Imagine one of your favorite podcasts... I don’t know about you, but when I’m a fan of a podcast or when a podcast episode, featured guest, or topic captures my attention, I don’t feel fully satiated until I can get more! What do I mean by ‘more’? Well, ‘more’ can mean: I want to connect & engage with some aspect of the show; I want access to its content & resources I find meaningful; I want to share & engage with my friends and other fans.
It turns out, I’m not alone. As a group of researchers found, the “social aspect” of podcasting not only is one of the reasons people use podcasts, but the social aspect also predicts future podcast use. Meaning, people tend to talk with friends and other fans about the podcasts they consume. And, you know what this means for podcast producers - you can rely on your podcast to create a ‘‘buzz’’ around the show, topics & events2.
So how can I get more? Well first, I Google it! I’m sure you all know that “Google doesn’t index audio. The only way to find a podcast is via text searches. That’s why the show notes are high value”, as Corey Coates pointed out when I did my homework for this article. And, what do I expect to find? Definitely a lot more than the iTunes or Stitcher page of the podcast, which is where I’ll end up if my favorite show doesn’t have a show notes page.
Now, let’s assume my favorite show has a custom show notes page - yay, awesome! What am I happy to find? Definitely not a 10 page long transcription of the episodes. Let’s face it, less is more! That being said, I’d be happy, for example, if I find a user-friendly podcast page that leads me to clear and concise summaries of the episodes I like. If the resources I want are one click away, rather than having to waste time searching for stuff. If I can conveniently offer valuable feedback because contact information such as phone numbers & email addresses are easily accessible. If I can share & engage by following social media links on Twitter, Facebook, Google+... If I can offer my loyalty by subscribing to stuff about the show, for example in iTunes, RSS, email newsletters, Facebook fan pages…
One of Podfly’s clients, Jodi Flynn from Women Taking the Lead podcast, decided to give her fans more to talk about by crafting the format of her custom show notes & we helped her pull it off. But really, as Ayn said “The beauty of custom show notes is that they can literally be anything you need it to be.”
A good place to start is to ask yourself, “what would my fans want?”, “how can I give them more to talk about?”
Ann Peck from Straight Talk for a Curvy World podcast
McClung S and Johnson K (2010) Examining the motives of podcast users, Journal of Radio & Audio Media, 17: 82–95. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19376521003719391
Michelle McGlade from Making the Maven podcast