It’s frustrating when you’re listening to a podcast while driving or jogging and the host mentions a link of interest or a call to action and you have no way of grabbing it for later!
You know what I mean?
You’ve got to go back and listen to the episode or go to the podcast website and hunt down the shownotes in order to find that link.
What if there were an easier way?
As you might imagine, there is. It’s a method that makes the links mentioned in a podcast episode LIVE, so the listener can click on them immediately and go right to the site!
How do you get this great functionality? You’ve probably already got it and may not know it.
It’s in the description that you add to the tags of your actual mp3 file, or in the description that you include when you post the file on your media host.
How does it work? I’m about to tell you…
But before I get into that I want to thank someone who left a rating and review on iTunes – NancyBeginnings – thanks so much for your kind words. It’s my prayer that the show continues to be helpful to you!
The power of links within your media file description
Most podcasting apps, or pod-catchers as some folks call them, have developed the functionality to allow links that are included in an audio file’s description, to be “live” within their app.
That means that if someone hears a link you mention on your show – say it’s your show notes page – and they want to check it out, all they have to do is check out the description of that episode and there are the live links they can click to go directly there.
No more waiting!
No more jotting down notes to remind you about links you need to visit later!
You can go right to the link the minute you hear it.
But what does this mean for YOUR show’s call to action?
It means that if you’re smart – and you’re listening to this show so I know you are – you’ll add links to your mp3 file descriptions and media host accounts so that your listeners can go directly to your links.
It’s really a pretty simple thing, wouldn’t you say?
Here are my “best practice” tips for including these kinds of links in your show’s call to action
#1 – Be sure you have a call to action
Don’t just pump out audio – encourage your listeners to do something with it. Some of the best things they can do center around community and interaction.
- Take action on one point you gave in the show and let you know about it on the show notes page (Here’s a link you can provide in the description).
- What would they add to your list of tips (Provide the link for them to tell you).
- What is their experience regarding the topic you’ve covered (Provide a link in the description for them to tell you about it).
- What was helpful about what you shared? (Again, provide them a link to let you know).
The more you are able to become a “real person” to your listeners by relating and interacting with them, the more they are going to know, like, and trust you – which is the main obstacle to getting a raving fan base for your podcast.
So make sure you have a call to action – and give them specific links to use to take that action.
#2 – Include the actual link, not just an “anchor-text” link
Do you know what an “anchor text” link is? It’s a link that is coded into the text so that you only see the text with an underlined hyperlink and not the actual link (http://….)
Anchor text links are cool for web writing but are not always the best on a practical level for the kind of thing we’re talking about here.
Here are some reasons why…
- Not all podcatchers (podcast apps) can read the link that is behind an “anchor text” link. So you’ll want to include the full link or a short link to it just to be safe.
- When your listeners actually SEE your link (www.PodcastFastTrack.com/whatever) it helps to solidify your website name in their minds. Don’t miss the importance of that.
#3 – Include the http:// in your link addresses
Some podcast apps are designed so they can assume the “http://” when you write a link as www.PodcastFastTrack.com – but some are not.
So play it safe and include the “http://” all the time. That way whether the app is able to function without it or not, you don’t have to care about it.
You can be confident that the links you provide are live.
#4 – Be sure you include the links in whatever place supplies your podcasts feed
Have you ever wondered where those lovely Podcatcher apps get their information?
Most of them pull it straight from iTunes. So whatever feed iTunes is pulling for your show is where you want your link-filled descriptions to be.
Some podcasters use the feed provided in their hosting account (Libsyn, Blubrry, others) as the place iTunes pulls their information.
If that’s the case for you, make sure when you post your episodes to Libsyn that your posts have full-blown copies of your show notes, links and all.
Other podcasters use the Blubrry Powerpress plugin and the feed it provides as the source they submit to iTunes.
If that’s the case – then make sure the posts you put on your website that you use to publish your audio have all those juicy links you want included with your episodes.
That way your listeners will always have the option to go to the description that their podcatcher has pulled from iTunes and find the links you mention.
#5 – Be sure to mention that your listeners can go to the live links in their podcast app
There are still many people who use podcatcher apps who don’t know the episodes they’re listening to even have descriptions, much less that they have live links they can click.’
So as the host, you need to tell them.
When you give your call to action for a particular episode, tell your listeners they can go to the episode description on their smart device and use the direct links you’ve provided.
#6 – Include the description and links in the ID3 tags of your actual mp3 file.
If there’s an “optional” one out of these 6 steps, it’s this one. But I suggest you do it.
The ID3 tags are the behind-the-scenes info about the actual audio file you produce. They are attached to the mp3 file itself.
Because often people download the audio to their computer or other device. They might listen to it in Windows Media Player or Quicktime, or some other player. They may not actually use a podcast app that pulls the information from iTunes.
If that’s the case, you want those people to have access to the links also. They can if you’ve placed them in the ID3 tags. They probably won’t be “live” or “clickable” but the link is there all the same.
That’s how I’d suggest you maximize your call to action on your podcast episodes – by using the live links available to your listeners.
- So, I’m curious how many of you knew that you could include clickable links to accompany your podcast audio.
- I’m curious how many of you intentionally direct your listeners to those embedded descriptions?
- I’m curous what changes your going to make as a result of learning about this incredible opportunity?
- Let me know at http://www.PodcastFastTrack.com/14
- You can find that link in the description of this audio file -right there on your podcast player.
Thanks for listening!