Visual Marketing for Your Podcast Website

Using Visual Images to Get More Listeners

Podcast recording studio
Getty Images Credit:Photographer is my life.

A lot of research suggests that visual elements get noticed. One of the advantages of podcasting is that the on-demand content can be consumed at any time and anywhere when it is packaged up in a convenient audio format. Still, the advantages of adding visual content can’t be ignored, and they don’t have to be.

Most podcasts have an accompanying website that offers show notes, links, podcast archives, and additional information.

The podcast website is a great place to entice your listeners with images and visuals that make the show stand out. This website is also a great place to have a call-to-action such as an opportunity to subscribe to a mailing list or a way for readers and listeners to interact with the podcaster in the comments section of the show notes.

Podcast Episode Art

Whether you use HTML or a CMS like WordPress, having an image for each episode listed on your podcast website will make each episode stand out. It will also make it easier for a potential listener to scan the episodes and find the ones that match their interests. Podcast episode art works well for podcasts that tell a story or have different guests featured on each episode.

Using visuals and having great artwork is not limited to just visual topics or pictures of new guests. Even a business podcast can benefit from having a descriptive image and the episode number and title listed at the beginning of each episode post.

No matter what the subject is having creative visuals will only enhance the viewer experience.

Examples of Podcast Episode Artwork

Our first example is Criminal. This is a podcast about crime, and it tells a story. Visuals are very appropriate for storytelling podcasts. Each episode has a black and white corresponding image.

The website episode page has a pinboard collection of images that shows the title and an excerpt of the description when it is hovered on.  

The popular Serial podcast covers an event in several episodes. The first season is about the 1999 disappearance of Hae Min Lee and the prosecution of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. The second season is about Bowe Bergdahl. They use a pinboard type setup also with images behind a translucent colored filter. Hovering over the image with the episode number and title will show a brief description of that episode.

Both of these setups are really nice, but they are also produced with the help of a professional team. Another example that is closer to what a do-it-yourself podcaster may be able to produce is something like the website for Anna Faris Unqualified. This is a great podcast where the cute and funny Anna Faris interviews guests and gives relationship advice. Her website is based on WordPress and she has cute pictures of her and her guest on each episode post.

Creating a Podcast Website With WordPress

Let’s say you are more of a do-it-yourself podcaster with just you or a small team working on your show. It’s still a good idea to have a website for your podcast.

An easy way to create and update a website is to use the blogging software, that has turned into a full-fledged content management system, called WordPress.

It’s easy too. Just purchase a domain and a website hosting account. Most WordPress hosts have an easy installer that will install WordPress on your hosting account. Once you have WordPress installed and the DNS of your domain pointing at your website, you can start customizing your WordPress website with a custom theme and plugins to add all of the functionality you will need to have an awesome podcasting website.

A full WordPress tutorial is beyond the scope of this article, but here are some of the things that can make your podcast website fast, functional, and good-looking.

  • Get a responsive theme that looks good on phones, tablets, and monitors.

  • Get a theme that has clean code and loads fast.

  • Limit your plugins, but don’t be afraid to use ones you need.

  • You want a theme that is easy to customize and reflects the mood of your show. Usually adding your logo and custom colors will be enough to make the theme your own.

Podcast Specific WordPress Theme Functions

These are a few things that will make your podcast website super functional and stand out from the crowd.

  • Have a Podcast Player. Most listeners will subscribe with iTunes, but some may want to hear your show while they are on your website.

  • Make it easy for your listeners to subscribe to your podcast with iTunes, any other players they may use like Stitcher, and with RSS while they are on your site.

  • While you are at it, have an additional call to action like a sign-up for an email subscriber list or a download bonus that subscribes them to your list.

  • Have a great image for each podcast episode. In WordPress, each episode will be an individual post, and each post/episode should have a nice looking image.

  • The image can also be used as a thumbnail for a featured posts page or a best of posts page.

  • You can also have a homepage that features your latest episodes or your most popular episodes. If you use this method, it is still a good idea to also have a chronological listing somewhere on the page or a link to the chronological listing. Your greatest fans may want to listen to all of your episodes or see how your podcast has progressed over time.

  • Have quality show notes that are useful to your listener.

  • You can also have download options to the mp3 recording, the transcripts, or anything else you would like a listener to have access to like an app or an ebook.

  • Depending on your social media preferences, you can also have social media buttons or click to tweet buttons.

How to Use Podcast Episode Images on Your Podcast Website

Depending on the mood and theme of your show, you will want to have some form of conventions for your episode images. Like Anna Faris, a simple picture of you and your guest is a great way to reflect the episode topic. A show about travel could have an image of the place being discussed in that show. No matter what the subject matter, it probably isn’t that difficult to find a relevant image that reflects the topic of each show.

You can also make a template for your show. Just use Photoshop or Canva and create a background in the specified size that you want. Then add whatever information you would like to see each week. Such as the title of the episode and the episode number. Then, each week, all you have to do is add the new image to the background portion, and change the episode title and number to the current episode title and number.

The advantage of using a template is that your image will be the same size, the same format, and use the same fonts every week. Yet, the information will be new. This will give a uniform look and theme to your podcast website and add a little polish that other podcast websites may not have.