Do podcast reviews really matter? It's a question that I’ve seen come up in podcasting communities time and time again. But just how valuable are they in the growth of your show? In this blog post, we'll dive into the nitty-gritty details around the purpose of podcast ratings and reviews, how to ask your audience for reviews and how to handle bad reviews. Strap yourself in and let’s explore the power of podcast reviews and what you should know about them as a podcasting business owner.
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS EPISODE:
- The purpose of ratings and reviews
- How to ask your audience for reviews + where to get them
- How to handle bad reviews
TUNE IN TO THE EPISODE
Do podcast reviews really matter? What impact do they have on the growth of my podcast? A popular question I've seen come up in podcasting communities time and time again. And depending on which podcast expert you speak to, you might get a different answer to that question. But today I’m sharing my opinion about how valuable podcast reviews really are when you’re podcasting for business.
Number one - The purpose of podcast ratings and reviews.
Podcast reviews allow you to obtain feedback from your listeners, a bit like social proof. As business owners when we receive testimonials and voice notes, from our clients we share these are part of our marketing because it shows potential clients what it's like to work with us and what they can expect. The same concept applies to our podcast reviews. Feedback from your listeners has the power to draw in new subscribers who may have been on the fence about giving your show a listen.
Podcast reviews help build credibility for your show and adds legitimacy to your overall brand.
Podcast reviews are a great way to get more listeners and increase your visibility in your niche, especially when you’re at the launch stage of your show.
Number two - How do you ask your audience to leave a rating or a review?
If you’re like me when I started out podcasting, you may feel a little uncomfortable asking your audience for their feedback. This is totally normal. You are not alone. But I’m here to reassure you that if your listeners love your show and they’re tuning in every week, they will want to share their thoughts with you.
The first thing you want to make sure you are doing is producing a show that your audience resonates with. This really does come down to having a structure, being super duper clear on who you're speaking to (which is part of your overall content strategy) and making sure the sound quality is good.
There is a belief in the podcasting industry that if your content is good, the quality of your audio won’t matter. I do not agree with this at all. Crap audio is a very quick way to turn people off so don’t cut corners on this one.
You can ask your audience to leave a rating and or a review in lots of different ways and I highly recommend doing a mix of the following rather than just one.
This is what I do for the Too Busy To Podcast podcast. Feel free to take what you want and leave what you don’t.
- Direct ask in my outro.
- Links on my podcast page on my website.
- Post a request on my Instagram stories or at the bottom of a feed post. It’s important to include the link so that people don't have to search for it. The key is to make it as easy as possible for your listeners.
- Added a link to the bottom of the show notes page for each episode.
- Ask a listener directly when they DM me about how much they love the podcast. The key is to have a bit of a conversation first before making the ask otherwise it’ll feel like that’s all you’re interested in.
- Adding the link to each episode description (the short blurb that accompanies your podcast episode in your hosting platform).
TIP: Add a question to your guest intake form asking whether they agree to leave a rating and or review when their episode goes live. Of course, you can't force them too but it sets the expectation from the very beginning.
I believe that the most important time to get reviews and ratings is when you launch your show. This isn’t to say that they don’t matter after launch, of course, they do but the two-week period after launch is key.
Whilst ratings and reviews don't necessarily play a factor in helping you to get into the Apple Podcast charts when people see your new podcast has a lot of engagement i.e. ratings and reviews, they may think your show is worth listening to.
As you continue to produce more and more episodes, I recommend asking your audience to share their feedback by leaving a review but I personally focus on more impactful ways of growing my show, like guesting on other podcasts.
Yes, 100%, podcast reviews can be powerful for a show's growth but I also prefer to put more importance on connecting with my audience directly in the DMs, via email or in the comments sections of my posts. This is more important to me.
Where can your listeners leave a rating and/or review?
Unfortunately, at the time of writing this blog post, there are only a handful of listening platforms that allows your listeners to leave a rating and/or review. On Apple Podcasts, you can leave a rating and a review. On Spotify, you can only leave a rating and that's a relatively new feature.
There are also other platforms like Podchaser and Podcast Addict in addition to rateyourpodcast.com or PodKite. The last two are great in that they allow you to create a single link that you can then share with your audience and when someone clicks the link, they'll be able to choose the platform that they'd like to leave their review on. These are paid platforms at around £10 to £15 pounds per month.
Not everyone knows how to leave a review.
Yes, it’s true. To make it easy for your listeners, write a blog post, similar to this one and share the link to your stories or in the DMs. You could even do a screen recording on your phone and show them step-by-step how to do it. It only takes a few seconds and can be saved in your podcast highlight on Instagram for easy access.
Number three - How to handle bad reviews.
There is a very high likelihood that you will receive a bad rating or review at some point during your podcasting journey. It’s just a part of being on the internet. I recently noticed myself recently that someone had left a two-star rating for my podcast and I was gutted. I’ll be honest. That was my initial reaction. I’d had a streak of five stars up until that point. But that feeling was fleeting. They didn't leave a review along with the rating so I had no idea what they didn’t like about the show and who’s to say it was even a genuine review? Maybe someone was having a bad day. Who knows?
To be fair, when I’m looking for new podcasts, I don’t look at the reviews. It’s usually the podcast name that captures my attention, then I’ll read their show description, then I’ll have a look at their last 5 - 10 episodes and if I find one that interests me, I’ll hit play. Maybe it’s the same for you too?
When it comes to bad reviews, my advice to you would be to take it with a pinch of salt and hope that new listeners focus on the positive ones and decide to make their own judgements. If the reviewer shares something that you think is valid, by all means, consider what they’ve said but if it seems to come from a malicious place, don’t worry about it too much.
When it comes to growing your podcast, reviews are a great way to gain invaluable feedback from existing listeners and they also act as social proof for potential new subscribers. I want to encourage you though, not to get to hung up on how many reviews/rating you have or make it a huge focus to grow your numbers. As a podcasting business owner, if you focus on creating solid content that’s structured in a way that’s easy to consume and understand and focus on getting your show in front of many new people as possible, the reviews will flow naturally.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Connect with Rosemarie
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