Your podcast trailer is like an elevator pitch for your podcast. You’ve only got a short time to convince listeners of just how amazing your show is and to compel them to try your show – so how can you make that happen?
In this guide, we’re revealing our best tips for making an effective, attention-grabbing podcast trailer that stirs up excitement and reels in new listeners.
We’ll also share our tried, tested and completely foolproof podcast trailer format (we know – we use it ourselves). We’ve made it downloadable for free at the bottom of this guide, but before you go and grab it, read up on our tips for creating and promoting your own podcast trailer!
This guide is also available in audio format! Listen to our episode of The Podcast Accelerator below:
In this article...
Why You Need a Podcast Trailer
Why bother with a podcast trailer at all?
Sure, you could just launch your podcast with 3 or 4 episodes, but it’s a big ask for a brand new listener to have to listen to a full episode in order to get a feel for what you do. A bit like making someone eat a whole cake before they’ve tried a slice.
Your trailer is that slice of cake. It’s a teaser of what’s to come. You need to give the listener just enough information to hook them in (writing with your listener avatar in mind will really help here) and leave them wanting more of your podcast!
Most importantly, an effective podcast trailer is an evergreen marketing tool that you can use in so many different ways. You can build an entire launch campaign around it when your podcast is new. When you’re a year down the line, you’ll still use your podcast trailer for monetization, such as pitching for podcast sponsorships, guest opportunities and on your podcast website.
To recap, your podcast trailer never stops being useful in opening up new opportunities and attracting new listeners! Even better, it’s extremely easy to put together a professional podcast trailer with our foolproof format.
What Should Be In A Podcast Trailer?
What makes a truly good podcast trailer, capable of reeling in even the toughest of listeners? Here’s exactly what to include:
Pro-tip: Make sure to script your podcast trailer. Refine it, tweak it, make it perfect, even rehearse it!
1. Who Are You?
You need to tell people who you are, and most importantly, why you’re the person to listen to. Now’s the time to flaunt your expertise, experience and passion for your chosen topic! You’re the trusted guide that the prospective listener has been waiting for!
If you’re co-hosting your podcast, bring in everyone’s voice so the listener knows to expect more than one of you! If your show is an interview format, let your listener know whose voices they’ll hear from and why.
2. What Can I Expect?
What are you going to do on this podcast? What can the listener expect from each episode? Which days do new episodes arrive? Is it weekly, daily, bi-weekly or a limited series?
Tell people what you are going to deliver to them specifically. Make it clear that your podcast is for them, using language, tone and even music you know they’ll relate to.
Pro-tip: Writing this bit with your listener avatar in mind will make this job so much easier.
3. How Can I Listen?
The most crucial part is letting your listener know how they can find your podcast. Don’t leave people with any doubt or uncertainty: now’s the time to spell it out for them.
Create one clear, memorable call-to-action and stick to it. Using Captivate, you can tell people to go to your single-click subscription link which makes it super easy for listeners to find and follow your podcast within their chosen app and gives you just one memorable call to action that people get used to.
Always point out that your podcast is free to listen to. It’s estimated that 47% of non-podcast listening folk think that podcasts cost money, so don’t put off potential listeners by omitting this small simple fact!
Want guidance on your podcast trailer and listener avatar in an easy, editable format? Download it free by clicking the button below!
How Long Should A Podcast Trailer Be?
It needs to be longer than one minute, ideally. Between 60-120 seconds (max) is perfect.
Why?It’s important that your trailer is structured, concise and persuasive. It has to hook you in and encourage you to take action. 1-2 minutes is more than enough time to do that (if your trailer is good) and it keeps you lean by making sure that you only include the pieces that a new listener will benefit from.
Should You Use Music in Your Podcast Trailer?
Yes! A background track underneath your recording helps establish the tone of your podcast and communicates your audio brand. Don’t let it overpower your voice, though: music should help complement what you’re saying, not dominate it.
In our example below, we’ve used Star Wars-sounding music, sound effects and quotes as a nod to the fandom and community. They’re all sounds that help evoke a certain feeling and set the tone for what’s to come.
For more advice on how to use music in your podcast, check out our guide!
An Example Podcast Trailer Script
Before you sit down to record, what does a good podcast trailer actually sound like? Here’s an example from Spark of Rebellion using our foolproof format!
Why is this such an effective example?
- At just over a minute, it’s compact enough to get a full idea of what the podcast is about without taking up too much time.
- In the first 20 seconds, you know what the show is, who it’s for and what kind of content to expect.
- They tell you how you can follow and support the podcast using clear calls-to-action.
- It’s got strong audio branding, with recognisable sound effects and themes that set the tone immediately.
Listen to it here:
How to Use Your Podcast Trailer to Promote Your Show
It’s all good creating a podcast trailer, but what do you do with it once it’s published? How can you use it to bring in new listeners and open up promotional opportunities for your show? Here are 3 ways to use your podcast trailer as a marketing tool:
1. Use it in your pre-launch marketing strategy
You can use your podcast trailer to drum up anticipation and attention ahead of your launch.
Because of its compact format, your trailer is a really useful and versatile marketing tool:
- Use tools like Descript or Headliner to create short, captioned videos from your trailer to upload to YouTube or share across social media.
- Use your trailer to organize a listening party over Facebook Live, YouTube or Clubhouse to build community and rapport with your first few listeners.
- Reach out to news outlets, press or industry communities to start conversations or even line up a few guests.
Want more pre-launch ideas like these? We’ve created 12+ simple strategies based on our own experiences launching podcasts! They’re available to download for free in our Podcast Launch Accelerator crib sheet – head to the bottom of this guide to grab your pdf now!
2. Get involved in podcast trailer swaps
If you’re not quite ready for sponsorships just yet, trailer swaps are a great way to expand your reach and attract new audiences.
They’re really simple to set up: just find a podcast with a related audience or topic, and ask to exchange trailers. You play each other’s trailers on your respective shows, and voila, instant exposure to a brand new audience!
3. Include your podcast trailer in your sponsorship deck
Figuring out how to work with sponsors is something that lots of indie podcasters worry about. Captivate already helps you out with sponsorships by giving you a free, one-click PDF pitch deck, but you can go one step further when you pitch and provide your podcast trailer as a ready-made introduction to your podcast.
One of the most important, early-stage conversations sponsors, partners and guests is whether your podcast matches their brand (and vice versa). Because you’ve created it with your ideal listener in mind, your trailer is a window into who your show is for and what it really sounds like.
Make Your Own Podcast Trailer with Our Free Editable Template
Now it’s time to create your podcast trailer using the format in this article! Don’t worry – we won’t leave you hanging – we’ve created a completely copyable template that you can download for free.
You can embellish it. You could change it. You could tweak it, but you know what, if you need to get your trailer up and running, this is the format to follow. There’s even instructions for how to publish and promote it, too.
Create Your Podcast Trailer with the Podcast Launch Accelerator Crib Sheet
Download our podcast launch crib sheet now to start creating your trailer using our template and prompts. On top of that, you’ll unlock:
- Our bite-sized, step-by-step guide through the whole podcast launch process
- Know exactly what to do, when and why with 5+ hours of accompanying video tutorials from the Podcast Success Academy
- Editable show notes templates, recording and launch checklists plus exclusive discounts on leading podcast resources