Originally posted on entrepreneur
To get to know your audience, engage with them and try video.
Posting eye-catching, quality photos to Instagram can be an incredible way to promote your brand. As many as 60 percent of Instagram users learn about new products through the platform. But how do you promote your brand to Instagram users who aren’t following you? Enter Instagram’s Explore page.
The Explore page is based on the user’s previous preferences and activity on Instagram. It features content from accounts that are new to them, and it’s the perfect opportunity to introduce your business to a huge new audience. Here’s how you can get your brand on Instagram’s Explore page.
1. Know your audience
Because the Explore page features content based on the user’s estimated preferences, the first step is to truly understand your audience. Create a detailed buyer persona of your ideal customer that includes demographics, what they’re interested in and what types of accounts they follow. Then create Instagram content based on that criteria. Additionally, check out similar content that’s featured on the Explore page already to find out what’s working. When you know exactly who your audience is, you can create posts they’re sure to love. This, in turn, will help you get recognition on the Explore page.
2. Get interaction from your followers
Just as important as knowing your audience is knowing how to get them to engage with you. To improve your chances of getting featured on Instagram’s Explore page, encourage your followers to interact with your post: The more interaction, the better your odds of landing on the Explore page.
There are a number of ways you can increase your engagement on Instagram, including:
- Using calls-to-action including asking your followers to double-tap on a photo or comment with an emoji.
- Asking questions in your Instagram captions, such as, “What’s your favorite holiday?”
- Encouraging users to tag a friend in the comments, for example: “Tag a friend who needs this.”
Additionally, be sure to post at the right time. Check your Instagram analytics to find out what time your audience is most active and engaged with your posts.
Boosting your engagement on Instagram won’t just help you get on Instagram’s Explore page, it’ll also help you build a stronger relationship with your audience overall.
3. Add hashtags and location tags
Adding hashtags to your Instagram posts is an excellent way to widen your reach and get discovered by your ideal customers on the Instagram Explore page. For instance, if you own a yoga studio, adding #YogaClasses to your post will help your business be discovered by users who might be interested in taking yoga classes.
Don’t just use promotional hashtags though. Combine your promotional hashtags with popular hashtags or fun phrases that are relevant to your target audience. Check out popular posts related to your content to see what hashtags they’re using to get noticed, then do the same.
You can also use location tags to make your posts more discoverable to users in a specific location or to those searching for that location. Here’s how Lululemon added a location tag to target those interested in Ironman Hawaii, Kona.
4. Mention and tag other brands
When you mention and tag another brand in your Instagram post, it tells the Instagram algorithm that you have a relationship. This can sometimes help you get featured on Instagram’s Explore page.
For example, if you team up with another brand to host a giveaway and tag them in your post, Instagram can show your post on the Explore page to users that are following the other brand but not yours. You can also do this when you work with Instagram influencers. Start building relationships with other brands and influencers to use this strategy.
5. Use video or add motion to still images
Videos or images that have movement are more eye-catching to Instagram users, and they, therefore, tend to rank highly in Instagram’s algorithms. For instance, this fun Instagram video from Non-Stop Eats showed up at the top of my Instagram Explore page.
You can add motion to still images with GIFs, stop motion, animation, Boomerang and more. Movement is proven to capture the attention of more users.
Once you implement these tips for getting your brand on Instagram’s Explore page, you can turn all your new followers into customers.