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Podcasts on Instagram? Yes! Here’s How to Post Audio on Instagram Using Headliner.app
As fellow podcast lovers know, we live in a golden age of audio. But what if you want to post audio on a visual platform like Instagram or Twitter? You’ll need visuals, of course. That’s what Headliner.app does – it makes ‘audiograms’ so they can be published on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and more. In the below, I explain how to use the Headliner.app to create a podcast to post on social media sites like Instagram TV (IGTV). I provide a lab guide with step-by-step instructions for creating an audiogram that can be shared with your students. I also provide links to the audiograms my students made in my social media class [download social media class syllabus | All posts about this class].
Why Post Audio to Instagram?
In my case, it was a problem and a solution born from the pandemic.
In fall 2019, I challenged the students in my social media class to experiment with Instagram TV (IGTV). I wanted my students doing more with video. So the students started a show called ShepShow. It was a mix of humorous person-on-the-street interviews, more serious interviews with alum, and testimonials about student life. In fall 2020 amid COVID, the idea of students walking campus with a microphone just wasn’t going to work. So, I decided to turn season 2 of ShepShow into an audio-only program; a mini podcast that would be recorded over Zoom while students were safely apart.
This presented a problem: How to get an audio-only show on a visual platform like Instagram?
What is Headliner.app and Why Should I Use it to Get a Podcast on IGTV?
At first, I thought that we would create the audio and then turn it into a video using Adobe Rush or some other editing tool. Then, I did what any educator would do: I got on Google, searched around, and found Headliner. I signed up for a free account and was able to create my first audiogram on Headliner in just a few minutes.
An audiogram is essentially audio wrapped in a still image, with the image aspect ratio optimized for posting on social media. A waveform – a real-time visual representation of the audio – can be placed over the image. As you can imagine, Headliner.app is particularly great for taking a podcast and posting it on YouTube, as many podcasters do to leverage YouTube’s massive audience and monetization features. But Headliner’s s array of features, including audio transcription, make it a versatile tool for posting audio on any social network (See a list of Headliner.app features).
Teaching Students to Create an IGTV Podcast using Headliner’s Audiograms
I wrote a detailed look at the IGTV assignment in my social media class from Fall 2019. That post provides more context regarding why my students are creating content for our department’s Instagram page (@ShepComm) and other social media platforms. The IGTV assignment is part of a larger semester-long assignment my students complete in my social media class whereby they take on the social media for our department (I discuss the semester-long project in detail here, or you can learn about it in my 2019 book, Teach Social Media: A Plan for Creating a Course Your Students Will Love).
During this past semester (Fall 2020), I put one student group in charge of ShepShow, our IGTV show. While IGTV is also its own app, it is also part of Instagram. Thus, our ShepShow episodes are uploaded and accessible through the department’s @ShepComm Instagram page.
Here are the steps my students used to create audiograms and post them to Instagram. The same could be done for other social networks.
- Record over Zoom – Get everyone who will be participating in the audio together on a Zoom call. See Zoom’s audio recording guide for how to record the call. If you prefer, you can even choose a setting to record separate audio files for each person who speaks for editing purposes. When everyone’s ready, record the call.
- Edit the Audio – Once the audio file is recorded on Zoom (or multiple audio files if you recorded one for each person who speaks), it is downloaded to the computer of the person who set up the recording. The file can then be edited in audio editing software such as Audacity or Adobe Audition. Once complete, the audio can be exported (e.g., as an MP3) so it can be uploaded into Headliner.
- IGTV Thumbnail – The visual aspect of the audiogram is a still image, or thumbnail. It is what people will see when they load the IGTV episode to listen to it. This visual will need to be created before creating the audiogram.
- Create a Headliner Account – Head over to Headliner. A free account is all you will need for this project.
- Create the Audiogram using Headliner – Discussed in detail below.
- Write the Episode Title and Description – Every episode on IGTV needs a title and description. Use those social media writing skills, keeping in mind best practices such as search, tagging accounts and hashtags.
- Publish on IGTV – Instagram provides easy-to-follow instructions for uploading video to IGTV directly from a computer.
How to Create a Headliner Audiogram
Using Headliner.app is pretty straightforward as the app offers step-by-step instructions for creating audiograms. However, there are a number of different options available. We want to make sure that the correct options are chosen so that our audiogram works with IGTV. Most importantly, the IGTV video dimension requirements must be followed (see IGTV video requirements). Not to worry, in the below-linked lab guide, I have provided instructions showing which video dimension to pick for IGTV. Click the link below for the step-by-step instructions I share with my students. These isntructions teach students how to create an IGTV-ready audiogram in Headliner.
That’s it! Now you have audio that can be uploaded to Instagram TV (or, elsewhere) for your IGTV podcast or other audio project.
To see season 2 of ShepShow and some of my students’ audiograms, check out our Instagram TV channel, and the 7 episodes from Season 2.
Making season 2 of ShepShow a mini-podcast rather than a video season brought down the stress levels for the students and I during a very stressful semester. Most importantly, it was the right move from a health and standpoint. The students completed this project socially distanced from the safety of home. Here are a few final thoughts before you jump in:
- Audio might not be quite as engaging as video. We live in a visual world and Instagram is a very visual platform. So metrics numbers may be down. Captivating thumbnails and optimized titles and descriptions can help.
- Audiograms can be easily created for other social platforms, so the audio can be shared on YouTube and other platforms, too.
- Already have a podcast? Audiograms are a great way to get snippets of your show onto platfroms for your audience to snack on.
- Keep in mind the audio length requirements for IGTV. The video must be shorter than 10 minutes for regular Instagram users.
- IGTV thumbnails continued to be a bit of an issue this season. Some came out great in the channel preview, while others didn’t, despite the team using the same Canva template for each. I need to find a solution to this.
- When recording on Zoom, I suggest, whenever possible, using better quality microphones and ensuring that all members are using fast Internet connections to avoid any audio issues in recording. This was not always available to our students, given the pandemic, and a few minor issues came up in our finished episodes.
- Once the audiogram is created, be sure to listen to the complete episode all the way through before publishing it. If step 3 in the lab guide is not followed correctly, then the full audio might be cut off.
I hope you found this post an interesting twist on a social media assignment. If you try this project, please share your social media audiograms in the comments below!
- Be Well!