Learn tips for producing your own podcast promos! Mike and Izabela Russell, from Music Radio Creative, are experts in audio branding and production. They join me in this episode to help you better grow your podcast the audio and even video promos.
1. Call to action
Every promo should have once call to action in it. Preferably at the end as listeners tend to remember the last thing said. What do you want the listener to do?
Give them a direct URL (preferably your own domain) to your podcast, don’t just say “find us on iTunes.” Give them a real link to type.
Only one call to action is effective per promo.
2. Promo length
Keep it only as long as it needs to be. The optimum is 30 or fewer seconds, but have some variations in length—10, 30, or 45 seconds.
10 seconds is less disruptive to a podcast (e.g. Dave Jackson will play a promo without announcing it and then carry on talking as if nothing happened).
Always remember that “skip forward 30 seconds button” on most podcast players and value your listener’s time.
Don’t announce “I’ll be back after the break.” It’s a podcast; where are you going?
It’s not radio so there’s no need for your promo to be exactly 30 seconds long. This was a requirement in radio as often different ads would go out on different transmitters and they all had to sync up.
3. Audio clips of your podcast
What are your very best bits? It’s often handy to include real clips from past podcasts to give the listener a taste of what’s in store for them.
Find your most popular podcast and timestamp the highlights. This will help a producer put something amazing together for you.
These snippets don't have to contain the full context, but should convey the personality of your podcast.
4. Use professional voice talent
Don’t announce your own podcast and name. It sounds cheap.
Use a professional voice over artist or (even better) get it sung as people will remember the melody. Somebody singing your podcast name really is priceless advertising.
Professional voices at the start and end of a promo (or even your whole podcast) help you to sound like a pro.
5. Think about music choice
Match the music choice to your target audience.
Do you already have catchy podcast intro music? Use it! It will enhance your own audio branding consistency.
If you have a royalty-free track you love, try to get the 15- or 30-second version and look for different mix outs (many royalty free music sites have this option).
6. Consider your promo as a donut
Do you want to update your promo? Ask for a “donut.” That’s your music with professional voices at the start and the end, and a blank space for content in the middle.
The hole in the donut is just the music for you to talk over or mix in highlights of your podcast.
Donuts give you ultimate flexibility to update your podcast promo when you see fit.
Use donuts to mention special guests or announcements about your podcast.
7. Keep it clean
If you want the widest audience possible, don’t use foul language in your podcast promo unless it’s truly for your target audience.
Bear in mind that many podcasters won’t play explicit promos (especially if their own podcast is tagged as clean).
8. The name of your podcast
Your podcast name is a vital part of your promo. It’s best to repeat it so that the listener remembers.
If a listener likes your content, they’ll often seek you out by searching for your podcast name.
Do you want to highlight a point in your promo or grab the listener’s attention? Use silence.
If you interrupt the flow of a promo you’ve got the attention of your listener.
10. Be shareable
Add the promo to your website and make it easy for someone to download it if they’d like to consider playing it on their podcast. Share the highest-possible quality (such as uncompressed WAV) so it won't sound bad when other podcasters recompress it.
Place your promo on SoundCloud, Spreaker, or AudioBoo and share it to Facebook and Twitter.
Consider getting a video version of your promo produced for YouTube.
Also reach out to Internet radio stations.
Online attention spans are short. A snappy promo can get the message to a potential listener for your podcast fast.
11. BONUS: copyright
Be aware of copyright on music and clips.
Use only royalty free music or ensure the production work is licensed.
Here are some great sites where you can purchase professional, royalty-free music.
Big thanks to Mike and Izabela Russell for sharing these great tips! Learn more about their services from Music Radio Creative, and check out Mike's YouTube channel for great Adobe Audition tutorials.
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