A story about why you need a trailer for your podcast.
Over the last few weeks I’ve found a few new podcasts through social media. Tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts have all directed me towards first episodes of new podcast series.
Or at least it should be.
You see, I’m not one for listening to podcasts outside of Podcast Addict (on my phone) and iTunes (on my laptop). So when I come across a link to an embedded player in a tweet, instead of pressing play I search for it in my podcast app. From there I subscribe and then listen at my convenience. For me, and I dare say a lot of other podcast listeners, this is the norm.
Twice this week however, I’ve followed this process only to find that the podcast is not yet available. To explain, Podcast Addict is a mobile app that uses Apple’s podcast library (Apple Podcasts/iTunes). If it’s not in Apple’s library, Podcast Addict won’t find it.
So why isn’t it on Apple Podcasts?
There a several possible reasons why a podcast isn’t available on Apple Podcasts. It could be that the creator is hosting it on their website as a means to generate traffic to said website.
Or it could be an exclusive podcast made by a rival such as Spotify and therefore is only available through that player.
But the most likely reason is Apple’s stringent process for accepting a new podcast series onto it’s platform.
Apple don’t just allow any old podcast to appear on their platform. Well, they do but it takes time for someone to click the accept button at their end. 5-7 working days in fact. This isn’t a problem of course, as long as you understand what that means.
In order for Apple to accept your podcast onto their library there must be at least one episode available. It shows Apple that your podcast exists and isn’t just a logo and some words in the description box. Without audio, they won’t let you in.
If you use your first episode as that example audio though, people who use Apple Podcasts as their podcast library or app of choice, won’t be able to find you straight away.
This is why I always advocate making and releasing a trailer for your podcast.
What does a trailer do?
A trailer has many jobs. Just like with TV and movies, a trailer is released with the purpose of enticing people in and informing them of the series itself.
You can share your trailer weeks before episode one comes out, creating a ready made audience that may not have found the podcast until week’s into the series. Think about how the BBC schedule Peaky Blinders, Doctor Who and their other major series. You don’t just turn on the TV one night and find Thomas Shelby asserting his authority by accident. The BBC start telling you about the upcoming series weeks in advance. Not just one, but two or three trailers are released, creating a hysteria around the programme.
A trailer also acts as a focal point for any new listeners who find you later on. Think of it like your About Me page on your website. If you make a change to your format or get a new co-host, you should make a new trailer so people don’t get confused.
And of course, your trailer will give all those important distribution channels (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts etc.) something to acknowledge you by. Upload a trailer to your podcast host, distribute it to all the podcast libraries and then release episode one once you can find your podcast everywhere you want it to be found.
Don’t let your podcast down by releasing an episode without knowing your potential listeners can find it everywhere they would expect to. Out of the two podcasts I found last week, only one has retained my interest - and that’s because they’ve released episode two, shared it and are finally showing on Apple Podcasts.
Trailer Top Tips
Create a trailer that explains what the podcast is
Release it at least 2 weeks before episode 1
Share it everywhere your audience hangs out to create interest
If your podcast changes, make a new trailer to reflect those changes