Good online reviews are the pinnacle of digital marketing and it can make your brand stand out from the rest. Is your brand standing out?
Many of the most popular websites often use online reviews (even the bluntest of reviews can be viewed) as the main content of their websites and in turn they become some of the highest traffic sites around.
Despite (or perhaps because) of this, business owners can see online reviews as a source of headaches. But did you know that online reviews are one of the most trusted sources of advertising a business can have?
If you can use online customer reviews to its potential, enhancing your business’s reputation and making more sales will be a breeze.
At Elephant In The Boardroom, we have prepared and are willing to share some tips on how you can use online customer reviews in your digital marketing strategy:
Your website is your digital shopfront, so it's crucial that you use it to announce to new customers all the great things that other people have said about you. There are many different ways you can feature customer reviews on your site.
Either way, there are some best practices you’ll need to follow to succeed:
Make sure they’re visible. This should be obvious, but too many companies place their customer reviews at the bottom of a page. If you want people to notice these reviews, don’t make them hunt them down. You can also use eye-catching graphics to make this section more noticeable.
Include a quantitative and qualitative element. The best review formats include both a quantitative element and a qualitative element; the quantitative element will give people a high-level objective assessment of the product or service, while the qualitative element will give them more details. Make sure to encourage comments from your reviewers; in most cases, a simple number isn’t enough.
Avoid fake reviews. Some brands have paid for “fake” reviews to boost the star reviews of their products. Either way, these reviews are positive but insincere—and most discerning customers are able to tell the difference. It’s always better to let reviews come in, even if they’re not always flattering.
Keep both good and bad reviews. You might be tempted to hide or delete poor or unflattering reviews, but this is never a good idea. Negative critics will very certainly find another outlet to express themselves. If you're found suppressing negative reviews on purpose, you risk losing your customers' trust.
Allow customers to rate review value. For example, you could have a button for users to click if they find the review "helpful" or "unhelpful," allowing them to assess the quality of each one. Ideally, this feedback will be used to preferentially rank the most helpful reviews.
Make it easy for others to post reviews. Customer reviews become more valuable as you accumulate more of them, so it's a good idea to make it easy for people to post new reviews. For example, you can have a "draft review" section with the existing customer reviews, and also send follow-up emails to your customers.
Messenger marketing is a more effective version of email marketing, simply because there are so many Facebook users. All you have to do to get leads on Messenger is create a decent call to action that a user can click on. From there, you can send them product advertisements with testimonials and reviews in them. Any kind of extra push you can get through an email or Messenger advertisement is worthwhile.
User-generated reviews are an increasingly prominent part of how Google displays information about businesses, appearing across search results pages, maps and ads.
The best way to take advantage of this is to sign up for Google My Business, a free tool that improves your visibility in search results and places your business on a map of your area alongside a star average of your reviews. This way, you’ll have all information about your business in one place, with people easily able to read previous reviews and add their own. Read this article to find out how to go about claiming your business with Google.
Google Ads, the search giant’s pay-per-click advertising service, has a feature called the seller ratings extension that allows you to showcase your reviews in ads that appear on the search results pages for keyphrases relevant to your business.
When designing banner ads to be displayed on websites, the placement of a simple average review score from Yelp can go a long way in differentiating your ads. Even as simple a graphic as your average star rating towards the bottom of the ad grabs attention and inspires confidence in a platform where those qualities are at a premium.
Reviews are an important way to learn more about your business. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews for chances to improve. The sight of a bad review might give you a nasty jolt, but if you respond swiftly, helpfully and with empathy, you can turn a disgruntled customer into an ambassador.
Managing online reviews can be tough and you don't know what your customer is thinking. Despite this, one thing you should always remember is to never ignore your reviews!
How you respond to bad reviews is just as important as how good they are. It's important to display reviews whenever you can. This will let your customers know that you're listening to them and that you care about them.
At any rate, business owners should always have their finger to the pulse of their audience. If you know what your customers think, then you can promote the good parts of your product and adjust the bad parts to put out the best product possible.
If you need help building your online presence, Elephant in the Boardroom are here to save you! Don’t stress over reviews and let us handle the tough things. Don’t hesitate to contact us, it all starts with a hello.