Podcasting Tips

5 Stars: How Reviews Can Help Your Podcast Grow

You might have heard your own favorite podcasters ask for reviews on Apple Podcasts from their audience. It might seem like an arbitrary ask, but there’s a real reason behind these requests. Reviews act as testimonies to show others the value of your show, as well as an open forum for engaged listeners to share their honest thoughts on your content.

Reviews can be a treasure trove of positive and constructive feedback that can be used to grow your show!

How Reviews Help with Growth

The invention of the internet allowed people all over the world to share their thoughts, opinions, and whatever else came to mind. Naturally, this evolved into what we see as online reviews. Every product, every book, every restaurant, every piece of content has some sort of review attached to it. Reviews help consumers better understand if they should invest either their money, time, or effort (sometimes all three!) in a product or service.

Podcasts aren’t immune to this review phenomenon. A good review acts as a testimonial for your show. Public proof that your show resonates with podcast listeners. Think about when you search for a product or service online; it’s more than likely that you read some reviews before deciding whether to buy the product/service or not. Reviews act similarly for podcasts, where listeners leave honest feedback on how they feel about your show. If you have enough “good” reviews, then the chances are higher that a curious potential listener becomes a dedicated fan.

Taking the time to read through your reviews can also help you highlight what’s working for your show and what’s not. Of course, it’s important to look at your reviews with an equal balance of openness and skepticism. Some reviewers may not have the best intentions at heart, unfortunately, but those are few and far between!

Different Ways to Get Reviews

There are plenty of ways to receive reviews from your audience! How and when you ask is paramount to garnering reviews for your podcast. So, let’s take a look at a few ways you can broach the topic of reviews with your audience!

Be Honest with Your Audience

Your most dedicated listeners are sure to want to help you succeed in podcasting. Lean on them to help get things started. A good way to ask is to be truthful in your request, something like “You can help support the show by leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts / Goodpods / etc.” or “Leaving us a review will help us to grow our show!”

Giving your audience a way to support you, aside from financial means, will make them feel connected to your success. Leaving a review, sponsoring your show, and interacting with your content all help with the success of a podcast!

Make It a Seamless Experience

A great way to deter folks from following through on your request is to make it difficult to achieve. You want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to leave you a review. You can reduce friction by:

  • Adding a link in your show notes to your  Apple Podcasts show page and/or other review sites.
  • Sharing the link to your Apple Podcasts show page on social media when sharing your episode.
  • Making a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your audio on how and where to leave a review.

Creating an easy experience to leave a review will most definitely help in racking up the number of reviews!

Try Incentivizing

A small reward for leaving a review can show your appreciation for the effort your audience put in for you. You could make it a collective goal, like releasing a special episode after reaching 100 reviews, or covering a topic your listeners have been asking for, or inviting a special guest to your show. Really anything to entice your audience to leave you a review! (But be careful when asking for reviews! You don’t want to promise money or anything that might be considered fraudulent!)

Thanking especially stellar reviews can also be a big incentive for your listeners. Shoutout those reviews in your episodes or on your social channels to both show your appreciation and encourage other folks to leave you a review, too!

Leverage Your Network

Much like you can Cross-Promote with other podcasts, why not exchange (honest!) reviews with your fellow podcasters? You could even include the idea when proposing a Cross-Promotion with another show. We love to see podcasters supporting other podcasters!

A Word on “Negative” Reviews

Of course, no one wants to receive a bad review but these reviews can also help make your podcast better and even help it to grow. While negative reviews are not possible to remove, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do something about them!

Instead of just ignoring them or writing them off, try reading them with an open mind (at least the ones that have real criticism in them.) Having an open mind can help you to better digest the feedback and apply it in the future. Which, in turn, can make your podcast that much better and possibly winning back that negative reviewer!

You could also address those negative reviews in your podcast, though you want to be careful not to come off as too harsh or flippant. A good way to respond to negative reviews with true criticisms is to talk openly about what you’re doing to improve. Ultimately, people just want to hear that their thoughts and opinions were taken seriously, and a good way to show that is to speak openly about it.

Finally, not all negative reviews are helpful. Some are made with malicious intent and there isn’t much you can do about that. It’s pretty difficult to have these reviews removed from Apple Podcasts and other review platforms, but it doesn’t hurt to try if the review itself contains hate speech or similar harmful content that violates the platform’s Terms of Service.

Reviews can be a blessing, even if others see them as a nuisance, since they can help to “vouch” for your podcast. Embrace them and turn them into a tool for growth!

Interested in growing your podcast? See what RedCircle can do for you!