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Keeping Up With Facebook: What Are Ads in Instagram Explore?

Dan Kardon

Retail marketers on Instagram welcomed the inclusion of ads on the Explore feed in the summer of 2019. Explore helps brands get in front of the right Instagram users in real time. And in the visual-first world of Instagram, engagement is key.

Appearing on the same page as the search function, the Explore feed shows different posts from users that you have yet to follow, based on content that you’ve engaged with. When an Instagram user engages with your post by viewing or liking it, your posts then have a stronger chance to show in that user’s followers’ Explore feed. This creates a ripple effect where more Instagram users engage with your content.

In this installment of Keeping Up With Facebooka series that highlights the latest news and updates across Facebook and Instagram Adswe look at how retail marketers can use Instagram Explore to build brand awareness and engage with new customers.

Release Date:

Instagram announced that it would begin including ads within the Explore feed in June 2019.

What It Does:

Instagram Explore uses an algorithm that caters to each Instagram user’s specific likes and interests on the platform. This algorithm monitors interactions on Instagram and powers each user’s search page by showing relevant posts to them. 

Source: Instagram

Retailers who advertise on Instagram can use the Explore feed to increase their reach and drive more brand awareness. Whenever their ads appear on the Explore feed, there is a higher probability that you will reach new shoppers and expand your target audience.

What This Means for Your Business:

Instagram has added its own Search feature by bringing on Explore to their visual first interface. Ads can now be placed into the Search functionality of Instagram by connecting people’s interests in search and the retailer’s products or ads. Videos, static images, and Instagram Story ads can also be placed into Explore.

Advertising in the Explore feed can help expand who the retailer is trying to reach by connecting like content with like searches. This is an opportunity for retailers to be included in the potential reach of specific trends while also reaching new audiences for users that are in the discovery mindset.

To get the most out of Instagram Explore, first consider who your target audience is on Instagram. These are the users who are most likely to engage with your content, and thus expand your posts across more Explore feeds. Make use of location tags and hashtags to lock into even tighter niches where your core audience is. Most importantly, make sure your content is meaningful and resonates with the people you’re targeting.

Instagram Explore is a great way for retailers to grow their footprint on the popular platform. It helps reach new audiences that may be unfamiliar with your brands and products. The more engagement your posts receive, whether likes, comments, or views, the more chance you have of your posts being placed on the Explore feeds. These interactions may help build brand loyalty as well.