Getting featured on Instagram's Explore Page is one of the most underrated discovery tools on the app.
As a feed of content, curated by the algorithm, the Explore Page can help you reach the right audience, boost engagement, and grow on the platform.
So, how do you secure a spot on Instagram's Explore Page? We're sharing 10 tried-and-tested tips, below.
How Does the Instagram Explore Page Algorithm Work?
Instagram's Explore Page algorithm curates content on a user-by-user basis, making every Explore Page unique.
It does this by tracking the type of content users regularly interact with, and showing related posts on their Explore Page.
To access the Explore Page, users can simply click the magnifying glass symbol at the bottom left of their screen:
According to Instagram, content on the Explore Page exclusively comes from accounts you don’t already follow, since its purpose is “to help you discover new things.”
Keeping this in mind, landing a coveted spot on Instagram's Explore Page can give your content a serious boost in engagement — especially as you'll be reaching people who already engage with similar posts or videos.
To learn more about the Explore Page algorithm, read: This Is How the Instagram Algorithm Works
How to Get on the Instagram Explore Page
Instagram's Explore Page is curated by the app’s algorithm, which decides what content to serve users based on two main factors:
What type of posts a user has previously engaged with
How much engagement (including likes, comments, and shares) a relevant post has
In other words: The number one way to get your posts on the Instagram Explore Page is to make them as engaging as possible.
But there are other things you can do to improve your chances too. Discover these 10 tactics below:
Take a Look at Your Own Explore Page
Start Making Reels
Post When Your Audience Is Online
Experiment With Carousel Posts
Use Strategic Hashtags
Partner With Other Brands and Creators
Run Contests and Giveaways
Add Keywords to Your Post Caption
Use Instagram Analytics to See What’s Working
Try Instagram Explore Ads
Tip #1: Take a Look at Your Own Explore Page
Before you start creating new content, take a step back and do some research.
Spend time on your own Explore Page and ask yourself:
What types of posts are featured?
What hashtags and keywords are used in the captions?
What makes these posts so engaging?
Once you have a better sense of what works, you can use this as inspiration for your own content strategy.
FYI: Later is a social media management tool trusted by over 4M brands, creators, and social media managers. Create an account today — for free:
Tip #2: Start Making Reels
It's no secret, Instagram is prioritizing Reels.
The popular video feature is showing no signs of slowing down, so it’s important to make Reels a big part of your strategy in 2023 — especially if you want to get on the Explore Page.
With Later, you can level-up your Instagram Reels strategy by planning and scheduling your content in advance. Learn everything you need to know in the video, below:
Tip #3: Post When Your Audience Is Online
Your content has a much better chance at increased reach and engagement if you post when your audience is online.
But how do you know when that is?
After analyzing over 35M feed posts, we discovered that the average best times to post on Instagram throughout the week are:
Monday: 5 AM
Tuesday: 6 AM
Wednesday: 6 AM
Thursday: 5 AM
Friday: 6 AM
Saturday: 6 AM
Sunday: 6 AM
PS: When you create a Later account, you can take advantage of the Best Time to Post feature so you can reach your unique audience when they’re most active.
That way you can boost engagement and increase your chances of landing a spot on the Explore Page — talk about a major win!
Tip #4: Experiment With Carousel Posts
Another way to boost engagement on Instagram is by experimenting with different post formats.
Think: Single static images, carousels, and video content.
Here at Later, we discovered that carousel posts have the highest average engagement rate of all feed post types (excluding Reels):
The takeaway? While it's great to mix up the formats you're using, getting creative with carousel posts can help you get more engagement.
Looking for a little inspiration? Check out these eight creative ways to use carousel posts on Instagram.
Tip #6: Partner With Other Brands and Creators
Partnering with brands and creators on Instagram means you can easily tap into each other’s audiences — a handy tactic to increase your engagement and secure more Explore Page features.
And in any good partnership, the collaborators should share something in common.
That way, content that comes out of your collaboration resonates with both audiences equally — leading to higher engagement.
Take for example this partnership between cosmetics brand Kosas and beauty influencer Steph Hui:
Since both camps share similar ethos and work in the same industry, the collab (and content produced!) feels like a natural fit.
It’s the perfect recipe for landing on tons of Instagram Explore Pages!
Tip #7: Run Contests and Giveaways
On Instagram, contests and giveaways are an effective way to encourage engagement from your community, reach new audiences, and get on the Explore Page.
It’s even better if, like Toronto-based vegan restaurant chain Fresh, you combine this tip with the previous one (collaborate with another business or creator) to run a joint giveaway.
Double the visibility and engagement? Check!
Launch your first Instagram giveaway without a hitch by following our step-by-step guide: How to Host an Instagram Giveaway
Tip #9: Use Instagram Analytics to See What’s Working
Sometimes your best-performing Instagram posts will surprise you.
A photo, video, or Reel that you didn’t think would resonate does, and vice-versa. That’s why it’s crucial to track your social media performance.
You can access your Instagram analytics directly through the app, but it’s often easier to use a third-party tool, like Later's Instagram Analytics, to measure how your posts are performing.
Later's Instagram Analytics lets you track up to 12 months worth of Instagram feed posts, Reels, and Stories, and filter by key metrics like engagement, reach, likes, comments, and more.
It’s the easiest way to get a visual overview of what posts are performing best, so you can tailor your strategy and get on as many Instagram Explore Pages as possible.
Start tracking your Instagram Analytics with Later's in-depth tools, today:
Tip #10: Try Instagram Explore Ads
If you’re looking for a guaranteed way to reach users via the Instagram Explore page, Explore Page Ad placements are a solid option.
Image via Instagram
While your ads won’t appear directly on the Explore Page, once a user clicks on a post from their Explore Page, they will appear between non-paid photos and videos in-feed.
It's a sure-fire way to extent your reach and improve your visibility on the app.
So there you have it — 10 different ways to increase your chances of landing a coveted spot on the Instagram Explore Page (and getting more engagement too).
Test out Reels and carousels, run a contest or two, experiment, track your performance, and most importantly, have fun!
ICYMI: With Later you can manage your Instagram posts, prep in advance, and more — for free: