One of the eternal podcast questions! Some may argue against the necessity for reviews in a landscape where there is a greater variety of podcast sources than ever before, but at this moment there are still some massive benefits to getting up the reviews for your pod. While companies like Apple still refuse to reveal exactly what their algorithms use to push podcasts up and down the charts, it still seems that reviews may play a factor.
Additionally, reviews still work for their original function for some podcast users, and having a lot of reviews in favour of your podcast can help to continually grow your audience.
So, how do you get reviews for your pod?
There are a few different ways and even variations on those specific ways on how to ask for reviews:
1. Ask friends and family
Yes it may feel obvious, but many feel shy about reaching out to our support bases.
That’s what they are there for though! To support you! So ask them to give your pod a review!
Obviously this isn’t perfect because the discerning podcast listener can look at a slew of reviews and notice they are all around the same date and realise those reviews have been organised. But it can still help.
2. Celebrate the reviews
Read them out on your podcast or make meme posts about them where you quote them. Create a positive vibe around reviewing your show. While this on its own may not make people review your podcast, it will create the environment where people are more inclined to do so if you use other techniques to encourage them to do so.
3. Engage with the reviews
You can go beyond celebrating the reviews and actually engage with them. Yes you can read them out, but if they say something specific, engage with that. If it’s a request, do what they ask. Make reviewing one of the ways your listener can engage with your show.
4. Make sure to show them how to review
Remember that not everyone is the veteran podcaster that you might be. Many may even be new to podcasting, and might not even know how to reviews. Do a bit of video content on your socials, for instance -“Hey, hope you’ve liked the pod, if you want to see more, why not throw me a review, here is how you can do it”…and show it in video form.
This is a bit like ‘engaging’ but is also a bit more like bribery. You are essentially asking for reviews in exchange for additional content. You can say things on your pod like “once I reach 25 reviews I will do____”. Maybe you’ll produce additional content, or do something listeners especially want from you. Just make sure to follow through. Also keep in mind that you will need to make it clear what app or device you are asking for these reviews on. Also keep in mind that on Apple Podcasts reviews only show up in the region the listener is from, so you will need a resource like “chartable’ to gather all the reviews.
6. Do review competitions
(This is definitely thought of as cheating by some). Reviewing will get listeners in the running for a prize. Just make sure to get them to screenshot the review and message you on your socials so you have some way of contacting them if they win.