A call to action is a request to your listeners to perform an action. A lot of podcasters ask for ratings and reviews. I’m sceptical of the value of this. The usual claim is that this helps others to find us. When I think about how I find new podcasts, ratings and reviews don’t figure at all in my calculations. I go to search on the Podcast app and type in a name or a topic. From there I listen to an episode to see if I like what I hear. If I do, then I “subscribe” or, as it is more commonly being called nowadays, “follow” the show. Some of the best shows I listen to had at the time of subscription, not one rating nor any review.
So I’m not sure that’s a thing worth pursuing. I have asked my listeners to tell everyone they know, any way they can about the show and seen a bit of a bump in listeners. This is actually one of the best calls to action for any show. Word of mouth is the gold standard for referrals. And given that you’ve framed your show to be about the lives and stories of your people, clients, staff and management as people, a referral from a trusted friend or family member will have a new listener, at the very least, having a listen and more probably subscribing/following.
Another call to action that’s helpful is to let people know the full show notes are on the website. This means the show notes as published through the podcast host are minimal. Include a link to the blog post of the full show notes and an email address and/or a social media link. If you have a facebook page or group, for instance. Or you can leave that last one out if you’re focussed on growing listener numbers.
Other calls to action I’ve seen work are links to freebies that relate to the episode. A small business show I listen to crafts a pdf checklist download for each episode to reinforce what they’ve been teaching/discussing. A disability organisation could provide a pdf on how to deal with roadblocks in the NDIS system, for example.The “freebie” has to make sense in relation to the episode or people won’t bother but that’s not difficult. This is a good way to build an email list but only if your content is useful. I don’t think I can emphasise this enough, your content must lead the way to your call to action. Equally I wouldn’t start asking for emails in return for a freebie until the start of the third season, assuming 10 episode seasons, one season to the seasons of the year. Numbers first, extras second.
Even if you choose to ask for ratings and reviews, content drives actions. If your content doesn’t resonate, your listeners will not respond to a call to action.
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