A Guide to Podcast Transcriptions

4 Ways Podcast Transcriptions Add Value to Your Show, and How to Create Them 

Podcast Transcription

Updated September 24, 2020 | Posted June 19, 2018 | Jon Street 

Have you found yourself asking, “What’s the deal with podcasts”? I mean it seems like in the blink of an eye they have become so overwhelmingly popular that everyone is talking about them & everyone is starting one. The words “Go check out my podcast” seem to be growing in popularity & approach “Check out my website” or “Go read my blog”. Well, there is no doubt that podcasts are more popular now than ever before. 

In reality, podcasts have been around for quite some time, but they just seem to be gaining more consistent traction as of late. Podcasts offer extremely accessible audio content for a global audience that can be digested any time, anywhere. They are incredibly impactful & amazingly easy to do. There is no doubt these factors are the reasoning (at least in part) for their rapidly growing popularity. The reality is that the days of live-broadcast tv & radio are dwindling. While there will no doubt be a fraction of our media & entertainment consumed in these arenas (hello news!), by-and-large the trend for video, music & broadcast media is trending towards on-demand, immediate access, binge-worthy content. 

Even big boys like YouTube are seeing the value in offering this instantly consumable content to their patrons.  Enter podcasts. They are the audio equivalent to your Netflix, Hulu & now, YouTube. Like your favorite tv shows, podcasts can be consumed anytime, anywhere by anyone. And like it or not, this is the new normal. 

But the reality is, as a podcaster you are looking for ways to set yourself apart. Just like the featured thumbnails & descriptions on these media platforms are meant to draw you in, give you just enough to become interested & then set you up for (what they hope will be) hours of enjoyment, the podcaster has the same task of finding ways to entice & differentiate…without the support of the broadcast host or directory. As a successful podcaster you also will have to find ways of differentiating yourself from the rest in order to gain the listenership you’re looking for. In a recent blog we reviewed why Show Notes are a good way of doing this. But if you’re looking for an alternate or additional way, another consideration should be podcast transcription, which will be the area of our focus in this entry.

Podcast Transcriptions

What is a Podcast Transcription? 

Now at this point you might be staring at the screen with a blank look on your face. You might be slightly confused or even slightly amused at what you’re reading. While podcast transcription may not seem like an engaging or worthwhile thing to invest in, I want to convince you otherwise as we unpack its value together. Simply put transcription is “a representation in writing of the actual pronunciation of a speech sound, word”. Now maybe you read that & think, “Wait, isn’t transcription what the lady knocking on death’s door is doing in the courtroom between gnawing on some Fig Newtons?” Well, fair question. 

While transcription & stenography are often confused, they are different. As the good people over at Rev have noted, the goal of the transcriptionist is to produce an accurate, written record of a recording. 

My goal here is to help you understand some real, practical ways of how this can be a tremendous value for you & your podcast both immediately & in the days ahead. While you may not be at the place right now where you see their value, the reality is that they offer some tremendous benefits both for you & your audience.

4 Reasons Why You Need Podcast Transcriptions

1. They Set You Apart 

As mentioned, we know your goal is (or should be) to try & find ways to stand apart from the rest. You should be looking for ways to add value to your listener in ways that other podcast are not. One way of doing that is providing for them an accurate word-for-word recording of your dialogue. How is this helpful? Well, while many people love the fact that podcasts are a strictly audibly consumed media, some people are just readers plain & simple. By limiting yourself to one medium, you are in some sense, limiting your audience to only those who consume that type of content. Now the reality is you are podcasting so that those who listen to podcasts will hear your message. Fair enough. 

But if you provide a companion resource in an alternate form, you have just broadened your market to those who may not gravitate towards just listening to your podcast. What better way of developing a more loyal following then telling people that you offer what they are interested in? Also, consider the fact that you become more quotable when your content is in written form. People are so often inspired by what they read & then feel motivated to share that message or thought with others on a compatible platform. Been on Facebook recently? When you make yourself more easily quotable you allow your message to be heard & seen by more people & you increase your reputation & respectability. By simply offering a podcast transcription you can reach more people & strengthen your message.   

2. They Refine Your Speaking Skills

While I know the main driving factor behind even considering podcast transcription is primarily the benefit to others or reaching others with valued content, there are some major benefits to you as well. One such benefit is that it can help you refine your skills as a podcaster. How so? Well, with transcription, you are given a snapshot of the conversation with your guest or interviewee. When you are enabled to go back to the transcription of the conversation, you are now faced with either the ringing praise or grim reality of how well you interact with others. 

Podcast transcription will allow you to see if you play well with others by encouraging good, healthy conversations that are impactful & build to a crescendo, or whether you dominate the conversation with an agenda that keeps others from openly communicating. It also forces you to evaluate how effective you are in your communication. Just because you say a lot of words doesn’t mean you have a lot to offer in those words. And nothing is more terrifying than seeing the same word repeated every. other. sentence. But these are realities we have the opportunity to address. It might seem like a punch in the gut to have to face these issues, but in the end it can force you to come to terms with your weaknesses & make you better at your craft.

Podcast Transcriptions

3. They Improve Your Website SEO

Another invaluable reason to consider podcast transcription, especially if you use any video content with your podcast, is how it improves your SEO. Much like podcasts, this buzzword has gained tremendous popularity recently, for good reason. If you’re new to the SEO game, SEO simply stands for Search Engine Optimization. Simply put, it is the methodology of getting your content (or your brand) recognized through a search engine (think Google) before the next guy. If you’re feeling rusty (or downright lost), some simple research can help you cover the basics to get things going. But have you ever Googled something & wondered “Why’d that link pop up first?”…that’s SEO. The reality is that the better equipped you are in improved SEO, the greater the chances & higher the rate your content will be seen, clicked & reviewed. And that is what everyone is looking for.  

SEO is so important that entire agencies are created to help their clients focus on SEO generation improvement. It is so critical to business success in our modern day, that no viable company can be sustainable without putting a lot of time & effort into refining it. The truth is, it’s not always who has the best content, but who has the most relevant SEO optimization that gains the greatest popularity. One way SEO is rated is the length of time someone stays on your site or your link. The longer the stay, the more engaging the material (so it’s believed), the more valuable it is & the higher it rates. By offering transcripts for your podcast on your site or landing page, the greater the chance someone will stick around on your page just a little bit longer to learn more about your podcast & improve your overall SEO.

4. They Boost The Value of Your Content

Another reality of why transcription is beneficial is that it allows you to efficiently repurpose your content in other formats, over & over again. This means you get even more ROI and value from the same content you already worked so hard to create in the first place. Now this can be a mutual benefit to both you & your listener. Now I get it-you think your audience is being very gracious with you by putting up with your voice an hour a week to begin with. But let’s face it. The name of the game these days when it comes to not only gaining, but also maintaining an audience is m-a-r-k-e-t-i-n-g. 

You have to find really great ways to market your podcast & your content for others to be able to fall in love with it. If you aren’t flooding your audience with consistent exposure to your brand, you aren’t getting your message through as effectively as you could. And one great way of improving this process is increasing the number of ways & times your content is getting in front of them. Through transcription you can turn your humble little podcast recording into Show Notes, a blog post, social media posts, an email or newsletter blasts & countless other things to help reinforce your brand & your name to your current listeners. And when the content is specific to what you’re already providing the world, it makes things simplified, easy & effortless.

 

Best Podcast Transcription Services 

There are several ways to automatically generate a transcript of your podcast, some of which are done by AI and other that are outsourced to humans for transcribing in real time. We’ll break down a few of the best ways to create a podcast transcription. 

Rev (Most Scalable) 

Rev is a highly popular transcription service platform. They offer transcription services that still employ real humans behind the scenes, and as a result they boast of a 99% accuracy rate. Their services are really incredible, and they offer the added bonus of rushing your content in as quickly as 2 hours, although their rates go up for that. 

Features

  • Real humans transcribe and they offer a 99% accuracy guarantee 
  • 12 hr turnaround time 
  • $1.25/min 
  • Scaleable service 

Temi (Cheapest, Fastest) 

Temi is an automated speech recognition tool that gets you nearly instant transcriptions for your audio. Just upload an .mp3 or .wav file and wait 5 minutes and your transcription is ready to review, revise, and export from Temi in all of the formats you can think of. This service is really valuable for smaller projects with tight turnarounds, like adding subtitles to a videogram for posting on social media. The downside of an AI service that is so fast and cheap like Temi is that you sacrifice the accuracy of your transcription, which means it requires much more time to edit and fix grammatical errors. 

Features

  • Fast transcriptions, 5 minutes for shorter audio files 
  • Cheapest, $.25/min, free trial offer

Descript (Best for DIY-Editing)

Descript is an extremely powerful desktop application that lets you edit podcast audio from a transcription as if you were just deleting words on a Google Document. It’s breathtaking software that makes editing your podcast and collecting a transcription as easy as uploading a file. The main benefit of using Descript to transcribe your podcast is that you can edit your transcript and your audio/video podcast at the very same time. However, the downsides are that this editing tool is not a fully functioning DAW, so there are limitations to the audio and video quality you can get on your final product. However, as a tool for transcribing audio, producing your content, and storyboarding Descript is the way to go.

Features

  • Audio to text transcriptions 
  • Edit your audio as easily as deleting text from a Google Doc 
  • Free for first 3hrs of transcription, then starts at $12/mo for 10hrs of transcriptions

Resonate Recordings Podcast Transcriptions 
(Best Quality Control) 

Automated transcription services and editing tools are wonderful, but still require the hands-on work of proofreading and formatting your podcast transcriptions. At Resonate, we offer white-glove transcription services where we transcribe your audio, run it through our quality control, format and share it back with you. You don’t have to worry about signing up on another platform, managing payment, uploading mp3s, and exporting files. Instead you can trust your transcription to the same platform you use for editing, mixing, and hosting your podcast. Try an easier way to transcribe your podcast today. 

Features

  • White glove service 
  • Quality control of all transcriptions 
  • $1.50/min

Best Practices for Creating Podcast Transcriptions

Investing some TLC into your transcription can ensure you avoid embarrassing mistakes from an automated transcription service and add an extra level of professionality to your show. Once you purchase or create a transcription for your episode, the next step is to improve the formatting of your show notes, check for simple mistakes, then publish them to the proper platforms. Publishing your transcription to the right places is critical to make sure you get some positive ROI on the investment it takes to create this content for your clients. 

Proofread Your Transcription 

Because podcasts are typically more conversational in nature, they often have a lot more mistakes (i.e. stumbling over your words, false starts, etc). Typically podcast transcripts maintain all of these mistakes. Generally speaking, most people want to maintain the integrity of the audio and make an exact replica of the audio content. That’s why we always create our transcripts from the final master audio file of podcasts here at Resonate, after our team has removed as many mistakes as possible in the editing process. 

Despite the fact you want your transcript to be an exact replica of the final edited podcast audio, it’s important to fix any grammatical mistakes that it contains like misspelled names and keywords. While grammar may not have any majorly negative impact on your brand, proper grammar shows a level of professionality and care that will attract your listeners. Moreover, if critical keywords like the name of a brand, important guest on your podcast, or an important buzzword in your niche is misspelled, you might be missing an opportunity to boost SEO on your page around that topic. 

How to Use Podcast Transcriptions

1. Add them to your website 

The best way to leverage your transcription is to post it on your podcast website, on an episode specific page for your podcast along with the podcast ember player and all of the show notes. Since transcripts take up so much space on a web page, it’s best to post them towards the bottom of the page after the more skimmable content. Remember, they are a resource for search engines and your avid fans who want to dive deeper into the content, so it’s ok to keep them a little further out of sight by burying them at the bottom of the page. Another creative idea is to post your full transcription on a separate page of the website, like the Serial Podcast does here.  But from an SEO standpoint we generally recommend building out deeply valuable single pages on your podcast website. 

For further inspiration, check out how these websites are using transcriptions: 

Another way you could get creative with adding transcripts to your website is making them available for download as a PDF. The benefit of this option is that it makes the content super directly shareable between your listeners. This also gets your branding ontop your listeners laptop or phone in the form of a file name, and the branding of your show within the PDF. While that may not be a directly trackable marketing effort, it generates true value for your clients so they can access your transcription locally for later review, and that should only benefit your podcasts growth in the long term.  

If you use this downloadable PDF method, we still recommend posting them directly as text on your website so you can reap the SEO benefits. Google won’t read the words within a PDF and count it towards the page rank. 

2. Upload Them to Your YouTube Podcast Video 

YouTube is an increasingly popular distribution channel for podcasters. While YouTube automatically generates captions for each video you upload, it improves the process and is great for YouTube SEO to upload your own transcript as a plain text file (UTF-8 format) or .srt file when posting the video. You can learn more about YouTube’s recommendations for best practices on their  Help Center

Conclusion

If you would like to learn more about podcast transcription services, what’s involved in the process & some additional reason our clients turn to us as the solution for doing them well, reach out to a Resonate team member today! We’re here to make sure you have everything you need to make your message resonate with your listener whether through audio…or through readable text! Schedule a call with our team to learn more, or check out our related blogs below to learn more. 

Jon

Jon Street

As the Operations Manager at Resonate Recordings, Jon leads the production team and ensures that all our podcasters have everything needed to release consistent high-quality episodes. Jon and his family are from West Palm Beach, Florida and now live in Simpsonville, KY.

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