In this blog post, we are going to walk you through how to write an excellent podcast description that will help you attract and retain listeners. 💪
First we will cover exactly what a podcast description is. Then we will cover why podcast descriptions are important. We will end with giving you a template that is easy to use, as well as some examples that will help guide you.
Let’s go! 🚀
What is a Podcast Description
A podcast description is a summary overview of what your podcast is about.
It usually appears right under your title in a podcast directory (examples of podcast directories: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.).
How it is Different Than Show Notes
It is easy to confuse podcast descriptions with show notes. After all, they both are big text boxes you have to fill out on your host platform (example of host platform: Ausha), and they both have to do with describing things. ✍️
The difference is that the podcast description is about the podcast as a whole, while the show notes are specific to each episode. And the show notes have a ton of information beyond just being a summary. They have website links, links to resources, even photos!
That’s why podcasts’ descriptions are usually much shorter in length than show notes. 🤏
Speaking of length….
How Long It Can Be
Usually, the text box on your hosting platform where you type up your podcast description will allow around 4,000 characters. That is because that is how long Apple allows it to be on its listening platform.
However, most other podcast directories cut off the description at around 120 characters and a potential listener has to click ‘read more’ to see the rest of the description. ✂️
That’s why you need to spend the most time and energy getting your most important, persuasive information condensed in these 120 or so characters. If those are great, then folks will not hesitate to click ‘read more.’ After all, ‘read more’ doesn’t usually open up a whole new tab, it just reveals the rest of the characters.
However, you do not want to pack the description space full of words. If you do that, people will probably be overwhelmed and not read more. They also probably will not listen to any of your episodes because they will think if your description is long-winded, your content probably is too! 😅
A little later we will talk more about what you should and should not include in your podcast description. For now, just know that you want to aim for around 300-500 characters or so.
You Can Update Your Podcast Description?
We have good news for you! If you are one of those folks who jumped into podcasting and maybe didn’t think about your podcast description that much at first, that’s totally fine. You can go back at any time and update it. 🔮
Your podcast description is part of the metadata that gets sent out to podcast directories along with the audio file. Your host platform is connected to directories with a RSS link. Whenever you update something on your host platform, the RSS feed updates the directory.
Your current listeners and followers probably will not even notice the change! 🤫
Why Podcast Descriptions are Important
Now that you have a general overview of what a podcast description is, let’s talk about why it is important and what roles it plays.
Window Shopping 😍
You know that feeling you get during the winter holidays when you are walking down a cute little street in town and see all the shop windows lit up, cozy and beautiful? 🥰
That’s how we feel when we scroll through a podcast directory and read the podcast descriptions. 💁
Even if you do not have this weird habit, it is still helpful to think of your podcast description as a shop window. 🪟
From a shop’s window, you can see a sample of what you can expect if you walk inside, both in terms of content and in terms of style. It is inviting. It pulls you in. Even if you do not have time to go in at the moment, you mentally note to try it later.
That’s how you want your podcast description to be. You don’t need to try to jam all your content or topics into it, only a summary. Presentation is critical. It does not just matter what you write, but how you write it. 🧑🎨
Sometimes people will follow a podcast based on the description alone. That’s how powerful it can be! Someone might not have the time to listen right at that moment, but they will click ‘follow’ so they are reminded to listen later.
Helping People Find You 🔍
The second reason why podcast descriptions are important is because they help connect potential listeners who are searching for specific content, find that specific content. And that specific content might just be yours!
This is why it is so important to use keywords when writing your description. Think of it as free advertising and marketing! 🤑
Start by picking the most relevant, best keywords and then create your summary around those.
However you still need to keep it short. Call attention quickly- get to the point. Remember, your audience here are people who are deciding if they want to give your show a try or not. You want to invite them in, not give them a long speech on your doorstep. 😬
Setting Expectations 🤓
When you are strategizing about how best to increase your listener numbers, you want to not only think about how to get new listeners, but also how to retain current listeners. One great way to do this is to set expectations in your description.
If listeners expect to get a video podcast every week, but actually you only create one episode a month and only a video one on special occasions, they might stop listening and unfollow you. 😳
In your description, you want to be clear about what media your listeners can expect and when they can expect it. Do you usually do interviews or do you do nonfiction storytelling? Are the episodes going to be 10 minutes long or an hour long? What general topics are you going to cover? These are the basic things a listener would like to know ahead of time.
You also need to set expectations about your branding. If you use a certain style in your writing, but your content is totally different, your audience numbers are probably going to fall off. On the flip side, integrating great branding into your podcast description is a powerful way to grow your listener base! 😎
Now that you know why podcast descriptions are important, you can make good decisions about what exactly to write.
That leads us to our next section…
Template for Writing a Podcast Description
In this section, we are going to give you a template that you can use to create your own description. Keep in mind though, this is just a template. You do not have to stick to it exactly. In fact, it is a good idea to look at how other podcasts do theirs. But that’s in the next section! Let’s get to this template!
Template for Writing a Podcast Description:
- Sentence 1: State the itch 🤔
- Sentence 2: State the scratch ☺️
- Sentence 3: Set the expectations ⌚
Ok, let’s dive into each one a little more!
Sentence 1: State the ‘Itch’ 🤔
Now you are probably thinking what the heck? Why would I want to start with something negative? But it is not being negative at all!
What you are doing here is describing why your podcast exists. Think of it like describing a craving. Cravings are great as long as they get fulfilled! 🍩
The itch could be something like “Hey I really wish I knew what really goes into creating the style and narrative of Dior.” Or it could be “I wish could keep tabs on economic trends through the lens of meeting the global sustainability targets for 2050.”
Sometimes you may write it this first line as a straight up problem, for example: “Parenting is hard.”
Other times you may opt for writing it in a while that already starts to reveal how your podcast is the solution, for example: “On The Parenting Podcast we bring you tips to help you through the tough spots of parenting.” 👪
Now, you may say, hey aren’t you jumping to the “scratch” too soon if you frame it this way. Technically yes, we are starting to reveal the ‘scratch’ but we aren’t really getting into the meat of it yet. That’s for the next sentence…
Sentence 2: State the ‘Scratch’ ☺️
Every creature loves a good scratch, and a podcast listener is no different.
With this sentence, you are going to really get into how your podcast scratches the itch that was described in your first sentence. 👍
Going back to our Dior ‘itch’ example, the ‘scratch’ the concept that “This podcast is going to let you hear from the most creative people at Dior about what inspires them.” For the sustainability goals one, the ‘scratch’ concept is something like “We have an awesome, super qualified host who is going to break down economic news in terms of sustainability goals.”
In your first sentence, you want to draw your target audience in with a “hmmm I feel the same way” and the second sentence with “hey that’s awesome!”
Now to the third sentence…
Sentence 3: Set the Expectations ⌚
This sentence is where you outline the show’s format and frequency. In other words, how you are going to concretely implement the ‘scratch.’
This is a pretty straightforward task, but do not let that tempt you into being boring! 😈
Remember, the podcast description isn’t just about information, it is about branding.
For example, instead of saying “This podcast will be an interview format and released once a week,” try something like “Each week a new Dior designer steps into our studio to answer our most pressing questions.”
You may be freaking out a little at this point because you aren’t exactly sure what your podcast’s format or recording frequency will be. While you should probably start getting that sorted out, don’t worry too much. You can keep this line a little vague. 😶🌫️
And of course you can always come back and make it a little more specific as you figure things out!
Examples of A Great Podcast Description
As promised, below are examples of good podcast descriptions.
You’ll see that they follow the template in some ways and differ in others. 💃
Note what you do and do not like. Note how each sentence makes you feel, both standing alone and in conjunction with the other sentences. The best way to learn is to learn from others’ work!
For each example, we will give with a short analysis of the podcast description, calling attention to some of the best parts, marketing strategies, etc.
Example 1: Dior Talks
This podcast description is immediately immersive. It starts with an action word, a invitation. 🧜♀️
While the first paragraph it explains the podcast series, the second paragraph focuses on the current, sixth series.
The second paragraph gives potential listeners all the logistical information they need: The theme (people who inspire Dior’s Creative Director of Women’s Collections), the format (interviews), the guests (influential people in fashion). The final line further clarifies the format (the Creative Director won’t be the host, a journalist and biographer will be). 👩💼
It includes keywords of the names of the individuals and company involved: Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Justine Picardie, meaning that when these names are searched in Apple or Spotify or any other podcast directory, potential listeners will find this podcast.
The podcast description also includes other important keywords to help potential listeners find it: Feminism, artistic, cultural, intellectual, creative, influential, empowered. 👠
It follows Dior’s branding that the company uses across marketing channels: Elite, inspired, bold, feminine.
Take a look…
The podcast description:
“Step inside the contemporary Dior mind with ‘Dior Talks’, a series of podcasts aimed at bringing together both the people who directly shape the creative direction of the House and those whose artistic, cultural or intellectual impact influence its narrative.
The sixth series, ‘Feminism’, focuses on the women who have inspired Maria Grazia Chiuri, both professionally and personally, and who have been involved in the bold collaborations with the House that the Creative Director of Women’s Collections has orchestrated and championed since her arrival in 2016. These podcasts provide a stimulating outlet for the voices of these influential and empowered figures, who talk openly and honestly about their lives, their motivations, the challenges they’ve overcome and their hopes for the future.
The series is hosted by Justine Picardie, the London-based journalist and biographer.”
Example 2: 2050 Investors
This podcast description example is short and to the point, full of the most relevant information. It demonstrates to potential listeners exactly what they can expect from the episodes. 🏃
It starts with the podcast name itself and one sentence that defines the content.
The description is full of keywords about your podcast topics: economy/economic, market/markets, trends/megatrends, planet, global, sustainability. 💵
It gives the host’s name and full title so potential listeners will know that this podcast is a sources they can trust and value.
The podcast description also make clear what format the audience can expect: The host giving their analysis of current events. 🌎
It ends with a call to action, marketing the show specifically to an audience of busy people who need the latest information, but also have very busy schedules and need reminders.
Here it is…
The podcast description:
“2050 Investors offers an investigation into tomorrow’s economic and market megatrends, ahead of 2050’s global sustainability targets.
Join Kokou Agbo-Bloua, Societe Generale’s Head of Economics, Cross-Asset & Quant Research, as he provides deep dive analyses, with an ESG lens, into current affairs and trends that relate to the economy, the planet, markets and you.
Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss our new episodes.”
Example 3: Tips- How to Grow Your Podcast
This podcast description starts with a promise of results for its listeners: Podcasters will boost their show if they tune in to this podcast. It is a bold, intriguing claim that is sure to catch the attention of future audience members. 👀
Right away the description makes it clear who should listen to this show: people who have their own podcast or want to launch one.
The list of keywords is not just there for SEO. It is there to show potential listeners that they can expect to get the most relevant, actionable information they need from this podcast with no fluff. 😤
To demonstrate this quality, the podcast description itself is short. Also the description is very clear and repeats the most important information twice, just like a listener would receive it in a training.
That information is: Frequency (weekly), episode length (short), topic (how to grow a podcast), format (quick tips), host (someone from Ausha, a company with an expertise in podcast growth). 🧑🏫
Plus, the description shows Ausha’s marketing brand beyond just the text itself. Not only does it use exclamation points, plus emojis in the text, But it also gives out free information in a super friendly way! 🥰
The podcast description:
“Launch and boost the growth of your podcast with Tips, the new weekly show from Ausha! 💜 Each week, listen to our top tips for taking your podcast to the next level and growing your audience. 🚀 Communication, analysis, recording, editing, writing: in just a few minutes each week, we will give you all the key tips so that you can boost your podcast to the stars! ✨”
Did we just include our own podcast as the final example? Maaaybe. But you really should take a listen if you like learning a lot in a super short episode format! 😁
We have covered a lot of things in this blog post, so here is a short summary to help you remember all of it. 😅
Podcast descriptions should help potential listeners find your podcast, get excited about your content, and click the ‘follow’ or ‘subscribe’ button.
In order to achieve the first goal, for people to find your podcast, there one key best practice. Be sure to include keywords in the description text to boost your podcast’s search engine optimization. The keywords should be related to the topics you plan to cover as well as the name of the host and the names of any people or companies that helped create podcast. 👨👩👧👦
For the second goal, getting a potential listener excited about your content, write in a way that will keep their attention. Great writing in the podcast description will make a potential audience member expect that the writing of the episodes are great too. Also, keep it pretty short. This will show that your episodes will not be long-winded. It also leaves future listeners with have a sense of anticipation. 😎
That leads us to the final goal, getting the person reading the description to click the ‘subscribe’ button. You can explicitly make this a call to action in the podcast description or you do no have to. Fans of podcasts will already know what to do!
Through all of this remember that it is a good idea to let listeners know how often they can expect a new episode recording to listen to. 📅
And most importantly, make sure your podcast description follows your marketing brand. People who may potentially listen to your show do not just want to read about your show’s topics, they want to learn its personality, its vibe. After all, the decision to start following a new podcast is a big commitment of their precious free time!
That’s all we have got for today! Hope you find the template and examples helpful! 💜
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