Learning how to market your podcast on Instagram and creating a content flow that resonates with your listeners and increases engagement is an important part of promoting yourself as a podcaster.

Podcasting is growing rapidly (we probably don’t need to tell you that). According to Convince and Convert’s stats, in 2017, 40% of Americans 12 or older had listened to a podcast, compared to 55% in 2020. That’s an increase of 37.5% in three years!

The growth in the number of podcasts being produced is even more impressive. In the first half of 2020, 383,678 new podcasts debuted, which is more than were lauched in all of 2019. That represents nearly 30% of all the podcasts in existence. (Insider Radio)

As podcasting’s popularity continues to rise, so does the need for effective promotion and marketing, and Instagram is full of opportunities for podcasters. And it’s still possible to increase your followers and engagement on Instagram without buying ads.

Instagram now has 140 million U.S. users, which represents an 8% increase over Q3 2020. According to Hootsuite, it is the sixth-most visited website and has the fourth most mobile app users.

Here’s a look at four different ways you can market your podcast with Instagram.

Switch to a business account

If you’re currently using a regular profile instead of a business account for your podcast or rely on your personal account to promote your podcast, it’s time for an upgrade.

Business accounts offer lots of advantages when it comes to marketing on the platform. Here’s a look at a few of the more impactful benefits.

Insights (and lots of them)

In addition to standard metrics like impressions, visits, mentions, etc., switching to a business account provides deep dive details into your followers through Instagram Insights. These stats help take the guesswork out of your social strategy.

For example, not only can you see what days of the week your followers are most active, you can see the hour of the day–ensuring you post exactly when your content is most likely to get in front of your followers.

Another Insights benefit is seeing the engagement and impression history for the past two years of your posts. This data makes it easier to analyze the reach of different content to plan successful posts in the future.

Contact Info

Switching to a business profile also gives you a lot more options for your Instagram header and bio. Most importantly, you can provide a few more ways to get in touch with you. In addition to “Message,” which all profiles have, options here include, “Email” “Call,” or “Contact,” which gives you the option to offer email, phone, and a physical address.

Giving your audience multiple ways to get in touch with you shows that you’re available to your community and increases the likelihood that your listeners will reach out through the channel you’re able to monitor and respond to the fastest.

Swipe Up

Only Instagram business profiles (with more than 10,000 followers) have the ability to include a swipe up link to your stories. This is a fantastic opportunity to link directly to specific episodes, your podcast merch, or your website.

Use a social media landing page app

If you don’t have the necessary following for swipe up (yet!), and even if you do, you should also consider creating a social media landing page.

Since Instagram limits your profile to one link, it can be tough to point your followers to more than one place. This potentially makes getting the listener to the site or page you want them to visit take multiple steps, which increases the potential of an exit.

There are many apps like Linktree, Lnk.Bio, and Bio.fm that allow you to create a landing page containing multiple links and links tied to individual posts. This will createre a much more direct path for listeners to engage with your content in the way you want.

Comedian Nicole Byer uses a social landing page extremely effectively.

Embrace Instagram Stories

Half a billion people use Stories every single day. According to a survey by Instagram, 58% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.

Stories are also a great place to connect with your current audience, which is important to maintaining your listenership and keeping the engagement with your episodes high.

Social Insider reports that brands with less than 10,000 Instagram followers succeed at reaching more than 9% of their followers with Stories. That’s a pretty incredible reach that you can use to your advantage as you work toward 10K followers to unlock the valuable swipe up action.

Stories have gained so much popularity since their launch in 2016 that we’ve actually been able to watch the decline of influencers posting to their regular feed over the past four years.

Chart: Later “The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Stories for Business

Instagram Story ideas for podcasters

  • Audiograms (our personal favorite): Stories are the perfect place to use audiograms. Create multiple videos previewing your latest episode to alert your fans that you have new content.
Jess Freeman, owner of Jess Creatives
  • Polls: Get your fans’ feedback on potential guests or episode topics.
  • Countdown stickers: Tease your future episodes or seasons of your show.
  • Behind the scenes: You may not feel comfortable vlogging or filming the recording of your podcast, but a quick video of your recording studio or you chatting with your guest before an interview can go a long way toward sharing more real-life snippets of content with your fans. And, as a plus, for those of us on the shy side, these clips only hang around for 24 hours.

Create Instagram Highlights

Once you have a decent backlog of content (both feed posts and Stories), you should definitely look into Instagram Highlights as a way to promote certain aspects of your podcast and business.

The aptly named Highlights, which are found directly under your contact information, allow you to create themed buckets of your content to share with your fans.

Keep in mind that Highlights have extremely high prominence on your profile. It’s important to have a plan from the beginning as this essentially acts sort of like the sub navigation of your profile. This is high-value content that sticks around forever unless deleted (unlike Stories).

Instagram Highlight ideas for podcasters:

  • Guests: Show off the amazing people you’ve had on your show. Audiograms featuring snippets of your conversations would work really well here.
  • Merch: Does your podcast have merch? Show ’em what you got!
  • Seasons: If your podcast is broken into seasons, you could use highlights to give a preview of each one.
  • Questions or FAQs: If you’ve answered questions submitted to you in Stories, keep a long term collection as a highlight where people can get to know you better.

Go Live!

Instagram Live is another really great way to give your audience (and potential listeners) a behind-the-scenes look at your show and connect with them on a more personal level.

Live is also great practice for getting comfortable on camera if vodcasting is something you’ve thought about doing but aren’t ready to pursue yet. The pressure is relatively low as Live content only lasts for 24 hours (just like Stories).

To go Live, swipe left on the screen, just as you would to add to your Stories and toggle over to Live. The time limit for Live was increased to four hours in late 2020 to help creators who were pivoting to virtual events.

At the height of COVID-19 lockdowns, Instagram Live saw an increase of usage of 70% as it became a convenient place for virtual concerts, fitness classes, training sessions, etc.

Instagram Live ideas for podcasters:

  • Tour of your recording space (even if it’s just a closet in your home).
  • A more in-depth, get to know you.
  • Extra interview questions with a podcast guest. Use the “Add a Friend” feature to pull them to your live stream.
  • Live question and answer session.
  • Preview an upcoming episode (or season) of your show.
  • Demos or other instructional sessions (cooking/yoga/crafts/etc.)

Reminders for Instagram Live

  • Remind your audience that it’s happening multiple times leading up to the event. If you have other communication/social channels, be sure to remind them there too.
  • Once you’re done recording, share your Live recording to your Stories so your fans can engage with it for the next 24 hours.
  • Save your video to your camera roll. This will allow you to watch it back and learn how to improve. It also means you could repost the content in other places like YouTube or use a section in your next audiogram promoting your podcast.
  • As of May 2020, you can now send the video directly to IGTV, where they are permanent (unless you delete them). There are some drawbacks to IGTV, one main one being that your original likes and comments disappear. Learn more about IGTV.

When it comes to marketing your podcast on Instagram, it’s important to remember to start small. There are so many options–some would even say too many–this post didn’t even cover Reels (Instagram’s answer to TikTok). Learn more about using audiograms as Reels.

Start by sharing an audiogram of each new episode. Once you’re comfortable doing that, add to your Stories a few times a week. After you have a good backlog of content, create some Highlights. You get it.

Luckily, your business account will provide you with lots of Insights to help you zero in on what types of Instagram content resonates best with your audience.

Finally, don’t forget to have fun. Instagram offers lots of low-pressure ways to directly interact with your listeners. Even if you don’t love being on camera, a lot of your options for content will disappear in 24-hours. It’s like it never happened. Let them get to know you better and they’ll likely stick around and even share your content with others.