Despite the fact that a Podcast is something you listen to, one great way of promoting your podcast is through social media. Particularly through pictures. Enter, Instagram!
Instagram has become people’s go to destination for pictures – and let’s face it, everybody loves snapping selfies in 2018. In fact, as of last September, the app has over 800 million users, and garners 3.5 billion likes per day. Do you need any more reason to promote your podcast with Instagram?
If you're looking for other methods, then check out our main Promote your Podcast guide. But for now, let's get Instagram specific – how does promotion work on the biggest photo platform around?
The Benefits Of Social Media
Promoting your podcast is important in helping you reach new audiences from outside of your own social circle. There may well be people half way across the world that are looking for a podcast exactly like yours.
There may also be people half way across the world who have heard your podcast through your hosting site, be it iTunes or otherwise, and want to reach out. Having a platform for your audience to interact with you helps you develop and grow you show.
This is all a part of audience engagement and testing, and you can find out more about how to have your audience help you grow your show with our guide.
How To Promote Your Podcast With Instagram
Instagram fits into your social strategy by being an easy one-shop-stop for pictures and short videos. And there’s plenty of creative ways you can use it to promote your podcast on your profile.
First of all, make sure that you have the link to your podcast placed on your Instagram bio. Also make sure that there’s a link to your podcast on every post you make. This means that when a user likes your post, they can access your podcast straight away.
Automate Your Podcast Production & Publishing
Alitu is a tool that takes your recording, polishes it up, adds your music, and publishes the episode, all automatically.
The simplest way to start posting is using images.
Using Pictures To Promote your Podcast
The easiest way to use Instagram to promote your podcast is by using pictures. You can use Instagram on smartphone or desktop. So it’s really simple to post up your podcast cover art or podcast logo to Instagram.
For more information on how to make your own podcast cover art, why not check out our review of Canva. This covers how to use the free app to make your own podcast graphics.
You might also want to consider adding in a quote from your podcast. Your cover art should be a great sell of your show, but if you have a special guest on your episode, showcase it. If they say something incredible – turn it into a quote and use it to pull in a larger audience.
Taking this a step further, you can also add a clip of your podcast to Instagram. This is effective because if there is audio to be heard amidst the endless sleuth of photo uploads, it’ll catch your followers off guard. They’ll usually stop to listen to the clip that comes with your photo.
So if you upload your cover art but attach a clip of your podcast to the picture, it’ll make for a good trailer to your show.
This might be a highlight of the episode you’ve just uploaded. Or it could be a short podcast demo. For more on the latter, check out our guide on creating your own podcast demo for inspiration.
As Instagram is just a scrolling timeline of photos, you’ll only have a short period of time to hold your follower’s attention. That means you want to make your clip pretty short. Anything more than 30 seconds is probably too long. So make it the absolute killer hook of your podcast, or new episode.
With regards to how you can actually do this, there are apps out there which specialise in this.
Artwork.fm allows you to quickly combine an image you have with a short clip. The first video you make is free and after then, it costs you $4.99 per month. For this you can make unlimited videos to promote your podcast.
These videos are then easily downloadable to your computer and then you can email yourself over the video pretty straight forward.
Wavve is another app which allows you to create audio filled images for Instagram. With a free account you can make up to a minute’s worth of video per month which is probably perfect if you have a fortnightly or monthly podcast. There are also alternatives for a bit of cash too which give you way more to work with.
Lastly, there’s Audiogram which is great, if you don’t mind a little bit of coding. It can seem a little confusing to set-up at first but our guide to Audiogram has you covered if that’s the route you want to go down.
The final step to promote your podcast on Instagram is through videos themselves. Whilst we’ve spoken about attaching audio to images, this goes a step further. We’re talking about making moving graphics which play a minute or so of your podcast.
Much like before, we’re talking about creating a short clip here, so you want the best possible 30 seconds or so of your podcast.
The benefit of using video over audio is that you can illustrate to your audience what your podcast is without them ever needing to plug in their headphones. This means if they’re scrolling and part of your video or moving words appear on the screen, it can capture their interest in your podcast. All without them even needing to have heard a second of it!
Sparemin is a fantastic app to do this with. It’s the aim of the app to create social videos for audio creators.
The app is completely free and allows you to upload your audio file, add in a text script and add in as many images as you want. This helps your podcast play like a news clip you’d see on TV. You can also get create and have different pictures and text flying in from any angle you want, really making it highly customizable.
A fantastic alternative is Powtoon. The difference between the two apps is that Powtoon allows you to create animations for your podcast.
This means you can create a video that follows the story that your clip is about, which means your clip will be more unique. The app starts free but only gives you 100MB of storage. You can upgrade to give you a lot more storage as well as to give you more animations to choose from.
There are of course lots of methods to create your own creative social posts. But hopefully we’ve given you a bunch of ideas on how you can promote your podcast on your own timeline. According to social media juggernaut Twitter, users are 6X more likely to share videos than photos. So it’s worth thinking outside the box on how you can promote your show with more than a simple picture.
Using Instagram Stories
Within Instagram, they have a live feature which acts in place of Periscope on Twitter, or Facebook Live. These features have become incredibly important on social media. All because they act as your followers' way of getting more access to content from said account.
Generally, if somebody likes the content you make, they’ll want as much as possible. So using Instagram Stories can be extremely effective in engaging with your fans.
Posting to your story is also good in allowing users to comment on your stories, therefore giving you new ways to interact with your audience.
Whilst you want to keep your actual episode or season launches to your main timeline posts, stories can be used in a number of interesting ways.
Announcements on Stories
Instagram stories can be used as your previews for future episodes by giving your fans a glimpse of what’s to come.
If you make an interview podcast, you can take a short video or a picture of your future guests recording with you. You can then attach some text to the image stating when said guest will be appearing on your show. This’ll mean your audience are more actively looking for future episodes.
With a broader stroke, you can also use stories to prepare for a new season announcement. If you have a particularly big guest or story you’re recording, it’s good to give your audience a glimpse of this.
You can also use stories to test your audience. Ask them through stories what sort of things they want to hear on the episode or season you’re planning at the moment.
Behind The Scenes
Similarly, Instagram stories work well as a behind the scenes platform to your podcast. As stated before, you’ll usually find that audience who are interested in following your podcast’s social sites will interact with your posts.
This means when you post clips of your podcast in recording and editing stages, it can really generate some buzz.
This also helps you stay relevant when you’re off season. If you haven’t got anything to post on your timeline for a few weeks or months, having a story that’s updated semi-regularly keeps you in your listeners lives. And ensures that when you do return, you don’t have a drop in audience.
Hashtags On Instagram
If you’ve been on any social media site in the past few years, I’m sure you’ll have heard of hashtags.
They’re the easiest way to connect with the things that interest you across sites. Users who post anything can add hashtags to reach groups of people who they think will be interested in what they’ve posted.
If we take our podcast Hostile Worlds for example, we might post an Audiogram of the show onto Instagram and consider a whole host of hashtags to include.
We might start off broadly and use our own. #HostileWorlds will allow users to find all of our posts about the podcast easily. This will also mean that other users can post about our podcast and we can see those posts easily collated. We can basically see what people are saying about our podcasts.
From here we might branch out to hit people who don’t already follow us. Hostile Worlds is about Space, so we could throw a #Space in there. We can also think about #Science #Learning and #Physics which is what our podcast actually talks about. Our tagline helps us add in #Exploring and #Universe.
That might seem like a lot, but there’s still more we can add. Since the show is an Audio Drama we can use #AudioDrama, and we can even target podcast listeners with #Podcast.
You can effectively take all of the sums that make your whole, and give each of those a hashtag. This means anyone who is searching for those hashtags can see it. New to instagram is the ability to follow a hashtag. So we’d appear on the timelines of anyone who followed any of these hashtags too. That’s a galaxy of reach!
You can also use hashtags to do a decent amount of research. The hashtags we used above are the obvious ones to go for. However, there might be certain hashtags set-up for people who are actively looking for these topics.
Its worth doing the research. We found that whilst #Podcast hits a solid 3.8 million users, using #pod hits a further 600 thousand users. So it’s worth our time using both. #Space hits almost 10 million users. But adding #spaceman or #spacecraft can garner a further 300 thousand.
This shows that it is absolutely worth your time making your hashtags tediously linked. Because it can mean the difference between your post hitting hundreds of thousands of users.
When we say research, we can also relate it to your competition out there. As you can see on the images below, having searched for #SpacePodcast, we found several who use this.
And they use other hashtags too which we can also use from here. It all helps grow how many eyes you have on your podcast.
Using Instagram Business
Once you’re set-up and comfortable using Instagram to promote your podcast, you might want to think about switching your account to a business account.
This is free and allows you to better promote your products using the app. According to Instagram, one third of the most viewed stories are from business accounts. So it does help drive numbers.
With Instagram Business, you can view metrics which allow you to see how many people are viewing your posts and how many people are interacting with them. This is a good way of checking to see if certain hashtags are performing better than others.
Instagram Business also allows you to promote posts. When you have a bit of money saved up to spend on your podcast, you might use it to buy promoted social media posts. You can raise money to purchase promoted posts through looking to gain sponsorship for your podcast.
There you have it then. With huge stats and minimal work needed, Instagram is a fantastic way to promote your podcast.
We want to see what you’re putting out onto the ‘Gram. So if you follow us on Instragram, and tag the_podcast_host, we’ll be sure to check it out. Happy Instagramming!
Looking for Loads more Tips on How to Promote your Podcast?
We've got a course that goes deep on this inside our Podcast Host Academy, called 30 Days of Podcast Promotion.
It has 30 actionable items (and growing!), each of which you can do in just a short time, and all of which add to to huge podcast promotion and long term growth.
Plus, in the Academy, you also get all of our other courses, live coaching and a forum community to get involved in. We'd love to see you in there!