In this frequently updated article, we walk you through how to use the Sounder Discovery Suite to grow your podcast’s audience. For each tool, we explain what it is, how it works, and creative ways to use it. Read on for best practices!
Hey there, Sounder Creator! Think of this article as an instruction manual for the Sounder Discovery Suite, only way more fun and less confusing than an IKEA bed frame manual. Here you can dig into each specific feature: how it works and how to use it.
We’re also sharing creative ideas and best-practices to put your podcast marketing strategy into hyperdrive. It’s one thing to have tricked-out tools, and it’s another to learn how to use them to maximize your growth.
For starters, using Sounder is free until you hit 20k streams per month. We take on the early costs so you can put your budget towards a great mic and headphones. Let’s dig in!
1. Audio SEO
What is it? Audio SEO is a series of optimization practices that make your content easier for search engines to crawl and index. By displaying your podcast’s transcription on your episode webpages, it helps search engines crawl and index your podcast. So when someone searches “cucumbers” your show, about cooking, will rank. We know SEO can be a little intimidating, so we’ve done all the work for you. Sounder also optimizes your podcast descriptions, title, category, keywords, and show notes. Through SEO best practices, we make sure your podcast gets the eyes and ears it deserves.
2. Sounder Player
What is it? If you listen to a show outside of any popular listener platform, you’re likely interacting with an embedded audio player. It’s a tool that allows anyone to listen to a show outside of Spotify or Apple Podcasts, just like watching YouTube videos outside of YouTube.com.
While embedded video players have advanced in technology and functionality, we couldn’t help but notice most audio players were either dated or cost extra to add to a website (widgets and such). So we built the one we wanted to see in the market, and offer it for free.
How it works: Our Sounder Player can be embedded on a website, shared on social media, or used via your Sounder episode webpages. It works just as well on mobile and desktop.
First, let’s go through the icons and functionality. At the top, you see a search bar. This is for In-Stream Audio Search, which allows listeners to search for keywords or topics across all of your content. We’ll dig into this function more below.
To the right of the search bar, is a “CC” icon. This expands the player window to show closed captioning subtitles while your episode is playing, creating an inclusive experience for all audiences. Clicking CC again collapses the player to its compact format.
To the right of the CC icon is a share arrow, which allows you or your audience to share the full episode or a short clip called a Soundbite. We’ll dig into Soundbite Audio Share below.
To the right of the share arrow is a burger menu, which opens your complete podcast library. This is a great way to keep your listeners engaged with your content.
Finally, to the right of the burger menu, is a radio wave icon where your audience can find other platforms where they can stream your podcast.
We’ve recently added a new function to our player: web linking. Before, if a listener clicked on your player it would bring them back to your Sounder webpage. Now, you can have it redirect anywhere, like to your website or social media pages.
As you can see, there are LOTS of features stacked in this small but mighty player. Here are a few ideas on how to use it.
- For those of you who have a website dedicated to your podcast, you’ll want to embed this player on your homepage. Why? Instead of sending your audience to a large listener platform where they can get distracted with other content, allow your audience to listen to an episode while continuing to engage with your story, merch, and other content.
- Don’t have a website, yet? No problem. Sounder provides all creators with a beautiful podcast website, which includes the Sounder Player and all it’s glory.
- Embedded players also help you to produce more content. Consider embedding each episode into a blog post and including a short introduction, overview, or detailed show notes. Here’s an example! This helps your podcast rank higher in SEO and gives listeners a different way to interact with your content.
3. In-Stream Audio Search
What is it? One of the main perks of our Sounder Player is its ability to search for topics and keywords within episodes. We call this In-Stream Audio Search. It’s like Google for your audio content. You can type a keyword or topic into the search bar and receive a list of episodes (and timestamps within those episodes!) where that keyword appears.
How it works: Since each of your episodes are automatically transcribed (for free!), In-Stream Audio Search identifies the moments in your podcast library where those keywords are mentioned and queues them up for playback. This feature is beneficial for both audio creators and their audience.
New listeners can use the search bar in the Sounder Player to taste your show or gain insight into a topic you discuss. Stans can find their favorite podcast moments faster than ever.
- Repurpose content in no time. Take Pride month, for example. You can search your podcast library for the word “pride” and put together a newsletter of all the episodes that discuss pride for your listeners.
- Make a “best of” episode. Easily find clips and quotes from your library to put together a “best” or “funniest” moments episode to round out your season!
- Make your show notes more efficient by searching within your latest episode for important time stamps.
- Suggest tangential episodes. Many podcasters point to similar episodes in their show notes or at the end of each episode to keep listeners in their loop. But sifting through dozens (or hundreds) of episodes can take hours. Using In-Stream Audio Search, creators can easily find tangential episodes to suggest.
4. Episode Soundbites
What is it? The Sounder Player allows listeners and creators to share Soundbites, or audio snippets of an episode. Now, instead of sharing a whole episode on Twitter, you can post, say, the best 60 seconds. With Soundbites, listeners get the ability to share their favorite podcast moments with their network.
How it works: Click the share arrow at the top right of the Sounder Player and select Soundbite Audio Share. This will take you to a screen (like above) where you can listen to an episode and slide the “start” and “end” bars to create a specific Soundbite. Also helpful, closed captioning is running at the bottom of the player, so you can get the perfect sentence or quote.
- Tease your latest episode on social media. Create and share the best audio moments of a new episode to drum up excitement.
- Ride a trending wave. If there’s a trending topic in the news, search your library and share the best Soundbite. This helps you stay relevant and repurpose evergreen content.
- Add audio to your blogs. Make your blog content interactive by adding Soundbites of your most important/compelling points.
- Create promotional material. Everyone loves content. If you’re hosting a guest, send them Soundbites of their episode to use on their own pages, which will bring audiences back to your podcast.
- Guest promotion reels. You know how radio stations get stars to say “you’re listening to 101.7 Sounder.FM” or whatever? Do the same thing with your podcast guests! Create a reel of quick intros to drum up credibility and excitement on social media.
- Send an audio newsletter. Keep your “new episode” newsletters exciting but adding Soundbites to tease the episode.
5. Episode Transcription
What is it? With Sounder, you get a free text transcript of each episode. That’s right, no more transcribing by hand on .5x speed (or missing this very important SEO/content opportunity).
How it works: After you publish an episode, simply download your transcription and start promoting! With our free speech-to-text recognition, it’s never been easier to create marketing content.
- Blog Your Podcast. Turning podcasts into blogs (and sometimes vice versa) is a great way to cross-promote your content. Blogs raise your SEO presence, increases your visibility online, and are a great resource for fans.
- Create compelling show notes. Show notes summarize new episodes to entice curious new listeners to dive in. With information overload, clear show notes make it easy to get a sense of your voice and content. But you don’t have to spend extra time writing them from scratch. With the help of your transcript, pull the juicy quotes (with timestamps), and write a synopsis of each episode.
- Write catchy social media posts. Your transcript will ensure that your pull-quotes are perfect and save you hours of listening.
- Make video content. Do you live-stream your episode? Or create videos of them? Use your transcript to add subtitles to any podcasting videos to create an inclusive experience.
- Pitch media outlets. If you’re in the market for advertisers, use transcripts to create compelling, on-brand marketing material that makes you look like a pro.
- Archive. Finally, transcripts make wonderful archives. If you want a static don’t-have-to-replay-it archive of all your podcast episodes easily collated, sorted, and dynamically searchable, then an archive of transcripts is the way to go. This way, your hard work can be recycled into new content time and time again.
6. Data-Driven Insights
What is it? Sounder’s Analytics help you understand your audience so you can create better content. We’re excited to offer powerful data and metrics you can’t receive anywhere else (more on that in a moment). At Sounder, we are laser-focused on helping your podcast get discovered and be heard. There’s no better way to help you do it than learning intelligently — improving your content and marketing strategy in real-time to attract more listeners.
How it works: Stop guessing what your audience cares about. With Sounder, you have access to things you‘re used to, like streams, listens, location. But we also give you access to even more, including time-of-day distribution, keyword searches, referrals and devices so you can podcast smarter. These metrics help you improve your podcast episode after episode. Heres how to use them!
- Streams give you an understanding of how popular your podcast (or a specific episode) is becoming. By tracking streams, you can assess what marketing efforts are the most effective, which episodes have the most success, and understand the engagement your show is having over time.
- Your Time Of Day chart can inform your new episode launch strategy. If, for instance, you see that the majority of your streams are being started before 11 am, it may make sense for you to release new episodes in the morning rather than at night. This can boost engagement as your listeners will be able to listen to new episodes immediately after they are released.
- See who’s listening. You may think you only have local listeners (hi, mom!), but with analytics you can see who is really tuning in. Looks like you have an international audience? Consider researching a topic that is especially relevant to listeners in those countries.
- Tap into new markets. Understanding the location of your audience informs your content and marketing strategy. As you talk about different topics on your podcast, depending on where listeners are located, they may or may not have a strong understanding of what you are talking about. The more you know about your user, the more targeted you can make your podcast. Knowing who is listening and where they reside can inform your next guest interview! Find a popular guest in the areas where people are already engaging with your content.
- Tailor to devices. Are most of your listens coming from mobile devices? Desktop? Consider playing around with the length of your show, or connect with your audience by adding relatable bits about what they’re doing while listening.
- Understand what your listeners are searching for. These queries are snippets into your listeners’ minds while they listen to an episode. The results here can be a powerful tool to help improve your content strategy. If you see people are searching for a specific topic, then perhaps you can address those topics in a future episode. Keywords allow you to have a 2-way conversation with your listeners. Embedding and sharing your Sounder Player as often as possible can help drive more engagement for your show — allowing you to surface more relevant insights as to what your audience cares about. When you share other audio players, you miss out on insights from those listeners.