PodSchool Podcast | Why you need a trailer for your podcast


Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!


Give people something to try before they buy

A podcast trailer can help you drum up interest in your show before you’ve dropped an episode because it gives listeners a taste of what they’ll hear when your show is live.

Just like the trailer for a movie, a podcast trailer should include highlights of what people can expect and give them a reason to get excited about what’s on the way.

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How do you create a podcast trailer?

Record episodes ahead of time

If you’re recording episodes before you go live (which I highly recommend) you’ll have a lot of material to include in your podcast trailer.

If your show features interviews with interesting people, grab some of your favourite moments and include them in your trailer.  That way listeners can get a sense of who’s going to be on your show as well as the tone of the conversations.

Is it going to be heavy or light?  Will they laugh or cry?  Will they be educated or entertained?  The more of this you can get across in your podcast trailer the better.

If your show is just you and your co-host talking rather than an interview series, you can take some of the most hilarious/compelling/interesting moments from your recordings and include those in the trailer for the show.

With these types of shows, you want to get people hooked on the chemistry between the hosts.

Or get them intrigued enough about the content to make them want to listen to more.

Warning: The following audio is not safe for work

Write a compelling script

If your show is topical or timely you might not be able to record episodes ahead of time, which means you might not have bits of audio to feature in your podcast trailer and that’s fine.

If it’s possible you could record practice episodes to get audio you can use but not every show is going to yield a bunch of short snappy grabs that you can build a trailer out of.

If that’s the case, don’t worry, you can still get people excited by writing and voicing a compelling script.

Since you don’t have grabs to play with, you need to make sure you get as much personality as possible into your words and your voice.

You can also use sound effects, music and other bits of audio texture to bring it to life.

Why you should batch record your podcast


Be selective

If you are using grabs in your podcast trailer make sure you only select the absolute highlights.

That might seem like an obvious thing to say but you need to put yourself in your listener’s shoes rather than picking the bits you like best.

If you’re thinking about your audience you’ll avoid things like in-jokes or anything that might be too self-indulgent (no matter how hilarious you think it is).

The same goes for how you should think of your script.

Be selective about the words you use and think about how to get people excited about your show without overexplaining things or getting lost in the detail.

Remember, your audience has never met you so this could be the first (and potentially last) chance you have to make a good impression.

How to promote your podcast before it’s live


Don’t waste your listener’s time

A podcast trailer should be fast-paced so your listener is happy to come along for the ride because if they’re bored in your trailer they’ll assume they’ll be bored in your show.

So it’s important to hold their interest right to the end.

Ideally, you want it to be short and sharp so you can get across everything you need to while still leaving people wanting more.

Naturally, some podcast trailers might deal with subject matters that require things to be a bit more fleshed out but no matter what your show is about you want to leave your listener’s ears before they’re asking you to.

Why you shouldn’t waste time in your podcast introduction


A podcast trailer can help grow your followers and subscribers

To submit your show to directories like Apple Podcasts you need to have at least one piece of audio in your feed.

This is what’s needed to create your RSS feed which is the thing you submit to podcast directories so they know your show exists.

When you submit your RSS feed (it’s as easy as copying and pasting it) it can take a while for some directories to register your show.  And no two directories take the same amount of time, which is fun.

Thankfully, once your show has been recognised in the apps, each subsequent episode will appear straight away.

So your trailer is a good piece of evergreen content to put into the feed while you’re waiting for it to pop up in directories so you’re not wasting your first full episode.

It also gives you a piece of audio to point people to when you’re pre-promoting your show so hopefully, they’ll love it so much they’ll hit follow or subscribe.

Anything you can do to build buzz or give people a reason to listen before your podcast goes live is going to help you build momentum when you drop that first episode.

Got a burning question you’d like answered on the podcast? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

Hello and welcome to the show. Today I'm going to be talking about podcast trailers. This will come in handy for you if you have yet to start your show or alternatively you're thinking about starting a new show. A podcast trailer can be a great way to encourage people to listen and to give them a bit of what they are going to get if they listen to or subscribe to your show.

If you think about the movie industry they are very good at doing trailers. They will pick all of the best bits (sometimes they'll put all of the best bits into the trailer and then you watch the movie and you think "the rest of it was fluff wasn't it). But a podcast trailer can do the same thing as the movie trailer. If you highlight some of the best bits you can give people a reason to listen outside of just a good description and a nice title. You can give them something where they can get the essence of your show, an idea of what type of people you'll be speaking to and an idea of the tone. Showing rather than saying can be a nice way to get people to engage with your content and get them excited about what's going to be around the corner.

This is going to be much easier if you are recording your shows ahead of time and if you have a bunch of episodes already in the can before you go live with the first one. That way you can go through and pick out the best bits from some of the interviews or some of the chat between you and a cohost and put it into a trailer so people can hear what's coming up.

When you're picking those little audio grabs you want to play the highlights. I know that's an obvious thing to say but it is really important you think about what's going to draw an audience in. More often than not if there's a bit of comedy in your show it's going to be the bits where you and your guest or you and your cohost are laughing. Unless it's an in-joke they're never going to get, those heightened moments can really keep the momentum of a promo going and make it exciting and interesting. You also want to keep the grabs quite short and it's good to roll some music underneath to keep it going.

That episode is also what you will start your feed off with. It's often called an Episode 0 so it's the episode before your first episode is dropped. It can also be called a "coming soon" episode with our shows at Mamamia we'll often label those "coming soon" and this can be dropped in your feed ahead of time. The reason you'll do this is because to have your podcast featured in iTunes there needs to be one at least one episode or one MP3 file in the feed already. You can't open your show or submit it to iTunes until you have an audio file there. By having a trailer or a coming soon episode you can open up the feed so you can start to share it on social media and encourage people to subscribe or to listen before you've released your first episode. The more subscribers you have before that first episode goes live the more help you'll get in terms of your numbers because you'll have people there waiting to download your show before it's begun.

When you're thinking about starting out your show think about recording things for your promo. Of course, if you've already recorded some episodes ahead of time just go in and choose the best bits and put together a bit of a montage. Alternatively, if you're going to do a show either by yourself or with a cohost you can always do a couple of practice rounds or a fake show that you just use to get audio for the promo. Sometimes with shows, I'm putting together we'll do a trial and use some of that audio in the promo (if it's good enough). Often there's a lot of gold stuff in a trial so don't be afraid to make a fake episode for your promo.

I hope that helped you think about how you can use a trailer to encourage people to listen to your show before it's even begun. If you are finding these tips useful I would love it if you left a review wherever you listen to the show and of course, you can head to PodSchoolPodcast.com to check out all the show notes for this and other episodes. I'll see you next week and until then, happy podcasting.

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Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!