Creating engaging content for your podcast should always be your main driving force. But never forget the importance of social media. It is such a fundamental tactic for growing your audience that we wanted to give you the tools to create a strategy on how to promote your podcast on Instagram!
Users are changing, attention spans are decreasing, and more people are getting their content via mobile. That’s why having another touchpoint for your listeners can only help you and your podcast.
Let’s look at how to use Instagram to the best of its (and your) ability.
- Know Your Target Audience
- How to Get Followers Via Your Bio
- Visualize Your Feed and Brand Message
- Have a Distinct Content Voice
- Interact With Your Audience Using Instagram Stories
- Be Human with IGTV
- Create Reels to Increase Visibility
- Using Guides to Show Your Expertise
- Engage With Your Guests
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Know Your Target Audience
Before you jump into creating a color-coordinated feed, you need to understand WHO is your target audience is. More importantly, are they even on Instagram? With 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram is a great tool to grow your podcast audience. But not if the people you’re trying to reach aren’t on there.
Let’s refer to our podcast avatar. As outlined in this great article by The Podcast Host, your podcast avatar is your idealized listener. You want to know every detail about them, from their wants, desires, and fears to their favorite social media sites and how they use them.
Knowing your target listener will allow you to create structured content that they will want to consume.
Consider the following when picturing your podcast avatar:
- How they listen to your podcast
- Where you can find them
- Learning styles (audio, visual, discussion based, etc)
When constructing your podcast avatar, you can go a step further and think of how they use Instagram (if they use Instagram at all). Some things you may want to consider include:
- Why are they following me?
- How do I want them to interact with me?
- How do I want to interact with them?
- Are they here to learn or be entertained?
- What is their attention span like?
Once you have a solid idea of your podcast avatar, you’ll be ready to promote your podcast on Instagram with specially tailored content that will reach the right people.
How to Get Followers Via Your Bio
It’s the first thing that any potential podcast fan will see/read. It’s the first touchpoint. And you have just 150 characters to get them interested.
So, how do you promote on Instagram with your bio, in a smart way? Apart from being THE place to summarize what you’re about, it’s also where you should provide users with a link to your podcast (driving traffic to your podcast) and your program’s unique hashtag (helping your searchability).
Upgrade Your Instagram Bio
Did you know that Instagram acts a little bit like a self-containing search engine? What does this mean? Instagram SEO, of course.
When choosing your display name, @username, and bio description, make sure that you first identify your primary and secondary keywords.
Let’s look at an example.
If you open up your Instagram on desktop or on your phone and type in the words “lifestyle podcast” what will you see? You’ll probably see the Okay Sis podcast pop up. Their @username is okaysispodcast and their display name is “Lifestyle + Self-Care Podcast.” Even though we didn’t specifically type in “Okay Sis podcast” their podcast still came up in the search results. This is because they added their secondary keywords to their Instagram display name.
So what does your podcast talk about? Is it Branding? Or True Crime? Include those keywords in the display name. This will make your name searchable. In the case of Okay Sis, they added the keywords wElf-Care and Lifestyle along with the word podcast. Why? So that they can be found if someone types in “lifestyle podcast” or “self-care podcast.”
Next, make sure to add what your podcast is about. A quick summary of what listeners should expect is perfect. If you’d like you can also add the Instagram handles of the hosts to create more of a listener-host connection. Lastly, make sure to add a clear call-to-action (CTA) right above that ONE clickable link that Instagram gives you. In the case of the Okay Sis podcast account that CTA is ⬇ LISTEN TO EPISODES ⬇.
|Spreaker Quick Tip|
|Make sure to add a call-to-action right above your Instagram bio link. Tell your followers what you want them to do. Common call-to-actions include: read more, listen to our latest episode, book a call, visit our website, etc.|
Link In Bio
Now, let’s look at three different ways that you can use that incredibly important link in your bio. By the way, if you didn’t already know, Instagram only gives you one clickable link, which is located in your bio, so make sure it counts.
First, there is the basic URL link. If you don’t want anything flashy then there is nothing stopping you from adding your own link. Maybe it’s a link to your website. Or to Spreaker. It is the easiest and simplest option. You can also switch out the link if you’d like to promote your latest podcast episode.
However, if you want to add multiple links, then there is Linktree. Linktree works by creating a landing page on their site where you can add multiple links. Setting up a Linktree account is easy. Their interface is simple to use and all you need to do is customize the landing page, add your links and publish the page. You then copy and paste your Linktree landing page URL into your Instagram bio and you are good to go.
Linktree has a free option but it also has a paid option, which costs USD$6 per month. The free option is limited, but it does get the job done. It allows you to add a logo, description, and as many links as you want. But the Linktree logo will also be permanently visible at the bottom of your landing page.
The paid option (Linktree Pro) gives you more flexibility as it allows you to further customize your landing page. You can add your brand colors, for example, or change the shape and style of the link buttons. The Linktree logo can also be removed. You can also see analytics and statistics. For example, you can see how your links are performing with statistics like:
- Click Count
- Click Through Rate
- Avg. Time to Click
- Devices (Mobile vs. Desktop)
- Top Locations
Finally, you can also connect a payment provider to collect payments from visitors and add things like a Facebook/Tik Tok Pixel ID or a Google Analytics ID.
So why do we love this option? Well, it gives you the ability to add multiple links to your Instagram bio. You can add a link to your website, to a recent blog article, and to multiple podcast episodes. The possibilities are endless. You can also track the analytics of each link.
All of these features can help you get a better understanding of:
- who your target audience is
- which content they are consuming (aka clicking) more often.
Here is a little tip. If you aren’t interested in paying for Linktree but still want to create a landing page with multiple links, then why not try Canva. Canva recently released a feature that allows for the creation of a landing page for any of your social media links in bios. It allows customization of your own branding colors and images to completely tune your podcast brand. Want to learn how to do it? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a link in bio landing page for Instagram.
Now, let’s look at another option. If you haven’t heard of Later, then we’ve got news for you. Later is one of the best Instagram scheduling tools out there on the market. Free AND Paid users of Later.com also have access to linkin.bio.
How is this different than Linktree? Think of Linkin.bio as a mini-website built into your Instagram profile. Linkin.bio is a web and mobile-optimized landing page that resembles your Instagram feed, and clicking on a photo will take you to a specific URL.
So what does the perfect Instagram bio look like?
If we take the example of Okay Sis once again, we can see that they optimized their Instagram bio to the full extent:
- They have added keywords to their username and their display name to help searchability.
- They’ve added an short about us, answering the question: what should people expect when tuning into your podcast?
- They’ve added the accounts of the hosts so listeners can connect with each individual if they want to.
- They have a CTA (call-to-action) which is listen to episodes
- They’ve included a linktr.ee which includes links to: their podcast, a newsletter sign-up, a secret FB group, a book club group chat and more.
Visualize Your Feed and Brand Message
Possibly the most important part of using Instagram to promote your podcast is the visual aesthetic of your account. Your Instagram feed is the visual voice of your podcast. Apart from using it strategically for marketing purposes, you also need to make it aesthetically pleasing to your followers.
Whether that be vibrant, elegant, or fun, curate it so that people want to know what your next steps are and most crucially give it your own style. You need to imagine that if someone saw a post, without knowing who published it, the user would instantly be able to recognize it just from your unique style.
To create on-brand content, you must have a podcast brand identity, which also includes a podcast logo and specific brand colors. As explained by Live 365, “creating a specific brand identity and keeping your branding consistent is absolutely vital to having a successful podcast. You want everything that your audience sees and hears related to your podcast to be uniform and clearly on-brand.”
Establishing a set of colors
Establishing colors for your podcast brand will be particularly useful here. Why? Well, you will continually use that color scheme when creating graphics for your feed. Think of the vibes you want to give off from your account. Colors elicit emotions and feelings, plus they convey certain information. This enables listeners to form an initial impression without even knowing what your podcast is about.
Put simply, brand colors are powerful in helping customers decide whether or not they want to engage.
For example, if you have a cottagecore podcast about country living, you’ll likely opt for green and earth tones, which would differ from a crime podcast, which would mesh well with dark mysterious hues.
Creating a visually pleasing feed
Like Later, Preview, or Planoly, Apps allow you to plan out your Instagram feed in advance, helping you choose which posts align best with your brand colors. You can input your captions as well, making it easy to schedule your posts before the actual day. Mix up your feed between video, audio, and static images to give your feed some diversity. You can even link through to longer content if it isn’t ‘Gram friendly. Here is a super simple explanation of how to post a video link on Instagram.
If you’d like an example, The Art of Charm, The Gal’s Guide, Balanced Black Girl®, and The Skinny Confidential Podcast all have this down to perfection. Depending on your audience, you can throw in memes, which typically work well with younger audiences. If memes don’t fit your target audience, then infographics could be your way through.
Have a Distinct Content Voice
When users are quickly scrolling through your page to see if something grabs their eye, your little squares are the tool to stop them in their tracks. But, HOW do you get them to open a post and see what you’re about?
A trick which lots of experienced podcasters use is audiogramming, which involves posting a still image and the supporting audio. Instead of posting your podcast cover art, you can get creative with the image you choose, giving diversity to your Instagram feed. There are programs you can use to create audiograms. Both Headliner and Audiogram allow you to choose whether or not to include a transcription on the video.
Instead of a photo, some podcasters opt to post a quote from an upcoming episode and the supporting audio. For your listeners, it helps create excitement by giving them an exclusive snippet. And for you it allows you to visually communicate the sort of topics and themes you discuss and is another way to reiterate your branding. There are lots of apps out there where you can create your own graphics to go with your chosen color scheme, including Canva, Word Swag, or Quotes Cover. But any app that allows you to create a layout will work.
Interact With Your Audience Using Instagram Stories
If you’re wondering why it’s worth putting time into something which is only in the ether for 24 hours – think again! Stories are a fresh and engaging way to announce new content or immediate news to your followers.
More than ⅓ of users are using Stories regularly and 70% are watched with the sound on.Socially Sorted
However, we want to highlight that it’s not the right medium for presenting big news such as a new season launch – you want that to be on your feed where it can be found for a long period of time.
What are the positives of Stories? Used correctly it gives you a way to interact with your audience via direct comments and questions, increase listener engagement by adding a poll, and is also a space to tag guests! It’s also super easy to share your podcast if you publish via Spotify, however, the real strength is that if your show has over 10,000 followers you can add a CTA to swipe up and listen to your show.
What are your options when creating a story? You can either create a SlideShare or a video. A SlideShare is a ‘static’ post of a series of still images – it’s a handy way to provide your audience with a tutorial, useful info, or break your content down. A speedy way of making sure that your content is always on-brand is to create a template, to get you started our designers created THIS one which you can feel free to use, or just to give you some ideas to get started!
Promoting your podcast on Instagram with video is more personal and allows you to offer followers a behind-the-scenes view and/or a sneakpeek at interviews! Once you’ve got your Story, we’d recommend creating Highlight playlists. This allows you to package your content up into digestible playlists for your followers.
Be Human with IGTV
Different to Stories, IGTV allows you to create longer, more in-depth videos of up to an hour in length to communicate with your audience.
Available to all Instagram users, you just need to click on the little TV icon above your Stories to get started. While you may think that you’re working in an audio medium and not a visual one, videos are powerful learning tools as people tend to recall video content more easily than text-based content.
Wondering what content to post here? IGTV is the channel to present you and your podcast, one-to-one to your listeners – treat it as you would Facebook Live. Be informative but relaxed, talk about you, your podcast, and how it came about but most importantly – be yourself. Your listeners will love it if you seem approachable. You don’t need to be creating anything complicated here. Use IGTV to show behind-the-scenes footage or any thought-provoking conversations with guests.
Also, remember to try and include a call to action to keep sending those followers to your latest episode.
Create Reels to Increase Visibility
Reels are Instagram’s answer to the TikTok boom and podcasters to create videos from 15-30 seconds long. Instagram is currently pushing Reels to the front, making them a great way to get more exposure for your podcast. Since you can post Reels directly to your grid, they allow your hard work to be seen longer than Stories do. Shorter videos have higher engagement rates, and the main consumers of Reels are between the ages of 24-34.
If it suits your brand and target audience, feel free to get creative and make fun content with current TikTok-style trends. Otherwise, you can turn your existing podcast audio into an easily consumable video. Any audiograms you have already created can be seamlessly transformed into Reels and posted on the grid. Some of our best tips for using Reels to promote your podcast with Instagram are:
- Make a podcast trailer using Reels by selecting some of the best soundbites from your latest podcast season and matching them up with images or videos.
- Keep things short. Given your timeframe, you want only the best audio pieces possible that can be consumed out of context.
- Come on strong in the intro of your Reel, as attention spans are much shorter and it’s easy for users to swipe onto the next video.
- Popular and trending music works well for Reels if you aren’t using your audio, which can be imported directly from the Reels music library.
Using Guides to Show Your Expertise
After a slow roll-out, Guides are still fairly new to Instagram. But allow podcasters to curate blog-like lists of tips and recommendations. The pros of using Guides are that they allow you to work in a longer multimedia format without navigating away from the ‘Gram. With Guides, you can include photos, videos, and text to create Guides of Places, Products, or Posts.
The type of Guide you make depends on your brand. It’s up to you what kind of content you create with Guides, but some ideas we have are:
- Guides of Places: Bring out your saved collections on Google Maps and allow your best recommendations to flow! From cafes to stores to historical sites, there’s definitely something you can pin for your audience. For example, if you are a podcast about digital nomading, a guide to coworking spaces could be interesting.
- Guides of Products: If you’re selling any products or services, this is your chance to showcase it all in detail. Alternatively, you can create a blog-style listicle Guide of products that you may be partnered with or want to recommend to your followers. For example, if you’re a podcast about podcasting, you could make a Guide to the best microphones for beginners.
- Guides of Posts: Think of it as your best-of moments that shows new followers a bit about you! If you have Audiograms on your grid, you can create a Guide of specific topics talked about on your podcast. Or, you can showcase your best quotes, or favorite guest interviews.
Guides will appear on your profile on the tab between IGTV and your tagged photos, allowing your audience to access them at any time.
Engage With Your Guests
Inviting guests onto your podcast is a great way to grow your podcast audience on Instagram. Your guests’ followers mean you can connect with listeners who might not normally come across your program. Be sure to tag your guests in any posts. Also, provide them with a ready-made post or Story so they can publish it on their page. This makes it easy for them to give your brand visibility.
For extra reach, make sure you add lots of Instagram-friendly hashtags when tagging your guest in a post. Instagram is ideal for promoting with hashtags– use your guests’ name, themes your listeners would be interested in – anything you think will make your podcast more searchable. Most importantly, you should create your own hashtag and use it when sharing any guest-related content, making your podcast content easily traceable.
ATTENTION: do not go overboard on hashtag usage. Using one hashtag can get 12.6% more engagement, but you’ll want to cap it around 10-15 per post. Try to vary up the types of hashtags as well, otherwise, you might find yourself in Instagram jail.
There you have it! That’s our guide to using Instagram to promote your podcast. Once you’ve got your content to where you want it, don’t forget to embed your Instagram account to your website or podcast site.
Last but not least, don’t forget to connect with other podcasters on Instagram! It’s great to feel part of a community, and Instagram is perfect for that. Good luck and happy ‘gramming!