3 Simple Steps To Giving Your Podcast a Breakthrough Name

by Mar 1, 2021

Your podcast name will be a part of what attracts your audience to listen to your show initially before they’ve had the opportunity to build a relationship with the host(s) themselves.

Many creators get overwhelmed by the gravity of their naming choice or frozen by the endless possibilities for a show title. If that’s you, keep reading. In this post you’ll find:

  • What makes a good title
  • The 3 primary name types
  • Practical considerations and tools

Elements To a Strong Title

Podcast names are the source of plenty of debate and paralysis by analysis for both experienced and novice podcasters alike. Still, we can all agree on three primary components that make up a great podcast title: clarity, brevity, and stickiness (memorability).

Clarity

One of the most important jobs of a podcast title is to signal the show’s purpose and clearly communicate how you’ll deliver on the objective. If you’re unsure of your objective, take a moment to read the first couple sections from our comprehensive guide to podcasting. Asking questions like “Who is our audience?” and “What differentiates our podcast?” can help provide an initial direction.

Your audience members quickly learn if they like your show once they’ve begun listening (or not). The title’s name is to give them the opportunity to make that determination. Therefore, it’s important to draw the straightest line between your podcast title and show objective.

Being clear > being interesting when it comes to titles.

Brevity

Brevity is a great charm of eloquence.” – Cicero

If clarity is the most important component of your name, finding a way to communicate the message in the least amount of characters is a close second. There are now over a million podcasts, each with a title and (usually) subtitle. Providing a short title that a prospective listener can quickly understand will feel like a relief to your audience.

The ideal length for a show title will convey who you are and what the show is in about 29 characters or less.

Stickiness

The final component of a great title is its memorability once the audience member has moved their thumb past the show. A great title will stick with the audience even if they can’t remember the reasons or show behind the name itself.

You’ll see these components on display in the best in class examples provided under each of the three name types in the next section.

3 Name Types

There are three types of names that stand out from the sea of album art squares your audience wades through when searching for a new show.

A helpful exercise may be to draft names for each of these categories before deciding on the final show title.

Creative

Using a play on words or easter egg that resonates with your audience. A creative show title doesn’t have to speak directly to the content itself, but alludes to an audience interest that will draw listeners in.

Best In Class Examples:

  • Revisionist History
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Armchair Expert

Descriptive

As noted in the clarity section, having a clear title is an important feature. Using a descriptive title that simply explains the show’s value proposition is often a helpful way to deliver.

Best In Class Examples:

  • How I Built This
  • Stuff You Should Know
  • Office Ladies
  • We Study Billionaires

Branded

The final type is simply to name the show after the brand or host that is behind the podcast. This is especially helpful when the host or brand carries existing weight with the audience.

Best In Class Examples:

  • The Joe Rogan Experience
  • The Tim Ferriss Show
  • On Purpose with Jay Shetty

Bonus: B2B Shows

Regardless of which title type fits your style, the key is to name the show something that resonates with the audience, not necessarily with your own personal tastes.

For many B2B-based shows, using a descriptive title that names the target audience is recommended. For example, a show providing recruiting and sales strategies for a trucking industry executive may be called, “The Trucking CEO Show.”

Practical Considerations

Aside from the name type and best practices, there are a few other practical considerations to keep in mind as you select your show title.

Checking for duplicates

This is fairly obvious, but a thorough search may push you from one option to another based on the existing competition a keyword or phrase may have already had. Ensure you complete searches on all of the major platforms (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon, Audible, Youtube, etc.) in addition to the search engines themselves.

Searchability

While competition can be an obstacle, you also need a title that is easy to search and find. A title that is too obscure or buried under pages of results will limit your audience’s growth.

We believe that every show needs to have a dedicated podcast landing page and associated social media accounts to engage audiences and promote the show. Factoring this into your name search will be important to ensure both domains and social handles are available for your show’s title.

Tools

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain of where to start, try using a naming tool. You may not want to take the first results offered, but they can be useful to help trigger creative thinking on what your show’s title might become. There are plenty out there, but here are a few we’ve found helpful:

Remember

  • Your show title should be clear, brief, and sticky
  • 29 characters or less is ideal
  • Make up Creative, Descriptive, and Branded titles to stretch your thinking
  • Do your research. The title should be found quickly by your audience
  • Get outside help if you need it! Tools or agencies can be helpful sounding board

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