There is no such thing as creating the perfect audiogram.
All semi kidding aside, I do believe that it’s nearly impossible to decide ahead of time which clip will perform best. Which waveform will perform best. Which background image will perform best.
TLDR: Try out different creative, audio clips, platforms until one resonates with your audience.
Could we write you a Best Practices guide full of data we gathered from controlled test? Sure.
Here’s why this isn’t that: Telling you exactly what worked for us and our audience will not be the most helpful for you. Your audience is different and what they react to is different.
Here’s what I’m going to do. In this guide I’m going to give you the insight on how to create Headliner videos that resonate with your audience by breaking down the success of an audiogram into three parts:
- Knowing your audience
- Choosing the perfect clip
- Audiogram Style
Knowing your Audience
First things first (you’re the realist), the ‘perfect’ audiogram starts with where you post it, where you post depends on your audience.
Who are your listeners? Where do they hangout online?
If you have zero idea who your audience is here are two things you can do to figure it out.
At the beginning and/or end of each podcast ask your listeners to use the link in your show notes to let you know what social network they prefer. Google forms & Typeform are both easy to use, free, and perfect for collecting this type of data (that’s what we use)
Look in the mirror!
You’re making a podcast about a topic you care about and presumably your listeners care about it too. So look at what social network you like to use most and ask yourself if there is one outside of that you use to get updates on the topic you’re talking about.
Example. If you have a craft podcast have you ever posted an audiogram to Pinterest? Give that a try. News podcast? Twitter is a good source for that, post there.
Post different places & see how people react. Give Twitter a try if you haven’t.
Once you figure out where your potential audience is – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, etc – you can move on to the best aspect ratio (square, vertical, landscape) for each platform.
Quick run down on aspect ratios…
Twitter: Square & Horizontal
Instagram: Square or Vertical
Facebook: Square or Vertical
Or as I like to call it… how many audiograms should I make for each episode?
Short answer, more, more, more. 1 is better than none, 2 better than 1, 3 better than 2, well you get it.
Why more? When it comes to finding the perfect clip, you don’t know the clip is perfect until you post it and your audience decides. Before you present it to your followers you are making an educated guess on which sound bite you think will resonate. Spread the odds. If you post two clips you double your chances of choosing the ‘perfect’ clip compared to just posting one.
The goal of the clip you select is to entice the listener to find out more, to scan up and read your caption, click on the link to the full episode, etc.
Clips worth selecting…
People like fun and they don’t want to miss out on fun things. Starting a clip off in the middle of the laugh is a reverse cliff hanger for your listener. There’s an immediate sense of FOMO & wanting to know what fun has caused the laughing
2. The middle of a story/thought
Your clip doesn’t need to be a complete thought. Choosing a selection in the middle of a story creates curiosity in the listener, “what started them down this path?”, “how does this end?”
3. In this week’s episode…
Create a clip using the overview of the podcast episode where you give a quick roundup of what you talk about.
4. Highlight Reel
Want to get real fancy, cut together a couple of short sound bites to create a episode mash up.
5. I’m feeling lucky
Using the volume spikes in the audio as a helpful way to quickly select a clip. When you are at the cliping stage of the audiogram wizard you can see the change in audio volume. Selecting a clip that starts at the beginning of a spike
What about clip length?
Focus more on the contents of the clip than the link itself. Some clips grab attention in just 15 seconds others might need a minute.
With all things, test out different lengths and clip selection methods with your audience. They might not like laughing 🤷♀️
Your audiogram’s first impression is made by the visual creative. It is what will stop people from scrolling to take a listen and find out more. Three things make up the overall look of you audiogram
Your background image should stand out. It’s the biggest piece of creative and ultimately what will cause the initial pause by the thumb scroller.
Including a photo of a person’s face (your’s, the person you’re interviewing, the person you’re talking about, etc) is a great way to grab people’s attention.
Use your podcast cover art. Much like an image of a person, your podcast art will seem familiar to the viewer.
Include a quote from the audio clip
The waveforms purpose is to be a visual representation letting the viewer know there is audio playing and they should tune in.
Where you place your waveform and the style you choose has more to do with how visually appealing it is. Can someone easily see the movement? Does it stand out?
The three most popular waveform styles we see are 1. Round Bars 2. Bricks 3. Burst
Is transcription necessary? Not at all. We recently ran a test where, for our audience, the headliner video without transcription actually performed better than the one with transcription.
With that said, adding captions to your Headliners is beneficial for those who don’t want to turn on sound and it helps with accessibility for people who are hearing impaired.
Ultimately, if you are trying to decide between one clip with transcription or three without I’d recommend playing the odds and having three separate clips & including a quote from the clip on the background image.
Some A+ Headliners….