Little boy in 3D glasses walking away with a tub of popcorn in hand.

Should I create trailers for my podcast?

Many podcasting apps and audio directories now feature support for trailer episodes. 40% of the top 400 podcasts in the US feature a trailer. If it’s working for eight of the top ten podcasts on Apple’s chart, this podcast marketing tactic should also work for you. At Podcast Taxi, we encourage our clients to make trailers, and here’s why.

Podcast trailers let you make a clear first impression, just as previews and promos would on traditional radio. Good podcast trailers highlight your unique taste, and they set the tone for your show’s quality. Many listeners want to skip reading a lengthy description and jump straight to the good stuff. Think about a podcast trailer for your show as an appetizer that helps your listeners decide that you’re making something that deserves a slot in their feed. 

Podcast trailers offer three distinct advantages: the ability to attract new listeners, to draw in a bigger audience, and to build anticipation among your current listeners for upcoming releases. Some podcast apps will pin your trailer on top of a listener’s feed, but don’t stop there. You can embed the trailer on the first page of your website, share it with other podcasts for cross-promotion, and share it on social media when promoting yourself.

We find that three types of podcast trailers deliver the most significant impact:

The “coming soon” trailer

This type of trailer is a great promotional tool. Use it to build anticipation, excitement, and tease what is to come. Explain the who/why/what of the show and feature upcoming guest clips or tease host highlights. You can also use the coming soon trailer as a placeholder if you’re just starting, waiting for directory approval, or not ready to publish full episodes yet. The trailer can be listed on podcast directories until you’re ready to go with your audio content. Promoting your show before the first episode is an ideal way to test the waters.

The “new season” trailer

If you produce your podcast in seasons or your show has been away for a while, use a season-level trailer to get back on your listener’s radar. You can re-engage your audience base by letting them know when you’re coming back with new content. You can use this opportunity to let your listeners know if there are any changes to format, hosts, or episode release schedule.

The evergreen trailer

An evergreen trailer provides a great first impression for potential new listeners. Pin this type of trailer to the top of your feed, or drop it into YouTube or other social channels. 

What should be in a podcast trailer?

Podcast trailers are typically between 30-60 seconds, with some going as long as a few minutes in length, offering tidbits and highlights of what your episodes have to offer. You may want to have two versions: a short, 30-second version and an extended, 60-second version to cover your bases when submitting to places to feature. 

You should include:

  • Your Podcast’s Name: Always include your podcast’s name, and as early as your opening sentence.
  • Description: A short overview of what your show is about, who it’s for, and what listeners can expect from your show.
  • Creative Tone: Showcase your brand personality and what makes you different. Sell the best bits of your show and why they need to tune in and subscribe.
  • Website & CTA: Give listeners a clear call to action and let them know where they can find you: on your website, socials, events, or a service/product you are promoting.

You should avoid:

  • Overstuffing: There’s no need to overwhelm the listener with too much information or filler. Make it clear and stick to the point. Attention spans aren’t what they used to be!
  • Explicit Language: If you’re trying to appeal to the largest amount of listeners, keep the language clean. If swearing is part of your brand and you have flagged your show with an explicit content warning, then have at it! And if the latter is the case, consider making a clean version to reach a broader audience. 
  • Advertisements: The trailer is all about your listeners, so don’t come out of the gate asking for Patreon support or with other ads. The only thing we’re asking for right now if for them to give us a chance. Save your pitching for your in-show ad breaks.

You know it’s time to make a trailer that showcases the quality of your show and pulls in new listeners, and there’s no better time than now. If you want your first impression to be outstanding, our team of professional production experts is standing by to help. Please jump on a complimentary discovery session to see what we can do for your show’s trailer!

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