For the last episode of Season 1 of the “Podcasting Strategy” podcast I’m revisiting and updating an older episode of my first podcast, “The Podcast Growth Show”. Back in 2018 we talked about the benefits of widely distributing podcast show notes articles using the StoryChief platform. StoryChief excels in “content marketing”, for blogs as well as for podcast episode articles . And for our clients, we still follow this approach as one of the best ways to organically grow and promote a podcast to this day, while growing an email list and social following in the process. The StoryChief platform has evolved and grown since then, and yet much has stayed the same.
Recently it was brought to my attention that the original article from 2018 referred to out-dated features and pricing for the StoryChief platform, so I will correct and update this this here as of late 2021 early 2022. Also back in 2018 we were able to offer our followers an insane 50% discount off any StoryChief plan. If you missed out on the 50% off deal, we are still huge StoryChief evangelists and anyone signing up with our affiliate link can get a free trial and then save a very generous 20% off lifetime use of the platform, just contact me for details if you like.
Content Syndication is a subset of content marketing. First, let’s revisit what we have talked about several times during this season. Here is a definition from Search Engine Watch:
Content syndication is the process of pushing your blogpost, article, video or any piece of web-based content out to other third-parties who will then re-publish it on their own sites.
So this applies to podcast show notes articles as well. We want to grow readership, create brand-awareness for our podcasts by publishing our show notes stories on multiple websites, communities, social media and email channels.
Question: Why should podcasters care about content syndication?
Aren't we already doing a form of this when distributing our episode audio to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher?
Content syndication is to our podcast show notes what podcast directories are to our audio files. A way to distribute our content widely. And a way to establish presence on multiple content and social platforms.
This results in greater traffic and discoverability. When your episodes go live, you probably already share your show notes post on Facebook, LinkedIn and perhaps on Twitter. But have you thought about publishing your episode show notes as articles on Medium? (I get a lot of traffic from doing this) Or on Blogger? Or on the Ghost platform?
The idea is to distribute your show notes to as many platforms as possible.
We elaborated on the platforms and the released drip timing concept in episodes 1-3 of the Podcasting Strategy show, so if you have not listened to those episodes I’d encourage you to go back and check them out:
My own backlinks from high domain authority sites have continued to increase. This is largely resulting from the podcast distribution and syndication method we have covered in this season. (I’m including a comparison graphic from 2018 vs 2021 in the show notes)
For those of you unfamiliar with SEO, increased backlinks mean increased rank in the Google search engines, and this means better placement in the search results.
The StoryChief platform saves massive amounts of time. But it is targeted at content marketing driven businesses, and many of our business clients use podcasting as a major part of their brand storytelling. As such, the platform is not intended for zero budget indie podcasters, who typically save money by spending the time doing things manually of by themselves. So yes, you could distribute your show notes to different platforms manually. Generally this involves a schedule of re-posting your episode article via copy paste. And that's perfectly fine, but it is a lot of work, and there are many pitfalls:
Syndicating show notes manually is a no-go for us as a podcast production agency. We need an automated way of doing this.
And if I was an Indy podcaster, doing it manually would still be a no-go. We need an automated way of doing this. And there are some great content syndication platforms out there. But StoryChief is the one particular platform we feel is best for podcast distribution of show notes. And it addresses all the above concerns.
There are tons of reasons why StoryChief presents a content marketing opportunity, not just for business podcasters. It helps automate your entire business content marketing strategy. The benefits reach far beyond podcasting. It is a collaborative writing environment for content creation and promotion. Their value proposition is this:
Get the most out of your content marketing campaigns. Create blog and social media campaigns with your all-in-one workspace for content creation and distribution.
For podcasters, key elements are
Using a single platform saves time distributing your content to the right channels. Think of all the times you spent copy-pasting content to publish the same thing on multiple channels. Thanks to StoryChief, those days are over. All you have to do is select which platforms should feature your content and StoryChief takes it from there.
From ideation to publication, organize and plan the content you publish through your digital marketing channels, all in one content calendar. For podcast episodes and show notes this is great, but why stop there? Blogs, videos, Instagram and social media can all be planned in one single place.
My own use case is that for solo podcast episodes, I write the pre-recording outlines in StoryChief already, because this reduces the time it takes to create great show notes after the recording.
If you are a business podcaster, you are likely used to collaborating with others, even if it is just having a Virtual Assistant or VA. Approval flows, revisions, and comments to speed up your review & feedback processes. The platform brings your team together to organize, plan and produce content.
One such planning tool is the built in “editorial briefs”. These let you share concepts and makes sure your team's on the same page. If you have someone else writing your show notes, they can do so in this environment, exchange comments with you back and forth, and ask for approval when they are ready for you to review what they have created.
Not an SEO expert? No problem. StoryChief features an SEO assistant that ensures you publish content that will be found on search engines and engage your audience. Your writers don't have to know every aspect of SEO, StoryChief provides them actionable and easy to apply tips.
The SEO assistant helps attract more website visitors, and it monitors your SEO score and how well your story performs for a set keyword, based on 15+ metrics for search engine optimization. I’ve included some screenshots in the show notes that illustrate how the coaching feature works in a sidebar as you or your team creates your show notes.
StoryChief also ensures that you engage your readers easily by offering a readability score as you write. This tracks how well your readers will follow your train of thought, and is based on the Flesch Reading Ease test.
I find this especially helpful when working with transcripts, as my own train of thought is quite often pretty obtuse, and this tool helps me correct the show notes as I go.
I’ve mentioned this earlier in the season, it is important to take analytics into account and adjust so that you fill your episode calendar with content that works. The reports StoryChief provide span both website stats, in terms of how many people have seen and read your content there, as well as measuring stats and engagement on social media channels.
This lets you see the types of episode content that resonates with your audience the most. You can track their performance by generating reports from real-time data.
The idea is to save time managing your social media in one place by publishing your podcast episode posts to all social media channels with a few clicks.
The social media features in StoryChief let you plan a month of social media posts about your podcast, blog, or business. And it lets you do this in hours, not days.
From daily posts to full-scale campaigns, the social media calendar helps you stay organized and productive. Plus, its collaborative features match those of the writing environment. You can easily invite your VAs or team members and have them manage your social media, while you stay in control through approval flows and feedback loops.
You can create social media campaigns on Facebook pages or groups, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn profile and business pages. Usually these image or video posts promote your podcast episode or story, with a link pointing to your primary website. StoryChief supports video and this your audiograms can be scheduled and distributed widely as well.
Don't have a separate blog or website for your podcast yet? One other feature I should mention is that you can use the free blog you get with StoryChief. Its auto generated when you start an account. There are lots of ways to customize this, and it looks great right out of the box. It makes for a great podcast website if you don’t have one already. Personally I don't use it to drive traffic to, but I still publish each show note article there because I get a high domain authority back link. We covered this back in episode 4 of the podcast.
Sharing your content on social media seems obvious for most marketers but what if there was an even better way to share your content? Now, you can prompt your brand's ambassadors to share your content with their network in a click of the button.
So when a new episode launches, your ambassadors are notified first. And you can recruit more people into your tribe with built in ambassador sign-up forms that will appear on all publishing channels. I’ve included an example in the links section on the bottom of our show notes. This is an invitation to join our Podcasting Strategy Ambassador program, where we encourage our channel partners to share our new episodes on their social channels, and we then offer them promotions in return.
The ambassador effect has many possible creative business use cases, and here are just two:
Email marketing is built in with MailChimp and Active Campaign and several others. But because StoryChief integrates with Zapier quite easily, it basically lets you gain access to almost any marketing automation platform that's out there for capturing leads.
This means that you can publish to multiple built-in RSS feeds that let you distribute content on a lot of RSS driven platforms. For example you could set up a premium content RSS feed for paid members.
As I mentioned in the beginning, StoryChief has actively been developing the platform, and as a result many more features and integrations are available now than there were in 2018 when I first covered this platform. Here is a link to the current plan summary and pricing information.
Keep in mind that the value proposition for this platform is that of a comprehensive SEO content strategy and social media marketing platform. It may not be a great fit for hobby podcasters on a close to zero budget, but is worth it for anyone for whom podcasting and web growth is part of a business content strategy. There is a free trial, and our followers can contact me to receive 20% off.
I'd encourage you to try this for your own business podcast. If you'd like to sign up for the free version, I’ve included the link in the show notes. Full disclosure, this is an affiliate link and if you ever upgrade I will earn a small commission at no cost to you. But I hope to have earned your trust with this site, blog and podcast - I have been putting significant work into this in order to provide next level thinking about podcast growth.
So if you sign up for StoryChief’s free trial with our link, email me and I will personally send you a special code. You can use this when upgrading for a paid account, and it will save you an additional 20% off the pro plan for this platform. This includes access for 4 team members, collaboration and content calendar features and the ability to publish unlimited stories on as many destinations and websites you can manage.
Here are the links and resources I may have referred to in this episode.
If you are not yet subscribed or following us on any podcast audio apps, here is where to do this.
One last thing I almost forgot is the ambassador network. If you'd like to join my ambassador network, I would hugely appreciate it. If we have complimentary topics and our content is in sync from an SEO, or Inbound Marketing or podcasting perspective, maybe there's a way that we could work together and support each other.
So here is a signup form where you could join my ambassador networks. I would love to have you be part of that, and I would love to be able to support you in any way that I can.