Podcast reviews are one of the most powerful tools a podcaster can use to establish and increase the social proof of their brand. It’s human nature to look to others when making decisions, whether it’s as simple as which podcast to try or as involved as choosing where to send your children to school. We gravitate towards items or things that other people have already tried and endorse. This is great news for you as a podcaster!
According to Trustpilot, nearly nine out of ten (89 percent) of consumers worldwide make an effort to read reviews before buying products. Having even a handful of reviews makes a huge impact when potential listeners are looking for new content.
To build listener confidence, it’s important to show that other people like your content enough to leave a podcast review. In this post, we’ll look a bit more into the principles at work when establishing social proof with reviews and how to encourage your listeners to leave you a review.
Podcast reviews boost social proof
Wikipedia’s definition of social proof: a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in a given situation.
We value the opinions of others and make decisions by taking social cues from others. There are many forms of social proof. One we’re all too familiar with these days is the influence of celebrity. Yes, I’m semi-ashamed to admit I’m one of the hundreds of millions of people who’ve bought a Kylie Jenner lip kit, helping her become the world’s youngest “self-made” billionaire. Look, we all make mistakes, ok?
What’s referred to as “wisdom of the crowd” and “wisdom of friends” are the two forms of social proof we’re discussing when looking at podcast reviews. These types essentially signal to us that what is good for most and good for my friends will also be good for me.
Pretty much every online retailer in the world, from Gap, Inc. all the way to the Etsy shop you bought that necklace from that you never wear, are dependent on the collective reviews of their customers. Your podcast is no different–it’s the product you’re selling. Hustling for even 4-5 positive reviews can influence listeners to choose your show over another.
Podcast Alert: While researching this post, I came across The Social Proof Podcast hosted by David Shands, the entrepreneur coach and consultant famous for his motto, “Sleep is 4 Suckers.” After listening to a few episodes, I highly recommend checking it out for some motivation and inspiration this week.
8 ways to get more podcast reviews
1. Ask, and then ask again.
The majority of your listeners are not going to leave a review unprompted. To get what you want, you have to ask for it. And the more you ask, the more likely it is that people will notice and respond. Here are a few key places to ask for podcast reviews:
- Your outro: While you can definitely prompt your listeners to leave a review at the beginning of your podcast, they haven’t listened to the episode yet. Asking for a review from the listeners that make it to the end of the episode and obviously enjoyed it is much more likely to generate a positive review.
- Friends and family: No one likes the pressure of being the first person to leave a review…so why not put that burden on the people you love most (just kidding… sort of). But, it’s likely that your friends and family are excited about your new accomplishment and will happily brag about you in a review. Once you have a few, it’s much more likely that others will want to chime in.
- Show notes: Include a link to leave a review in multiple places within your show notes. While they may be choosing to consume your content in a slightly different medium, if they find it of value, they might want to leave a positive review.
- Your newsletter: If a fan is engaged enough to subscribe to your email newsletter, they’re obviously a fan of your work and the community you’re building around your podcast. These are prime listeners to ask for reviews from. Having trouble growing your email list? Check out: 9 Ways Podcasters Can Grow Their Email Marketing List.
2. Provide a direct link: remove barriers
People are lazy. If you want them to do something, you have to make it as easy as possible. When you can, provide a direct link to your show on the platform of your choice.
3. Tap your fellow podcasters
Podcasters are a tight-knit community. You’re likely in regular contact with a handful of other podcasters in your genre or a few podcasters that were starting around the same time you were. Ask them for a review. Offer to leave one for their show. Work those connections and continue to strengthen those relationships.
4. Ask your guests (or podcasts you are a guest on)
When you host a guest on your show, it’s super common to ask a few specific things post-recording. These might have to do with social sharing of the episode or their appearance in their weekly newsletter. It couldn’t hurt to also ask them to leave you a review. They like your show and value your audience enough to take time to record with you; they likely won’t mind spending a minute or two leaving you a review.
5. Mine your social media channels
Your social media channels are a perfect place to look for positive comments or engaged fans that you could ask to leave you a review. If you see a listener (or listeners) who regularly comment and participate with you on social, it’s a great idea to ask them to leave you a review. It serves as a great direct contact with a listener, and you could gain a review out of it.
6. Give your reviewers a shout-out
People love to hear their names and be recognized. Start reading a particularly nice, funny, or informative review along with your prompt for reviews at the end of your episode. You could also devote a section of your website to podcast reviews and include the best ones as a shout-out.
7. Prompt reviews in unexpected places
Placing a request for podcast reviews in slightly unexpected places where people interact with you often is another way to catch more eyes.
- Email signature
- Footer of your website
- Business cards
- Social media about sections
- Bio (for your personal blog or on guest blog posts)
Because your listeners can leave you reviews across multiple platforms, it can be hard to keep track of them all. To help you keep up and receive an alert when someone leaves you a new podcast review, check out MyPodcastReviews or Podrover.