To transcribe, or not to transcribe, that is the question. The answer? Transcribe! Always transcribe! Transcription refers to the creation of a written account of the verbal content of a podcast and having a transcript of your podcast can create a lot of benefits for you and adds to the success of your show. There are literally no downsides or drawbacks to providing your listeners with a full transcript of the show. Of course, we could rattle off a number of compelling reasons why you should transcribe your podcast, but let’s rather just jump right in and get straight to the good stuff – the benefits of transcribing your podcast! While there are many we’ve narrowed it down and created a countdown of the top 5 benefits of transcribing your podcast.
#5 Gives Your Listeners More
In spot number 5, we have the fact that having a transcription for your episodes gives more to your listeners. Have you ever heard a great quote or statistic on a podcast that you just have to share? But now that you’ve finished the podcast, you can’t remember exactly what was said? If there’s a transcription, you can quickly scan the text, find what you were looking for, and copy, paste, hey, presto! You’re ready to blow the minds of your followers!
Now imagine this was your mind-blowing podcast we’re talking about, but there’s no transcription. Your listener would have to relisten to the entire podcast in order to find what they were looking for, then carefully type it out (after relistening to ensure they got it right) and only then will they be ready to hit “share”. And that’s banking on them having the time to relisten in the first place! But a transcription gives your listeners immediate access to your content. It conveys a sense of giving your listeners ‘more’ – more ways to view the content, more accessibility, and more ways to engage.
#4 Enhances User Experience
Following on from #5, the number 4 benefit of transcription is that it enhances the user experience. This has to do with the added convenience you give your user by providing a transcription. A transcript makes your content available to your audience when listening to the episode might not be convenient or possible at that time. It also helps cater to the different preferences people have in terms of content consumption. Some people need to read along with the audio in order to properly process the information, some may prefer reading altogether, but enjoy your topic and the way you convey your content. A transcript, therefore, caters to these preferences. It also gives your audience the option of reading through your content quickly if the time to listen carefully to a podcast is not available.
Transcriptions enable your listener to conveniently refer back to particular statistics, take note of in-depth information, or find the points they want to listen to again, enhancing their whole experience of your episode. Providing a transcript also brings in an added convenience to those who have not yet experienced your podcast. A first-time visitor to your show can scan through the transcript and see that it is EXACTLY what they have been looking for, and become a first-time listener. With so many podcasts competing for attention, being able to quickly read through a transcript allows listeners to sift through what’s out there, and decide that yours is the one they want to invest their valuable time into.
#3 Expands Your Reach
Another great benefit of transcribing your podcast is that it makes it easy to repurpose your valuable content and expand your reach. Having a transcript opens many new avenues for audience growth by enabling you to use your podcast content on other platforms. For example, you may want to start a blog to run alongside your podcast. But it will take time to create content for each entity separately. However, if you transcribe your episodes, with some minor edits and formatting changes, that content could then easily be turned into a full blog post. You’re effectively reaching two major audiences while doing half the work.
The same principle can be applied to creating content for your social media platforms. Using your transcription, great quotes, insightful takeaways, or interesting statistics can be converted to posts to promote your podcast on multiple social platforms. You could even consider using your transcriptions as the basis of a book, ultimately using your valuable content to reach yet another audience!
#2 Promotes Inclusivity
Podcasts are obviously an audio-focused industry. But this means that there are a vast amount of people who are unable to partake in this type of content. Individuals who are deaf, hearing-impaired, or have other auditory processing disorders can be cut off from podcasts in their basic structure as they are not able to access the content in its auditory form. However, if you provide transcriptions, you open up a whole new world that would otherwise be unavailable to them! When you provide transcriptions of your episodes, you can create an environment where a whole new faction can enjoy and engage with your podcast, rather than being excluded!
Having your content available in more than one format creates the space for an expanded and diverse audience, as well as establishing your brand as one with a focus on inclusivity. The fact that you’ve thought about these minority groups adapted your content, and created an inclusive platform through your podcast will also go a long way in building audience loyalty, while getting more people to engage with your content at the same time.
#1 Increases Discoverability
And here we have it, the number one benefit of transcribing your podcast – the pièce de résistance of podcasting transcription if you will. Transcribing your podcast will greatly increase your Internet searchability. The Internet is a modern wonder, categorizing, storing, searching and retrieving information in a matter of nanoseconds. This is amazing! Except perhaps when it comes to audio.
Search engines haven’t quite mastered the art of accurately indexing audio and so the searchability potential of audio is very low, if not non-existent. This means that even if your podcast precisely answers someone’s search on Google, for instance, it will likely not show up as a result as there is very little text-based information for the search engine to find and retrieve. However, if you transcribe your podcasts, your discoverability greatly increases as there’s a treasure trove of information for a search engine to peruse, and then provide the user with exactly what they were looking for – your podcast! Plus, the content that you create from these transcripts – such as show notes or even full blog posts – will do even more for improving your search engine optimization (SEO).
We’ve ranked this as the top benefit because as a podcaster, you’re always looking to grow your audience and increase your downloads. Improved SEO is key to the success of a podcast. This benefit of transcription gives you, the podcaster, the highest return because your searchability is directly linked to your discoverability. If your content is available to be searched, your podcast is available to be found – and within nanoseconds, you will have gained a new listener!
Related read: How To Craft A Podcast Episode Title
As you can see, we truly believe that transcribing your podcast can provide nothing but benefits to you on your podcasting journey and those coming along for the ride. While some benefits are solely for the podcaster, such as increased traffic and downloads, many of the benefits positively affect the audience as well – giving them a positive experience from engaging with your content. This then serves to grow your audience, and coming full circle, you as the podcaster experience these benefits of transcribing your podcast.