Instagram’s New Explore Page Ads
At the end of June 2019, Instagram announced that it would ‘slowly and thoughtfully’ begin introducing advertisements in its Explore Tab. This is the section in Instagram where users have the capability of browsing through content and discovering new accounts which are associated with their desired interests.
The first implementation of advertisements on the Explorer Tab will be for the promotion of Instagram’s long form video platform known as IGTV. Following this test run, the advertising capability will be offered to a number of different brands in the second wave of advertising, to see how that process goes. This gradual process is intended to see how advertising is received, as well as to discover any glitches which may be associated with the process.
What is the Explore Page?
Instagram’s Explore Page is something of an exclusive club, meaning that not just anyone can post to it or access it. The Explore Page is comprised of posts which have been liked by people whom you have previously liked, or posts from accounts similar to the ones you currently follow. It will also have posts with generally high engagement, which means they’ll have interest to a broad audience of readers. This allows the Explore Page to select only those posts which have interest to you, so your time isn’t wasted.
The Explorer Page monitors your interactions on the platform so that it is able to utilize an algorithm to choose content which matches your platform interests. For this reason, Wired has called the Explorer Page the single most honest area on the entire Internet. Also on the Explore Page, you’ll be able to find Stories from other accounts which Instagram thinks you will consider to be interesting. They may be in the form of Stories about locations near you, they may be some of the most popular live videos, or they may also feature popular sporting or musical events, with videos generated by users.
Why it’s worth getting on Instagram’s explore page
It would be to the advantage of almost any business on the Internet to have a presence on the Explore Page on Instagram, and for many of the same reasons that you use any part of that platform. Besides collecting more likes and more attention, the bottom line of any business will be advanced by increasing brand awareness, acquiring brand new customers, and selling more products to those new customers.
The real beauty of making it on to the Explore Page is that it gains a whole new exposure for your products and your brand, to an audience you probably have never reached before. Even better, those potential customers that you reach out to are targeted customers, rather than a collection of uninterested or semi-interested users. Perhaps better still, making use of the Instagram Explore Page costs absolutely nothing for a business, unlike having to use Instagram ads.
This is a very lively and constantly changing forum for users, and Instagram is always installing new features on the Page to increase its appeal to users. With this kind of environment at your disposal, it would be a shame not to take advantage of it in some way to help your business grow, or to achieve specific business objectives.
Getting your posts on the Explorer Page
While it is actually a closely guarded secret about just how the Instagram algorithm works for inclusion of posts, Instagram has noted in the past that it basically is guided by how you interact with content which appears on the Page. Since posts are selected by the computer, you’ll have to think something like a computer in order to get your posts included on the Explore Page.
It is known that the criteria for selection are something similar to the way Instagram chooses what to show in a person’s news feed. The major difference between getting included on the Explore Page and having posts included on your news feed, is that the Explore Page also includes content from individuals whom you may not be following. If you can get your business posts included on the Explore Page, you are almost certain to experience a positive upswing in business.
Why it matters
Instagram has been experiencing tremendous growth in its advertising business, outstripping its parent company Facebook in that area. At the same time, it is also enjoying a higher level of engagement with users than is Facebook. It’s not very surprising then, that the company would seek to capitalize on that success by exploring new avenues for generating revenues from advertising.
By placing ads in the Explore Tab, it will provide a brand-new area for Instagram advertisers to connect with users outside of their normal news feeds. During the first rollout of advertising, Instagram will display ads only to those users who have already engaged with Explore content. Ads will appear to users who have tapped on a video or a photo somewhere within the Explore Page. Once this has happened, a user will begin seeing ads as a normal part of their browsing experience, just like they might expect to find in their main feed.
Additional news about the rollout
There are several other noteworthy items associated with the rollout of this new format for advertising. Instagram will allow brands to place ads in the Explore Page by using Facebook Ads Manager, which is similar to the way users can now place Instagram Feed and Stories ads. Theoretically, this will allow advertisers to painlessly extend their campaigns using placements which are automatic in nature, and which are made available by a simple opt-in process.
Instagram declares that at least half of its 1 billion current users already make use of the Explore Page at least once every month. The platform has also stated that more than 80% of its total user base follows at least one business account on the platform. In a similar move, earlier in June Instagram rolled out the capability for advertisers to convert organic posts prepared by influencers into legitimate ads.