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Podcast show notes template: A tool for highlighting your podcast episodes

Tristan Pelligrino
Co-owner Motion
Table of contents

Podcasts are more than an audio channel. And it’s easy to get excited about creating cover art, building podcast episode trailers, and creating social posts.

But from my experience, many companies don’t spend enough time on one of the most basic elements of their show — podcast show notes.

I usually see companies treat podcast show notes as an afterthought. It’s something quickly entered into a podcast hosting platform…right before you publish an episode.

Why are podcast show notes so important?

When you create show notes for each episode, it serves as the foundation for a lot of repurposed content. If you take the time to document a quality summary of an episode, you provide the information needed for assets like:

  • Podcast episode trailer
  • Video clips
  • Audiograms
  • Social images & posts
  • Featured articles

But if show notes are so important, why do most companies fail to produce them?

There’s no clear framework.

This article outlines all the sections you need and provides you with a rock-solid Podcast Show Notes Template.

Here are the ten things we encourage our customers to include on a podcast show notes page:

  1. Episode title
  2. Episode summary
  3. Guest information
  4. Key themes
  5. Episode highlights
  6. Full-length episode
  7. Promotional video
  8. Links to subscribe
  9. Resources
  10. Additional podcast episodes

1. Generate interest with a clear episode title

The podcast episode title should be clear and to the point. It’s not the place to be creative — save that for the episode summary.

Your goal with the title is to let listeners know what they can expect from the episode. And if you’re producing a podcast for your company, it’s all about how the episode will help your customer (or your ideal listener).

The best podcast episode titles generate curiosity and make people want to listen. But don’t get too cute with it (i.e., “You won’t believe what happens next!”). Be straightforward and use keywords that will help people find your show in search engines, podcast listening apps, or sites like ListenNotes or Podchaser.

Here are a few examples of how to structure a clear podcast episode title:

  • How to _________ 
  • Going from _______ to _________ 
  • Learning how ________ helps with ______________ 
  • Using __________ to ____________ 
  • Making ____________ from _______________ 
  • Moving away from __________ and doing _____________

2. Entice your audience with a short episode summary

The podcast episode summary gives readers a taste of what they’ll get with the full episode. And it gives your audience a clear reason to hit the play button.

When writing a podcast episode summary, it helps to come up with a framework you can reuse each time. I like to use the And-But-Therefore (ABT) structure when producing an episode description for Recorded Content.

The ABT structure is a format for creating compelling stories. It includes all of the core elements of business storytelling wrapped up in a 3-part sequence.

In episode __, we featured the creator of the ABT structure, Park Howell. During the episode, Park talks about how the ABT structure can be used for a lot of applications — especially a podcast.

“You’re not a screenwriter. You’re a business executive. And most story frameworks are impossible to apply.”
Park Howell
Host Business of Story

3. Highlight your guest’s background (if applicable)

If you have guests on your company’s podcast, it’s important to include their information in the show notes.

This includes their name, title, company, and a brief bio. You can also include links to their website or social media profiles.

If you’re featuring multiple guests, make sure to list them all in the show notes. This will help listeners know who they’ll hear from on the show.

4. Highlight key themes from the episode

After you’ve given an overview of the episode, it’s time to get into the meat of the show.

In this section, you’ll want to highlight the major themes covered during the conversation. Try to limit this section to 3 major themes or

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Content creation is an important brand strategy, and a critical ingredient for building a strong and reputable brand. But all your content needs to be well-coordinated; you have to create a unified brand voice and a unified experience for your audience.

5. Document specific parts of the conversation with episode highlights

In this section, you’ll want to list out specific moments from the episode. The bullet points can include memorable quotes, resources mentioned, or other main talking points.

For the most part, episode highlights are listed in chronological order. This allows your listeners to see how the conversation unfolds and gives them a chance to skip ahead to a memorable episode quote.

6. Provide access to the full-length episode in multiple formats

When you create a dedicated page for each episode on your website, provide access to the full content. This can be in the form of an embedded Youtube video or an embedded mp3 player (often provided by your podcast host).

This allows your website visitors to consume the entire episode using their preferred format. We’re not forcing them to listen to an audio file in an app they might not use (Spotify).

Since we mostly produce video podcasts at Motion, we usually build a large header section on the page with the title and the full video.

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Descript is a very unique platform that allows you to record, transcribe, edit, and mix your audio and video files. On top of that, it has everything you need to create a podcast from scratch. But innovation never stops at Descript. Their latest update or Season 2 (as they refer to it) comes with a lot of exciting features and more possibilities for customization. In this episode of Recorded Content, our host Tristan Pelligrino welcomes Harmony Jiroudek and Kevin O’Connell. Harmony is the Customer Success Manager, and Kevin is a Product Specialist at Descript. They talk about the newest features that we can expect from Descript’s Season 2 update.

7. Give your audience a dynamic preview with a promotional video

If you have a podcast promo video, you should also include that in the show notes. This is a great way to give listeners a preview of what they can expect from the podcast.

When we create custom show notes pages, we tend to embed a promo video within the page’s main content area. Often the promo video supports one of the key themes illustrated in the full episode. So we usually embed the promo video before or after you list out the key themes.

“If you’re always scrolling, you’re missing out.”
Andreas Jonsson
CEO Shield

8. Make it easy for people to subscribe to your podcast

One of the primary goals of your company’s show is to build loyal podcast listeners. So it’s important to provide easy access to your show and list the major places someone can listen to the episode.

Include links to subscribe to your podcast on major platforms like Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and Google Play. You can also include RSS feed information for people who want to add your podcast manually and listen to the episode in their favorite podcast app.

9. Include additional resources mentioned in the episode

When you have a conversation, the host and guest typically cover various resources throughout the episode. In some cases, the guest provides valuable websites for the audience. And in other cases, the guest even provides a specific call-to-action for the listeners.

To make additional resources easily accessible for your audience, provide a list of books, websites, articles, or anything else that would be helpful.

10. Provide access to additional episodes

If you have additional episodes of the podcast, make sure to include them in the show notes. This will help listeners find more episodes that they might be interested in.

Podcast show notes are more than a quick summary

A brief summary of each episode is just scratching the surface. Your episode show notes can provide a lot more value for your company’s podcast.

After you build out a dedicated podcast show notes page for each episode, you provide a dedicated home for every conversation.

The show notes page becomes just as valuable as a blog post and can generate traffic. And after you take the time to write great podcast show notes, it helps serve as a starting point for other assets such as videos, images, social posts, and more.

P.S. – If you’d like to see how we assemble our very own podcast show notes, take a look at the podcasts we produce.

Written by Tristan Pelligrino

Tristan Pelligrino is the Co-Founder of Motion. He’s a serial entrepreneur who started his career as a consultant with large IT companies such as PwC, IBM and Oracle. After getting his MBA, he started and grew one of the fastest video production companies in the country – which was listed on the Inc. 5000. Tristan now enjoys leading the content marketing strategies of some of the most innovative B2B technology companies in the country. You can find him on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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