iTunes now has hundreds of thousands podcasts available for easy consumption, and upon looking at some of the top rated and most popular podcasts, other than eye-catching artwork there is something they all share: a clear, concise and informative description.
This description is not just about iTunes but is carried over to the podcast website, where it deepens and becomes a little more elaborate without loosing it's simplicity.
Let's take a look at 4 descriptions from iTunes and pull out key factors toward creating the optimal about description for your podcast.
The Winning Investor: Take control of your financial destiny and develop a successful investing strategy with The Winning Investor. Join Andrew Horowitz as he cuts through the sometimes confusing jargon of financial products and services to help you analyze investment opportunities and decide what's best for you.
The QDNow Podcasts have fantastic descriptions which incorporate action. As you read the first sentence of the description above it immediately tells you what action you'll take from consuming this content with strong active statements. The second sentence gives you the how this action will happen: with Andrew Horowitz guiding you to action.
How stuff Works: in a world of limitless possibilities, who can listeners count on for up to date info on everything from oil spills to flamethrowers? Just check in with Chuck and Josh, your favority Neo-Renaissance men for more Stuff You Know from HowStuffWorks.com
Starting off with a question that incorporates your optimal audience, including a reason to subscribe, while providing a precise answer is another way to quickly communicate what your podcast is about.
In the description above you see the question stated offers 2 things: audience description (people interested info from oil spills to flamethrowers) and a reason to subscribe (up to date info). The response shares with the potential listeners that the podcast is a conversation (Chuck and Josh) and who they are (Neo-Renaissance men) plus adds where to get more (HowStuffWorks.com).
In those two sentences, you get a fantastic overview of what you can expect when you listen to this show as well as the type of people who may be drawn to listening.
Back To Work: Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin on productivity, communication, work, barriers constraints, tools and more. Hosted by Dan Benjamin and Merlin Man.
This is perhaps the simplest way to get everything your podcast is about in one sentence. Have the who (the doer/subject) + on (the verb/action) + a list of your key words (object/the topic). Done.
Sticks & Strings Podcast: A podcast by an Australian bloke who knits. www.sticksandstrings.com.au
Did you get that? Short, simple, and done! I know what that podcast is about :)
In your iTunes podcast page you get about 50 words above the fold (anything that you immediately see without having to click ...more and scroll down) If you can make those first 2 sentences powerful you've totally got them to offer the more of your greatness!
Now, don't think that you can only describe your podcast in these 4 ways or that you have to do it with only two sentences. Those examples above are simply the tip of the iceberg. After distilling what your podcast is about so succinctly at the top of your description, you now can elaborate about what makes your podcasts unique, adding all the flash and singularity that makes it you.
If you want to deepen your description a great guideline to keep your description readable and effective is to keep it between 100-200 words. Use the same description both in iTunes as well as in your About Page on your website.
When you take the time to distill your description up to two sentences as well as grow your description to a couple of paragraphs, it not only clearly informs your potential audience but gives you the power to communicate what you are about in effective ways. You can now share what your podcast is about via one twitter message as well as pitching potential partnerships, marketing your podcast and strengthening your brand across many platforms through the distinct uniformity.
Have you thought about what your description or about page says about you? Do you have any tips to share? We would love to hear from you in the comments!
Image: From Wikipedia by Satyakamk