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PodSchool Podcast | Why you need a trailer for your podcast

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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 potential listeners a taste of what they can expect.

Just like a trailer for a movie, a podcast trailer includes highlights of what’s on the way and gives people a reason to get excited about what’s to come.

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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.  This way listeners can get a sense of who’s going to be on your show but also 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 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 show, you want to get people hooked on the chemistry between the hosts.  Or get them intrigued enough about the content to want to listen more.

Warning: The following audio is not safe for work…

What if you’re not able to record ahead of time?

If your show is topical or timely you might not be able to record episodes ahead of time but you can still record practice episodes.

This is obviously easier if you have a co-host than if you’re doing a show by yourself.  But if you’re rolling solo you can always create a podcast trailer by writing and voicing a killer script.

If you do have a co-host, doing practice eps will not only give you audio you can use in your podcast trailer.  It’ll help you get into the groove of co-hosting so you’re not going in cold on day one.

Why you should batch record your podcast

Read

Be selective

When you’re choosing which grabs to include, make sure you only select the highlights.

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

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

How to promote your podcast before it’s live

Read

Use short audio grabs to keep things moving

A podcast trailer should be fast-paced so your listener is happy to come along for the ride.

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’d want your podcast trailer to be no more than two minutes but if it’s under a minute you can also share it on social media which is great.

How do you grow your podcast audience?

Read

A podcast trailer can help grow your subscriber base

To submit your show to directories like Apple Podcasts you have to upload at least one audio file to start your feed.

Having a trailer can be a great way to create your show without releasing an actual episode.  Then once you have a feed to point people to you can ask them to subscribe.

The more subscribers you have before the first episode goes live the better your numbers will be because you’ll already have people waiting to download.

How to submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify

Read

So, don’t let the fact you don’t have a show yet put you off sharing audio with your potential audience.

Anything you can do to build buzz or give people a reason to listen before your podcast goes live is going to help you 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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