How to create the right audio branding elements for a Podcast

So you’ve decided to produce your own material and make a podcast or video for your website and your tube. Great! But how to put it all together? Today, I’ll try explain what you need in a clear and simple way.

Perhaps you would like a prerecorded intro, to start your show out nicely. And how should the show end? How about some music? Music can be part of your branding and should be consistent.

Music should not distract from your program. I worked in alternative radio for many years, clients always wanted to put songs into radio commercials. It works in car TV commercials because you are being fed visuals to set the mood. But it rarely works in audio and video programs, and gets stale fast. Also, you may be in-fringing on your favorite band and copy right law. For you, the best thing to do is to find some music that feels like your brand. It should have a repeating “idea” or sound that means your brand. It can have singing like a jingle, but you probably shouldn’t spend much money on this. NEVER talk over vocals. Cost of show music: 0$-$150

How about a pleasant voice saying who you are and what your show is about?  You could do you own or find a nice announcer to record your copy. Cost: Professional announcer $50-$100

Your intro should only be about 10 or 15 seconds long. Don’t go over board and write a bunch of stuff. Say just enough to let people know what to expect from the program.

Just the basics please.

Example:

Welcome to the new mother’s podcast where we talk about medical issues common to babies after delivery. Here’s your host, Pediatric specialist Dr. Franham Bellinger.…..

any more info than is just redundant. The music here would be a lullaby, the announcer probably female.

 

It’s time once again for meat heads motorcycles! I’m the head meat head and all you meat heads…

 

Voiced by the meat head, heavy guitars playing. I’m sure you get it.

 

There should be no “dead air” between your program and your intro. Dead air isn’t only just silence, it also is time with no content. Like music by itself. You might get away with a couple of seconds of music but really, you’ll want to keep up the pace.

Conversely, you don’t want your audio to slam into each other, it’s not top forty radio. Your recorded intro should have the music play under trail off and fade. It will be the transition into the first sentence of your interview audio or video. If you are doing video you will want something for people to look at while they listen to the audio intro. A simple slide of your brand and one of your guest is best. If you can afford to have some motion graphics made, great! They work really well with interview shows.

The end of your program should mirror the beginning, you can mention a disclaimer if wanted, like all rights reserved, and if you are giving advice, protect yourself with consult a professional…. Add extra information in the prerecorded ending like web and email addresses.

You should have all your elements layered separately from each other in your audio or video editing software, this will give you flexibility. Your music should be much longer than you need so you can fade it out or in when you want to.  If you have a product to sell you might want to have a “break” in your program and talk about it with a commercial. Maybe you have actual commercials, anyway, use a small amount of music before and after your commercial to “bumper’ your audio and make nice transitions.

I don’t recommend you try to add elements to your show while you record it, It’s challenging and can be sloppy. Spend some time on production and take advantage of editing to make your show flow nicely. There is no doubt better material is better received and gets better promotion. Thanks! Brooke.

 

A bad website versus no website at all

This morning I opened up an email with the subject line Audition

The email says:

Hey there, We are holding open auditions Feb13th. we want you to do any performance piece you would like. We want the actors to put their stamp on the characters so we really want to see you personality. I would love to have you come that day. The auditions will be held Sat Feb 13…..in San Francisco……Thanks for your time and I hope to see you Josephskeevy

Typos aside, When I did a quick search for the project on the actors list I suspect it came from, I couldn’t find a website or any information for the production company. It’s probably not a scam, but it looks flakey, I really don’t want to drive to San Francisco to be annoyed by some non professional BS. I think a website, even if it was bad, would increase the chances of me taking them seriously.

So what about a “good” website versus a “bad” website versus none at all.

A case study:

Joe and Margie (not their real names) are Therapists.  Margie asked me to update her business website, make it pretty and play well with cell phones and tablets. We worked on a cool new wordpress website for her so that people can contact her easily and get quick information on what she offers.

Margie also has a free blog at wordpress.com  The truth is, her blog is probably the best option for getting website traffic and we want Margie to benefit from her hard work   So, I made the free blog link to her website. It should get people to look at her other webpages. She should be spreading the word about her blog on social media. .

boringMargie tells me that her husband, Joe has his own website, which needs serious work. She and Joe want to send out a newsletter. He is resistant to fixing his website, mostly, because they live in a small community, and their “audience” is small. However, a website and a newsletter should be enriching your appeal to your customers, present and potential. If you are going to do the work, which is time consuming you should make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.

It’s hard to say what Joe’s website makes people think about Joe. Is Joe confusing and not up to date? maybe. I would guess people spend little time at his website. You need to get them to care.

 

So what does a website do?

A website is your public resume for your business. You do want people to get a good impression don’t you? An artist once scoffed at me and said, “I don’t need a website, nobody buys art from a website.” That’s completely true, my personal website is a portfolio only.

and then Social media….:

The more social media you do the more you can grow and maintain your business. Do Facebook if nothing else and post something to it when you can. I recommend LinkedIn if you are actively looking for work/clients. If you blog make sure you forward that to facebook and linkedin.

google_logoWhat about SEO?

Search engine optimization without interacting with social media won’t really help you get people to visit your website. Linking a blog, podcast, video or from email is what will make your website worthwhile. I am sure the only people who goes to Joes website are those who want to verify him. Joes website does not ask people to do anything. It merely gives some information that is hard to find. In fact, it doesn’t show up in google as a clinic in that small town.  AND, when I checked google I did not get his wifes website either, OOOPSS.  I had just built her website, I was falling down on the job. I jumped in and worked on that right away. I’ll have to check it frequently to see if their google improves.

I do take Google seriously, because people will look for peoples names and business names. Google is showing very well for Margies name. I discovered her business address is wrong in google and shows “closed” I will ask her to fix this, easy easy. or do it for her if she needs my help.

What about a newsletter? Email?

I think it’s a great idea, but time consuming. Margie is working on building a list for her newsletter. She should consider finding at least a few hundred solid people to send it out to initially. And work hard on growing it with QUALIFIED names. After all, we are not selling therapy to the world. She should grow her list as big as she can with the right people. Also, that email should push people to her blog and to the websites, get em hooked.

I think you can see why a good website and some sort of on-going material is useful for any business no matter how small. If you have questions let me know. I help clients build the right web presence in their budget with websites, social media, podcasts and video.

 Brooke Bradford is a broadcasting veteran who lives in Santa Cruz California. She is a multimedia consultant and an audio and video producer. She has produced hundreds of podcasts, radio shows, video programs and creates motion media and art for the web.