Despite social media, podcast apps and charts, podcast reviews – whether its word of mouth recommendation or ratings on a screen – are still one of the most popular ways to discover new shows. Nothing stokes FOMO in a curious listener more than a rave review (or even a bad one), and as a podcast host, there’s no better way to get constructive feedback on your show.
Getting podcast reviews can be tricky, but the value they add is more than worth the effort. In this guide, we’ll show our method for getting more podcast reviews, how to use them to develop your podcast and how to repurpose them into marketing material to win more listeners!
In this article...
Why Do Podcast Reviews & Ratings Matter?
There are all sorts of myths surrounding podcast reviews. Do they help you climb the Apple Podcasts charts? Do they push you to the top of the recommendations on Amazon Music? The answer is very unlikely. And that’s not why you should care about podcast reviews, anyway.
Positive or negative, podcast reviews matter for three vital reasons:
They Help to Engage Your Audience
People love to share their experiences with podcasts, especially if you engage positively with their opinions and take their feedback into account! When given the chance, your listeners will relish the opportunity to shout about something they love and are proud to be a part of.
They Attract New Listeners
Podcast reviews are social proof. When you’re looking for a new kettle, you’re more than likely to check the reviews to make an informed decision. Similarly, when looking for something new to listen to, you want to know that it’s worth your time.
Ratings and reviews help connect potential listeners with new podcasts by telling them up front what your content is like, how it sounds and what it’s like to be part of the fan community.
They Give You Valuable Feedback
Podcasting often feels like a one-way street, but remember: podcasts live and die by their audiences as much as their hosts.
Reviews are a useful, honest peek into how your podcast is being received out in the world, how people are responding to your content, and most notoriously, what they don’t like about it.
By reading through reviews and engaging with them, you’ll get a welcome perspective from the people who really matter: your listeners. Ask them openly for contributions, suggestions, what they’d like to hear and what could be improved. Your show will all the better for their input.
How to Get More Podcast Reviews in 3 Easy Steps
How can you encourage your listeners to leave reviews? Here’s our simple three-step process that you can rinse and repeat with every new episode!
Step 1 – Tell Your Listeners How to Leave a Review
The main reason why listeners don’t leave reviews is because they aren’t sure how to, or where’s best to leave them. There are hundreds of podcast listening apps, not all of which support reviews, so the confusion is understandable!
To get around this, lay out clearly where and how listeners can leave a review for your show. Do all the homework for them so there’s zero doubt. This means spelling out the URLs and laying out all the steps ahead of them so they know how long it’ll take, what they’ll need to do and what they’ll get in return. To do this, you could:
- Record a short bonus episode or clip you add at the end of your episodes
- Record a YouTube video or screen share of you leaving a review
- Create a quick graphic to put on your podcast website or share over social media
All of these options only need to be done once and be used over and over again to educate new listeners or encourage existing ones to rate and review.
To know which directories to zone in on, take a look at ‘How They Listen’ within your Captivate analytics dashboard. This chart will tell you which apps and directories are most popular with your audience.
In this example, Chromecast, Spotify and Apple take the top 3 spots, followed by PodcastAddict and Overcast. You’d definitely want to encourage listeners to leave reviews on Apple Podcasts and PodcastAddict, but neither Spotify, Overcast or Google Podcasts have the ability to do so. For those listeners, it makes sense to send them to your Podchaser profile.
Step 2 – Make It Easy for Them
Make it easy for listeners to leave reviews by putting clear calls-to-action wherever they will see them. Here are some easy ways to encourage listeners to rate and review:
- Use Captivate’s custom calls-to-action to encourage listeners using your podcast player to leave a review.
- Add a clip to the end of every episode encouraging listeners to rate and review your podcast. You can record this once and place it into all your episodes as you would an ad-read or segment.
- Use Snippets to easily create and drop in instructions on how and where to leave a review, along with your links, into your show notes.
- Place your Podchaser link on your podcast website so visitors can clearly see your ratings and leave one themselves. P.S. Captivate does this automatically for you on Captivate Sites™!
- Purchase a vanity URL or set up a Pretty Link that redirects to your My Podcast Reviews, Podchaser or Apple Podcasts page. Call it something that listeners can easily remember off the top of their head, like ReviewCatsPodcast.com or CatsPodcast.com/Review.
Step 3 – Reward Your Listeners for Leaving Reviews
Rewarding your listeners can encourage them to leave more reviews. This could mean giveaways or prizes, but a more sustainable approach is to give shout-outs and engage with reviews in your episodes as part of a segment.
If your listeners know that they could get a personal shout-out just for leaving a review, they’re more likely to get involved. This tactic encourages a real sense of community and gives your audience more access to you as a host. Interacting with fans in this way shows them that you value their input, feedback and are willing to take their comments on board.
3 Ways Use Your Reviews to Grow and Market your Podcast
Every new review you get can be repurposed into ready-made marketing material for your podcast, both in your episodes and across your promotional channels. Here are some of our top recommendations that can actively help the growth of your podcast.
1. Create a Reviews Page on Your Website
What better way to use your reviews than to celebrate them? Show off your five-star ratings and best reviews on your website as further proof that your podcast is worth listening to.
Pro-tip: This is a golden opportunity for a call to action! Include links and instructions on how listeners can leave a review themselves.
2. Create Shareable Graphics for Social Media
Use Canva to create free testimonial graphics for your social channels or newsletter. Use most of your canvas space for the review, then reserve the bottom third for a call-to-action to leave a review. Remember: don’t leave any room for doubt! Tell your listeners exactly what to do and how they can do it.
These shareable graphics can be shared far and wide whenever you publish a new episode, as both a reminder to listen and to engage in reviewing your podcast.
Pro-tip: Short on time? Set up a Zap with Captivate’s integration to automatically send out a review reminder every time you publish a new episode.
3. Include Reviews in Your Sponsorship Kit
If your goal is to monetize your podcast, make sure to include any reviews and ratings in your sponsorship deck. Reviews are an authentic demonstration of how engaged your audience is, and that you create valued content. Both of these factors will go a long way in persuading your potential sponsor that your podcast is worth their investment.
Pro-tip: Captivate’s auto-generated PDF sponsor kit provides a strong starting point for building out your sponsorship pitch. In one click, get your stats overview, contact details, top episodes and listener avatar presented beautifully, saving you hours of designing time!
Recap: Our Simple, Repeatable Formula for Reviews
Reviews are the bread and butter of every podcast. They’re essential for getting feedback, growing your visibility and engaging your audience. Asking for reviews should be as natural as publishing a new episode! In this guide, we’ve shown you our rinse-and-repeat formula for getting more reviews:
- Tell your listeners where and how to leave reviews and ratings.
- Make it easy for them to do it by providing instructions and clear calls-to-action across all your channels.
- Reward your listeners for leaving reviews by giving shout-outs, highlighting star reviews and engaging with feedback.
Slot this simple flow into your episode publishing schedule and you’ll be rewarded with valuable feedback and social proof to help grow your podcast.
What to Do Next
- Join Captivate to get the support, education and features you need to grow your podcast. Start podcasting free for 7 days – no obligation to stay and no features held back!
- Get 17 easy, actionable tactics for marketing your podcast, including content repurposing, email marketing and paid advertising!