When you’ve put your heart and soul into making your podcast you want everyone to know about it. As much as you can blow your own trumpet, the most valuable recognition is from your listeners. Not only do you get the personal gratification of knowing your audience enjoys your content, but this social proof is an effective way of attracting newcomers.
For obvious reasons, all podcasters want those 5-star raving reviews. Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done. In this guide, we explain why podcast reviews are invaluable marketing tools, how to make the most of them, and how to encourage your listeners to write you a review.
- Podcast reviews are important for building an audience, bolstering your reputation, and for your podcast ranking
- To get more podcast reviews ask your listeners, run a giveaway, and make it as simple as possible to leave a review
- Keep track of your podcast reviews using services like Podrover or MyPodcastReviews
- Podcast reviews are more than just ratings. Treat them as feedback and an opportunity to learn from your listeners.
What are podcast reviews?
Podcast reviews are written testimonials, feedback, opinions, and impressions left by your listeners.
Just like a standard movie or theatre review, podcast reviews range from 1 - 5 stars to reflect the reviewer’s opinion. Although in an ideal world all reviews would be both honest and five-star, this isn’t always the case, and you’ve got to be prepared to receive some bad reviews too. It’s all part of the process.
Podcast reviews are typically a reflection of what your podcast audience thinks about your podcast as a whole and not of a specific episode.
Why are podcast reviews important?
Podcast reviews help your podcast ranking
It’s no secret that many major podcasting platforms, such as Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), draw on ratings and reviews to calculate podcast rankings and charts. So, if you want your podcast to be at the top, you’ve got to get those reviews.
Podcast reviews attract new listeners
Podcast reviews give you instant, credible social proof, and in the long run, will contribute to audience growth. Even if you’re shouting from the rooftops about how good your own podcast is, an objective third party giving you their stamp of approval is far more likely to convince potential new listeners to give your podcast a go.
Podcast reviews build your reputation
Honest feedback, genuine podcast reviews, and five-star ratings on your podcast page help to build your podcast’s reputation and grow your audience. Just like when you’re looking to purchase a new product, reviews play a crucial role in convincing you of whether it’s worthwhile and reputable. The same goes for your podcast.
Podcast reviews are a great source of feedback
Podcast reviews are an invaluable interface to learn about what your listeners really think. Beyond the gratification you get from the good reviews, think about what you can learn from the mediocre or bad reviews. You can gauge what your listeners are loving...and what they’re not. What they’d like to hear more of, and what they’d prefer you not to include. All of this is crucial feedback that can inform the development of your podcast as you move forward.
Where do listeners review podcasts?
Listeners can leave a review in one of two ways:
Through their podcast listening platform
Listeners can leave reviews directly through their listening platform. Apple Podcasts makes leaving a review super easy, and as you’ll have noticed, when browsing their podcasts, reviews and ratings are easily accessible.
Spotify Podcasts and Google Podcasts do not currently have a review function, so if a substantial portion of your audience listens using one of these two, they won’t be able to leave a review directly.
Through websites such as Podchaser
Podchaser is the place to discover new podcasts. Podchaser allows listeners to review specific podcast episodes so that their community knows which episodes are worth listening to.
Users can follow others to keep track of their latest reviews and ratings on their Podchaser feed.
How to get more podcast reviews
The more reviews you can get, the better. For obvious reasons, you’ll want to gather as many genuine reviews as possible. Unfortunately, convincing your listeners to leave a review can be harder than it sounds. Here are some effective tactics to get more podcast reviews:
Start by asking your friends, family, and core fans
If you’re just starting out in the podcasting world or have a smaller audience, reach out to your friends, family, and biggest fans and ask them to leave you a review. Your inner circle is likely to write your podcast up kindly and will help you to accumulate a small number of reviews to get started.
Ask your audience to leave a review at the end of each episode
As the saying goes: if you don’t ask, you won’t get. Asking your audience to leave a review is the simplest way to get more reviews for your podcast.
Make sure to make your request at the end of each episode. There’s no point asking at the beginning because your audience is likely to forget by the time they’ve finished listening. Plus, there’s nothing worse than settling in to enjoy a podcast only to be interrupted by a plea for a review before you’ve even started.
Readout reviews on your show
This is a great way to thank listeners for leaving a review and encourage those who haven’t yet to do so. Reading out positive reviews and giving a special shoutout to individual listeners will make your audience feel good and create an incentive for reviewing your podcast!
Make sure it is easy to leave a review
Make leaving a review as straightforward as possible. Some of your audience may not realize that they can leave a review at all. Explain how they can and why they should.
The simpler, the better. Any barriers to entry will discourage listeners from taking the time to write you a review. Make sure there is an easily accessible link that quickly directs your audience to the review page.
Ensure to include a link in your show notes, podcast transcription, and if you have one, your podcast newsletter.
Top tip: use prettylinks.com or bitly.com to create a shorter, customized URL. These websites will allow you to create a link that looks something like this www.yourpodcast.com/reviews
Incentivize leaving a review
Give your listeners a reason to write a review. Although some of your audience will leave you a raving review simply because they love your podcast, others will need more of a reason.
Run a giveaway or contest
Offer a prize to a lucky listener who leaves you a review. A good way to maximize your numbers is by asking your listener to tag a friend in your giveaway posts on social media.
Do a review swap
Although we wouldn’t recommend this as your only strategy for getting reviews, you could participate in a review swap. This is where podcasters exchange reviews for each other’s shows for mutual benefit. This can be a good way to kickstart your review page.
How listeners can leave a podcast review
- Log in to your Apple Podcasts account using your Apple ID
- Navigate to your podcast’s page on Apple Podcasts
- Scroll down to Ratings and Reviews
- Click Write a Review
- Give your review a title - this should highlight the main points of your review
- Rate the podcast from one to five stars
- Write a review - include anything from your thoughts, reactions, impressions, points for improvement, and things you love about the podcast.
- Click ‘Save’
- Log in or create an account with Podchaser
- Navigate to your podcast’s page
- Click ‘Rate Podcast’ or if you want to review a specific episode, scroll down to find the episode and then click ‘Rate Episode’
- Rate the podcast from one to five stars
- Write a review - explain what you thought of the podcast, your thoughts, reactions, and feelings, and why you’d recommend the podcast.
- Include any tags which explain what the podcast is about
- Click ‘Save’
How to keep track of all your podcast reviews
When your listeners start leaving reviews it can be difficult to keep on top of all of them - especially if they’re coming in from a variety of listening platforms. Websites such as Podrover and MyPodcastReviews compile all your podcasts in one place for a simple overview.
Use Podrover if your main listening platform is Apple Podcasts.
What: Podrover automatically monitors your reviews from Podchaser and Apple Podcasts.
- Notifies you whenever your podcast receives a new review
- Receive daily and weekly reports
- Organize and categorize your reviews by country, date, and rating
- Makes sharing your reviews to your socials extremely easy
Pricing: ‘Pluto’ plan, $50/year to track up to 3 podcasts
Use MyPodcastReviews if your listener base is dispersed across several listening platforms.
What: MyPodcastReviews gathers your reviews from Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Podchaser, and Castbox
- Daily or Weekly reports about your podcast’s performance
- Members-only training and resources to grow your podcast audience
- Your own FollowthePodcast.com page to grow your podcast audience
- Shareable reviews for your socials
Pricing: ‘Small’ plan, $50/year to track up to 2 podcasts
How to make the most of your podcast reviews
Podcast reviews mostly do the work for you by offering social proof and celebrating your podcast, but you can also use them to your advantage.
Use reviews to engage with your audience
Thank your listeners for taking the time to leave your podcast a review, spotlight individual reviews during your episodes and feature the best 5-star ratings and reviews on your social media. This will help you cultivate a dynamic and engaged relationship with your audience, and make them feel part of the conversation and the development of your podcast.
Use reviews to market your podcast
Reviews are free marketing and the most powerful social proof, so don’t forget to harness their power. You can create specific Instagram posts highlighting the best reviews or feature testimonials on your podcast website to attract new listeners.
Learn from the bad reviews
Although it can be difficult to take negative reviews in your stride, try as far as possible to learn from your mistakes and incorporate any constructive criticism into your podcast as you move forward.
Most importantly? Don’t take the bad reviews personally!
Podcast reviews are powerful assets - they give you invaluable social proof to help you build your audience and establish a reputation. Plus, they’re a great source of gratification for all your hard work.
If you’ve invested time, energy, and passion into your podcast, you most definitely deserve those five-star reviews. Although it seems counter-intuitive, getting your listeners to leave a podcast review is on you. Follow the strategies we’ve outlined, and you’ll start receiving the stellar reviews you’ve been waiting for. Time to get started.