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How to Measure Brand Affinity: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Metrics

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“Brand Affinity,” in more concrete terms, is essentially the amount consumers identify with and support your brand. Or, to put it more literally, the number of fans for your brand and the depth of their fandom.

Unfortunately, however, short of personally interviewing everyone who uses your product, visits your website, or interacts with your content, it’s impossible to objectively quantify how many people feel such a connection with your business and how deep this connection goes. So, in order to measure brand affinity, we have to get a little scrappy and look at some proxy metrics together to get a fair and accurate benchmark.

In this post, we’ll cover the metrics you should be tracking when executing a Brand Affinity Marketing strategy, broken down by how easy they are to access.

margot

Want to learn more about Brand Affinity Marketing? Check out our new four-step playbook for all the nitty-gritty details.

For the following metrics, all you need is access to your Google Analytics dashboard and permission to export data from relevant social media platforms. Let’s dig in!

Time spent with content

As human beings, when we care about the content we’re consuming — whether that’s video, audio, text, or a combination of the three — we invest more time and energy in consuming more of it. An individual’s investment of time, or “time spent” is, therefore, the simplest and most straightforward KPI to quantify brand affinity.

Google Analytics

Luckily, it’s very simple to get an aggregated number for the overall “time spent” with your content from Google Analytics. Simply multiply the number of sessions by the average session duration.

engagedusers

Your goal should be to see this number increase over time, so it’s worth benchmarking on a monthly basis. However, in order for this data to provide any meaningful insight, it first needs to be cleaned. Be sure to discount any trivial or transactional interactions from the data, and only take into account data from users who could reasonably be considered “fans.” While a new PPC campaign, for example, may result in a lot of new traffic (which can spike the time-spent metric), unless these users are coming back again on a regular basis, the touches they have with your business are not meaningfully contributing to brand affinity.

This is very simply done with the following “Engaged Regular Users” custom segment, which restricts the data only to users who have come back to your website three or more times, for at least a minute in each instance.

Wistia

When looking to understand “time spent” with your videos in Wistia, head over to the “Project Stats” page on any Channel or Project in your account. Just select your desired date range and then click “Export stats to .CSV” to get a detailed breakdown of the Time Watched for each video, which you can simply aggregate in Excel. Unfortunately, it’s not yet possible to see these numbers directly within your Project Stats yet, but stay tuned for more updates on this front.

Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights provides data on “Minutes Viewed” for your videos in aggregate, but on its own, this data is not very helpful, since it includes every 5–10 second impression on any videos you may have in your account. Because of the nature of Facebook’s “feed,” huge numbers of passing viewers and bots tend to inflate metrics in a way that gives the impression of more engagement than is probably the case. It’s very common to have thousands of “hours watched” on Facebook, comprised solely of thousands of brief encounters with users nonchalantly passing by your content as they scroll. These interactions don’t represent a genuine investment of time in your brand, so they should be discounted.

As with Google Analytics, the data needs to be cleaned of trivial interactions in order to give a fair overview of the amount of time actually being spent with your content. And, unfortunately, Facebook makes this very hard for you to do.

First, you need to export all of the video data from Facebook Insights.

exportsinsight

Then, look at the granular breakdowns of how many people have watched past a certain percentage or absolute duration. By multiplying the 95% completed views number by the video duration, you end up with a much truer reflection of time spent with your content than the default metrics they provide.

YouTube Analytics

You can easily find the default “Watch Time” metric within your analytics dashboard on your YouTube profile.

youtubeoverview

However, the more useful data is held deeper within the platform, where you can segment by traffic source.

trafficsource

YouTube (deliberately?) doesn’t let you discount trivial interactions when trying to calculate time spent, so bear in mind that the data will always include users who watched a bit of a video, weren’t very engaged, and then clicked away. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to clean the data in the same way you can with Facebook.

Here, it at least makes sense to remove all the data from YouTube advertising, since really only voluntary engagements demonstrate affinity (people don’t like you just because you forced them to watch your videos). You can then use this information as a benchmark combined with data from Google Analytics, Wistia, and other platforms.

Going beyond time spent, by using more advanced third-party tools, cookies, and email addresses, we can get a more granular view of the emerging fanbases we’re building with Brand Affinity Marketing.

Brand search volume

Google Search Console, which is a free tool, is incredibly useful for understanding how users discover your website in Search. Within the “Search Results” report, you can see the queries people are typing into a browser bar or search box on Google in order to find you. If you add in query segmentation to this report (by clicking the bar at the top) you can restrict the data to just show queries that include your brand name:

brandsearch

Assuming your brand name is unique and doesn’t conflict massively with search intent for another business, the “impressions” data here is a reasonable proxy for how many people are actively searching for your brand, which we call “Brand Search Volume.”

Brand Search Volume is a good indicator of Brand Affinity or “brand interest,” since it specifies the number of people going out of their way to navigate specifically to your website for one reason or another. All healthy brands tend to see this number climb at a steady rate, and effective Brand Affinity Marketing will usually lead to an increase in Brand Search Volume over an extended period of time. At Wistia, our “One, Ten, One Hundred” video series permanently lifted our brand search by 11%.

Number of subscribers

If you’re using Wistia Channels, you can sync up your subscriber counts with your CRM or Marketing automation platform, and then track the number of subscribers directly from there.

It’s worth combining this number with your YouTube subscribers to get a holistic overview of how many people are engaged enough with your video content to ask to receive things from you on a regular basis.

Number of engaged regular users

Using the aforementioned “Engaged Regular Users” custom segment, we can also set a benchmark for the number of visitors reaching that threshold of engagement. This metric can get slightly muddy, however, because users may regularly visit your website to check support documentation, for example, and not just to engage with your content.

It’s therefore worth modifying this segment if possible to just include users whose sessions involve engagement with your content marketing. Any investment in Brand Affinity Marketing should show a steady increase in the number of users matching this criterion.

engagedregular

Capturing an email address in the form of subscribers gives you yet another benefit — the ability to identify and track people regularly returning to your website or app.

This enables us to use the principles of marketing automation to “score” our users. However, rather than thinking about this as lead scoring in the traditional sense, in the world of Brand Affinity Marketing, this represents “fan scoring.”

Amount of content consumed per user

If you’re sending data from Google Analytics and Wistia to your CRM, you can add triggers and qualifiers that contribute to the score of any particular user.

Particularly good triggers to include here are “Reached end of a blog post” and “Watched 90% of a video.” Scoring users in this way allows you to track the amount of content consumed by any given user, assign them an engagement level, and then also observe patterns about the types of content they’re engaging with.

You can also then create groups and assign “Fan” status based on specific behavior. If you don’t have a CRM or Marketing Automation platform, however, you can do some of the work just by using Wistia Audience Stats.

For instance, we can see this suspicious-looking person has consumed a significant amount of content and is clearly a highly engaged fan. We can, therefore, benchmark his viewing consumption over time, and hope to see it remain stable, or even better, increase.

philnottingham
It’s me. I’m the highly suspicious person.

Mentions on social media with positive sentiment

If you have the budget and the inclination, it may be worth investing in a social monitoring tool for brand marketing, like Mention or Brandwatch. With these tools, you can track whenever someone mentions your brand and then run sentiment analysis to further drill-down into the types of mentions you’re receiving.

Shares of your content, positive recommendations, and affirmations all indicate strong brand affinity, whereas mentions in passing, complaints, or general conversations can indicate brand awareness without the accompanying positive sentiment.

Now, let’s take a look at some metrics that are often used in brand marketing to measure awareness and engagement — two metrics that are not reliable indicators of brand affinity.

Conversation, amplification, and applause rates

Conversation (replies), amplification (shares) and applause (likes), provided by tools like TrueSocialMetrics, are often used as an important brand marketing metric. Frequently benchmarked against competitors in crowded B2C markets, these metrics essentially compare the level of engagement you get on each social post to your historical approach, and the approach of competitors.

truesocial

The problem with these metrics when used as a brand marketing benchmark, is the false premise that social media engagement leads directly to brand affinity. What these metrics essentially show is how good you are at using social media, but that doesn’t necessarily mean consumers start liking your brand more.

Brand affinity is all about personal values and meaningful connections. For example, if someone likes a picture of a dog posted by a bank, it’s because they like the dog, not the bank.

As is often observed with “boring” companies that embrace bizarrely irreverent and off-brand behavior on social media, if you try to optimize primarily for conversation, amplification, and applause, you’re going to end up doing a lot of things that play for the attention of the lowest common denominator. Ultimately, you lose any unique voice your brand truly has in the process.

That’s not to say that these metrics aren’t useful — they absolutely can be — but they lose their value when treated as a KPI for a brand.

Number of views and impressions

Views and impressions are important marketing metrics, ostensibly demonstrating “reach,” but their perceived importance in the task of brand building is a hangover from the golden age of TV advertising. It used to be the case that the number of impressions would essentially translate into the number of people who would sit down and watch your ad, but with the ability to skip over them and increasing ad blindness, the two metrics are increasingly being pushed further apart.

As we often say, the number of impressions is not the number of people impressed. And when measuring brand affinity, you really care about the latter.

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Video Marketing

Can I Turn off Ads on My YouTube Videos? What YouTube’s Right to Monetize Means for Businesses

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YouTube recently announced that it’s adding the Right to Monetize to its Terms of Service. What does that mean, exactly? Well, the update is just what it sounds like — YouTube can now show ads on all videos across all Channels, even if you’re not enrolled in the YouTube Partner Program. In other words, if you have videos on YouTube, there will be ads in front of them. Not only will they be able to profit off these ads, but notably, they’ll be retaining 100% of that profit.

“YouTube can now show ads on all videos across all Channels, even if you’re not enrolled in the YouTube Partner Program.”

Be sure to read the full release notes for all the details, but in the meantime, here are some quick answers to the questions we bet you’ve been mulling over these past few days. Here’s how YouTube’s update will affect videos hosted on the platform and what it means for your business.

To put it simply, it means that if you upload any video content to YouTube, Google — the platform’s parent company — can do with it as they see fit. Primarily, this means selling ads against it. What types of ads? And from what companies? This is left to YouTube’s discretion. So, your competitors (or really anyone willing to pay the price to access your audience) can run ads on your content.

“So, your competitors (or really anyone willing to pay the price to access your audience) can run ads on your content.”

Because users of the platform no longer have the ability to turn off ads on their content, those that use YouTube to embed videos on their site, for example, have no control over what the experience is like for viewers. A site visitor may navigate to your product page, click to watch your product overview video, and then get served an ad from your competitor instead.

Regardless of who advertises on your content, if you’re using YouTube embeds on your site, the experience is still less than ideal for the audience you worked so hard to drive there. Not only is the experience distracting, but the lack of control over who can advertise there means you can unknowingly create some pretty off-brand experiences on your site.

Ads can be displayed before, during, or after any content hosted on the platform. And with this update, YouTube can monetize any video, as long as it meets its ad-friendly guidelines. For those trying to build an audience on their YouTube Channel, this change to YouTube’s Terms of Service means you no longer own or control your content.

If your business is just getting started with building an audience on the platform, your videos will now be disrupted by ads that interrupt and often annoy your viewers. Showcasing ad-free content as you try to grow your audience can be a big plus for creators with small audiences — after all, what viewer doesn’t love free content that truly feels free? Without ads, you can spend more time focusing on making the content the best it can be, encouraging viewers to continue to watch more of your content.

Want to know the differences between using YouTube vs. Wistia to help build your audience? Head on over to this post where we break it all down!

YouTube is great for uploading clips, trailers, and other secondary content types where you can benefit from the platform’s reach without giving everything away. For businesses, in particular, uploading the valuable content you create to YouTube in full means seceding total control to the platform.

“For businesses, in particular, uploading the valuable content you create to YouTube in full means seceding total control to the platform.”

Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room — YouTube is free. There are costs that come with running the business, and YouTube is continuing to look for ways to monetize their platform.

If you’re unfamiliar with the YouTube Partner Program, this was a way for YouTube creators to receive revenue shares from the platform based on ads shown on their content. Google would keep 45 percent of all YouTube advertising, with the remaining 55 percent going to the creators themselves. To qualify, creators needed to have more than 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of video content consumed on the platform in the last 12 months.

Why does this matter? According to a recent report from Pex, almost 90% of content uploaded to YouTube never surpasses 1,000 views (see chart below). Clearly, YouTube is looking for a way to monetize all of this low hanging fruit. Right now, the profit from all of that content is left on the table.

Now, let’s take a look at how 1,000 views — where 90% of content tends to hover on the platform — relates to the 4,000 hours of video consumption needed to qualify for the YouTube Partner Program.

Zach Snyder breaks this down in his medium article from a few years ago.

“We know that 4,000 hours of Watch Time is equal to 240,000 minutes. Technically you could put out 1 video every 2 weeks and end up with 24 videos by the end of the year. If you can get each of these videos up to 1,000 views apiece, then you’ll be able to make the required amount of Watch Time.”

How many businesses that upload content to the platform would be able to sustain this level of content creation? How many companies could guarantee 1,000 views on each video every two weeks? Chances are, for small to medium-sized businesses, you probably won’t qualify for the YouTube Partner Program, where you could at least get a piece of that ad revenue. Now, YouTube is ensuring they make money off your content, regardless.

These changes are currently being rolled out for US channels, while the terms of service will apply in all other territories from mid-2021. It’s important to remember that YouTube is a social media platform as much (if not more so) as it is a video hosting platform.

As YouTube continues to look for ways to monetize, we have to take a closer look at how those efforts impact the content hosted on that platform, and subsequently, the content that’s embedded on business’ websites. Use the platform strategically as part of a broader marketing strategy, and remember — the answer to the question, “Who should own my content?” should be you.

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6 Actionable Tips for Improving Emails with Video

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Email is still one of the most effective ways for marketers to reach their audiences. Adding video into the mix can improve open and click-through rates and encourage deeper engagement with your content.

We teamed up with the team at Keap — a software company that offers a CRM and marketing automation platform geared toward small businesses — to offer you six tactics that you can start using to better engage your audience with video and email.

Video is the best tool for showing your customers who you really are. Don’t be afraid to loosen up and let your personality shine. This doesn’t mean that you have to be silly or strange. It simply means that you just have to be you.

If you’re an in-house video producer trying to get your coworkers to deliver authentic takes, check out some of these tried-and-true tips for directing non-actors. If you’re just starting out with using video for your business, remember that a well-thought-out script, a smile, and some quality lights can go a long way.

Create a clickable thumbnail

When it comes to using video in email, video thumbnails serve as the gateway or invitation to your video content. Let’s be honest – we all know that people judge books by their covers all the time. Similarly, people judge videos by their thumbnails.

Make sure to customize your video thumbnails to boost your click-through rates. Even something as simple as a friendly human waving is more enticing than a blurry office scene or overlaid text on a graph.

Here at Wistia, we’re passionate about helping our customers use video to better market their business. With our Thumbnail Editor, you can add text or use a looping video to take that brand touch to the next level!

Using custom GIFs to tease video content is also a brilliant strategy for enticing your recipients to click.

Creating a GIF from a video is not as complicated as it may sound. If you haven’t created GIFs from your videos before, you can use apps like GIF Brewery to get up and running quickly.

Once you create your GIF, you can add it to any email, link it to a blog post or landing page, and watch that click-through rate skyrocket. We’d hypothesize that a dynamic preview of what’s to come will perform better than a static image in an email, but you’ll have to run some tests with your own audience to find out.

If you’ve got content that could work well as a video series, try integrating it into an email campaign. Email courses and campaigns can benefit from this approach, especially if each piece of video content points to the next one. It’s like a suspenseful Netflix drama, except with marketing emails.

Because you can track who clicks on what video and how much of each video they watch, you can quickly assess which of your leads are most interested in your content. Plus, if you’re using a marketing automation platform, you can use video-centric campaigns like this to efficiently qualify leads.

With Wistia, we’ve made it super easy to showcase your video content in a sleek and binge-worthy way with our product feature called Channels. Instead of creating an email marketing campaign with several emails, you can upload all of your videos to a Wistia Channel, and link directly to your Channel in one email. Your videos will appear in a Netflix-style format when you embed a Channel to your website.

Additionally, you can collect subscribers from your Channel, easily sync your subscribers to your marketing automation platform or CRM for better lead tracking, and schedule email notifications when you publish new videos.

Explore how Wistia Channels can better showcase your content and get more people to spend time with your brand.

This sounds simple because it is. Once you’ve created an email that includes a video thumbnail, try testing out two subject lines – one that includes “[VIDEO]” and one that doesn’t.

A. How to direct non-actors [VIDEO]
B. How to direct non-actors

Track their respective performances, and learn whether or not your audience is more apt to open an email that includes a video. Sometimes it pays to be explicit.

Subtle uses of emojis in subject lines or body copy of your email can also help draw attention to your content. Just be aware that emoji render differently in different environments.

If video is already baked into your content strategy, you’re probably rolling out videos on a consistent basis. If this is the case, you should consider creating videos catered toward different segments. While this approach requires more time and energy to execute, producing a video with a specific segment in mind will make the content more relevant and personalized to your viewers.

Want to learn more about using video and email together? We have a complete guide that’ll show you why and how you should be using video and email together to accomplish your marketing goals.

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Video Marketing

Get Found: Improve The Discoverability of Your Show with Podcast SEO

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Congratulations on starting your podcasting journey. The hardest part, just getting started, is over! Now, it’s time to focus on the fun parts — making great audio content and engaging your audience.

One of the biggest challenges podcasters often face is growing their audience. And, while we are big fans of focusing on the quality — not quantity — of fans and followers, there’s no questioning the importance of finding your niche and connecting with them in meaningful ways.

“While we are big fans of focusing on the quality — not quantity — of fans and followers, there’s no questioning the importance of finding your niche and connecting with them in meaningful ways.”

Podcast discoverability and promotion is a rapidly evolving field. In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of podcast search engine optimization (SEO) and explore how you can optimize your show and episodes for organic search performance to enhance discoverability. We’ll also share real examples from our very own podcast, Talking Too Loud. Let’s go!

For anyone unfamiliar with the term, “SEO” stands for “search engine optimization.” SEO is a well-known digital marketing tactic to improve content performance online without using advertising dollars to boost performance.

In the context of this article, we’ll discuss tactics to improve how your podcast or show performs specifically in search engines. Keep in mind, podcasts in general, are a relatively new marketing channel, so the concept of podcast SEO is also very new.

“Keep in mind, podcasts in general, are a relatively new marketing channel, so the concept of podcast SEO is also very new.”

Before you get started, it’s important to have a specific goal in mind. Are you trying to compete competitively in a non-branded space? Are you optimizing for general show or brand queries? What do the search engine result pages (SERPs) look like for your target? How competitive is the space you’re targeting? Does your target align with search intent?

For podcasts specifically, this last question — search intent — is critical. It’s unlikely that your show will appear for broad queries like “digital marketing tips.” However, a target like “top digital marketing podcasts” would be more in line with what someone is searching for — a podcast on a specific topic.

And that’s just for your show as a whole; you should follow this same thought process for episode-level research as well. For example, if you have an episode interviewing a well-known thought leader, include that name in your target. Of course, be mindful if this person has their own show that might muddy the waters.

It’s also important to keep expectations in-line with the reality that podcasts are relatively new! And many people aren’t yet relying heavily on search engines to find new shows; a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend or plug from a show someone already listens to is far more likely to produce a net-new listener than a Google search.

Your primary goal for podcast SEO should first be to make sure your show and episodes appear for searches that include your brand or the word “podcast” — like “talking too loud podcast” or “talking too loud wistia.” From there, you can branch out and expand your targets to things that don’t necessarily include your brand, like “top podcasts for entrepreneurs” or “best business interview shows.”

With expectations and goals in mind, let’s dive into some more tactical tips on how to get started.

Keyword research

Depending on your podcast goals and the level of effort you’re willing to put forth, keyword research might be a worthwhile investment for your show. This research could also be used to help inform some of the more broad positioning and messaging about your show.

Here are a few things to look for when deciding on a target keyword or phrase:

  • What type of podcast are people searching for? This might include some research around podcast topics, like “content marketing podcasts” or “podcasts for entrepreneurs.” This could also be a useful gauge for how saturated a particular topic is or isn’t.
  • How are people searching for podcasts? What types of questions or phrases do people use when looking for new shows?
  • Why are people searching for this? What is your audience hoping to get out of finding a new podcast? To learn something new? To feel inspired? Uncovering the real intent and end goal of your audience will help you align your positioning and messaging.
  • What’s the search volume? How competitive is the keyword? The more search volume, the more competitive the SERP. Keep in mind — queries related to your targets will likely be very low, and that’s ok! Quality over quantity, remember? Folks searching for these low-volume keywords are very qualified for the content you’re producing.
  • Can your content compete? While your podcast shouldn’t have trouble competing in a branded space, this consideration is important if and when you want to get more aggressive and target broader queries. Do some research on these SERPs and what shows are presented. Is your podcast realistically a good fit for this space?

This sounds like a lot, we know. But it really boils down to understanding your podcast, understanding your audience, and bridging that gap. How would you approach finding this content on Google? What words or phrases would you use?

For a deeper analysis, try these handy keyword research tools:

  • SEMrush
  • Ahrefs
  • Moz
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Google Trends

Your marketing team may or may not already use one or more of these tools. If you’re starting from scratch, check out Google’s array of free tools, like some of the ones mentioned above.

This step is essential on both a general show level and for individual episodes. Have you noticed the individual episode embeds directly within search results in some of the examples we’ve shown? Google now supports this functionality (with a few caveats), and you’ll definitely want to optimize your show and episodes to appear here. The good news is that Google has plenty of documentation to help you get started.

First and foremost, you need to get your hosted podcast on Google. Podcast hosts may or may not offer this functionality (good news — Wistia does!), so be sure to check whether or not your host will pass along your RSS feed appropriately.

By syncing your feed with Google, you’ll be able to present your podcast to a much larger audience. This integration feeds your show to Google search results, the Google Podcasts app, Google Home speaker system, and more (which is outside of the scope of what we’re discussing today but good to know in general).

How can you track if your episodes are being indexed? Well, Google just launched a new tool to help showrunners manage their podcasts in one convenient place. Meet, Google Podcast Manager. This new dashboard is your one-stop-shop to managing your podcast exposure and performance in Google.

At this level, we’re really looking to improve the performance of your show in general. Does your podcast website or Channel show up for branded queries? Are you listed in relevant carousels that might appear for more broad show terms that you’re targeting?

Podcast name and branding

Search engines are smart enough to sniff out keyword stuffing, like naming your show “Digital Marketing Tips Daily With Digital Marketing Expert Joe Schmoe.” And having an independent brand is a great overall strategy to being keyword-first. By adding in your keyword targets naturally throughout your show copy and branding, you’ll increase association with those targets and resonate more clearly with your target audience.

For example, For Talking Too Loud, we are targeting entrepreneurs and brand-builders. We reflect this in our show boilerplate copy with “On this podcast, Chris Savage, Wistia’s CEO and loudest talker, takes you inside the minds of entrepreneurs as they share the hilarious, informative, and most challenging aspects of building more human brands.”

We could have named the show something more keyword-forward, like “Brand-building and Entrepreneurship Tips with Chris Savage.” But, we wanted to tell more of a story with the name and really lean into the show’s core concept: What gets business leaders “talking too loud” inside and outside of work. We included Chris’s name in the show (it is his show, after all) to build on his authority and increase the show’s association with Wistia. And, Talking Too Loud is short, snappy, and easy to remember.

Have a dedicated podcast website or webpage

Having a dedicated podcast website or at least a portion of your website dedicated to the podcast is essential for having a strong search engine presence. Without this, podcast distribution sites, like Stitcher or Apple, will rank highly for your own branded show queries. This takes traffic away from your site and directly to third-parties.

And, having a podcast website or webpage gives listeners a stronger connection with your brand and introduces them to all of your other show content. This also enables you to capture engaged listeners’ info to serve them even more show news, like new episode alerts, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, and more.

You can see this with our show, Talking Too Loud. The Wistia Channel ranks first for the query, followed by third-party apps below.

At this level, we’re focused on improving the performance of individual show episodes. Is the episode indexed on Google? Does the episode show up for specific episode-related queries? Ideally, your keyword or target phrase should appear naturally in your show title, title tag, meta description, and organically throughout the show (and, therefore, the show transcript and/or show notes).

Transcripts/episode show notes

Say it louder for the people in the back: transcripts are essential for podcast SEO. As savvy as search engines have become, they aren’t yet smart enough to listen to and understand your podcast audio content. Therefore, they need something else to go by, and that something is written text. And, transcripts provide an accessible show experience for the humans that actually engage with your podcast.

There are plenty of affordable options (including Wistia!) that offer transcription services, and most major podcast hosts support transcript uploads. Transcripts should be a part of your ongoing podcast process, just like creating a show outline and editing your new episode.

But wait — what about show notes? What’s the difference between notes and a transcript? Should I have both, or one or the other? Well, like most things, this depends.

A transcript is a literal script of everything said during a podcast episode — the full rundown. Show notes, on the other hand, are often a stripped-down version of this. Show notes typically focus on the key takeaways from the episode and include helpful information like links to things referenced in the show, contact info for show guests, etc.

Our advice: If your podcast host offers both, use both! Bare minimum, have a complete transcript ready to go for each episode.

Blog/written content

Your website’s blog is another natural place to cross-promote your podcast. Blogs often carry more authority than a net new podcast page, so cross-linking is great for sharing that authority.

What content should you write to support your podcast? Are episode recaps a good idea? This is a tricky question as it really depends on your overall content strategy.

One thing we’ve struggled with is getting search engines to index our pages based on our priority. For example, the Wistia blog has hundreds and thousands of articles spanning the past 10+ years. That’s a lot of content! And that content carries a lot of weight.

We’ve done episode recaps for shows in the past where the blog post ends up outranking our show channel, which is where we really want to drive folks to watch and engage with our show content. Whoops!

For us, showcasing our Channels product and providing our audience with an exceptional listening/viewing experience is a top priority, so we always try to drive folks to the show Channel.

That’s why for Talking Too Loud, we are taking a different approach. Instead of writing and sharing episode recaps, we’re focusing on more theme-based and behind-the-scenes content. This content might not “perform” well if you just consider pure search volume, but the intent is fundamentally different. We want to showcase a different side of the show, connect listeners with our hosts and the team here at Wistia, and empower brands to embrace podcasting to build brand affinity — which is much different from a pure organic show awareness goal.

However, your goal might be different. If your goal is to attract as many listeners and gain as much exposure via natural search as possible, episode recaps might be a great fit. The key is to consider how you want your show presented and how you want people to listen or engage.

There you have it, our comprehensive guide to podcast SEO. Remember to ground your expectations and focus on driving value for show listeners. Your end goal should be to make it easy for folks to find and fall in love with your podcast.

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