Choosing the right podcast description and creative is one of the first steps to creating a successful podcast. When you see the finished product of a ready-to-broadcast podcast, it’s easy to overlook the details making up its container. From the concept to the production, branding, marketing and beyond, a podcast is an incredibly layered creation. Much of these layers are visible to the consumer and are a huge component in an audience’s immediate perception. This can feel overwhelming to a beginner, but the way in which you package a podcast contributes largely to the overall cohesion of the product.
Description and artwork is the branding glue that keeps your podcast together. They carry the show and tell the story for you, without consistent effort on your part, and act as the main introduction piece to new listeners of your podcast. Without these aspects, your podcast is simply a raw audio file, and holds very little marketing weight, making building an audience and finding success more challenging.
Throughout this article, we will articulate the importance of your podcast branding, assess which things are important in the definition process, and overview the creation of your podcast artwork.
Definition of Podcast Description and Importance of Podcast Artwork
A podcast description is a short concept summary and explanation, which clearly details who you are and what a listener can expect from what you offer them. This two to three sentence synopsis typically accompanies your podcasts artwork, which we will touch on in a moment, to form the brand that is your podcast. Beyond informing the listener about your podcast, it also plays a hand in how easily you can access new ears through an increase or decrease in searchability.
Your podcast artwork, on the other hand, serves as a visual representation of your podcast. It is somewhat of a cover, not unlike that of an album cover, and provides visual cues as to what’s in store for the listener. While it may seem insignificant to put extensive thought into artwork for a primarily auditory medium, that is not the case. With an eye-catching display, you can draw in those who may have otherwise slipped through the cracks.
In conjunction with each other, your description and artwork are some of the first things a listener comes into contact with relevant to your podcast. They’re the first of many hooks after a listener’s initial exposure, and determine how likely they are to continue investing time in what you’ve created.
Now that you’ve begun to understand just how important your podcast branding is, in two of its primary facets, you can start to unravel the strategy behind creating them for yourself. There are many things to consider in the creative process of both, and we’re going to tap into exactly what those considerations are.
Things to Remember When Writing a Podcast Description
Podcasts are relatively long-form in terms of audio content and tend to broadcast for expansive periods of time. In this time, a podcast covers many topics, sometimes has many guests, and may even shift and evolve in several ways. These truths can make it challenging to encapsulate the whole of what a podcast is, in just a few brief sentences. Difficult as it may be, however, much rests on your ability to convey your podcast in this way, making it a worthy investment of your time.
There are a few things you can keep in mind to better convey your podcast through its description, and position yourself advantageously in the marketplace. The foundation of which is maintaining a solid grasp of what your podcast is all about, and who your podcast is for. Allowing yourself to become unclear on what it is you’re communicating and trying to accomplish through your podcast is the quickest way to end up with an inaccurate description. Keep the intention and the audience of your podcast at the forefront of your mind.
What this looks like on a practical level is clearly yet concisely stating who you are, who you’re aiming to speak to, and reasonable expectations for the listener. The primary goal of doing so is to give the consumer a detailed enough glimpse into your podcast that their curiosity is piqued. In essence, create an explanatory and straight forward, yet enticing description for your target audience.
Logistically speaking, there are a few considerations as well. The first being that many podcasting apps allot a fairly limited character count to podcast descriptions. This means that beyond wanting to keep your description concise to capture attention quickly, keeping it straight forward is often also out of necessity. Utilization of the space you’re provided is essential.
Another thing to keep in mind is the searchability of your description. Through the use of keywords relevant to your niche, you can boost your podcast’s priority in search functions on and off of the podcast apps of your choosing.
Technical Requirements for Creating Artwork
The artwork you use for your podcast cover is just as important as the description and makes up the visual portion of your podcast’s branding. This is the first thing listeners will see upon coming into contact with your podcast and is what they will come to associate your audios with. It goes without saying that this component of your podcast should be compelling and visually pleasing, but what’s less obvious are the technicalities of this creative process. Which considerations are there when it comes to your podcast cover, and how can you effectively communicate within the given parameters?
The first thing to be aware of is how your artwork conveys what your podcast is all about, aka branding. Your artwork should be very much reflective of the kind of audio a listener is getting themselves into. Meaning, if your podcast has heavy themes and dark nature, opting for lighthearted and fun artwork is probably not the most likely choice, and vice versa. Remember that you want to give a listener a solid idea of what they can expect to hear through what they can see. You can communicate this directly through images relevant to your niche or topic, or you can use specific color palettes, fonts or keywords to give subtle cues.
Additionally, it’s always nice for your podcast branding to flow seamlessly with any of your other brandings across various websites and social platforms. If you can create symmetry between your podcast art and your website or business art at large, you can begin to bridge the gap between the two in a hands-free way.
Branching away from the visuals, some other things you will want to be aware of are the different requirements each individual streaming platform has in place when it comes to image type and size. Because most streaming platforms have a set design in place, it makes sense that they would require their creators to share in congruence with their design. With that in mind, you can do further in-depth research about what your platforms of choice require from you.
Generally speaking, podcast artwork is designed with a 1:1 ratio, at a minimum of 1400 x 1400 pixels and a maximum of 3000 x 3000 pixels, with the most common extensions across platforms being JPG, JPEG, and PNG. Within these parameters, you can sample how your artwork may appear across various platforms, with the goal of universal excellence in mind.
Software for Creating Artwork
There are several simple graphic design tools across the internet that can support you in the creation of your podcast artwork. The beauty of these tools is that they often meet you exactly where you are, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. Some of the most commonly used software, for example, are Canva, Bannersnack, and Snappa.
These software tools often come with pre-designed templates if you’d prefer to not start from scratch, they give the exact measurements necessary for various platforms, and have all the built-in features you may need. From fonts to colors, to simple graphic designs, creating at least beginner artwork for your podcast can be made easy.
For a more stylized and professional look, software such as Photoshop is available. Additionally, you can outsource the design of your podcast cover art through freelance websites such as Fivver.
There is much to consider in the creation of your podcast, including seemingly minute details such as your description or artwork. While you might assume that a listener will breeze past these aspects and jump straight into the audio, that is not the case. A beautifully constructed description and poignant artwork create a more well-rounded podcast, on every level, and can even attract listeners who may have otherwise overlooked you. With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to podcast success.