How reviews can market your business

Feedback is an essential part of any business, helping you to improve and offer the best customer experience you can. But it can also be an extremely useful marketing tool.

Today’s customers are wary of advertising and don’t respond well to overt marketing campaigns. In fact, click-through rates for ads across the web are at a bleak 0.05% as of late 2021. People are much more open to personal recommendations, however, making online reviews a key marketing tool going forward.

  1. The power of testimonials
  2. Where can you get your reviews?
  3. How to get reviews
  4. Reply to negative reviews
  5. Using reviews in your marketing

The power of testimonials

Humans are naturally risk averse, and as such when they’re considering paying for a product or service, they want to know they’ll be getting their money’s worth. There’s a reason that most people will ask friends or family for recommendations when looking for a decorator, electrician, or other tradesperson – they want to know what to expect. They want to know that the company they’re hiring has a good track record of delivering on their promises.

This is also true when buying products online. Most people will check the reviews before making a purchase, as they want to know that what they’re buying works.

Testimonials serve this same purpose, and due to their more personal nature, they can serve as an incredibly powerful marketing tool. But how and where can you make the best use of them?

The most obvious starting point is to set up a testimonials page on your website or social media profile. That way, you give customers the ability to leave testimonials and essentially do the work for you. It may also be worth picking out one or two to highlight on your homepage, so that customers see that positive feedback up front.

You can also make good use of your social media presence to share positive testimonials, sending them directly to potential customer’s timelines, whether through paid ads or just regular posts. This also gives you the ability to thank customers directly, giving the impression of a much more personalised and positive experience.

Where can you get your reviews?

Allowing your customers and clients to write and share reviews of your products and services is a great way to generate free marketing materials, while also providing valuable feedback to allow you to improve.

Your business’ website

A great starting point would be setting up a review system on your business’ website, allowing customers to send you feedback directly. You can then choose to make these reviews public, crafting a positive image of your business that future customers will see when they visit your site.

Google Reviews

To make your reviews the most accessible, though, there’s no better place to look than Google. By signing up for Google Customer Reviews, you can allow verified buyers to rate and review your products or services.These reviews are then available to see for any and all potential customers.

By signing for Google Reviews, you also get the ability to add a Google brand badge and your seller rating to your website, giving your business even more credibility with new customers.

TrustPilot

Alongside the completely free options, there are also services which offer additional analytics and marketing assets, which can be incredibly useful for making use of reviews in your marketing, for a price.

Perhaps the most notable of these is TrustPilot, which boasts over 111 million reviews over the past fifteen years and holds great weight with consumers. This level of trust with customers means that a positive rating with TrustPilot can do wonders for your business. As with Google, after signing up you can also embed TrustPilot reviews on your website.

Other review services

Depending on your business, there are a number of other review sites that could be great options. These include:

  • Amazon customer reviews
  • Yelp
  • TripAdvisor
  • Foursquare
  • Which?
  • Glassdoor

How to get reviews

You’ve set up your review profiles, but no one is leaving any reviews – what can you do?

If you’re looking to increase customer reviews, your first port of call should be to simply ask your customers to review your business. This could be part of an automated page after a sale is made on your website, it could be in a follow up email, or you could have your customer service staff ask directly once they’ve dealt with a customer’s issue. If you don’t ask, you don’t get, and in this case by providing a good service and promoting the ability to leave reviews, you could see a steady rise in feedback.

You may also consider giving your customers an incentive to leave a review. This doesn’t mean paying them, but rather showing your appreciation for their feedback. You could run a monthly lottery where a reviewer gets picked at random to win a prize, or you could offer a discount code to anyone who leaves a review. It’s important to emphasise though, that you only offer these incentives for writing a review, not for writing a positive review.

If it’s an option on your review site of choice, replying to your reviewers with a short thank you message goes a long way. If customers see that you’re active and responding to reviews, they’re much more likely to leave one themselves.

Reply to negative reviews

As much as no one enjoys criticism, it’s an essential element of growth. By listening to and responding to negative reviews effectively, you can improve not only your business’ public image, but you may find ways to improve your services going forward.

Responding to negative feedback is important, but how you do it is key. Make sure not to accuse or blame the customer, as this can come across as aggressive and petty. Instead, take a more apologetic tone and offer to try and help with whatever issues they may have had. This level of transparency and humility is appreciated by customers and will leave you with a more positive overall brand image.

Using reviews in your marketing

Every positive review your business receives is invaluable when it comes to marketing to new customers. Positive reviews build trust and brand loyalty, with 88% of consumers believing ads are more trustworthy if they include reviews, according to TrustPilot.

Making your reviews publicly accessible shows transparency and honesty, as well as giving customers feedback to reinforce their choice to use your business. You can do this by including reviews on key pages of your website such as the homepage, product pages and checkout to really highlight the positive experiences that previous customers have had.

Beyond your own website, sharing reviews on your social media pages is a great way to publicise good feedback while also creating a community around your business. This sense of openness and direct communication can go a long way towards building trust in your brand, and establishing your business as a core part of your customer’s lives.

You may also consider including extracts from reviews in paid ads on social media, or integrating your Google Reviews account to allow customers to view your Google rating and reviews in the search results. This can help you to stand out from other results and, assuming you’ve got a good rating, flaunts your excellent record with other customers.

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