Podcasts are taking off. They are growing at a fast rate; more and more of the population is listening. That means we are seeing more and more podcasts of every kind. When you create a podcast, you should look at every element to make sure your podcast will stand out, be noticed, and get attention. One important element to the success of your podcast is your podcast description. This is essentially the book cover of your podcast. It’s what will draw listeners in, so make it good. When you have a great podcast, write a great description. It finishes up the package so your audience can grow.
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What Exactly is a Podcast?
Most of us are pretty familiar with a podcast, but it’s helpful to know as much as you can when you’re interested in creating one. ThePodcastHost has a simple, straight to the point explanation, Simply put: a podcast is an audio programme, just like Talk Radio, but you subscribe to it on your smartphone and listen to it whenever you like. A podcast has a particular theme or topic which stays consistent throughout its episodes. The beauty of the podcast genre is that there is virtually a podcast for everyone. They cover all topics, they run all lengths and number of episodes. Podcasts can be in a serial format or a series of stand-alone shows. They are easy to listen to and are usually free. What could be better?
So how do listeners find their ideal podcast? One of the best ways is with the podcast description. This is a key element in getting your audience to you along with word of mouth and advertising. Podcast listeners are usually from a well educated and affluent demographic. They want to be able to glance at your description and know if it’s for them. You have a moment to grab them; take advantage of that moment with a strong description.
More About the Podcast Description and Its Value
So you’ve come up with the perfect idea for a podcast. Then you’ve actually produced it. But remember, you’re not the only one doing this. Right now, according to MusicOomph, there are more than 700,000 active podcasts and more than 29 million podcast episodes. One good thing is, though, most listeners listen to more than one podcast. In fact, listeners listen to about seven different shows a week and subscribe to about 6 shows at a time. People want podcasts, but how often do you hear them say, “I just can’t find a good one.”
That’s the job of the podcast description. As mentioned earlier, podcast descriptions are like the cover of a book. They succinctly sum up what the podcast is about so listeners will want to listen. The biggest key to writing a description is to make it dynamic and compelling so people are attracted to it. You don’t have a lot of space, like a book cover, so every character counts.
Spend some time on the podcast description. It may seem like a small part of the whole production, but no matter how good your podcast is, without a good description, it will be lost in the sea of podcasts. Your listeners are also likely to recommend your show, and the potential new listeners may want a quick glance at that information. They’re already halfway there; entice them all the way in with a strong, detailed description.
Creating a Great Podcast Descriptions with the Essential Elements
How do you create a great podcast description, you may be asking. You’ve got to include some essential elements while keeping it succinct. Let’s take a look at some of these elements.
Techbullion has some great tips for writing a strong description:
Using and working to your available space. Different platforms have different amounts of space for the podcast description. For instance, iTunes allows 255 characters. That’s not a whole lot. So every single one of those little characters has to have importance. This is where your fine-tuning skills will come in handy. If you have a website or blog, however, you can write as long of a description as you’d like. But, remember, a short, concise description has merit. Keep the idea of the book cover in mind and don’t go longer than that even if you can.
Put important information where people will see it. Again, think about the medium and how the description will appear. If there is a see more feature, make sure to put the most important information upfront, so potential listeners won’t miss it if they don’t opt to see more. Also, don’t waste time repeating information that may be in the title, like episodes numbers, in your description.
Let’s go with an example of a dog training podcast. You’ll want to share the topic of each specific episode at the beginning of the description. If you have a guest, share their name at the beginning fo the description, too. Give a clear snippet of what the episode is about without being repetitive.
Keywords are how people find things through online searches. They apply to all sorts of searches, from Google searches to podcasts. Think about what word or two describes your podcast and what someone may use to search for it. Then incorporate these words into your description in a natural sense. Make sure it flows well and does not sound awkward. The above article shares that it’s good to include the keyword or keyword phrase in the episode title and the headline as well.
With keywords, you can use both single words and phrases to bring in more traffic. Think about the words your target audience would use to search for your podcast and incorporate those. With longer keyword phrases, also knows as long-tail keywords, you can be more specific. So instead of simply dog training, you could use dog training for sibling puppies, if that is what your podcast is about. You can also sprinkle in other words that are relevant to the podcast, like puppies, training, dogs, new pets, and puppy. Any of these words would help with your SEO and bringing listeners to you.
The article Podcast Promotions: Best Strategies to Employ shares more about the importance of keyword and SEO optimization. Not only does it help in the search on the specific podcast platform, but smart keywords can help on your Google ranking, too.
You can see that it’s not only important what you say, but how you say it and when you say it.
The Difference in Show and Episode Descriptions
Rachel Corbett shares that it’s valuable to differentiate between and include both show and episode descriptions for your podcast.
Show Description – This what your podcast is about. It’s the bigwig of the podcast descriptions and the part of your podcast description where you are going to wow your potential listeners. Here is where they will decide to subscribe to your show. They’ll see why they should listen. So it’s your job to tell them. Will listeners learn something, be entertained, be kept on the edge of their seats? Use that space and make it count.
Episode Description – The episode description tells listeners what each specific episode is about. This is helpful to subscribers when they are choosing a show from your podcast. It’s especially helpful if your show is not a serial and people don’t need to listen in order. Also, it’s important to make sure that not only your regular listeners will benefit from episode descriptions, but that new listeners will understand your descriptions, too. Don’t assume that everyone reading these descriptions is a regular listener and knows all about your show. It’s a great chance to gain new listeners, too.
Corbett also advises to let the tone of your podcast shine through each description. Each podcast description is an opportunity to share what your podcast is about. For instance, in the dog training podcast, the description should convey an educational and instructional tone. In a different podcast, for instance, a young adult relationship podcast, a more humorous, casual tone could be displayed in the description if that’s the tone of the podcast.
Know Your Audience
Just as you created your podcast for a specific audience, the podcast description should be geared towards that audience, too. It’s important to know your audience so you can appeal to them. You want to keep your current listeners while bringing new ones in with the same descriptions. Keep your headlines strong and your descriptions concise but informative. Your audience will pick up on these things.
Let the headline be a precursor to the description and write something that your audience will pick up on. The Box of Oddities podcast does a great job of this with titles such as Leaving Notes for the Dog and Mummies in His Cargo Hold. The hosts know that their audience likes the quirky, so they can lead with quirky titles, This will also draw some new listeners looking for this quirky style in. Their descriptions are also short and creative, incorporating questions and the host’s names. Using names like this creates that connection that is important between podcast hosts and listeners. On the other hand, a serious political podcast would have to take a different tone because its target audience is probably quite different.
The Big Takeaway
You’ve been given the space to write a podcast description. Use it well. This space is like free advertising; remember, it’s like the blurb on the cover of a book. It could spark someone’s interest in a moment, or turn them off and they’ll never be back. Make sure your description is compelling and appeals to your audience. Use relevant keywords and key phrases in a natural tone. With the rapid growth and huge success of podcasts, this medium has a big future ahead. If you’ve come up with a great podcast idea, don’t be afraid to go for it. And use that space for a great description.