4 Tips for Crafting Killer Podcast Episode Titles

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Having a killer podcast episode title can be a great way to draw in listeners to your podcast. We haven’t found a lot of resources out there on this strategy, so we decided to create one for those who may be wondering how to title your podcast episodes. We’ll also provide a few examples that you can use as a guide when creating your own.

Storytelling Formats

2014 saw a massive increase in popularity of storytelling podcast like Startup, Serial and 99% Invisible. These types of podcast typically incorporate the overall theme of the episode in the title. The format looks something like #8 Our New Show,  Episode 08: The Deal With Jay, or 144 – The Sizzle. Based on our research, there wasn’t a “go to standard” for storytelling podcasts titles as we found in the business podcast format.

Business Podcast Formats

Small businesses are starting to catch on that podcasting can be a secret weapon within their content marketing arsenal. Entrepreneurs and business podcast personalities like Andrew Warner, Pat Flynn and John Lee Dumas have been templates for others who’ve ventured out to create their own business podcasts. These types of formats looks something like #1122 How to launch a physical product from an idea, SPI 053: What They Didn’t Tell Me Before I Started My Online Business, and 598: Jordan Harbinger, kidnapped twice in war zones, and lives to talk another day. Others have even decided to drop the numbering system all together.

Our Suggestions

Here are a few suggestions based on our experience and what we’ve seen getting the best results. It’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to podcasting and what works for you may not work for someone else.

1. Put your BIG guest names first – Leverage the name of your guest by adding them in the beginning of the episode title. You may already know that landing big guest is a great way to establish instant credibility, but putting these names at the beginning of each episode title makes them more visible in iTunes. And when potential listeners are scrolling through your back catalog they’ll think, “Wow, this guy is a huge deal.”

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I used this strategy with Event Supremacy after realizing the power of borrowed credibility when listeners discovered my show in iTunes.

2Limit titles when possible – iTunes cuts off any text in the episode title after 23 characters. Less is more and this is where the short storytelling format titles shine. Hook them in by crafting catchy titles that stimulate curiosity. 

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Serial did a killer job with this. With the exception of three episode, the entire series had very short, catchy titles that were more than enough to stimulate the curiosity of serial fans.

3. Use numbers –  Quite simply, numbers make it real. Our brains are also hardwired to pay attention to numbers. This works great for getting potential listeners to tune-in by displaying social proof. Daniel Moran, host of Freedom Fast lane, does this extremely well. 12 Months To $1 Million On Amazon? That gets people’s attention! Take a close look at how his guest interview episodes are titled… look familiar?
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4. Leverage specific keywords When someone is trying to find a solution to their problem, they’ll typically perform a search with a specific grouping of keywords. You can leverage this by including similar keywords in your episode titles.

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Social Media Examiner uses a grouping of specific keywords followed by the episode title – Twitter Marketing, YouTube Growth, etc.

By taking these suggestions, you’ll be able to craft killer podcast episode titles that will result in increased listenership. These are just a few of the strategies we map out to position your podcast for more impact during our strategy sessions with clients. If you would like to discuss your strategy, call us to set up an appointment for a free consultation at (888) 687-7486.