Audiences are increasingly turning to online channels for information and entertainment. The result? Podcasts are now a thing. They’re here to stay. According to Statista, 86 million people listened to podcasts in 2019. By 2022, this number is expected to jump to 132 million. With inexpensive professional broadcasting equipment so readily available, it’s easy (and fairly simple) to start hosting your own podcast. How to create podcast intros that attract listeners, however, less so. Listeners are spoilt for choice. Consequently, you need to set the right engaging tone in the first few minutes — or less — to hook your listener’s interest.
What should you include in your podcast intro?
As there are no restrictive rules when it comes to podcast intros, you can exercise a liberal amount of creative freedom. Without this, every podcast show would end up sounding the same.
Nevertheless, the first few minutes of your podcast are crucial. Edison Research highlights that only 41% of new listeners listen to an entire episode as opposed to 71% of regular listeners. You only get one chance to make a great first impression. Don’t waste it.
Important podcast intro elements
Whether you want to mention your full name, your nickname, or the name of your business or product, it’s important to let your listener associate your voice with a name (or brand) as early as possible.
Title and number of the episode
Choose a simple, brief, yet catchy title that lets your potential listeners know exactly what to expect from your podcast.
Who the podcast is intended for
When determining how to create podcast intros that attract listeners, ask yourself what they’ll get out of the podcast, and whether you want to entertain, inspire, or educate them. Avoid a blatant hard-sell approach. Every episode needs to have a purpose and solve a problem that the listener might be struggling with. Start by introducing the problem your podcast will help them solve.
The other important information is the recording date, disclaimer, podcast sponsor/s, and so on.
To cut through the clutter, try to use music and sound effects other podcasters don’t. Music will enhance both your podcast intro and outro, but if you use easy-to-obtain copyright-free music, remember someone else might also be using it. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that there’s so much music available, no one else will use what you’ve chosen. Why? Because you’ll want to use a good, catchy tune and good, catchy tunes aren’t always that easy to come by.
First prize is original music. If you can create it yourself, so much the better. Should you not be able to and your budget allows, find someone who can compose original music for you. If all else fails, you can also explore stock and royalty-free music sites to find the right notes. Just bear the above proviso in mind and remember your reputation and credibility will suffer if another podcaster uses the same music.
Sound effects such as rain, laughter, a phone ringing, or others help accentuate the mood that you are seeking to highlight during the intro and outro.
Keep your intro short. Think about the purpose of your podcast and what message you want to convey. Listen to other popular podcasts related to your genre so you can get an idea of how to write the script. Including a fun fact can help retain your listeners’ interest.
The choice of voice
This can’t be overstated: use a professional voice actor to do the intro (and outro) of your podcast. While there’s nothing wrong with reading the script yourself if you’re that way inclined, hiring a pro is likely to make your podcast sound just that much better.
General tips for creating a good podcast intro
- Put yourself in the listener’s shoes and think about what would make you listen to the entire podcast
- Be unique in the first few minutes to hold your listeners’ attention
- Summarize the content of the episode
- Identify yourself
- Explain the specific purpose of the current episode
Don’t neglect the podcast outro!
An outro wraps up your podcast and is as important as the intro. The closing lines are where you need to introduce a call-to-action (CTA) or let the listeners know where they can obtain more information.
You should include one CTA per episode, such as:
- Subscribe to my podcast
- Share the podcast
- Review or rate the podcast
- Email sign up
The final product
Finally, always keep in mind that there’ a great deal of competition out there. Podcasters right around the world are competing for the attention of listeners. Providing them with a podcast series that’s professionally produced and great to listen to will not only bring listeners back, it will steadily increase your listenership. Extra effort is undeniably worth it.
Now that you know how to create podcast intros that attract listeners, have fun!