Instagram is an incredibly popular platform, but it isn’t always obvious how you can leverage that platform to promote your YouTube videos. Firstly, you’re promoting a video and Instagram is centred around images. Second, Instagram descriptions don’t support links.
Sure, you can paste the link to your video into the description, but your followers can’t click it. And, you all probably know, introducing extra steps in a call to action is a big no no. You want your viewers to have as little effort between them and your videos as possible.
Still, Instagram is a valuable platform, and there are more options for promoting your videos than just posting an image and putting a link in your description. In this post, we’re going to talk about how to promote YouTube videos on Instagram, so settle in, and let’s get started.
Make Your Instagram Account Valuable
This is the golden rule when promoting YouTube content on other platforms; your presence on that platform has to have some value to the people on that platform in its own right.
If your Instagram account only exists to post links to your latest videos, there isn’t much of a reason for people to follow it. After all, if they just wanted notifying about your latest videos, they would subscribe to you on YouTube. The point here is that you’re trying to attract new subscribers. If a person on Instagram doesn’t know you, they’re not likely to follow you for new video updates. And if they don’t follow you, you can’t promote content to them.
So, make your Instagram account valuable in its own right. Post unique content that works in the Instagram ecosystem. And, when we say unique, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to make entirely new content just for Instagram. You can repurpose your existing content, but you should make sure that it fits for the platform, which might mean re-editing, or clipping parts of your videos.
Put a Link in Your Bio
Instagram may not support clickable links in the descriptions of your posts, but they do support them in your Instagram bio. You can take advantage of this to put your YouTube channel link in there, or you can update the link to point towards your latest video.
Either way, be sure to mention in the description of each post that there’s a link in your bio, so anyone interested in seeing more from you will know where to go to find it!
Hashtags are incredibly useful on Instagram, perhaps more so than Twitter—the platform that spawned them. Instagram is very generous with hashtags, allowing you to pack quite a few into your description. And you can always comment on your own video to get more hashtags in there.
The important thing isn’t to get as many hashtags as possible, however, it is to get the right hashtags. You want your tags to be relevant to your content, otherwise you’re just going to be putting your content in front of people who aren’t interested. Even more importantly, you should try to find the most specific tags related to what you do. We’re not saying don’t use the incredibly popular tags that have millions of posts, but also try to zero in on tags that perhaps just have a few thousand posts, or even mere hundreds.
Tagging your content with these tags will increase the chances of it being seen by the people who are interested in those topics. Sure, there will be fewer people in those topics in total, but they will be more likely to see your post, and more likely to be interested in its content.
Don’t Limit Yourself to Pictures
Instagram is known as a platform for posting images, but it has long-since branched out into video content. Of course, the video-viewing experience of Instagram is very different to YouTube, with shorter content being the order of the day.
Regular Instagram posts can be no longer than 60 seconds, while IGTV posts can be up to 10 minutes. If you are lucky enough to get verified by Instagram, you can post IGTV posts up to 60 minutes in length.
Think of Instagram as a cross between a bite-size version of YouTube and a teaser platform, where you can post enticing clips and smaller versions of your YouTube content to lure viewers over. But always keep in mind that the content you post (on average) should have value for your Instagram followers in its own right, and not just be a pure advertisement for your YouTube channel.
Link to Your Instagram Account on YouTube
This may seem a little counterintuitive seeing as this post is about promoting YouTube on Instagram, but as sad as it may seem, numbers matter. An account with plenty of followers will occupy a more authoritative space in the mind of people checking out your account than one with hardly any followers.
So, while it’s a very indirect way of helping, promoting your Instagram account through your YouTube channel—even if it’s only a link on your channel page—can actually help you in promoting your channel through Instagram. As always, be careful not to shove anything down your followers or viewers throats. Promote, but don’t go over board.
Don’t Neglect Stories
Instagram stories are an ideal medium for promoting your YouTube videos because they are short, they support hashtags, and you can insert links into them, giving your viewers a direct way to get to the content. And, with the addition of YouTube Shorts, you can use the same promotional videos for both Instagram and YouTube.
Like most popular social media platforms, Instagram is a valuable tool for promoting your YouTube content, but only if you approach it correctly. It is a different platform to Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and all the other big players, and it needs to be treated as such. If you go in expecting to use Instagram exactly how you use Twitter, or just post your latest videos, you probably won’t find much success.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.
A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.
4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube
I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.
I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.
That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.
Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).
5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.
They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.