on Explore.”
Take Tasty’s Instagram profile for example. Its Stories, IGTV and Posts have developed a unified aesthetic when it comes to the color scheme, the font and the video production.
4. Add Location
Similar to hashtags, the location feature also works incredibly well when it comes to promoting your content. Take a look at the example below:
According to the Insights above, we can deduce that 8.4% of the total accounts were reached due to the location filter. So, while adding the location would barely take a fraction of a second, but the benefit would be exemplary.
5. Take Time into Account While Posting
The first few seconds are crucial for an Instagram post’s reach. If you upload a video at the right hour and your target audience is online at the same time, it will likely get engagement.
A post with high engagement means it could easily appear on the Explore Page.
All you need to figure out the right time to post is going to the Insights tab. The relevant information is right there.
6. Avoid Reposting
In Tech Crunch’s findings, it was revealed that certain kinds of content on Instagram are demoted by the Instagram Explore Page algorithm and reposted content happens to be one of those.
So, your best bet towards getting a coveted position on Explore is to minimize reposting and rely on unique of content to get you the cake.
7. Turn Images into Videos
Last but not least, since we are on the subject of video for Instagram, we thought this is a crucial point we need to put forth:
Tech Crunch’s research has made it quite evident that on the Explore page, video tends to get more eyeballs.
However, we realize that crafting a video from square-one can be a challenge, especially when you need to post it several times a week. To tackle this speed-bump, here are the following things you can do:
Turn images into Motion Graphics
The easiest way to create a video for Instagram is by turning some photos you have into a motion graphic. Luckily for you, Instagram would recognize this post as a video and it would get a higher ranking on Explore than an image would have been able to attain.
Add motion to still images
If you’d call yourself an Instagram junkie, then you probably have spotted still images with motion. A couple of months ago everyone was doing it. So, why not join in on the action?
View this post on Instagram
Little joys . . . . . . . . . . #85mm #NikonAsia #MyNIKKOR #ontheroadnikon #OldDhaka #NikonNoFilter #cinemagraph #CreateYourStory @adobe #streetclassics #flixel #HelloFrom #streetdreamsmag #voyaged #beautifuldestinations #TheWeekOnInstagram #passionpassport #CreativeCloud_Motion #Adobe_InMotion
You can either use Adobe After Effects or a mobile app to make this happen.
8. Harness Boomerangs
Boomerang took the social media world by storm when it first rolled out. However, five years later, it is still relevant.
Whether you are an influencer aiming to make it to 1M followers, or a new business just starting out, the benefits of appearing on the Instagram Explore Page are enormous for everyone.
So, by leveraging the tips above, you can make the journey to Explore possible.