Show Notes Suck

Show notes suck. The challenge of sharing compelling calls-to-action on your podcast and ways to track your engagement.

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Intro

Every podcast episode will have a call-to-action asked of the listener. Some CTAs include asking for a social media follow, review the podcast, fill out a form, send feedback, visit a URL, or subscribe to a paid channel. These are critical to the growth and success of a podcast. Often a podcast is just the starting point for a listener to join a more expansive community of likeminded people discussing a certain topic. So, having confusing or complicated CTAs can mean your listener is having to figure it out on their own.

2 Common Calls to Action

“Link is in the show notes” - Show notes are the text to accompany your episode. They often summarize the episode as well as include potential links the listener might find useful during the episode. Some podcasters use this as an opportunity for a blog post so they can begin mining their episode for more than one purpose.

Problems with Shownotes

  • After creating a whole podcast episode, the last thing someone wants to do is write 500-1000 words about their episode. They usually default to a brief episode description that will help their listeners know what the episode is about. For tips on writing better episode notes, check out this blog by Buzzsprout.
  • Finding the shownotes - Podcast apps are all a bit different. Some apps help users find the notes while others focus purely on the listening. Apple podcasts has only recently made this a bit easier. Spotify displays the notes below the episode info after the user opens the full text. But, if you also publish your episode as a video on YouTube or Facebook, you need to remember to publish your notes in multiple places.
  • Tracking Clicks - None of the podcast apps give detailed analytics about how many clicks your links in your shownotes get. You have no idea if these are actually being clicked on. One way you could track these is by creating a short url that would allow you to track how many clicks came through that link. But, the link is not descriptive and all the links will look the same if you don’t format them into an HTML link - www.bit.ly/1234 vs <a href=“www.bit.ly/1234”>Click me</a>.

“Go to the URL” - Sending someone to a URL is a great idea because it directs people straight to the content. Some people share unique landing pages that include a slash (often said incorrectly as backslash) and a keyword. Like www.Example.com/landing. Now you’ll know that everyone coming to the “landing” page got this webpage from the podcast. It’s similar to using different phone numbers that route to the same call line but the marketers can track which sources worked better.

Problems with URLs

  • They are confusing. Let’s be honest, very few URLs are easy. Unless you have a URL like Google or Yahoo, people forget the exact URL very quickly. They need to be conditioned to visiting this URL over and over again. It’s why most people default to just Googling something to find what they are looking for.
  • Landing Pages make the URLs even harder. Unless the landing page gives the listener some exclusive promotion or deal, they will probably skip the URL and try and Google it. It also means you have to have a unique landing page keyword to track each keyword.
  • URLs are meant for computers, not humans. AOL used keywords for people to access different resources rather than URLs. When people share URLs during a show, it comes across as unnatural because it breaks up the rhythm of the conversation.

JumpLinks

JumpLinks are a natural way to tell your listeners how to find something specific that you are sharing with them. Once they learn to follow you on JumpLink, they will know where to find anything you share when you mention JumpLink + keyword. It organizes all the links from an episode in one place which makes it much easier on your listener.

You can use complex URLs that allow you to track where traffic is coming. This can be very valuable to an advertiser who wants to track the traffic of their advertising spend. It also allows you to charge for traffic; CPC is a much easier to sell because an advertiser will pay for results.

JumpLinks will help you develop your community and track engagement around your podcast. Start creating JumpLinks to give your listeners a single source for all the links you share during your podcasts.