Podcasting nowadays has become a competition. You have to roll up your sleeves and vie for a spot amongst a very crowded marketplace. Take a moment and go search for a podcast topic you’re interested in. Chances are your search result is going to come back with a ton of options. An interesting title catches your attention and you click on it to get more information. What happens when you can’t get enough context from the description to get a good idea on what the show is about and why should you even care? You move on to something else.
We know how important first impressions are. Your show’s description is an essential part of that first impression. It’s those first words that give someone a glimpse into what you’re about and why it’s worth their time to listen.
Think of your podcast description like the blurb on the back of a book jacket. An author devotes all this time to creating their story, but if they want anybody to read it, that description better be amazing. The same applies to your podcast. If you don’t have a strong description for your podcast that clearly communicates your vision, it could be costing you potential listeners.
A survey on thepodcasthost.com conducted back in March 2020 discovered podcasts were judged more on their description than on their episode titles. In terms of importance, descriptions ranked the highest,. scoring a 7.8 out of 10 for listeners.
Puting some intentionality into refining your description is a necessary step in creating a podcast that gets attention and helps you stand out. Here’s a few helpful tips to consider when writing a stronger podcast description:
- Don’t make it about you, make it about them.
This is sometimes referred to as finding the “felt-need.” People will be interested in knowing what you have to say in your podcast when you identify a problem that you can solve for them. Remember to highlight the benefit. Think about the reason why you started the podcast in the first place. What was your goal? What makes you different from all the rest of the podcasts on this same topic? This is your mission statement. When your audience believes you have their best interests at heart, they will have the confidence to trust you and listen to what you have to say.
- Be clear and concise
How many times have you skipped over reading something because it looked like a jumble of words and didn’t hook you in the first sentence? Make sure you’re frontloading the most important details of your podcast in the first part of your description. Nobody wants to read a long-drawn out description. Imagine you’re trying to tell a friend what your podcast is all about. Keep it clear, simple and conversational. Remember the audience you’re writing this for. If you’re having trouble trying to find a place to start, try drawing some inspiration from reviews or comments from your fans if you already have some advocates.
ProTip: A lot of podcast providers, like Apple will cut off your description after 250 characters or 40 words so it’s important to put your most descriptive and engaging language first. You want to give the listener enough momentum to click to read “more.”
- Try some different angles
The fun challenge about reworking your podcast description is that it can be a bit of trial and error. If something doesn’t work you can also try a different approach.
Ask a question
What about trying to engage your listener by asking them a question related to their topic they’re searching for as your opening sentence? For example if someone is interested in growing their podcast you could lead with,
“Have you wondered how many people actually read podcast descriptions?” Could you be losing potential listeners…?”
Be an authority
Another angle could be establishing yourself or your host as an authority in the field to give your podcast an extra boost of credibility.
“With over two million downloads and counting, podcasting expert, John Smith has learned what it takes to become successful and stand out in the crowded world of podcasting…”
Try a call to action
One more angle could be leading with a strong call to action to inspire the listener to act accordingly.
“Take control of your podcasting future with insider tips from our podcasting experts on how to grow your fanbase and create content that’s engaging and relevant.”
- Don’t Forget About SEO
While you’re putting some intentionality into improving your description it’s also important to remember how people will find your podcast. Your description can also serve as a way for search engines to understand the topic of your podcast and it’s episodes. Consider ways you can effectively add your main keyword(s) to your description without sacrificing the quality of your message to try to boost your visibility. Remember to think about those keywords your audience might be using when searching on the topic of your podcast.
Your description is just one of the many components that help shape the right podcast experience for your listeners.
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