How to Make the Perfect Podcast Trailer

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How to Make the Perfect Podcast Trailer

March 23, 2023 • About 12 min. read

podcast-trailer

In this blog post, we are going to teach you how to create an incredible podcast trailer. 🤩

A great podcast trailer sparks curiosity and make listeners click the ‘follow’ button so they can be sure to get their curiosity satisfied. It builds up the brand of your show. Plus, a trailer gives your community something they can easily share with friends to recommend your show.

There are two kind of podcast trailers you can create: A show trailer and episode trailers. We are going to show you how to do both.

Ready? Let’s blastoff! 🚀

Podcast Trailer for a Show

First we are going to cover how to make a trailer for a whole podcasting show.

Yes, You Should Create a Podcast Trailer Even After You Have Launched Your Podcast!

A lot of podcasters think it is too late for them to make a trailer for their show. They have already launched their show. They may have already even done a hundred episodes!

But it is never too late to make a podcast trailer for your show. Remember, every day people are discovering podcasts for the first time. Every day, you have the opportunity to attract new listeners, new fans. 🌅

A trailer helps bring in a new audience, even if it is not leading up to your launch day. It also can be a boost to your current listeners, getting them excited all over again to keep listening to your podcast. Plus, once your listeners are equipped with a trailer, they can then share it with friends, recommending they begin listening to your show.

Keep it Under 90 Seconds

As a general rule of thumb, you want to keep your trailer length under ninety seconds, or one and a half minutes. ⏱️

On the flip side, you want to be no shorter than thirty seconds.

This general length of time ensures that you are giving your listeners enough information to make them want to follow your show, but not to give away all the goods. 🎁

Script It

Now that you know about how long your trailer should be, the first step to making a perfect podcast trailer is to make a script. First, start with an outline. Then, flesh it out into a full, detailed script that you (or whoever is the voice of your trailer) can read word for word. 📚

Below we describe the elements that should make up your script. Feel free to pick and choose what works best for you.

Intro: Hook Them In

A podcast intro is where you want to hook listeners in. There are a few different ways to do this, depending on what kind of show format and branding you have.

Cold Open

A cold open is when you use a show recording at the very beginning of your show (or, in this case, trailer) to immediately immerse your listener. 🌊

For example, if you are doing a true crime show, your cold opening may be audio from a 911 call recording from an eye witness of a crime you are going to cover.

If you do a lot of interviews, your cold opening might be a clip pulled from one of your most intriguing guests.

A cold open grabs people’s attention because their brains immediately begin trying to form a context around what they just heard. This prompts feelings of curiosity and a need to know more. 😲

Host Intro

If your podcast relies heavily on the personality of your host or co-hosts, you may want to start your trailer with a greeting from them. Let their charisma and chemistry with each other shine through. 👩‍🎤

Fact Intro

If your podcast is a how-to, or an educational show more broadly, starting your trailer with a powerful fact might be the best way for you to go.

For example, if you are doing a series about sea creatures, you could open with “Did you know that a deep sea sperm whale’s echo location sound is so loud that if the sound wave hit a human, it would kill them?” 👀

That made you curious, right? And it makes you think that this show is going to make you say “wow” and “whaaaaaat?” quite a bit.

If you plan on using this kind of intro, make sure to pick a fact that is super interesting and represents what kind of topics people can expect to hear on your podcast. 🐋

Music

Music is a huge part of a trailer. It tells listeners if your show is tense and scary, fun and bubbly, cool and hip… you get the idea! 🎶

It is usually best to have background music playing for the duration of your trailer. A music bed through the whole piece indicates to people that this is a trailer, not a full episode.

Trailer music should drive the trailer forward, making the trailer feel somewhat short and leaving the audience wanting more. 🎧

The music needs to be on-brand. It needs to fit with your overall content, both in terms of your show and your marketing.

Most of all, the music should flow with the verbal content, not compete with it. Make sure the music bed is quiet enough for listeners to hear any small audio details you want them to hear, whether it is a cold open recording, or host banter. 👂

Show Name and Tagline

Your podcast trailer should include the name of your show and your tagline, or super short description. 📣

In fact, your show name should be in the trailer at least twice. That way when people later try to search for it on Spotify or Apple or wherever they listen to podcasts, they will be more likely to find it.

A good way to repeat your podcast name again without sounding repetitive is to give your social media handle or website, assuming that your social media handle or website is the same or very similar to your podcast title. 💻

Description and Keywords

In your trailer, there should be two to three sentences that describe the content of your show. ✍️

Clarity is important here. Sometimes in the effort to make a catchy trailer, podcasters forget to be clear on exactly what their podcast is about. You will not lose listeners with clarity. Actually, they are more likely to feel comfortable following your show because they know what to expect.

Keywords are very helpful in this regard. By making sure you include them, you are making sure that you are clearly describing your podcast content. 🔑

Plus, keywords help potential listeners search for your show after they listen to the trailer. Often, individuals have their hands full when they are listening to podcast trailers. It could be hours, if not days or months later, that they finally are ready to check out your show. By using keywords in your trailer, even if the person forgets your show or tagline, at least they will vague remember the keywords. Then they will be likely to find your show when they use Google or whatever search engine they prefer.

Outro: Logistics

Psychology studies show that folks are more likely to remember the first and last part of anything they hear. We have already covered the first part of your trailer– getting people interested immediately in the intro. Use the last part of the trailer to direct them to when and where they can find your podcast. 🗺️

In the outro, be clear about when your show will launch. If your show has already launched, you may want to say something like “with X episodes all ready for you to listen to…”

Also, included the frequency of new episode releases: twice a month, daily, etc. 📅

If you podcast is a limited series with a set number of episodes, include that information.

List the platforms where people can listen to your show. If you distribute to all listening platforms, you can list a few of the most well-known platforms and then say something like the classic “or anywhere you get your podcasts.” 🎙️

Like we mentioned earlier in this blog post, now is a great time to invite folks to check out your social media and website, if those have similar names as your podcast. This is a great opportunity to repeat the name of your podcast so people remember it.

Platform Specific

Beyond the content, or script, of your podcast trailer, also keep in mind that it needs to be formatted to excel on whatever platform you are going to publish it on. 🖼️

Most listening platforms publish a trailer exactly how they publish an episode so you probably do not need to make any major tweaks within your hosting platform terms of metadata, etc.

Social media specifications and feed algorithms are constantly changing so double check the best practices of where you plan to publish the trailer whether it is on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Usually an embedded video does best on these platforms, so consider making a video for them. 📹

Podcast Trailer for Episodes

Podcast episode trailers are not super different than podcast show trailers. The same basic fundamentals and tips apply. However, they are different in certain ways that are worth noting.

Length: 30 Seconds, Maximum

Episode trailers should be much shorter than a show trailer. ➡️⬅️

This is because these trailers’ purpose is not to convince someone to follow a show, but instead they are targeted to current listeners to keep them coming back for more. A current listener would probably be annoyed if they had to listen to anything more than a quick thirty second clip.

Also, practically speaking, you are going to have to make a lot more episode trailers than show trailers. You are going to be glad to just create a thirty second clip each time. 😅

Important note: You do not necessarily need to make a trailer for every single episode. You can choose to only make them for special episodes, like if you are going to have a super special guest on the show or if you are doing some kind of special episode.

Intro

For an this kind of trailer, you can use a cold open or a fun fact intro. If your podcast is more about the dynamic between the co-hosts, you can keep it simple and just have the co-hosts describe what they plan to talk about in the episode. 👯

Music

You should include a music bed through an episode trailer, just like a show trailer. There is a little less pressure to have incredible sound design since you are not trying to sell the whole show, just an episode. But of course, always make sure it is on brand and that you are allowed to use it. 😎

Show Name and Tagline

You do not need to repeat the show name and tagline in this kind of trailer. Saying them once at the end of the trailer is enough. You do not need to mention social media handles or website.

Description and Keywords

Try to limit the description to one sentence or two sentences in these trailers. Remember, you want to always leave listeners hungry for more. 🍲

Keywords are helpful in these trailers in the same ways they are for show trailers: They keep you on point and make sure you give listeners words they can search with later. After all, even if a person already follows your show, they may need to search your show to find the exact episode they want to listen to.

Outro Logistics

The most important logistic point you want to include in this kind of trailer is when the episode is going to be released. 🗓️

If it is going to be released in the same time frame as usual, it can be helpful to note that. For example, you can say something like “… as always, you can catch this new episode on Monday…”

If it is a special episode, playing up the release date can make it seem even more like a special event, like movie premiere. 🎬

Usually you do not need to include any more logistical information in the episode trailer because you give that information through your Calls to Action at the end of all of your episodes. You do not want to burn out your listeners!

Platform Format

The same tips apply here as with the show trailer. However, the nice thing with these kind of trailers is that since they are shorter than show trailers, they fit natively on more social media platforms. 🤳

In fact, one of the reasons to do episode trailers is to produce consistent posts for your social media account so over time the algorithms will favor your posts and put them at the top of the feed. 🔝

Final Thoughts

Podcast trailers are fun. The sound, the excitement, the curiosity… there is a reason that there is a whole podcast just about podcast trailers (yes, Ausha is a proud sponsor)! 🙋‍♀️

Because a show trailer is so special, you may want to hire some professionals to help you create it. For example, you may never hire a sound designer for your regular shows, but your show trailer might be the time that you do. 👔

As for episode trailers, if you do them consistently, they will get easier and easier as you go. They are great ways to keep your community engaged— you can use them in podcast emails or newsletters, social media, etc.

Enjoy the process! 🧑‍🚀

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March 23, 2023

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