Over the past decade, podcasts have grown from a niche entertainment form to a genuine cultural phenomenon. The massive success of hits like This American Life and Serial have catapulted podcasts into the mainstream, and it’s easy to see why. At their core, podcasts are stories, and people love stories. A compelling narrative structure appeals to basic human nature. Whether it’s true crime, economics or a good old fashioned audio drama, podcasts represent a highly effective way of bringing these concepts to life.
The numbers don’t lie. There are over 500,000 active podcasts available on a wide variety of platforms, and approximately 25% of the US population tune in on a monthly basis. As the audience consistently grows, it appears this trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
With millions of people tuning in regularly, it’s clear that podcast listeners are committed and eager to consume content. Transcription represents a great strategy to engage people further by providing new and creative ways to connect with existing audiences and find new ones. Here’s how:
Appeal to different needs and circumstances
Transcripts allow podcasters to appeal to as many people as possible and attract new audiences. Everyone absorbs information differently. While some prefer visual or auditory methods, for others there’s nothing like the written word. Transcripts also make podcast content available to non-native speakers as well as those with hearing impairments. It all comes down to accessibility and convenience. Transcribing podcasts ensures that content creators cast a wide net and catch anyone who may be interested.
Transcripts also enable podcasts to be easily accessible for people who may be in noise-prohibitive environments. If listening is impossible due to ambient surroundings, people can still consume podcast content by reading the transcript, thereby removing a potential barrier and making it easy for people to interact with the media.
Converting podcasts to text has great SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefits. A listener who had just fallen in love with a podcast is highly motivated to visit the corresponding website and download other episodes, or subscribe for regular updates. Search engines can’t crawl audio files, they work exclusively through text. That’s why transcription is necessary for increasing visibility and strengthening an active online presence.
Including text-based content increases rank and visibility on search engines and allows audiences to locate content that interests them. In addition, a transcript will already be inherently keyword-rich, making it easier to index, which boosts search engine results for that particular niche. Snippets of transcripts can also be be easily shared through social media, providing yet another avenue for people to discover content.
Provide a better user experience
Transcripts provide users a multitude of flexible options for finding the information they are most interested in. For example, a text-based version of the podcast makes it possible to pique the interest of potential listeners with a brief synopsis. Converting audio to text also allows listeners to choose exactly which sections they would like to explore further, or which parts of the audio they want to listen to. Transcripts also help make the content more interactive, with access to general themes and notable keywords. Including a text-based version of podcast content also helps people who prefer to skim through the material to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Repurpose compelling content
If a particular topic or theme is resonant with audiences, why not capitalize on the opportunity to create other forms of engaging content on that subject? Transcribing podcasts makes it possible to turn text into show-notes, put together lists of key takeaways, build Slideshare presentations, write blog posts, create infographics and more. Transcripts simplify the process of creating new content and breathe new life into popular, SEO-friendly pieces, transforming them into other engaging collateral.
With over 70 million listeners and counting, podcasts have captured the public’s interest like few other mediums before it. It’s clear that there is an active audience that is hungry for more relevant content and more opportunities to connect. Transcription is the ideal way to provide them with what they are looking for, increase their engagement and maximize the tremendous potential that exists.