The Podcasters Guide to Instagram

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Despite Instagram being a visually-led channel, it’s an amazing platform for podcasters to use.

But here’s the big question:

How can you turn your aural sensation into an eye-grabbing, feed-friendly experience for your followers or potential audience on the ‘gram?

Let’s break down exactly what you need to get your podcast on Instagram, find new listeners, engage your current fans, and expand your reach.

Choose how you want your brand to be visualized

If you’re starting from scratch, it’s vital that you’re thinking about how you can be found by potential listeners and your current audience on their Instagram feeds.

To find the best way to visualize your brand, start by answering these questions:

Will this be recognizable to an ideal audience that doesn’t know us?

Will this help my regular followers and listeners recognize us immediately?

These questions are medium agnostic, meaning it doesn’t matter whether it’s video, or dynamic or static imagery.

What’s important is recognizability.

For example – if you’re an established vodcast where your audience recognizes your faces, your Instagram brand guidelines might include rules like:

  • Thumbnail includes one creator smiling / laughing
  • Videos must include ‘Play with Sound’ sticker CTA
  • Videos show merchandise with name facing towards camera

Or if you’re a new podcast, you might have guidelines around:

  • Ensure static imagery is chosen based on content of the podcast
  • Ensure the thumbnail has a quote / excerpt from the podcast to generate interest
  • Always stick to brand colors
Check out this example from Joe Rogan:

It’s immediately recognizable, it’s easy to see where it’s available, and we know what the content is going to be.

Remember, what’s important is that you’re enticing potential listeners to check out your content, and sparking recognition in your current listeners.

Think of your individual podcasts as pillar content

A podcast isn’t one single thing. Over the course of 30 mins or an hour, a podcast will contain jokes, insights, and quotable lines.

The podcast itself becomes the pillar (the center), while those bits that make up the podcast become your cluster (the off-shoots).

Viewing it this way has three instant advantages:

  1. You get almost endless content (so you’re not struggling for posts or post ideas)
  2. You’ve got angles to A/B test (see what parts of your podcast get the most engagement)
  3. You can create engagement for the entire funnel (from awareness of your podcast to subscribing)
Here’s how @julssolomon creates smaller clusters from her larger content:
As a bonus, once you see how you can create clusters from your pillar content, you’ll be better placed to decide where on Instagram you’d like your content to live.

Explore Instagram’s different posting types

Instagram has a variety of ways to post, and each of them has their own benefit and best use case – here’s a quick breakdown:

Static posts
Single images where you can include links. This is the quickest and easiest way to get your content onto the ‘gram, but it’s also the least engaging.

Carousels
Multiple static images that users scroll left to right through. It’s not the best for podcasters because carousels tell the story that your podcast is telling…only slower and without the benefit of your voice or personality.

Reels
Reels are snackable, short-form videos that are great for podcasts. These are the perfect place for your most interesting and engaging cluster content to get posted.

Stories
Videos that are only available for 24 hours. These are great for recaps of your last podcast, showing preparation for the next show, or behind the scenes after a show is finished.

Highlights
Instagram highlights are collections of Stories that stay on your profile indefinitely. They’re perfect for introducing and explaining your podcast. For example, you might have an ‘about’ highlight as well as highlights for each member of the podcast.

Once you know how you can divide your content and where it can live on Instagram, your next step is getting organized.

Set up a social calendar and schedule your content

Sure – you can choose to post to Instagram on the fly, but it’s going to be painful. It ends up taking more time than you think, and more often than not you’re going to forget to post at all.

Having a social media calendar lets you plan when you’ll release content, and having an Instagram scheduling tool means you’re not having to jump on your phone every time you do it.

The added benefit of getting this organized is you’ll start to see when your audience is most receptive to your content. You might find that your listeners prefer to snack on your content on public transport, or on their lunch break, or in the early hours of the morning.

Promote your Instagram from your podcast

Your best listeners will also make your best followers, and this has some great knock on benefits:

Likes and engagement gets you more reach
When Instagram sees that your content is regularly engaged and interacted with, it’s likely they’ll expand your reach to further audiences.

Your followers have followers just like them
When your followers like or share your content, they’re passing on your content to people just like them.

It keeps your podcast top of mind
This gives your listeners a way to interact with your podcast and its members in between shows, so they’ll be more excited for the next release and be less likely to let you slip from their radar.

Always be testing

You should always test your content.

Even if your reach is poor, you’re not getting engagement, and followers are only trickling in, you might not have found the thing that makes your podcast Instagram magic.

So always be testing – see what thumbnails work, change up your captions, play with your stickers and calls to action, keep promoting, and you are likely to learn what’s going to get your more reach, more engagement, and more listeners.

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