Before I explain what you should probably be shooting for when it comes to making a great trailer for your podcast, I should probably say this…
Contrary to what some ‘podcasting influencers’ who are selling expensive courses will tell you, there’s no right or wrong on this.
Podcast trailers (also referred to by some as promos) are much like podcast themselves; subject to taste and preference.
What most people do with their podcast trailer
The most common type of podcast trailer that most, if not pretty much all podcasters fall back on is the beloved ‘audiogram’.
This is usually produced with an app called Headliner.
In fact, pretty much all podcast audiograms you’ll see on social media have probably been produced using Headliner.
And it’s not hard to understand why. The tool is awesome. And fast.
You can have a podcast trailer created using Headliner in around five minutes.
I can’t recommend it enough if you’re just starting out with your podcast.
Here’s the big ‘but’.
You need to make a great podcast trailer that stands out
Headliner’s success and notoriety is also its own biggest obstacle.
Everyone, and I mean literally everyone now knows about using Headliner to make a podcast trailer.
And therefore, they are.
This means that when you’re scrolling through your social media and you see a podcast trailer that’s been made in Headliner, you tend to scroll past it.
We now all know what a Headliner made podcast trailer looks like.
We’ve kind of become conditioned to it.
Use different styles
I know that’s not what you want to read.
You’re busy, and you want something that’s quick and easy when it comes to marketing your podcast.
The idea that Headliner might not be the best option is probably bad news?
I’m not in the business of telling people what they want to read. I’m in the business of telling them what they need to read!
And given that you’re reading an article titled “How to make a great podcast trailer (that actually gets you listeners) I’m guessing that you need to know how to do just that.
Here it is.
Test different styles of podcast trailer.
Ok, so what are my options for 'different styles' of podcast trailer?
There are really only two main styles of a podcast trailer.
These are, static images with audio running behind them which are audiograms.
We’ve discussed these already in detail (Headliner made ones)
So let’s move on to the next one.
The dynamic video trailer.
Now, if you’ve seen or heard any of my content before, this is going to come off as seriously hypocritical.
You’ve probably heard me mentioning how so much better audio is for your marketing than video.
And I stand by that, for longer term, and further down the relationship funnel.
But to get your listeners listening in the first place, you need to meet them on their level.
And us humans are suckers for those shiny moving things we call video images.
Whatever we’re doing, we tend to get distracted by them.
When we’re working on something and the TV grabs us while running in the background.
When we’re standing at a bus or train stop and the dynamic video advert tries to sell us supplements.
When we’re scrolling through social media and we spot some people doing some things and talking about stuff.
The truth is, video works for grabbing attention quickly.
How to use video for your podcast trailer
I’m not gonna sugar coat it for you. It’s going to take a bit longer than usual to make your podcast trailer.
Certainly if you’ve become used to a workflow involving identifying thirty seconds of audio in your episode and then trimming that in Headliner.
However, the time you’ll take in making your new style trailer, you’ll more than make up for in not having to keep putting so many out on your social media to get the audience in!
Trust me on this.
Having spent years creating audiograms and dynamic video podcast promos, I can tell you this method is more effective.
But again, you have two options.
Video the podcast recording
Bit of no brainer honestly.
But if you’re recording anyway, why not video it as you’re going.
Whether you’re a group or a solo show, you can easily set up a mobile or two on a couple of tripods and just capture the whole thing.
Then when you’re done, simply sync the footage, mix it down, chop the bit you want to use, and voila!
I’ll leave the subject of improving with music and subtitles (captions) for another post.
But that’s already far more effective than what you’ve been using up until now.
The other option might take you a little further out of your comfort zone…
Make something a little more creative
The best way to stand out is to do something nobody else is doing, regardless of how long it takes you.
This video is a perfect example of this.
Serious Fonejacker vibes.
And it got my attention.
Do a custom intro piece to camera
At the end of the day, your podcast listeners are going to listen because of you.
Not because of the guests.
Yes, you’ll have the odd guest that draws in new listeners, but honestly, they’re going to be rare.
Most people don’t really listen to podcasts based on who they’re talking to.
And before you think it in your head while reading this, no, not even “The High Performance Podcast”.
Not in my opinion.
Sure, there will be episodes that people listen to first because of who Jake (and the other guy whose name I can never remember) are chatting to interests them.
(Hey, don’t disappear off to Google his name! Wait until you’ve finished this article.)
But, they’re listening because they’ve built a listening relationship with Jake (and the other guy whose name I can never remember)
Therefore, it’s my view that you’ll benefit from offering your listeners your own perspective on why they would find your episode beneficial to listen to, on camera.
Talk directly to them!
You can do just thirty seconds, and then you can splice in your recording footage or your audiogram.
This way, you’ve made it more personal for your listener.
And if you do this just a couple of times, you can still use Headliner to make some other trailers.
At least now you’re mixing it up a bit.
And don’t be afraid to experiment.
This video was made purely as a test and measure exercise.
It’s still early days yet and we’ve not done too much with it yet, but it’s at least a bit different.
It’s a scroll stopper.
And that’s the point.
I wish you the best of luck with creating a great podcast trailer!
If you need any help or guidance, you know where I am.
You can even book a free chat with me.
Oh my god, so THAT'S what a podcast trailer is?!
Did you think it was the thing you make once so you can create an RSS feed and then pop it on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher?
No, that’s just your first trailer.
If you want to grow, you need to start making a great podcast trailer on a regular basis.
Only then will you be able to grow your podcast by telling your audience about you, where they are.