June 25, 2024

How to make a compelling podcast trailer in Descript

For a great podcast trailer, you'll want to hook listeners with a compelling logline, engaging audio clips, and a clear call to action. It's easy in Descript.
June 25, 2024

How to make a compelling podcast trailer in Descript

For a great podcast trailer, you'll want to hook listeners with a compelling logline, engaging audio clips, and a clear call to action. It's easy in Descript.
June 25, 2024
Lee Schneider
In this article
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
Social media clips
Transcriptions
Start editing audio & video
This makes the editing process so much faster. I wish I knew about Descript a year ago.
Matt D., Copywriter
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
Social media clips
Transcriptions

Do you have a new podcast that you want listeners to discover? The majority of podcast listeners discover new podcasts on a show they already listen to. They also take recommendations from family and friends, or scroll through a platform they already use, like Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Put another way, they don’t venture far, and your show has to catch their ear fast.

But love at first listen doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a podcast trailer to hook listeners and win their loyalty. Here’s how I start all my trailer projects in Descript.

Start with a logline

A logline is one sentence that captures your show for a new listener. For example, here’s a logline for Serial.

Serial tells one story—a true story—over the course of a season.

That accomplishes a lot with a few words: it tells you that the story is true, and that the show will follow it for the season. 

If the idea of writing a logline makes you freeze up, turn to Descript’s Underlord for a little help. Open one of your recorded episodes in Descript, go to the sidebar, click on Underlord and ask it to write five versions of a logline for the show. The results may not be perfect, but they will get your creative wheels unstuck.

Screenshot of Descript


Once I have a logline, I build that out into an outline or rough script for the trailer. Since most podcast trailers have to get to the point fast, they run from 1–5 minutes. To keep the structure tight, my scripts are in three parts: A statement about what the listener can expect, a few representative sound clips, and then a call to action at the end.

Here’s a sample script.

THEME MUSIC IN

VO
In every episode of Innovate & Elevate, Adam West interviews entrepreneurs with ideas that they’ve turned into big money. You’ll learn the secrets of their success. You’ll be inspired by their courage. And you’ll find some of your own.

AUDIO CLIPS
“I made more money in one week than I thought I’d ever make in my life.” 
“All it takes is a good idea—and persistence.”
 “I’ll never be able to go back to working for anyone else.”

VO
Get inspired every week on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Want to be featured on the show? Ping us on Instagram at @innovateelevate.

THEME MUSIC OUT

If you’re wondering how to choose the best audio clips for the middle part of your trailer, look no further than Underlord. Go to the sidebar in Descript, click Underlord, head to the Repurpose menu, and click Create clips or Find highlights. You can also ask Underlord to Create highlight reel. With AI, it’s all about the prompts, so play around with different prompts until you get what you want.

Screenshot of Descript

Finding your voice

All trailers have a voice: an identifying audio signature that listeners can recognize. You want listeners to identify with and like your host, so it makes sense to make them the narrator. When I’m sketching out a trailer in Descript, I’ll drop in my host’s best takes as a narrative anchor, and then arrange the audio clips and music around the host’s voiceover. If I don’t have the host’s audio yet, I record my own takes right into Descript, or use one of Descript’s stock AI voices. If I’m in the early production of a show, with no episodes recorded yet, I use the host as a narrator all the way through.

Another variation is to use one of your provocative audio clips as a “cold open.” Many interview-driven podcasts start this way. No music, no introduction, just an audio clip that grabs your attention.

For example, say you’re producing a true crime show that takes place in commercial kitchens. Your trailer might start with this from a sous-chef setting the scene for the listener: “It was two in the morning. I forgot something and had to go back to the kitchen. As soon as I went in, I knew something was wrong. The lights were left on. The refrigerator was hanging open. Chef’s knives were on the counter and I knew the skipper never left them behind when he left for the night. Then I heard the sirens.”

When my creative impulses are flowing in Descript, I’ll move elements around, add or take away sound effects and music, and massage the message until the edit sounds right.

Always end your trailer with a clear call to action. This can be as simple as “listen wherever you get your podcasts,” or it can be more specific, such as, “For a blast of pure inspiration and money wisdom every week, listen to Innovate & Elevate and start to thrive.”

You may want to make trailer variations: A trailer that captures your premiere, a trailer for the mid-season, and a wrap-party trailer that celebrates a successful season of episodes.

Lee Schneider
Lee Schneider is the chief strategist and lead producer at Red Cup Agency, a podcast production company in Santa Monica, CA. He has produced trailers for all kinds of podcasts.
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How to make a compelling podcast trailer in Descript

Do you have a new podcast that you want listeners to discover? The majority of podcast listeners discover new podcasts on a show they already listen to. They also take recommendations from family and friends, or scroll through a platform they already use, like Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Put another way, they don’t venture far, and your show has to catch their ear fast.

But love at first listen doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a podcast trailer to hook listeners and win their loyalty. Here’s how I start all my trailer projects in Descript.

Start with a logline

A logline is one sentence that captures your show for a new listener. For example, here’s a logline for Serial.

Serial tells one story—a true story—over the course of a season.

That accomplishes a lot with a few words: it tells you that the story is true, and that the show will follow it for the season. 

If the idea of writing a logline makes you freeze up, turn to Descript’s Underlord for a little help. Open one of your recorded episodes in Descript, go to the sidebar, click on Underlord and ask it to write five versions of a logline for the show. The results may not be perfect, but they will get your creative wheels unstuck.

Screenshot of Descript


Once I have a logline, I build that out into an outline or rough script for the trailer. Since most podcast trailers have to get to the point fast, they run from 1–5 minutes. To keep the structure tight, my scripts are in three parts: A statement about what the listener can expect, a few representative sound clips, and then a call to action at the end.

Here’s a sample script.

THEME MUSIC IN

VO
In every episode of Innovate & Elevate, Adam West interviews entrepreneurs with ideas that they’ve turned into big money. You’ll learn the secrets of their success. You’ll be inspired by their courage. And you’ll find some of your own.

AUDIO CLIPS
“I made more money in one week than I thought I’d ever make in my life.” 
“All it takes is a good idea—and persistence.”
 “I’ll never be able to go back to working for anyone else.”

VO
Get inspired every week on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Want to be featured on the show? Ping us on Instagram at @innovateelevate.

THEME MUSIC OUT

If you’re wondering how to choose the best audio clips for the middle part of your trailer, look no further than Underlord. Go to the sidebar in Descript, click Underlord, head to the Repurpose menu, and click Create clips or Find highlights. You can also ask Underlord to Create highlight reel. With AI, it’s all about the prompts, so play around with different prompts until you get what you want.

Screenshot of Descript

Finding your voice

All trailers have a voice: an identifying audio signature that listeners can recognize. You want listeners to identify with and like your host, so it makes sense to make them the narrator. When I’m sketching out a trailer in Descript, I’ll drop in my host’s best takes as a narrative anchor, and then arrange the audio clips and music around the host’s voiceover. If I don’t have the host’s audio yet, I record my own takes right into Descript, or use one of Descript’s stock AI voices. If I’m in the early production of a show, with no episodes recorded yet, I use the host as a narrator all the way through.

Another variation is to use one of your provocative audio clips as a “cold open.” Many interview-driven podcasts start this way. No music, no introduction, just an audio clip that grabs your attention.

For example, say you’re producing a true crime show that takes place in commercial kitchens. Your trailer might start with this from a sous-chef setting the scene for the listener: “It was two in the morning. I forgot something and had to go back to the kitchen. As soon as I went in, I knew something was wrong. The lights were left on. The refrigerator was hanging open. Chef’s knives were on the counter and I knew the skipper never left them behind when he left for the night. Then I heard the sirens.”

When my creative impulses are flowing in Descript, I’ll move elements around, add or take away sound effects and music, and massage the message until the edit sounds right.

Always end your trailer with a clear call to action. This can be as simple as “listen wherever you get your podcasts,” or it can be more specific, such as, “For a blast of pure inspiration and money wisdom every week, listen to Innovate & Elevate and start to thrive.”

You may want to make trailer variations: A trailer that captures your premiere, a trailer for the mid-season, and a wrap-party trailer that celebrates a successful season of episodes.

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