How to Get More Podcast Reviews
Getting feedback on your podcast is essential for improving and growing your show, and podcast reviews remain one of the best ways to do this. However, despite social media and the interconnectedness of the internet, getting listeners to leave reviews can be relatively challenging for podcasters.
In this blog, we'll show you how to get more reviews, how you can leverage them to make your show better, and why they matter in the first place.
How reviews help grow your show
The purpose behind reviews is simple: humans like to know someone else has tried something first and that they vouch for it. It's the same reason you scroll down to read the Amazon customer reviews before purchasing a product.
Getting positive reviews helps establish your podcast's reputation, points out ways to improve your content, and ultimately helps influence people to listen to your show. With so many entertainment options and things vying for our time, a five-star rating is often the clincher that makes a potential listener choose one podcast over thousands of others.
Six ways to encourage listeners to leave reviews
One of the challenges to getting reviews is the fact that not all platforms support the function. The only major directories that currently support listener reviews are Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), Stitcher, Castbox, Podbean, and Podchaser. So when you apply these strategies, make sure you communicate where listeners can leave reviews!
1. Remove obstacles
It isn't always clear how to leave a review, and certain platforms are more straightforward than others. Sometimes the confusion around how to leave a review keeps people from acting, so aim to remove as much of the confusion as possible. If you have a YouTube channel, you can record a short tutorial video showing listeners how to leave a review on these different platforms.
You can also just spend some time on an episode walking them through the steps to leave a review in Apple Podcasts and remove any confusion or uncertainty they might have.
2. Ask a few core fans
Even if you have a small podcast, you likely have a few die-hard listeners you've spoken with before through social media, etc. These loyal listeners are a great place to start when you need your first few reviews. You can reach out to them and ask if they'd be willing to leave you a rating and review, and most likely, they'll be happy to help!
3. Include a call-to-action at the end of the episode
The most straightforward, non-sales-y way of getting more reviews is to ask for them. Communicate to listeners how much reviews helps your show and why they're needed. Since your fans love listening to you and have built a personal connection with you, they'll be naturally inclined to help you out.
"If you love listening to this podcast, please leave a review in Apple Podcasts."
Make your call-to-action your own, and remember that you only need to spend a few seconds directing people to your podcast's review section.
4. Highlight high-quality reviews
How would you feel if your favorite podcast read your review live on the air and gave you a special shoutout? Amazing, right? That is the same feeling you can offer to your listeners by leaving their reviews on your podcast. When you spend sixty seconds reading one of your five-star reviews, you encourage a feeling of community and show that you're accessible to listeners. You're not too high and mighty to interact with your fans, and that humility goes a long way.
"I want to take a moment and give a special shoutout to SuperFan87. Here's what they said in their review on Apple Podcasts (read their review). Thanks so much, SuperFan87; that means a lot, and every review helps. If you'd like to receive a shoutout on a future episode, leave a review for the show in Apple Podcasts!"
5. Run a contest
Contests work best if you have a sizable audience, and you number of reviews for your podcast doesn't accurately reflect it yet. If that describes your podcast, consider running a review contest. Here's how it works:
First, decide on your give-aways. It could be a one-on-one coaching session with you, some fun podcast swag like a t-shirt or coffee mug, or free access to an online course you've put together.
Next, announce that you're running a podcast review contest, reveal what they're entering to win, and set a date when the contest will close. We suggest letting your competition run for roughly one week. If you cut off a contest too soon, you might not get many entries; if you let it run too long, your listeners won't feel a sense of urgency to enter.
Once the entry period is over, you can select the contest winner and announce it on an episode. Make sure to thank everyone who participated and tell them how much it helps the show when people leave reviews. Have the winner get in touch with you via email or your DMs so you can give them their prize.
Pro tip: Ask listeners to screenshot their review and email it to you, so you have an easy way to get in touch with them if they win.
Incentives are similar to contests but work toward a common goal vs. individual giveaways. You can decide to release premium content or even start a new podcast once you reach a certain amount of reviews. Whichever incentive you pick, make sure it's in line with your own goals and your audience's interests.
Tools to help you keep track of reviews
Once you start getting more reviews, you'll need a way to keep track of them. If you have your podcast listed on all of the major directories (which we highly encourage), you'll get reviews from several platforms. To avoid having to log in to each platform individually, consider using a service like MyPodcastReviews or Podrover to help you keep track of your reviews all in one place.
The MyPodcastReviews' setup is quick and straightforward. To get started, create an account or start a 14-day trial. Then, claim your podcast(s), and go to your dashboard to immediately see your reviews from Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Podchaser, and Castbox. Podrover has a similar setup, offers a 30-day trial, and has cheaper options if you only need to track one podcast.
Final thoughts & more growth strategies
Getting reviews is a pivotal part of building your podcast's reputation and persuading others to listen. Just like any growth strategy, though, it's just one tactic of many, and we suggest using a variety of methods to avoid over-focussing on any one in particular. These powerful podcast growth strategies can help you brainstorm more ideas to expand your reach!