There’s a two-pronged benefit of creating a montage episode on your podcast. Firstly, they make for enjoyable, informative, and highly listenable content. Secondly, they’re incredibly shareable, and you’re likely to get in front of the audiences of each person who’s involved.
In this guide, we’ll talk about the full benefits of montage episodes, as well as give you some tips and advice to start planning your own.
First up, though, what exactly is a montage episode?
What is a Montage Episode?
A montage episode is a piece of audio content made up of clips from different contributors.
A tried and tested way of creating one is to build the episode around a single topic or question. Each participant records their answer to the question and sends their audio to the creator.
The participants will commonly be listeners of the show or podcasters running shows in the same niche or broader topic. They could even be vox-pops recorded at a convention or conference.
Some examples of montage episodes could include
- An episode of a travel podcast where contributors talk about their favourite holiday destination
- An episode of a sound design podcast where contributors talk about their favourite audio production software
- An episode of a health podcast where contributors talk about their morning routines
Why Create a Montage Episode?
This type of content naturally takes a lot more work than a typical podcast episode, so it’s unlikely you’d want to create one every week.
However, they can work well when celebrating milestones. This could be anything from your 10th episode to your 100th. Or you might create one to celebrate a “real life” event. For example, a space podcast might do one about the anniversary of the first moon landing.
Montage episodes are also an excellent way to grow your audience. The folks involved tend to share them so they can boost your reach.
If it’s fellow podcasters in your niche who are the contributors, everyone will see a bump in their download numbers after the episode is published. This is due to the ‘audience share’ effect, with fans of each podcast discovering the others.
How to Create a Montage Episode
Now that you know the benefits, let’s turn our focus to how we go about making one.
Firstly, consider the episode topic and how it fits into your wider show content.
You may be asking a single question, but it’s a good idea to have some prompts alongside it.
Imagine the hypothetical travel podcast does the montage episode “The World’s Best Holiday Destinations”, and one of the clips is someone simply saying “Jamaica”. That would be a pretty dull and short episode.
When asking for contributions, you might expand on the question “What is your favourite holiday destination?” with any of the following;
- Why did you choose to go there?
- What is your favourite memory of the place?
- What is something that surprised you about it?
- What’s your top tip for someone planning to go there?
You want to give yourself the best possible chance of gathering great, insightful content.
Decide if you’d like to put an approximate time guide on answers, too. Between 3-5 minutes is a sweet spot. But don’t be too strict with this, or you’ll discourage folks from participating.
Next, you need to determine who you’d like to contribute. Is it your listeners? Or is it your fellow podcasters?
With Your Listeners
If it’s your listeners, you’ll need a pretty engaged audience to pull it off, which can be challenging if you’ve been podcasting for less than a year.
Use the montage episode as your Call to Action at the end of four or five consecutive episodes. Explain clearly that you’d like them to send in voice messages giving their answer or opinion on your chosen topic.
It’s helpful to create a dedicated page on your site with the key info: a place to send them to. Use a tool like Pretty Link to create a memorable URL. You might also want to use a tool like Telbee as an easy option for them to record and send their audio.
As your listeners might be new to recording audio, you might want to share some recording tips with them to help keep the overall sound quality of your montage episode decent.
Give them a deadline for recording and submitting their segment. You might also want to reach out directly to a core of folks you know. That way, you’ll have some guaranteed content to work with if the general audience uptake is slow or non-existent.
Sell the benefits of involvement, too. Not only can they help create great content for the show, but they’ll also have the opportunity to mention (and link to) their own site, page, or project online. You can also further incentivise participation by offering a free resource – something digital, like an ebook or premium episode.
With Fellow Podcasters
Going down this route means you don’t need to do any of the education about how to record audio. You’ll get a good level of sound quality here, too (you’d hope!).
The part that takes up the most time is the overhead and communication. Contact each podcaster individually and explain the benefits of getting involved.
Two of the biggest benefits to them are visibility and listener growth. They’ll be promoting their podcast in front of your entire audience. And if everyone involved shares it, you can get in front of the audiences of six or seven different shows, too. With a montage episode of collective podcasters, everyone wins.
Publishing & Promotion
Once you’ve pieced the whole thing together and uploaded it, you should let everyone involved know it’s live. Tell them you’d really appreciate it if they shared it out themselves.
You might want to go the extra mile and use a tool like Canva to create social media graphics. Take a quote from each contributor and make these into individual images. Or, consider making an audiogram. Then, post them out over time on your feed and tag the relevant podcasters.
Ready to Plan Your Montage Episode?
Hopefully, this incites your enthusiasm and ideas towards creating your own montage episode. If you do publish one, be sure to share it in the IndiePod Community and tell us how you found the whole experience, as well as the response you got from it.
Good luck with it all!