Did you know that Instagram has officially reached one billion monthly users? And out of that billion, more than 500 million users visit the platform and scroll through their feed every day—making it an ideal platform to set up a small business, market a service, or in your case, promote a podcast.
Just think about it. When it comes to driving up your listener count, whether it’s through reaching out to your lapsed users or engaging with a new potential audience, Instagram has the tools and the market.
All you have to do is learn how to maximize the social media platform and promote your podcast correctly.
Add your Podcast Link on your Bio
The first tip is the easiest:
Always add a link to your podcast on your profile
This advice doesn’t just hold true for those with podcasts, but for all marketers who are looking to promote products or services as well.
Why is this important? Because unlike any other social media platform, Instagram was created to showcase visuals and photos more than copy or text. This means that the places where you can directly link people to a 3rd party site or platform are limited. In fact, your bio may be the only section on Instagram where you can share a hyperlink.
That said, simply placing your link on your bio gets just half of the job done.
You also have to craft content that is interesting and engaging enough to entice your followers and viewers to learn more about what you have to say. Besides visuals, remind people if you have to: caption your posts with a call to action that tells people to click the link in your bio.
Share Content about your Guests
Part of the pull of each podcast episode is the featured guest. The more influential, interesting, or popular the guest, the more people will want to tune in – especially if these guests have fans or followers who are not necessarily familiar with your show.
On the flipside, fans of your podcast may also not be familiar with your guests. In such instances, it is always a great idea to create content to introduce them to your followers.
Promote your podcast by creating and sharing teasers to the next episode. You could have posts that announce your upcoming episode with a little snippet on what it is going to be about, or have content that features a short background on your guest.
Of course, don’t forget to tag him or her, and if they are up for it, get them to post about your podcast on their page.
Create Teasers for Upcoming Episodes
One way to introduce people to your podcast is to create content that talks about what topics you are going to be covering and showcases the highlights of upcoming episodes.
Aside from featuring information about your guests or their images as mentioned in the previous point, you can also explore creating posts using interesting quotes from the episode, and invite your audience to chime in and share their thoughts on your comments section.
You could even create video content by splicing soundbytes together and setting the audio against a stationary background.
Keep in mind that standing out on Instagram means finding ways to make your images eye-catching, even if your posts primarily feature text (as with quotes).
An amazing and easy trick is to create a template that’s ownable to your podcast’s brand and persona, and to apply the same one to each text-based content your share. And you do not have to be a graphic designing whizz to achieve this – all you have to do is download a photo-editing app that allows you to create layouts.
Instasize, for example, has a number of modern fonts and layout options for you to choose from. The app also has a great border tool with fresh designs, so you can play around with the backgrounds of your images and create a frame you can use and color-coordinate, depending on the nature of your posts (ex. blue frame or background for quotes, orange features for guests, etc).
Know How to Hashtag
When social media was just starting out, “hashtag” was a buzzword used by many. But when it comes to marketing your brand or getting your name across a wider audience, knowing how to use it properly definitely comes in handy.
First of all, create an ownable hashtag and use this every time you post or any of your guests share content related to your podcast. This will collate your content into one space, so that each time people click on your hashtag, they are automatically led to all posts related to your podcast.
The use of other hashtags, on the other hand, requires more strategy and research. Start by studying what topics are popular or trending, knowing what your target market is interested in, and finding out which of these intersect with your brand—then hashtag accordingly. If your podcast is all about #food and #lifestyle, figure out which other topics you can connect with, like #travel or #health. This will make your posts discoverable on people’s explore pages, and thus, reachable to a wider audience.
A word of caution, though: don’t be too trigger happy with your hashtags. Before using a hashtag, make sure that it’s actually relevant to the post you are sharing. And remember to stay within the optimal amount of 9 to 11 hashtags per post in order to keep engagement rates at its optimal.
Play Around with Instagram Stories
Out of all the Instagram features, Instagram Stories is one of the newest, but also one of the go-tos of brands and marketers alike – and for good reason. According to this year’s statistics, a whopping third of the most viewed Stories come from a business, which means if you want to promote your podcast on Instagram, posting on Stories is your best bet.
What makes Instagram Stories so great is that it allows you to be more candid with what you share than everywhere else on your feed. Content posted there has a 24-hour lifespan, perfect for sharing quick behind-the-scenes exclusives, clips, or teasers for your upcoming episodes.
This feature also has stickers that let you hold polls and ask your audience questions, which can be especially helpful when it comes to maximizing your engagement with your followers and mining valuable insight as to what your current and prospective listeners might expect from your podcast.
Another nifty worth mentioning is that you can also use Instagram Stories to link viewers to your site by inviting them to swipe up.
The catch though is that this is only available to Business Accounts with 10,000 followers or more. This is a challenge for most, but it’s also a good reason to start beefing your content up to attract more followers.
Leverage on IGTV as a New Format
If Instagram Stories is a feature, think of IGTV as an arm—it’s a semi-independent member of the Instagram toolkit that allows content creators to share videos longer than the 60-second limit of the average feed.
You might be thinking, “But I already have a podcast, why would I want to bother with another format?” The answer is to supplement your show with a visual counterpart. If your podcast is the main attraction, your IGTV channel could house some spin-off content: behind-the-scenes snippets or interesting commentary that you could share between each podcast episode to maintain the engagement of your audience.
Invest in Sponsored Content
Of course, having a limited following shouldn’t be a detriment to getting views to your posts. Another option is to turn your posts into ads, giving you access to better click rates, advanced targeting, and specialized post formats.
Expect to dish out anywhere between 20 cents to $2 CPM (cost per thousand views/impressions) depending on your selected targets. Once your ad is up and running, your post will show up on the feeds of your audience of choice.
Much like the swipe up feature of Instagram Stories, turning your post into a sponsored ad allows you to link viewers to your site.
You can follow all the tips mentioned in this article, but at the end of the day, successful marketing and promotion on Instagram all boils down to having quality content. Instagram is a photo-sharing social media platform, and people browse through feeds to connect with others through visuals.
So whether it’s through creating content for your profile or sharing posts through Stories, remember to up your visual game and stay engaging. Listen to your own listeners. Always explore new ways to maximize the platform by studying what your prospective audience wants, and learn from what your competitors are doing to win.