With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is a massive platform that offers huge opportunities for podcasters to expand their reach. But since Instagram is focused on visual content like photos and videos, it can be tricky to effectively share podcast content there.
Creating short video clips from your podcast episodes is an easy and highly effective way to promote your show on Instagram. In this lengthy, in-depth post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about making shareable podcast clips tailored for Instagram.
Here are some of the key benefits of creating podcast clips to share on Instagram and how they can help grow your show:
On Instagram, you only have a few seconds to grab someone's attention before they scroll past your post. Short, gripping preview clips are perfect for quickly catching interest in a feed full of visually competitive content.
Podcast clips give you a better shot at getting those crucial initial views and having users actually click to watch your content. You have to compel them to stop scrolling first, which is challenging with just a static image. An intriguing clip gives motion and sound to hook scrollers.
Allowing potential new listeners to get a short but compelling sample of your show is a great way to pull them in and show them why they should subscribe and listen to the full episode.
Podcast clips act like trailers, giving a taste test of your content and format. When users get a snippet that intrigues them, they’ll be much more inclined to click through to hear more than if you just shared an image or text post.
Repurposing clips across Instagram expands your discoverability by exposing new users to your content through built-in features like Hashtags, Explore page browsing, and the Reels tab.
Fresh audiences that don't currently follow you can stumble upon your clips through these access points, rather than just relying on your existing followers seeing your posts in their feed. More discoverability means more potential new listeners.
Driving traffic to your podcast from Instagram is an excellent way to expand your overall reach, since Instagram's large user base offers access to fresh audiences you may not be tapping into yet.
Your Instagram followers likely represent just a fraction of your total potential listener base. Sharing clips provides another pathway for you to capture a wider audience and direct them to subscribe to your show.
Sharing bite-sized clips on Instagram also gives your current listener base some easily shareable content to reshare with their own networks. Your avid listeners can help spread the word organically.
Seeing a familiar clip from your show pop up in their Instagram feeds makes it quick and simple for loyal listeners to amplify your reach by liking, commenting, and reposting your content with just a tap.
Creating clips optimized for Instagram also allows you to tailor content specifically for that audience. You can showcase snippets that best align with followers' interests and the platform's vibe.
For example, shorter stories or quips that elicit big reactions play well on Instagram versus longer form content better suited for a full podcast episode. Call out your Instagram followers directly in clips too.
Certain audio segments from your podcast will naturally be more buzzworthy, dramatic, controversial or funny. Making these memorable moments more discoverable as clips gives them second lives.
Rather than keeping the shareable gems buried deep in the full episode only loyal listeners will reach, clipping spreads your most viral clip-worthy content far and wide.
Repurposing segments from existing episodes into clips means getting more mileage out of content you've already created. You don't have to start from scratch.
Find the best moments from your back catalog to produce clips that could attract new listeners who may be prompted to go back and listen to the full source episode too.
People are already watching tons of short videos on Instagram, from Reels to Stories. So crafting your content to fit that established short-form video consumption patterns just makes sense.
Viewers are primed to watch full screen vertical video in bite-sized chunks, making Instagram perfectly suited for podcast clips designed for quick and captivating consumption. Match the viewing habits.
In general, shorter content is inherently easier and less demanding to consume versus longer content. Lowering the time investment required to get a solid understanding of what your show offers helps reduce barriers.
A quick clip on Instagram has lower friction for busy or casual users versus clicking into a full one hour show. It meets them where they are.
Now that you know all the benefits, let's get into the step-by-step process for actually creating shareable podcast clips for Instagram:
Start by listening through your recent podcast episodes and make notes of any short but compelling audio moments. The key is to find moments that will hook listeners - think funny stories, shocking statistics, insightful quotes, emotional anecdotes, heated debates, etc.
Anything that grabs your attention or sparks a reaction can work great clipped out. Look for segments around 15-60 seconds long.
When picking clips ask yourself:
Once you've identified a great moment to clip, use audio editing software like Descript, Audacity, Garageband, or your DAW of choice to extract just that 15-60 second clip from the full episode.
Save it as its own separate audio file that you can work with in the next steps. Make sure it's exported cleanly without background music or other sound effects muddying it up.
Since Instagram requires video, you need to add some kind of visuals to go along with your podcast clip's audio. You have lots of options here:
The visuals should enhance the audio rather than just be a boring static image. Think cinematically and choose engaging visuals that complement and enrich the audio.
Be sure to size your image or graphic correctly for Instagram's dimensions - 1080 x 1080 pixels is ideal for landscape video clips.
Now bring your polished audio clip and visuals together into a cohesive video using editing software like Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, or a dedicated tool like Headliner or Wavve.
Arrange the audio and visuals, adjust pacing, tweak audio levels, add captions, logos, colors, etc until you have an engaging video that pops.
Make sure the final clip is under 60 seconds. Instagram Reels go up to 90 seconds but shorter is recommended for optimum engagement.
Export your final video file optimized specifically for uploading to Instagram:
Optimizing the clip for Instagram requirements gives you the best quality and compatibility.
You can easily upload your polished podcast clip video directly within the Instagram mobile app:
Posting natively within Instagram ensures full compatibility across all devices and surfaces your content to more users.
Getting views on your podcast clips is just the first step. You also want to incite viewers to actually take action, whether that's checking out your show or otherwise engaging with your brand.
Here are some tips for maximizing engagement on your Instagram podcast clips:
Write Instagram captions for your clips that spark curiosity and lure viewers into wanting to know or see more. Ask leading questions, tease what they missed, drop intriguing hints about your show - give them a reason to care.
Including your Instagram and podcast handle prominently on your clip graphic or in text ensures viewers can easily find you for more. Hashtags also help users discover your content.
Add captions with strategic calls to action to guide viewers, like "Link in bio", "Click for full episode" etc. Tell them clearly what you want them to do next.
Get influencers in your niche to engage with your clips via comments, shares, collaborations etc. Influencer cosigns can expand reach.
Use Instagram and Facebook ads to further amplify your highest performing organic clips and reach fresh untapped audiences.
Pay attention to which clips get the most traction through Instagram analytics. Do more of what resonates best with your audience.
Creating great podcast clips doesn’t have to be a tedious manual process. These tools can streamline and simplify your workflow:
Swell AI streamlines the process of creating engaging podcast clips for Instagram by offering intuitive transcript editing and AI-driven content suggestions.
Headliner is a web-based platform made specifically for converting audio clips into shareable video content with built-in automated captions. Just upload your audio, customize the look and feel, and export social-ready video clips in square or vertical formats optimized for different platforms.
Descript makes it easy to edit your raw podcast audio and export clips complete with polished visual captions synced right to what's being said. Descript also auto-transcribes your audio to make the editing process smooth and simple.
Recast Studio is an intuitive web app tailored to podcasters' needs. Upload your audio, add images and text, trim clips, and export engaging square video clips ideal for Instagram. Recast takes care of the visuals for you.
Wavve lets you turn any audio clips into animated videos with generated captions, images and adaptable templates. Get clips optimized for social media sharing across platforms.
Overcast is an iOS podcast app that lets you share clips from any show right to social media or messages. Trim segments from your own show or others to share.
Premiere Rush allows quick and easy video editing on your mobile device. Ideal for combining your podcast audio clip, images, text and graphics into a vertical video file ready for Instagram.
Apple's pro video editing software Final Cut Pro offers powerful tools for precision editing of your podcast audio and overlaying custom graphics tailored for Instagram's dimensions and requirements.
Like Final Cut and Premiere, DaVinci Resolve is commonly used for advanced post-production but still accessible enough for simple podcast clip creation and mobile exporting.
iMovie is free video editing app for Mac/iOS that makes combining your podcast audio clips and images into shareable vertical Instagram videos quick and painless.
Sharing captivating clips is great for engagement on Instagram, but to maximize the benefits, you also want to drive that newfound Instagram audience back to your actual podcast.
Here are some tips for driving Instagram traffic back to your show:
Include a clear call-to-action in your Instagram bio prompting visitors to click your link to subscribe to your podcast. Update the link as new eps release.
Adding a link directly in your clip's caption that sends users straight to your latest podcast episode makes taking the next step frictionless.
Leverage Instagram Stories' swipe up feature to share clips there with links that redirect to your podcast.
Use consistent branding, logos, captions etc tied to your podcast across Instagram so your content is clearly identifiable.
Promote users to leave ratings/reviews on podcast platforms which both drives engagement on those platforms and increases credibility.
Cross-promote your Instagram on your podcast and vice versa to maximize reach across audiences on both platforms.
Run contests on Instagram that incentivize viewers to subscribe, rate, or engage with your podcast in some way for a chance to win.
Spark some FOMO (fear of missing out) in the captions of your clips alluding to all the great content listeners are missing out on by not checking out the full episode.
It’s important to track performance data so you can refine your approach over time. Be sure you’re focusing energy on creating the types of clips that actually resonate best with your target Instagram audience.
Key metrics to pay attention to for each clip:
Study the data both for each clip and your overall Instagram presence. See which styles of clips and types of content perform best. Do more of what succeeds and less of what fails.
You can then iterate and evolve your clip strategy towards ideal formats, lengths, captions etc optimized for growth and engagement. Let the numbers guide you.