The Power of Reviews and Ratings: How They Impact Podcast Growth and Why They Matter

You might be surprised to learn that reviews and ratings matter in the world of podcasting and that they play a vital role in a show’s success for many reasons. Follow along to learn more about the power of ratings and reviews as we explore their impact on podcast credibility and growth. In this article we’ll also discuss strategies to help podcast creators incentivize and encourage their audience to leave reviews. 

Why reviews and ratings matter

You might be wondering if listener ratings and reviews actually have an impact on a podcast’s success. The answer is yes! They can actually have a significant impact on a podcast’s discoverability and are a great way to pull in more listeners. Consider it free advertising! Here’s why:

Positive reviews are a great way to advertise your podcast to potential listeners. Five-star reviews show that listeners love the podcast enough that they’re willing to take the time to give a rating. This indicates to a potential listener that the podcast is worth listening to, urging them to tune in. 

Think about it, have you ever been browsing for a new podcast and decided to listen to one because it had good ratings? Adversely, have you ever decided not to listen to a podcast because it had mostly bad ratings? This is just one of the many reasons why podcast reviews are so important is because they give potential listeners a glance of the content and a heads up as to whether or not that content is applicable to them or if it’s well received. They also help your show to stand out from others that don't have ratings. Surely, there are instances where negative reviews attract listeners looking for some *drama* but if that’s not your cup of tea, let’s aim for the stars. 

Positive reviews act like a defense mechanism. They protect your show by displaying its value, which works as a funnel to bring new listeners in. They indicate that your show is worth listening to and that it’s a great way to spend time because good reviews add credibility.

This defense mechanism can also greatly boost your podcast’s discoverability online since platforms like Apple, Spotify, and Google use specific algorithms to recommend shows, especially those that are well received and are gaining traction. Once your podcast starts to pull in heaps of reviews, it will likely start to be featured on global chart rankings, which also helps to boost listenership and build an audience. 

PRO TIP: Ratings and reviews are a great way to keep track of your audience’s needs and the way they react to different content. Feedback is extremely valuable because they can help you fine-tune your content in a way that better engages your audience and avoids bad reviews to begin with. 

How to encourage reviews and ratings

Now that we’ve established why podcast ratings and reviews are important, here are some tips from the pros for how to encourage your audience to leave positive reviews. 

Starting with the simplest, not to mention one of the most effective, methods to encourage reviews is to directly ask your audience to leave a five-star review. Try to do this at the beginning of the episode right before you start with the topic and once again at the end of the episode before you sign off.

  1. Example Intro: “Hey everyone! Thanks for tuning in to the All About Science Podcast. Before we get started, I just wanted to quickly ask you to leave a five-star review and in that review, tell me what kind of topics you want to hear from me!”

  2. Example Outro: “Thanks for tuning in to the All About Science Podcast. We hope you enjoyed today’s episode about owls. If you did, please leave a five-star review and let us know what you liked about it so we can try to bring more of what you like to hear! See you next time!”

When going this route, really emphasize the action of leaving a review and how positive reviews help your podcast thrive. Make it a mutually beneficial exchange by talking about how the reviews help your show, and how leaving reviews helps you make content they want to actually hear.

Another great way to get reviews is to take advantage of your social media presence. Create a post asking your followers to leave a review and make sure to include a link to the podcast review page so they know exactly where to go. Encourage your followers to share your post and to have their friends leave a review as well!

Along a similar vein, make sure that your listeners have an easy time leaving reviews by providing clear instructions. This can even be accompanied by creating a step-by-step guide sheet for them to follow on how to leave a review. It can be tricky to figure out how to leave a rating if you’ve never done it before, so make the process as easy as possible for your audience. 

PRO TIP: A good podcaster chooses to learn from negative feedback. Sometimes what looks like negative feedback can actually be constructive criticism if taken the right way. Bad reviews can certainly be disheartening but it’s important that you don’t let them bring you down. If there’s something to learn from, take it into account. If the reviewer is being rude for the sake of being rude, ignore it, stay true to yourself, and move past it however you can. We’ve learned that no matter how excellent your podcast is, bad reviews tend to happen regardless. So keep your head up high and keep on podcasting, friend!

Many podcasters opt for incentivizing their listeners to leave five-star reviews. Consider offering prizes to some lucky few winners who leave positive reviews. This can be done through hosting a giveaway, giving their social media page a shout out, or even speaking with them one-on-one to thank them for their feedback. Any way that you can motivate your audience to rate your podcast is a great way to help your show grow.  

Lastly, keep engagement at the forefront of your efforts. Respond to feedback you receive and make adjustments to your content where necessary. Take note of any recurring themes or suggestions from your listeners, and address these concerns in your podcast. This demonstrates that you value your listeners' opinions and are committed to improving your content.

It’s also important to highlight and celebrate good reviews. People love a shoutout from their favorite creators so hearing you mention their review is a great way to win their loyalty. This not only helps to showcase your podcast's success but also encourages more listeners to leave their feedback.

Boosting metrics for long-term success

Ratings and reviews are an essential part of podcasting as they can help your show succeed and grow on the podcast charts. By understanding how they help boost your podcast’s metrics, you can achieve long-term success and engagement with your listeners. Ultimately, your goal as a podcast creator should be to foster a strong connection with your listeners. Their loyalty and adoring reviews will help you stand out from any competition in the podcast industry.

Let’s get started on maximizing your content through harnessing the power of reviews ASAP! Book a time below to connect with one of our podcast experts to grow your brand.

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