I get a lot of people asking why they should choose Instagram to promote their podcast so here is my insight on why and how you should use the platform for promoting your podcast episodes.
Firstly, Instagram is still a rapidly growing platform with a great fan base that makes it a very useful tool for engaging an audience whose Instagram account is a big part of their routine.
People spend a great deal of time on social media platforms and a lot of this is done through their mobile devices. As a podcaster, these mobile users are your most valuable target audience. Modern-day internet access allows them to stay connected everywhere they go, keeping your podcast episodes and other updates within easy reach.
The aim is to convert your Instagram followers into regular podcast listeners, simply by sharing your podcast episodes to your Instagram feed and story. This becomes easier once you reach 10,000 followers because once over that threshold, you’re able to insert a link in your story and a call to action so that a “swipe up” will allow them to listen to your show.
Table of Contents
Usage of # on Instagram
Let us begin learning the basics of what a hashtag is and the best practices of using them for your podcast.
The use of hashtags is a very effective way to give your posts more exposure by connecting your content to a relevant audience. With the right use of hashtags, you can reach a wider set of potential followers and listeners without the need to boost your posts via the platform’s advertising tool.
Instagram limits you to 30 hashtags for a post and 10 hashtags for a story.
I follow the steps below to make sure I’m always using the best hashtags for each post or story.
- Spend some time researching relevant hashtags. You can do so by typing into the search bar of Instagram #<content you intend to promote>. For example, #podcastepisode. There will be various results and based on the popularity and number of followers, you can choose the hashtag for your post. A good way to do this would be visiting the popular hashtag pages that you think your audience may be following.
- Create a list of targeted hashtags and save them on your phone. Have the list accessible to save time when publishing a post.
- If you plan to schedule a post, add the hashtags underneath the caption. To avoid squishing the caption and hashtags, I suggest adding five dots like ….. after your caption. This will give the post a tidy and organized look, leaving some space between your caption and hashtags.
- You can also create an IGTV video telling people about your latest podcast episodes while providing a link to the episode. You can then link your video to the stories and add relevant hashtags. Always remember that adding hashtags, location, and profile tags allow you to be discovered by more people.
There are various applications and methods you can use to hide the visible hashtags. Space app is one such application that helps you easily add paragraphs, count characters, and add hashtags in just a couple of clicks. It is a very useful tool if you have a business Instagram account.
If you wish to add a hashtag to your Instagram story, then you can either use a hashtag sticker or copy/paste from your list of hashtags.
Using Hashtags to Find Your Audience – An Example
There are various techniques to target your audience. If you intend to reach a niche audience then try using a tool called Metahashtags which can help you find focused and smaller groups of hashtags that are highly relevant for your brand and audience.
For instance, a fitness business looking for their target audience would have lots of broad hashtag options but if more specific tags are required, Metahashtags can help you find focused and smaller groups of hashtags that you may not have thought of.
In my opinion, one of the best features of the tool is that it allows you to filter by the number of posts and likes per post. So, say if you want a smaller group of followers then you can use the left side filter and choose the total number of posts from 10k to 100k to generate hashtags only within that range. Why would you want to do this? Quite simply, so that your post doesn’t get lost in a sea of other posts that are using the well-followed hashtags which have millions of followers. Using a mixture of tags with different follower numbers is always a good idea.
If you were promoting a podcast about small business, for example, you might see the following hashtags when doing your research as they are the most followed in this space:
- #business (54M)
- #businesswoman (11M)
- #businessowner (8M)
- #businessman (7M)
It’s fine to include a couple of the most relevant ones to you but it also makes sense to include some hashtags with a smaller following which you can reasonably compete for visibility with. Examples might include:
- #womanownedsmallbusiness (52k)
- #smallbusinessrocks (76k)
- #smallbusinessowner (90k)
Another nice feature of the tool is that you can simultaneously keep shortlisting hashtags on the right panel, by selecting each one. Once you have a list of hashtags, you can then drill down into one of them and do more research to find out what is getting people more likes on each post.
One tip is to make sure you’re mixing up the hashtags you’re using. Instagram may assume that you are spamming the feed if you regularly post the same hashtags, which could lower the visibility of your posts so keep things fresh and make sure that your hashtag research is an ongoing process.
You may want to supplement your niche-specific hashtags with some podcast specific tags. Here are some of the more popular ones you might want to consider.
#podcasts #podcast #podcasting #podcastlife #podcaster #podcastersofinstagram #podcasters #podcastshow #applepodcasts #podcastlove #podcastaddict #podcastinglife #newpodcast #podcastmovement #applepodcast #podcastsofinstagram #spotifypodcast #podcasthost #podcastnetwork #podernfamily
More Instagram Tips for Podcasters
Make Use of the Spotify-Instagram Integration
In 2018, Spotify announced an integration that made it possible for users of their app to post albums, tracks, artists, and playlists directly to Instagram Stories along with a link directly to what was being shared on Spotify.
Although not mentioned in the announcement, this is also possible with podcasts and podcast episodes making it a great, easy way to send traffic from Instagram to Spotify where users can listen to your show.
Optimize Your Profile
Try to make your profile as relevant and interactive as you can for your audience.
Include a link in your bio which points people at whichever podcasting platform you want to encourage the most downloads on. This might be Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or even your website if you publish your episodes on there too and/or that’s where you host your show’s RSS feed.
Release Teaser Clips
I believe a great way to increase your audience over time is to let your regular listeners know why they should continue listening to your podcasts.
Share new episodes regularly but also provide 3 or 4 snippets of an upcoming episode so that people get excited about it and are more likely to tune in when the full episode does go live.
Be active on social media and try to post as regularly as possible without overdoing it and becoming stale. Consistency is the key to growing a loyal fan base on Instagram.
Instagram works a little differently from other social media platforms. Your goal should not be the promotion of your podcast episodes but creating awareness of your show to potential listeners and what value you bring to the table.