Feedback is important for all creators. Not only does it inspire us to continue creating, but it also helps us become better at what we do. You should, therefore, always look forward to getting more podcast reviews. If podcasting is more than a hobby for you, however, you’ll get a lot more out of reviews than just a pat on the back for a job well done. Reviews are a great way to promote your podcast and get more listeners. So encouraging people to share their opinions of your work is even more critical when you’re trying to monetize your craft. But what exactly can you do to inspire listeners to leave a review?
Why is getting more podcast reviews important?
Podcasts are all the rage today. According to some estimates, around half of all Americans regularly listen to them, and that number is going up. Hundreds of different podcasts across dozens of different platforms take up all kinds of topics, from news and politics to celebrity gossip to true crime to science fiction. If you can think of a topic, you can find a podcast about it. When you start recording your own podcast, you’ll have some serious competition no matter which niche you’ve chosen to talk about.
So how will you stand out? The answer lies in good reviews.
To start with, many platforms use the number of reviews and the rating to determine which podcasts to promote. The more reviews you receive and the better they are, the more likely these platforms are to recommend your podcast to new listeners, include it on a top list, or put it on their homepage.
Reviews are equally convincing for people as they are for bots – they’re proof that people have listened to your podcast and enjoyed it. People are more likely to start a new podcast when previous listeners have recommended it by giving it good reviews. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that reviews let podcasters know they’re doing a good job. This inspires us to keep going and make more episodes.
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The best tips for getting more podcast reviews
Reviews are only helpful when they’re genuine. Therefore, the goal is to inspire actual listeners to give feedback; you shouldn’t generate fake reviews yourself just to improve your numbers. So what can you do to encourage your listeners to review your podcast instead?
#1 – Produce quality content
It should be reasonably obvious that people are unlikely to take the time to review mediocre podcasts. More often than not, they’ll only leave a review when they’re either very happy with a podcast or very unhappy with it. It is, of course, in your best interest to stand out for the right reasons. So you’ll want to do your best to create a podcast that people will actually like enough to rate.
Start with the technical aspect – this will be the most obvious and immediate cause for dissatisfaction if you get it wrong. Even if you’re recording from home, you need to sound professional. Invest in a good microphone, create a recording area where you’ll minimize background noise, and edit your podcasts to give them higher production value. Then you can focus on the content. Choose a specific niche that you’ll talk about; talking about everything under the sun won’t attract many avid listeners. Ideally, you’ll want a topic that you’re an expert on. Finally, make it interesting. Combine sound effects, guests, and themes to make your content new and exciting even after hundreds of episodes.
#2 – Use a platform that allows reviews
Most podcasters cover their bases by publishing their podcast on multiple platforms— their own podcast website, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and more. This makes the podcast accessible to people who use different operating systems and prefer different platforms.
But not all platforms are the same. Some don’t allow reviews at all, while others require people to create a paid account before they can review a podcast. If you want to increase your chances of receiving reviews, upload your podcast to a platform where listeners can easily share their opinions.
It doesn’t have to be the only website that you post to (Spotify, for example, is so popular that you’ll want to use it even though it doesn’t allow reviews), but it should be one of them because you can’t get reviews if there’s nowhere for you listeners to leave them.
#3 – Be proactive and ask your listeners for feedback
The best thing you can do to encourage reviews on your podcast is to simply ask your listeners to rate and review on whatever platform they’re using.
Come up with a good call-to-action that listeners will respond to. Then, include it at the end of every episode you record. Often, people simply forget to rate a podcast because they’re listening while doing other things or aren’t online at the given moment. But if you remind them frequently, they will eventually remember. And even casual listeners who only hear one episode will get the message.
#4 – Show your appreciation for the reviews you receive
If you’re grateful for the reviews you receive, then say so. Just like reviews make you feel appreciated, responding to reviews makes your listeners feel appreciated. If you’re using a platform that allows reviews, you can respond to them directly. Otherwise, you can mention the top reviews in the podcast itself and respond to them that way. Reviews can be a great way to start conversations with your listeners and build a community where they feel heard and cared about.
This will make them more loyal to your podcast and you as a creator. Finally, use reviews in your marketing – put your rating on the promotional material and display top reviews on the homepage of your website. Not only is it good promotion, but it also makes reviewers feel recognized.
#5 – Take your listeners into account when recording future episodes
As much as you enjoy recording a podcast, you won’t get far without listeners. So it’s essential to create content that they will enjoy, not just content that you yourself like. And reviews can be beneficial in letting you know what your listeners are looking for. Check out the comments on your latest episodes – what did your listeners like? What were they not happy with? Have they given any suggestions as to what you can do better? Are there any podcast guests they want you to host?
Of course, you’ll never be able to please absolutely everyone, and you cannot let others dictate what you create. But if you notice that you receive particular suggestions often, you should consider implementing them into the podcast. It’ll make you better at what you do, and it’ll make your listeners happier with what you produce.
#6 – Promote your podcast
Getting the word out there is essential when you’re trying to attract more listeners. Relying purely on the podcast platforms you’re using is simply not enough for this.
You’ll need to expand your marketing efforts.
Starting a website for your podcast or production company is an excellent first step. But social media is where you’ll really want to shine. Considering how popular the different social media platforms are these days, a social media marketing campaign is all but necessary. This is especially true when your target demographic matches that of social media, which it usually does when you’re in the podcasting business.
But social media marketing is constantly changing. Not only are popular platforms constantly changing (look at the sudden rise in importance of TikTok, for example), but the best way to use those platforms is too. Which hashtags should you use? What is going to go viral? Is it better to be serious or funny? The success of your social media marketing campaign will depend on your ability to keep track of these trends. So as your podcast grows, you may want to consider employing a team of marketing professionals to promote it. This will attract more listeners and thus more reviews as well.
What should you do after getting more podcast reviews?
Getting more podcast reviews is only the first step – you need to know how to make the most of them too. So as the reviews start coming in, you should:
- respond to all reviews if you can – it shows that you care about your listeners
- read reviews during your podcast – this makes your listeners a part of your podcast
- change your content based on the feedback you receive – improve your podcast based on what your listeners are saying
- include reviews in your marketing strategy – they create social proof and will attract more listeners
It’s important not to stop working towards encouraging reviews, even when your podcast has grown significantly. Reviews are always important, regardless of how successful you become. So make all these practices into a habit because you’ll need them for as long as you’re making your podcast.
Stacey Johnson is a digital marketing expert by profession and a podcaster by passion. She started her first podcast while she was in university, talking with fellow students about current events and politics. The experience was so fulfilling that she now plans to quit her day job and dedicate herself to the recording and broadcasting arts full time.
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