Podcasting is getting more and more awareness these days.
People are consuming more podcasts, podcasters create more content, there are more and more streams and apps that allow you to easily create podcast shows. All you have to do is just speak your mind, record your voice and be consistent with your work.
However, it has become really hard to promote a podcast. And when I say promote, I am not referring to online paid ads. I am not talking about financial investments in other kinds of traditional advertising either.
What I mean is that you have to create another brand around your podcast and start deliver valuable content.
Unless you are a big name in your industry, something like Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferriss or other top content creators that are creating podcasts shows in a regular base, you will need to start anew.
The problem with podcasting
Podcast is a pure form of audio content, one that has to penetrate a visual platform.
Facebook is 90% visual (videos, photos, text, live videos, groups, messenger and others), Instagram is visual, YouTube is visual and Linkedin is visual. The top social media platforms are visual. It’s easy to create a piece of visual content that can get millions of views if you have a good idea, awesome execution and some traction. Today it’s so easy to create visual content and to share it around the world, but when it comes to audio, the rules are different.
In this case, there are 2 problems audio content/podcasts are facing:
How to make them more easier to promote/share and able to go viral?
How to consume them more easier on these top social media/media sharing platforms?
In this article, I want to present you some of the best ways in which you can make your podcast more visual, by showing the tools you need, the platforms you want to use and a step by step guide on how to do it.
Yep, this is it. You need awesome podcast artwork in order to expect something from it. I know you can create your own podcast artwork, I know there are hundreds and thousands of templates that let you use them for free. I know that sometimes only a photo, a text and some shapes can make you an awesome podcast artwork, but in this case I want you to focus on the visual part of your podcast.
That means that you need to hire a professional designer who understands your needs, who understands the user interface of audio streams like Apple Podcast or Spotify.
Take for example Gimlet Media. It is a digital media company and podcast network, focused on producing narrative podcasts and audio content.
Look at all their shows artwork and tell me, what do you see?
Maybe for some of you, these are just simple visuals, but let’s look closer on one podcast artwork.
Take a quick look, as a working example, at the artwork posted by the “Without Fail” podcast show.
I’m not a professional designer but I can see that this is something entirely different from the designs I see on many other podcast artworks that feature images and portraits of a single individual.
Here, we have Alex’s portrait but is shot in a different way than usual. It was also edited professionally and it was added a simple font to present the podcast’s name. From my point of view, it’s way more different than what I see on different other podcasts, whether they are popular or not.
I love the simplicity of the design and the concept, the clear headline and the color they used to create this artwork.
Think about your podcast artwork as being your show’s logo. Think of it as your visual brand. It’s the visual you will promote starting from now on on every single stream, social media platform or website. It’s the brand you will get to use on your own website as well.
Your podcast’s artwork won’t make your audio episodes a better show.
Therefore, what are the most important things you have to have on your podcast artwork?
You have to show your podcast name – it doesn’t matter if you write it down in a corner or you put it in the middle of your podcast’s artwork. It needs to be visible, nevertheless.
Use an easy to read fonts – stay away from the complicated typography, regardless of what you believe to be trendy today, in this area. Readability is of the essence.
Use a simple color – if you need a guide for this one, I recommend you to check out colorhunt.co
Have a professional photography of yourself or work with an illustrator that can draw something cool that is resonating with your podcast.
Now, that we know the importance of having an awesome podcast artwork, let’s move to the next step and see how we can animate our static visuals.
2. Bring you artwork to life – animate them!
I didn’t see many podcasts using this strategy, but this is something I believe you can start with. It’s not such a big deal. All you have to do is to create some kind of animation with your podcast artwork.
Animating your podcast artwork can help your followers remember your podcast and at the same time, it will give you another great chance of building your brand awareness.
Simply, you can animate it with or without sound.
For example, I’m currently recording and streaming a local podcast (in my native language – Romanian) where I’m interviewing professionals and talk about the marketing industry and daily life related issues and topics. Because I have a well known guests, I thought that I can do a simple visual for my podcast just to remind people that I’m hosting a podcast.
And it was very easy to create it too. You can use professional tools from Adobe Suite, you can work with professional video editors or you could easily sign up with online tools such as Bannersnack and start creating your own animation.
There are 2 ways in which you can use Bannersnack in order to animate your visuals:
You can use the Magic Animator button – all you have to do here is to just create the artwork and then click the magic animator button. Here you have 11 animation presets.
You can use the Timeline feature – here you can go deeper with the animation and work with every layer of your slide, using build in and build out effects.
You don’t need any coding skills or video editing skills. All your designs are very easy to create with this tool.
And, after you have finished and feel ready to share and distribute the video, just click the Save button and download the MP4.
3. Video record your podcast
Many of my friends told me that I should record my podcasts also on video. I even got on a few Youtube’s channels with my podcast, but I didn’t have the right resources, time and energy to also record video for my podcast.
I know that many of you believe that today we should also create video content for social media, to engage with the community and to tell better stories with it. Right now, for me, this type of content has proved as a very good fit for what I’m doing.
So if you are syndicating a podcast, even if it’s based on interviews with other professionals, record yourself or just stay at a table with a few friends and talk with them, you could still record your podcast.
Let’s take for example Matt D’Avella. I have discovered him for the first time when Tyler Babin was featured, as a guest, on his podcast. So I jumped on his Instagram account and found out that he is also producing a podcast (Podcasting is the new blogging today – like Seth Godin said). But what I found different is that from his Instagram, I went on his website and from there I jumped on his YouTube channel. Matt is a content creator and he is creating high professional videos, podcasts and visuals for his Instagram account.
Why did I mentioned Matt? The answer is the following: I brought up his podcast as an example because he can teach us about how to create and promote your podcast as a video, as an audio stream and at the same time, as social media content, on Instagram. Let’s take a look at the following example:
Here is the episode 86 where he talks with Justin “Henny” Henderson.
First, we have the website and some simple ideas about the podcast: episode number, the guest, how long is the podcast, a short overview about the guest and also where you can listen the podcast.
And finally, we can also notice the fact that he is also creating content for Instagram with snippets from the video and a few photo shots with his guest (unfortunately I didn’t found any photo or video on Matt’s Instagram with Henry, so I will use other example in this case).
So, here you are. You can record a podcast, record a video, create snippets of videos and make photos that you can use to promote your podcast not just once, but several times.
Create the right content, on the right platform for the right community.
4. Create videos with audio wave using your audio recordings
What if you don’t want to record a video and you only want to use photos and other static visuals to promote your podcast visually? Can you still use videos? Of course you can. And it’s very easy to do so. For instance, I am using an audio wave for my podcasts. And it’s very simple to create them.
Many podcasts use these kinds of visuals for their shows.
So yeah, it’s not something unusual or something very complicated. It’s a simple animated element you get to insert on your podcast’s visual with your short audio excerpt from the episode. Publishing these kinds of visuals will most likely convince a significant part of your online social community to click on the link (or swipe up if it’s posted in Instagram Stories) because it acts just like a teaser content.
All you have to do is to just sign up and start creating your first video with audio waves. You don’t have to be a professional video editor or a professional designer. Just use your podcast’s artwork and upload your podcast audio file.
5. Make an entire website experience
When Rand came with the 10x content idea, I was already focused on creating long form content. Or at least, I was thinking about it above everything else. My thoughts were something like this: Create long form blog posts, use all the keywords you can use for that specific topic, insert some videos and photos and make sure your blog looks great.
But I was sooo wrong about this because 10x content, today, is an idea that encompasses way more than long form articles.
According to my own perspective, 10x content refers to everything you can achieve with long form content in a UI/UX online experience that can make me not only like it, tweet it, love it but also make me so envy (in a positive way) that I will bookmark it and write about it.
Here’s a new way of how you can use visuals to promote your podcast. That’s something Andra sent me a couple of days ago, something that made me exclaim “Wow”. It’s the first of its kind podcast episode I saw.
The Piktochart team managed to create a website experience based on their podcast episode that featured Kevan Lee from Buffer as a guest.
I know that there is a lot of design and development work involved and maybe your team does not have many resources at their disposal. However, maybe, this can be an example you can show to your marketing team and your team leader to showcase your “We must have a few devs in our in marketing team too” idea.
In conclusion, you have these simple ways to make your podcast more visual.
I know that you understand that we all live in a world that is more and more visual and people want to see more types of visual content. At the same time, there are many other people that you need to attract and convince to click on your link and go and listen to your podcast while they are cleaning their house, go shopping or while they are engaged in other activities such as sports and leisure.
If you are a content creator, you must understand that you need to grab people’s attention.
How can you do this better than before? You can achieve a lot of things by creating the right kind of content for the right kind of platform.
If you are a marketer, you must understand that you can use your existing pieces of content to create other types of content from them. Also, you must learn how to use visual content to drive more attention to your own creations.
Now, that I have made my point, I will invite you to share some of your own opinions in the comments section available below and maybe answer a question.