What is Show Notes Builder?

Captivate’s Dynamic Show Notes Builder makes creating effective show notes efficient. By pulling in data from across your Captivate dashboard, you’re able to construct more useful show notes with a fraction of the work.

So it automatically creates show notes for me?

Captivate’s podcast show notes builder lets you construct reusable show notes made up of free text Templates, Blocks and Shortcodes which will do 99% of your show notes work for you when used.

You can set a default template that will be used on new episodes and then either use that as a starting point for your episode notes or publish “as is”, depending on your workflow.

What are show notes Templates?

Build your show notes Templates to suit your episode content type. Construct them using a combination of regular text, Blocks and Shortcodes and if you use the same Template regularly, set it as your default to save you even more time.

You can create unlimited show notes Templates for your different types of episode, for example one template for solo episodes, one for guest interview episodes and one for bonus episodes.

When you publish a new episode, your default show notes will be automatically populated for you to either a) use instantly or b) edit and add to, if you’d like. You can change the Template in use for any episode by using the dropdown to change it during the episode publishing or editing process.

What are the different types of content that I can use inside the show notes builder Templates?

  • Free text - you can place free text inside Templates or Blocks.

  • Blocks - Blocks are reusable pieces of text that you may want to use in several show notes Templates or when you’re adding show notes manually. Blocks can include free text and Shortcodes and are intended to be used to give you more flexibility when creating repeating areas of text. Blocks have replaced “snippets” and any previous snippets that you had have been transformed into “Blocks”.

  • Shortcodes - Shortcodes are single pieces of information that can be used manually in show notes or included in Blocks and templates. There are two types of Shortcodes:

    • Captivate Shortcodes - pieces of data from Captivate, that Captivate makes automatically available to you in your show notes. Examples include your single promotional link, show & episode information such as copyright or episode link, each of your Captivate attribution links, guest information from your guest bookings and more.

    • Custom Shortcodes - single pieces of custom data that you may want to include in show notes templates, blocks or other repeatable places within Captivate. Useful for temporary pieces of information such as hiatus messages that will be made blank later.

Can I use Show Notes Builder with AMIE?

AMIE, Captivate’s Audio Monetisation & Integration Engine, works in a very special, highly useful way with the dynamic podcast Show Notes Builder.

When uploading your own dynamic content for use in your episode pre-roll, post-roll or mid-roll, you can also include a text title, some free text and associate one of your Captivate attribution links to the piece of audio so that, when you dynamically insert the audio using AMIE, Captivate automatically includes the label, text and measurable attribution link in your show notes.

Captivate will do this for every piece of dynamically inserted audio and will measure the traffic and clicks via each associated attribution link.

If you remove (individually or in bulk) audio from your episodes using AMIE, the show notes will dynamically update for each episode affected.

Welcome to dynamic show notes!

What happens to Blocks and Shortcodes when I publish my episode?

Think of Blocks and Shortcodes as placeholders for the actual text or information that they represent.

When you publish an episode, Captivate turns the Blocks or Shortcodes that you have used in your show notes into the human-readable text that are “behind” them.

For example, if you have a Shortcode [hiatus-message] and the text that you’ve setup behind that Shortcode is “Hey, I’m on a short hiatus and will be back on January 1st with new episodes.”, when you insert [hiatus-message] into your show notes, Captivate will transform it to the real text when you publish.

Whether that Shortcode is updated throughout all of the show notes that it appears in depends on whether or not you insert it dynamically or statically.

What does “dynamic” mean?

Anytime a Block or Shortcode is updated at its source it will cascade the changes through to wherever you have used it. This is called “dynamic” updating and makes managing your full library very simple.

The default use of a Block or Shortcode is dynamic but sometimes you may just want to insert that content as it exists “today”, in which case you can choose to insert it as “static” content which will insert it as text and will mean that instance of its use won’t be updated when the source Block or Shortcode is updated.

For example, if you have a Shortcode [hiatus-message] and the text that you’ve setup behind that Shortcode is “Hey, I’m on a short hiatus and will be back on January 1st with new episodes.”, when you insert [hiatus-message] into your show notes, Captivate will transform it to the real text when you publish.

If that Shortcode has been added dynamically to your show notes, if you were to change the date within that message to another date, the dynamically inserted Shortcodes across all of your episodes would update; inserted statically, the text would not be updated across your previous episodes.

Blocks and Shortcodes within templates are dynamic but the templates themselves are not. This helps to avoid any mistaken overwriting of show notes within your library.

It is recommended that all Blocks and Shortcodes are inserted dynamically.

What’s the difference between Blocks and Shortcodes?

Think of Shortcodes as singular content elements and Blocks as a mixture of content that can be repeated elsewhere.

You may have three overall Show Notes Templates, for:

  1. Solo episodes

  2. Interview episodes

  3. Seasonal bonus episodes

Each Show Notes Template may have different content to suit each particular type of episode, which is not uncommon.

However, you may have two different types of “footer” content: one for seasonal bonus episodes and one that you use in solo or interview shows.

In this instance, you would create two Blocks and use one inside your seasonal bonus episodes Template and the other in both your solo and interview Template.

However, regardless of which type of episode you publish, you want to include the [hiatus-message] Shortcode within your show notes because you want any listener, listening to any episode to see the notice that new episodes will resume on a certain date.

By using a Shortcode for this message, you can include it in both Blocks and all three Templates but, when you need to change the hiatus message, you only need to update it in one place for it to update every episode in your library automatically.

Do I need to use Templates to use other parts of Show Notes Builder?

No. Templates are just that: templates that, when in use, give you 90% of your show notes in a ready-to-use or ready-to-edit format.

But, you can still manually write your show notes and insert any Blocks or Shortcodes that you want to; you can insert those dynamically or statically to suit your needs.

If I used Snippets previously, can I still use them?

Snippets are now called “Blocks” and all of your previous snippets were migrated to the Blocks area within the show notes builder.

How does this work with the Captivate Guest Booking & Podcast Interview Management system?

This is a really powerful combination!

Guests can be booked for multiple interviews within each of your shows and Captivate gathers data on each of their bookings for you so that you can manage the interviews.

When publishing an episode featuring guests you can assigned single or multiple guest interviews to that episode and, once you have, you’ll see a range of Shortcodes available to your pertaining to each guest, including name, bio, links and social handles.

This makes creating show notes for interview shows a breeze and if any of your guest data changes (e.g. a typo in their name or URL), you can easily change it in the guest’s profile which will then update all show notes within which that guest appears.

If I change a Template, Block or Shortcode, does that break my episode?

No. You’re all good!

Is this just for Captivate Sites, or will Dynamic Show Notes Builder work on my own self-hosted site?

Currently, dynamic show notes builder only works on Captivate Sites and your Captivate RSS feed (so they’ll also appear on podcast apps and platforms). If you create your own show notes on a self-hosted website, you’ll need to manually add the text you want to appear.

Does this work with Captivate Sync?

At the moment, Sync does not support the dynamic show notes feature, since Sync pulls from the Captivate API as opposed to the RSS feed. We’ll be updating Sync to support this feature.

Does this work if I have show notes enabled on my Captivate embeddable podcast player?

Yes, any dynamic show notes will appear in the Captivate embeddable podcast player (with show notes enabled in player settings).

How much does this cost?

Show notes builder is free to every podcaster, on any Captivate plan.

Recommended reading: Using Dynamic Show Notes Builder with AMIE Dynamic Audio Content

Recommended viewing: Show Notes Builder reveal video on YouTube

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