Think about the last time you went to the movies. Odds are you watched a bunch of teasers for upcoming flicks that were created by movie makers to pique your interest before the film you came to see started. The excitement that was generated about those movies that haven’t yet been released is precisely why you need a podcast trailer episode.
What is a podcast trailer episode? Simply put, a podcast trailer episode is your opportunity to tell your potential audience what your show is about, and why they should subscribe. While it’s better to create one before you “officially launch,” you can create a podcast trailer episode any time – even after many episodes have gone live.
The reason it’s best to share your podcast trailer episode before you launch, however, is that it can help generate buzz and subscriptions. This in turn could help your show develop a fanbase of listeners that will download your episodes from the moment you begin churning out official content. On the other hand, even if you create your podcast trailer several weeks or even months after your show’s launch, having a trailer provides a quick way for people to learn what kind of content they can expect from your show.
Here’s an example of how your podcast trailer episode will look on iTunes:
Monica and Shelby Church are the hosts of the Millenial Life Podcast. Their podcast trailer episode went live a couple of weeks before they released the first official episode of their show. This gave the hosts the ability to promote their show, and ask their fan base to subscribe ahead of time. Then, after the show launched, they already had listeners prepped and ready to give them reviews on the platform.
The Church sisters also used their trailer episode as an opportunity to ask fans to donate to their show so they could monetize their podcast from the outset. If you’re supporting your podcast via donations on a platform like Patreon, your trailer episode can help you encourage your potential audience to support you as well.
This is how your trailer episode will appear on Spotify:
The BiggerPockets Business Podcast trailer episode also went live about two weeks before the official first episode did. In their trailer, potential listeners got a taster of the humor of hosts J and Carol Scott. The audience was told precisely what to expect in future episodes as well. By listening to the trailer, prospective fans knew to turn in every Tuesday to “meet a new guest and learn actionable tips for hiring, firing, marketing, raising capital and more.”
A Trailer Episode Acts as Episode “Zero”
We covered this briefly in our post about how to load your podcast to Spotify, but it bears repeating. You need to have at least one episode loaded onto your podcast host when you submit your podcast RSS feed to podcast directories. Without one, your show may receive an error or instantly be rejected when attempting to submit it.
However, the catch is that even if you have an episode that is live, it can sometimes take as long as a month or two for your show to be accepted by the more popular podcast directories. That’s where a trailer episode can save the day!
When you have a trailer loaded, it acts as your “first episode,” preventing issues so that your show is more likely to be accepted by directories. This way, when you’re ready to load official episodes, you’ll have a better chance of being found everywhere your potential listeners would be looking for a show just like yours.
How Long Should a Podcast Trailer Episode Be?
The jury is still out on a definitive answer, but based on our research your best bet is to aim for between 30 seconds and two minutes. You need enough time to give a small taste of your personality, and the subject matter of your show.
What Should You Include In Your Podcast Trailer Episode?
You should include the name of your show, who you are, and what your listeners can expect from your upcoming episodes. It’s also a good idea to include a call-to-action to visit your website and sign up for an email list to receive the latest news about your podcast before your episodes go live.
If you are releasing your podcast trailer after your show has already been live for a while, you may want to include a quick highlight reel of some of the best moments that have aired to date. For example, if you had a big-name guest, or shared some juicy details – drop those in your trailer! In fact, you can always update your trailer well after your podcast launch date if you want to keep generating buzz for potential new listeners who only have a couple of minutes to spare as they investigate whether or not they want to add your show to their listening rotation.
Do you already have a podcast trailer episode? Tweet us at @RSS and share it with us. We’d love to hear it!