The quality of reviews left by listeners is one of the key drivers for podcasts succeeding or failing.
The algorithms that are established by the likes of iTunes and Spotify are far from public with a great amount of secrecy about their platform methods, but it is public knowledge that ratings and commentary will drive visibility much like the actual download count itself.
Hosts should understand the value of this information, yet it is another step altogether to actually generate that activity from people who download episodes – whether that is on a regular basis as a subscriber or an occasional listener.
We will outline some approaches that will help to garner that support from participants who might not be quite motivated enough to make that action independently.
YouTube hosts will commonly blurt out the phrase “like and subscribe” for each of their videos at the start and conclusion of their piece. The same principle applies to podcast hosts who are seeking reviews from their audience when they request “rate and review.” This is a call to action (CTA) that should be scheduled at the start and end of the episode, ensuring that the important work is overseen at the bookmarked stages of the show. It is a short but effective means of detailing the value of this support if they find the program entertaining and/or educational.
Making Requests In The Show-Notes
Every podcast that is published through the main networks have to issue show-notes. This is a meta description that details the content of the program, what is involved and how participants can interact. Naturally the domain of reviews can be at the forefront of this area, making polite requests for listeners to leave their feedback through the right forums as a means for increasing engagement and outside exposure.
Making Review Discussion a Regular Segment
Reviews can go to a new level when listeners discover that their comments actually become a part of the show. Finding out that high profile figures and even everyday citizens can read out their opinion that is broadcast to the rest of the audience is a fun way to add a different dimension to the show. Especially for hosts who might struggle to pad out the running time for a daily program, it is an easy way to include more audio content and add more value.
Offering Prize & Reward Incentives
It might appear a bit like a soft form of bribery with reviews, issuing a quid pro quo of sorts, but marketing prizes and rewards for this positive feedback is part and parcel of the podcasting world. There is nothing illegal about the exercise or even dubious about the practice. It can drive sponsorship dollars by promoting their brand and offering products and services for their support. These shows can become like small niche communities so sharing and rewarding listeners can be a great way of ticking every box.
Cross-Referencing Between Accounts
While a majority of reviews for the podcast can be left on iTunes for a particular show, there should be a promotion of other domains for sites like Podbean, and KevsBest, TuneIn Radio and Spotify. If there are listeners who are versatile on their apps and their digital platforms, then there is every chance that they would be willing to replicate their glowing appraisal across to a different network.
Of course reviews are far from the only currency that will improve exposure and drive revenue with the program. With other SEO tactics and social engagement offering a way for hosts to improve their revenue streams and encourage outside investment, this feedback department is just one component of a larger strategy at play.
Having said that, the ‘rate and review’ philosophy should still be top of the agenda for hosts that want to see their program go to the next level and beat out the competition from other brands in the same category.