If you skipped the above sponsor message, you missed the fact that there’s a new sponsor of Podcast Pontifications. Thanks, Daniel! That sponsor, My Podcast Reviews, provides a service to help you get more and track all of the reviews people leave for your podcast.
But what's the point? You and I both know that while ratings and reviews are a thing some people choose to do, they don't really influence anything important. Thought that’s a little too simplistic.
It is true that we have no actual evidence to support the notion that having more favorable ratings or reviews for your podcast will cause your podcast to be ranked higher than other podcasts in any algorithmic-based “Top 200” or whatever number list.
On the contrary! We have ample evidence that disproves that notion. That evidence is often in the form of comments made by the people responsible for maintaining those ranking algorithms.
But reviews do have an influence—perhaps an oversized influence—on something more important than ranking algorithms: human behavior.
Humans, psychologists tell us, are often greatly influenced by reviews or products and services. So podcasts too, it stands to reason.
That’s why it’s important for every podcaster to celebrate reviews for their podcasts. There are many ways to do that, but here are three ideas for you if you’re not sure where to start.
Celebrate The Review In The Audio Of An Episode Of Your Podcast
On the surface, this seems a little nonsensical. The people who are listening to your show already know it’s amazing, or they wouldn’t be listening, right? Why risk bothering your listeners with something that’ll only be heard by people already listening?
Because reviews beget reviews, that’s why.
Hearing you give voice to a glowing review of your podcast, especially if you acknowledge the name of the person who left the review, can generate a fair amount of FOMO among your listeners who haven’t yet written a review. That’s a pretty big psychological draw, as people like recognition.
Heep in mind, however, that the quality and consistency of the contents of your episode are critical. Be deliberate in your choice of where to place review mentions. Resist the temptation to celebrate a review very early in your episode. Your listeners are here first and foremost for the content of the episode, not to hear you pat yourself on the back—even if it’s just for a few seconds.
I recommend adding the review mentions toward the end of your episode. Yes, it’s true that consumption drops off after the “meat” of the content has been delivered. So yes, it’s less likely your recitation of the review will be heard by 100% of your audience the further back you put it. To me, that’s less important than forcing everyone to hear the review earlier in the episode. But with all things in life, YMMV.
Also; be judicious with the reviews you showcase. I’m going to celebrate all of them. At least for as long as I can. But if your show is big enough—and fortunate enough—to attract dozens of reviews between episodes, it may be impractical for you to give voice to each and every review your get. But a good problem to have, right?
Celebrate Your Podcast’s Reviews On Your Podcast’s Website
A podcast website is an often overlooked staple of a podcast. But assuming you have one (and you really, really should have one), consider adding reviews to your show’s website.
Many people will first encounter your podcast on your website, not in a podcast listening app. Some may follow a link to your home page. Others may click on a search result and first land on one of your episode detail pages. In both cases, the new visitor may have no idea you even have a podcast!
When they discover they’re on a website for a podcast, don't make them wonder if your podcast is any good. Repurpose the social proof by posting reviews for your podcast directly on your website.
Each time I get a review for my show, I add the review to the CMS—content management system—that powers my website. That enables me to easily display the reviews right on my homepage without editing or rebuilding the page each time. It’s dynamic! Along with the review text, I add the date the review was provided, the name of the reviewer, and the platform they use to make the review. I'm working on adding a “review box” of sorts to my episode pages as well. They get a fair amount of search traffic, so I’d like to get that social proof on them as well.
But once again, I implore you to be deliberate in your choices. Your website has a job to do, and putting reviews in your visitors’ faces too early won’t help your podcast and might actually hurt the job the website is doing. So when in doubt and when you can, hire a designer with UX and/or CX experience to get this just right.
Celebrate The Review and Reviewer On Your Social Channels
Spend any time seeking out podcasting information on any social media site from Twitter all the way to Reddit and you'll soon see a flood of posts asking “got any good podcast recommendations?” Bringing a glowing review to their attention seems a better—and certainly less biased—choice than just saying “mine is great!”, right?
But the reach of the content you share socially is limited in large part by the number of friends/followers/connections you have on that platform. However, you don’t have to have a bazillion followers for this technique to work. Because done right, you can tap into the network(s) of the person who left a glowing review for your podcast.
Start by taking a screenshot of the review. (Bonus points if you can figure out how to make it a not-annoying animated gif since those seem to draw positive attention.) In the text of your social share, profusely thank the person who left the review and tag them in the text. Not just mention them by name, but actually tag their specific social media account on that specific share. Yes, that means doing a bit of sleuthing and research to match up the name on the review with various social properties. But it's time well spent, as it increases the chances of getting a reshare from that person, letting you piggyback on their audience.
To be honest with you, I’m good at implementing the last two of my suggestions. But I’ve not been very good at adding review mentions in the actual contents of my episodes, either in audio form or the text versions (one of which you’re reading right now). But I can change, right? I’ll do it in the Boostagram corner!
A big thanks to Seth Goldstein for leaving a nice review on Podcast Addict. He says:
Evo is an expert in the pontification of podcast knowledge. His approach to sharing this knowledge is approachable and enjoyable. I'm so glad I've discovered this podcast.
Why thank you, Seth! I am so glad you discovered this podcast. I’ll share your review later on today across my channels, as well as adding to my website before the day is over. Woot!
If you received value from this episode and you're using one of the fancy new value-for-value-enabled podcast listening apps, I greatly appreciate the sats you've set up to stream to me as you listen. As a reminder, you can hit that boost button to send me a message.
But I know from personal experience how complicated getting that set up can be. So BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra remains the easiest way for you to support my efforts with the purchase of one, three, or five virtual coffees. And if you want to go set-it-and-forget-it style, it’s easy to make that a recurring monthly contribution.
I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.
Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra. He’s on a mission to make podcasting better. Allie Press proofed the copy, corrected the transcript, and edited the video. Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.