If you’re a business owner or in charge of a business’s marketing efforts, then it’s likely you’ve heard of review marketing. In case you haven’t, review marketing refers to the free marketing strategy that is collecting reviews and leveraging them for more brand exposure and, hopefully, sales. It isn’t as simple as just soliciting reviews from your customer base, though; there’s more to it than that. In this post, we’ll explore exactly how you can optimise your marketing strategy through review marketing.
What does review marketing mean?
These days, customer trust and loyalty can be hard to come by.
Given that just about anyone can post anonymously on the internet, it’s natural that consumers have a healthy level of scepticism towards anything posted online. That even applies to the words that come from businesses since it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s fabricated in an effort to boost sales.
This is where review marketing comes in.
One of the best ways to get social proof for your business, which is necessary for converting sales when customers are on the fence, is to collect and share customer reviews.
You can drive sales by incorporating review marketing into your marketing efforts, which, you’ll be pleased to know, will cost you next to nothing!
Cost-effective marketing that should help you grow your business and boost sales almost sounds good to be true, but we’re here to tell you that it’s perfectly possible. Read on to discover the seven best ways to ensure your review marketing is a resounding success!
Review marketing: how to use reviews in your marketing strategy?
To use reviews effectively in your marketing strategy, there are several things you need to know. In this list, we’ll cover the top seven factors that will ensure your review marketing helps you attract new customers and convince existing customers to stay loyal to you.
1. Be present on important review sites
If prospective customers can’t find reviews of your business, then they might assume the worst and look elsewhere for the product or service they’re interested in.
With that in mind, you want your reviews to be easily found. Having a few displayed on your business website with a widget is good but likely won’t reach many new consumers. That’s why you need to establish a presence on one of the bigger review sites out there.
TripAdvisor, for example, is home to many business reviews in the tourism and hospitality sector. To give you an idea of how many people the website reaches, there are on average close to 400 million monthly unique visitors.
Then there’s Google My Business, which offers a substantial potential marketing boost for your business, since on average local businesses on the platform have 39 Google reviews. Consumers are more likely to leave reviews on platforms they are familiar with, and since Google is used by millions of people every day, it’s a safe bet that you’ll secure a good number of reviews on its platform.
2. Use reviews in emails
Email is both an excellent way to attract more customer reviews and to display reviews.
As a consumer, you want to know that a product or service is backed up by social proof. You want to know that others have got their hands on it and had a positive experience overall.
As such, when you receive an email about a product or service that comes accompanied by glowing five-star reviews, your eyes light up, and you’re more willing to open your wallet.
But what’s the best way to use reviews in your emails?
Keep them short and snappy.
Nobody wants to open an email that has several lengthy reviews. It’s best if the consumer doesn’t have to scroll down much to see all of the reviews since you may only have their attention for a matter of seconds.
You should also rely on alternative review sources, such as Tweets, Facebook comments, and more. Get creative, rather than relying on the typical style of five-star review that you’d see on Amazon.
3. Use reviews on important pages of your website
You might have guessed this already, but if you want your reviews to make an impact on website visitors, then you need to display them in prominent places.
For example, the landing page that consumers arrive on after clicking a link is a great place to have a review or two. As is your home page, since that’s where most users will navigate to if they’re not sure where to begin.
To keep things fresh, you can rotate reviews in and out using a widget, so there’s always a new review to see even if customers visit your website multiple times in a week.
One strategy that some websites have success with is using the sidebar to display a number of reviews in a list. That way, as the user scrolls down to find out more information about what you have to offer, they will also be met with a torrent of five-star reviews and glowing recommendations.
4. Use reviews in ads
You aren’t restricted to your website when it comes to showing off your best customer reviews, since you can also display them in search ads.
If you can get to the point with your business where you have a snippet on one of the first pages on Google for your niche, then you can have a star rating and other figures such as number of reviews posted in the search ad.
You can also get creative and pick a theme that evokes the feelings you want your consumers to feel.
Say you run a sneaker brand and you’re all about comfort, why not create an ad campaign around the idea of feeling comfortable and incorporate user reviews into the images or videos you use?
There’s nothing quite like customer-backed claims about a product, especially when combined with powerful imagery.
5. Share reviews on social media
On average, one in every four people will follow their favorite brands on social media. As such, if you have a good reputation among your customers, then you need to have a social media presence. And if you don’t, then you still need to focus on social media as it’s home to millions of active users every single day.
The best part about social media is that all you need is one Tweet or Instagram post to catch fire and go viral, and you will boost the exposure of your brand tenfold.
While it’s hard to strike upon the magic formula for virality, what you can do is put out regular content on social media in line with your brand image and share reviews which back up your words. You can even jump in on hashtags and discussions relevant to your line of business, to establish your business as an authority in its industry.
6. Make it Easy To Leave Reviews
If customers don’t know how to leave a review, then chances are, they won’t.
A lot of people are busy, and they’re not going to go out of their way to leave a review about a new product they bought – unless they’re obsessed with it.
So how do you convince more of your customers to leave reviews?
Make it easy for them to do so!
Send out an email to customers who have made a purchase with a link taking them to a page where they can leave a review. If the sale was made in person, have employees hand out cards with information on how customers can leave a review. Make a post on social media encouraging customers to let you know what they think about your product/service.
7. Be Transparent
Collecting reviews shouldn’t be seen as harvesting information from your customers. In some ways that’s exactly what it is, but you need to come across as human in your approach.
Instead of demanding that customers leave a review, inform them how their words and feedback can help you improve your product or service. Let them know that they can make a difference, and that you care what they have to say.
You can also help your cause by responding and interacting with customers on popular review sites. Show your customer base and any future customers that you don’t shy away from criticism and that you’re willing to make changes and improvements based on the experience of the customer.
Review marketing is all about proving to consumers that you can deliver on your words. As such, it’s something that you should give a lot of attention to, since it also has a big impact on your company’s reputation.