Show notes. For some hosts, the idea represents nothing more than an annoyance to be completed haphazardly following a new episode. I mean, who's actually reading these things anyway? The truth is, show notes are an incredibly valuable tool and not just for obvious reasons. Yes, they provide a glimpse into your episode off which potential listeners will often make a determination about whether to press play (think about your own listening habits), but they also present a terrific opportunity to be 'discovered.' By posting detailed show notes with all relevant key words, you increase your SEO value and chances of being found organically (that's 'search engine optimization' to the non-marketers and digital newbies out there). In addition, several new data scraping tools have allowed marketers and media buyers alike to search show notes en masse. These tools use keywords to locate desirable trends in content, but just as importantly, tell decision makers who's sponsoring what. What does this mean? For podcasters, it means not only should you be including a detailed description with relevant keywords in the show notes for each episode, you should also be including your sponsors in this area with a trackable link – at least if you're hoping to keep your sponsors happy and maximize potential revenue generating opportunities. Ultimately, advertisers need to see results to justify their spend. They don't care exactly how the customer got to their website so long as they visit and make a purchase. TRANSLATION: the listener who clicks your sponsor link in the show notes is just as valuable as the person who hears the ad in the episode and proceeds to purchase. MAXIMIZE your opportunity to convert. Were you given a unique a promo code for customers to use? If so, be absolutely certain you post it in the notes so that you're given credit for the sale.
Back to data scraping for a moment. If you're unfamiliar with the term, it's a reference to software allowing users to pull information from a website or multiple sites and distribute that information into an easily digestible file on your computer (often an Excel spreadsheet). A common example is the travel or hotel booking website. These sites use data scraping technology to pull in pricing from multiple sources on the web, before presenting you with the lowest price available. In a similar fashion, advertisers (with money to spend) are using this tool to locate new shows and audiences that fit their growth strategy. They may be looking for podcasts with desirable content or to see what other prominent brands have elected to spend money with them. Either way, by not filling out your show notes for each and every episode, you're potentially missing out on future opportunities – and it costs you nothing!
Finally, use your show notes to tell others how THEY can advertise on your podcast. Most listeners are already fans, making them even more likely to give you strong consideration if they find themselves in position to purchase advertising. Obviously, this won't apply to everyone in your audience but for those to whom it does, knowing who to contact helps simplify the process. At AdvertiseCast, we encourage all hosts post a link to their listing in the show notes portion of each episode. It's just another free and convenient way to help with lead generation. For more information on show notes formatting, see our recommended template here.