Do you want to grow your podcast? Getting more reviews is a great way to do so!
Reviews provide the opportunity for feedback that allows a podcast host to find out how their listeners are responding to their show. You put so much hard work into creating each and every element of your podcast and podcast reviews can help let you know that your listeners are truly connecting with it.
And not only do reviews provide feedback to the host, they can really useful for gathering new listeners. If your podcast, particularly on platforms like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or sites like Podchaser, have a number of positive, recent reviews, these can serve as the deciding factor for potential listeners to hit “play” on one of your latest episodes, which hopefully will be closely followed by hitting “Follow” or “Subscribe”!
This point alone should be enough of a drawcard for you want your listeners to be actively reviewing and rating your podcast.
So how do you actually get your listeners to review your podcast?
In this article, we share some simple strategies podcast hosts can use to encourage listener reviews.
Check them out below!
Bottomline here, you don’t get what you don’t ask for! And while it can be hard (and a little weird) to randomly go up to strangers and ask them for something, asking your listeners to leave reviews is different. They’re a part of your community and they’re on your team!
Your loyal listeners already love your show and what you do, so asking them to leave a review is simply asking them to share something that they love with others who might just love your podcast as much as they do if they only knew how great it is!
So ask! Use a call-to-action within certain episodes to make your appeal to your listeners. Ask those in your circle to leave their review. Put in a request in your email newsletter. Ask your followers on your social media platforms to listen and review. Let your listeners know why these kinds of reviews matter so much to you, and what they mean for the longevity of your podcast, and you’re sure to get a positive response.
2. Provide A Direct Link
One of the best way to get people to follow a request is to make it as easy as possible to do so! And that means making sure that you provide direct links for your listeners to simply navigate to and click/tap which will effortlessly take them to the site where they need to leave their review.
Start by putting the direct links in your show notes. This will make it convenient and easy for your audience to follow your call to action almost as soon as you’re finished asking your request. You could also put this direct link in your pinned tweet on Twitter, or add it to your bio on Instagram. Again, this just makes it completely easy for your listeners to hear your request, and then act upon it.
3. Provide A Template
And while we’re talking about making it easy, you should also consider designing and sharing a review template to make it even easier for your listeners to leave you one. I’m not talking about manipulating them into saying what you want to hear! Your template can just start them off or give prompts that they can answer.
Your template or prompts could include: “I’ve been listening to X podcast for….and what I enjoy most is….or “My favorite episode was….because….” and you could also include: “I listen to this podcast because…and I always come away feeling….”
Leave your template in your show notes so that your listeners can easily copy and paste, and fill in their review, or you could even make an editable download that they can use to fill in and just copy to add to wherever you would like your reviews to be left.
4. Run A Giveaway
Few things inspire action and participation like a giveaway! Giveaways, particularly when promoted on social media platforms like Instagram, are an almost fail-proof method for increasing audience engagement. And this means they are a really effective way to boost your reviews. Set up the guidelines of the competition so leaving a review of your podcast on the required directories gains them an entry into the giveaway, and remember, make it easy! Leave a direct link in your bio or on the post itself, depending on the platform, to where you want your listeners to leave their review.
Make sure that the prize on offer is something that will really appeal to your audience and you’ll be sure to get a great response. Giving a prize away in exchange for a review may feel like “cheating” but really, it is just an incentive to inspire the desired action. And can be the little nudge your listeners need to take the step they’ve been wanting to take anyway.
5. Offer Incentives
Besides the lure of a giveaway, there are other ways you can inspire the action of leaving a review. Depending on your brand, what you offer, who your sponsors are, etc. you could offer incentives for leaving a review.
Discounts, coupons, stickers, digital artwork, access to bonus content, personalized video messages, could all be amazing incentives for your listeners. Get a little creative, think outside of the box, and you can offer your listeners some super fun, relatively inexpensive incentives for leaving you a review.
6. Respond To Reviews
Want your listeners to give you their honest feedback on your podcast? Turn them into an opportunity for two-way communication between you and your listeners! Okay, what do I mean by this? I mean, reply to your reviews! Make it a habit to consistently offer a response to as many reviews as you can.
This shows your listeners that their reviews really do mean a great deal to you, that you take the time to actually read them, and then you go the extra mile to respond. Take note that this option is only available on certain platforms. Podchaser is one of the places where podcast hosts can respond to the reviews left by listeners, so be sure to include where your listeners should leave their reviews if you’re wanting to implement this strategy.
7. Give a Shoutout
Another really easy and super effective way to encourage your listeners to rate and review your podcast is by giving your reviewers personalized shout-outs. You could do this via your email newsletters and your social media posts, but how about during an episode! Getting a personalized “thank you” and recognition from your favorite podcast host is a great motivator to go and actually leave that review you’ve been meaning to write since you first signed up!
And what a great way to cement that connection between you and your listeners! Shout-outs cost you as the host nothing, but they would mean a great deal to your loyal fans! Make these shout-outs heartfelt, appreciative, perhaps even reading out some of the things your listeners wrote, and this will prove to be a very successful strategy!
8. Ask Your Guests
Lastly, if you’ve had a great time with your guest, and you feel comfortable doing so, ask your guests to give you a review! They will most likely to be more than willing to do leave a review, but may not have thought to do so. (Remember, sometimes you just need to ask!)
You could even ask your guest to extend the request to their community of loyal listeners. All of your guests (particularly if you have done your due diligence when approaching potential guests) should come with their own listener base. And if your guest asks their listeners to check out your podcast and leave a review, not only will they help boost your show’s credibility, but their listeners will also learn about (and love!) your podcast.
And what’s great about being a part of the podcast community is that it’s so easy to pay it forward! You can offer to review your guest’s show in return. Everybody wins!
Related read: Interviewing Podcast Guests: How To Turn Good Questions Into Great Questions
Reviews for your podcast are really effective ways to boost your authority, buff up your credibility, and can be the make-or-break factor when listeners are checking out your show. So don’t be afraid to ask for those reviews! Yes, it might feel a little weird the first few times you ask, but remember, you’re not asking people to “fake like” you! You’ve put in the hard work to consistently produce highly valuable content and deliver it through high-quality audio, and you’re simply reminding your listeners that there is a way for them to give you feedback, and help you keep making your show the best it can be.
So ask! And when you ask, make it easy for your listeners to follow your request. Direct them to the platforms that they can use, leave direct links in your show notes, and make appeals across different platforms. Offer incentives or prizes to get the ball rolling, and your podcast should soon be rolling in great podcast reviews!
Podcast hosts! Do you regularly ask your listeners for reviews? If you do, what strategies have proven to yield the best results? Share your feedback below!