How to navigate "Episode Summary" vs "Episode Notes"
Colloquially, podcasters often use these terms interchangeably: Episode Description, Episode Summary, Episode Notes, Show notes and more.
So we completely understand if you find this confusing. The Pacific Content team strives to provide clarity and minimize this confusion.
We typically use Simplecast to host your audio files. And we recommend using Simplecast's terminology to minimize confusion.
What to focus on
On Simplecast, you can add text to two fields: Episode Summary and Episode Notes.
Pacific Content recommends leaving the Episode Summary blank, and focussing on the Episode Notes field. Here's why:
There are just two platforms — Apple Podcasts and Overcast — that display Episode Summary. BUT—
Even if your writer leaves the Episode Summary field empty, the platforms default to extracting text from Episode Notes.
Here's a snapshot of the platforms that display—or don't display—Episode Summary and Episode Notes. You'll see why we recommend just filling up the latter.
Strategy for writing Episode Notes
Dedicate the top of the Episode Notes to writing a brief summary, 1-2 sentences, of what this episode is about.
Think of this as a short elevator pitch for the episode. Answer the question, "Why should I listen?"
Front-load the episode's benefit to prospective listeners. What will they learn? Who will they meet? What value does the episode provide?
Avoid a heavy brand touch. Minimize or eliminate brand mentions. Don't create barriers that stand in the way of listeners sampling the episode.
Once you've written the first 1-2 sentences, then proceed with writing a more detailed description of the episode.
Rich text is allowed. Paragraph breaks, bold text, italics, hyperlinks, numbered lists, bulleted lists, etc. are supported.
The text in this field populates the <description> and <content:encoded> tags in the show's RSS feed
Be descriptive in this part of the Episode Notes. Think of writing for a robot (SEO-friendly terms) and for a human (providing details and context of the episode to a potential listener). We can include up to 4,000 characters.
Include relevant search terms and phrases (guest names, company names, topic and subject matter keywords).
Include hyperlinks to relevant resources. Note that not all platforms support hyperlinked text. When adding important links, like your show website, paste the complete URL and hyperlink that URL. This will make sure the user has an opportunity to read the name of your website (if they can't click on it), or click on it if their preferred platform allows it.
Where does this text appear?
Here's how the Episode Summary for the show For The Love Of Work appears on Spotify.