If you’re not leveraging social media the right way you could be missing out on huge opportunities to grow your listener base. But never fear! There are some things you can start to do today to change that. For this blog post, we’re going to focus on Instagram.
How about 1 billion active users a month! Over 500 million people use Instagram stories every day. 63% of those users log into their Instagram account at least once a day and spend an average of 28 minutes in the app viewing content.
Since the majority of your listeners are going to be on mobile, Instagram can be the perfect platform to promote your show and get people excited about upcoming episodes, connect to other guests and their followers, and help you grow in visibility. There are podcasters that I’ve talked to that say Instagram is their top platform for helping drive people to their podcast.
Ways to Promote Your Podcast on Instagram
Add your podcast link to your bio
Let’s start small. One of the first and easiest things you can do is add your podcast link to your bio. Since Instagram is an image-heavy platform, your opportunity to have direct 3rd party links is limited. A lot of people will keep this space generic and just push to their homepage, but instead, use this as an opportunity to push them to your podcast page on your site. You have up to 150 characters in this space so create a compelling CTA that highlights your show and use that one link you have–wisely.
If your podcast is a part of your business another option is to create a separate business Instagram account which will give you the opportunity to add “action buttons” in this space as well as get access to other features including analytics. For example, Pat Flynn uses these action buttons on his page to highlight key areas of his business, with short video clips that provide some additional context for each area.
You’ll need to decide if you want to curate content for two accounts or if one or the other will suffice, depending on your business goals.
Create teasers for upcoming episodes
A teaser could simply be a picture in your feed of an upcoming guest, a promotional image from your podcast, a countdown timer or an impromptu video to hype the subject matter and let people know that a new episode is coming.
Plan your content out ahead of time so you know what you want to promote and then post something a couple of days in advance before the episode drops to help build awareness and anticipation.
This works especially well if you have a well-known guest with a larger following than yours appearing on your podcast. Tag them in your post so it shows up in their feed. This gives people the option to save the post so they can come back to it later when the episode airs.
Use podcast hashtags
Hashtags can be a very useful and a mighty tool in your podcast arsenal. They make your content more discoverable. Users search by clicking on available tags which gives them access to all your relevant content. (Think of hashtags like SEO keywords for Instagram.) Brands with at least one hashtag have up to 12.6% more engagement than those without.
You want to be strategic when creating hashtags and not just use generic words. For example, #podcasting won’t get you much traction and you’ll likely be lost in the crowd, but using something like #podcasting101 might fare better. Take some time to think through those “niche” tags that may have less competition and could increase your chances of landing in the top feed for that tag.
Some other helpful tips to remember:
- Don’t overuse them. You can use up to 11 hashtags, but 1-3 is the most common.
- Follow competitors and industry tags so you can keep a pulse on what’s trending.
- Make sure your hashtags are relevant to the content you’re creating.
- Copy the hashtags that your top influencers are using so you can keep track of what they are doing and get on the radar for their users to find you.
- Use the Instagram Explore tab (that little search icon at the bottom of the app screen that looks like a magnifying glass) to see what the top trending content is and if there are hashtags applicable to your content, use them to help new people discover you.
Create an Instagram Story
An Instagram story allows you to share multiple photos or videos in a slideshow format or reel.
What’s the difference between an Instagram story versus an Instagram feed? Stories are temporary and only last for 24 hours, while your feed posts are permanent. Think of your feed post as your portfolio for your brand, while stories present a more raw, unfiltered extension of your brand.
Stories will also let you add stickers, create polls to get feedback from your users on what content they would like to see, tease new episodes and allow you to be a bit more candid since they’re temporary.
Instagram stories will have even more benefit to you once you hit 10,000 followers. Then you can send them directly to your audio file via the “swipe up” feature. If your podcast is on Spotify you can use this hack to drive users directly to a specific episode.
Create audio snippets from your episodes
Creating audio snippets is another way to give listeners a preview of what your show is about and tease the content. Find a 30 second to a 1-minute long clip from the episode that you think is compelling and create an audiogram to post to your Instagram feed with an image of your guest.
Here’s a good example from Storybrand’s Instagram page where they utilize an audiogram to tease an upcoming guest on their podcast.
Pro Tip: While you’re editing your podcast episode or writing the show notes, look for some worthy sound bites that you could potentially use. This will save you some work when you’re ready to create the snippets.
Create a short video
Think of this as your mini-movie trailer. While you might not want to put the effort into doing this for every episode, if you have a compelling topic that could potentially reach a bigger audience, creating a video to break up the content in your feed might prove to be very beneficial.
You don’t need to be a video editing guru to do this either. Programs like InShot and VLLO can help you create videos on the go that look great and don’t have a steep learning curve.
Share content about your guest
Leverage your guest and link to their account when you’re posting about their appearance on your show, especially if they have a bigger following than you. Remember to use the same hashtags they’re using so there is a connection between your content and theirs, so a user can find you too.
Ask them to post about your podcast on their channel as well. This can potentially open you up to a wider audience and introduce your podcast and your content to them.
Highlight a quote from the episode by creating a colorful post that will catch the attention of someone scrolling through their feed. You can use programs like Instasize to create images easily without having to have a graphic design degree.
Other Helpful Tips
Try to mix up your content. Present a nice variety of static images, quotes, audio snippets, videos and polls and make it interesting for the user. Remember, this is your brand and you want to present it in the best way possible from your tone and quality to the visuals and copy you’re putting out.
Create a content calendar to plan your posts out in advance. Using a simple Google sheet to write out your posts could be really helpful to see what works and what doesn’t, plus help you identify any potential content gaps you might be missing.
Be consistent. The more content you can post on a regular basis, the better chance you will have at attracting new followers. Get into a cadence of posting content so that you can stay top of mind for people and remember to treat your followers like gold!
Try and try again. You may find that one post resonated better with your audience than another. Why did it work? Use the learnings to refine your content so it’s compelling, fun and beneficial to your listeners.
Have you started promoting your podcast on Instagram? What has worked for you?
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