Social proof holds the potential to grow your business’ online reputation drastically. The only problem is businesses usually wait for customers to post about them on social media to generate social proof.
But you can get all the proof you need from online review sites and use them to your advantage with review marketing techniques.
This blog post explores review marketing and helps you grow your business with tried and tested review marketing strategies.
Table of contents
- What is review marketing?
- Why is review marketing important for businesses?
- Top review marketing strategies to leverage
- FAQs about review marketing
- Leverage review marketing with Birdeye
What is review marketing?
Review marketing is a strategy to gain customer goodwill by marketing using the positive reviews your business has generated across multiple channels.
Customers have become quite vocal on online review sites sharing their positive and negative experiences to influence other purchases. And this works, as over 60% of consumers read Google reviews before deciding to buy from a business.
While most businesses work on guaranteeing a good customer experience, they do not work as hard on getting them translated into great customer reviews.
Understandably so, as generating great customer reviews is hard work. While review marketing is the process of marketing with reviews as your basis, it is equally important that businesses invest time in developing a process to keep customer reviews coming regularly.
Why is review marketing important for businesses?
We know that customers trust a business with higher positive reviews on Google and other review aggregator sites. A higher star rating also translates to a higher click-through rate on Google Ads. But the reality is that a robust review marketing campaign can significantly impact your business growth for many reasons:
- Build social proof: Customer reviews help build social proof. They show that real people have purchased your company’s products or services. It instills a sense of trust in your brand, especially when the reviews are a collection of positive, negative, and neutral opinions.
- Boosts local SEO efforts: It is important for local businesses to optimize their local listings, websites, and social media channels for local search. Sharing reviews on micro-sites and Google Business Profile results in higher clicks and attention from the algorithm, eventually boosting your local SEO rankings.
- Improves online reputation: A simple way to skyrocket your online reputation is by responding consistently to customer reviews on the company website, review sites, and social media. By addressing customer concerns and listening to feedback, you become more trustworthy and demonstrate effective online review management. This not only helps in building a positive image for your brand but also shows potential customers that you value their opinions and are committed to providing excellent service.
- Showcases real-world sentiment online: What people say about your brand, especially on social media, will affect its online reputation. Reviews indicate whether the brand’s products, services, and marketing strategy are working or failing.
Top review marketing strategies to leverage
If you want to use reviews as the basis for your next marketing campaign, you have come to the right place. The key is investing time and effort to build the review volume and tactfully showcase them in the right places.
We have curated a list of review marketing strategies you can leverage to grow your business faster and build a strong online reputation.
Incorporate review requests in every process
Customers won’t leave reviews if you don’t ask them. So you’ll need a call to action (CTA) in everything, from emails to texts to receipts.
For example, if a customer purchases a t-shirt from your retail store, make sure you get their contact details. About 30 minutes after the purchase, send the customer an automated message to review the t-shirt.
Remember, asking for reviews isn’t an one-and-done process. If the customer has signed up for your email newsletter, always include a CTA to review your customer service or new product line or service. Never forget to offer an incentive to increase customer reviews and build loyalty gently.
You can also offer discounts or rewards for customers who are not quick to respond to your reminders.
Use a tool like Birdeye reviews to efficiently send, track, and manage review requests for all your customers.
Make the review process easy for customers
Even with a gentle push of incentives, many customers won’t write reviews if the process is complicated or unintuitive.
The review request must be simple, with easy-to-understand language that takes them straight to the portal to write their review. Always make sure that the design language and colors are always on-brand.
Including a link in your email or SMS that takes the customer to the review page directly is best. Avoid forcing the customer to sign in, entering personal information from them, or requiring them to complete CAPTCHA tests to not lose them.
Maintaining transparency in the review process is always important so they feel encouraged to leave a review. Clearly mention whether the review will be publicly or on a third-party website.
Follow up with a survey request, or a thank you note to keep the relationship going.
Establish a presence on top review forums
Besides your website, you must establish a presence in any review forums surrounding your industry. Identify the ones that rank higher in search results so that customers trust them enough to leave and read reviews on them.
Sharing reviews left on these sites also adds to your reputation, making potential customers trust what your customers have to say.
For example, if you work in the home service industry, you need a listing on Houzz. Sharing Houzz reviews on your website can build trust and boost the online reputation of your business. Not to mention the fact that most homeowners go to Houzz before finalizing any contractor.
When you work with different review sites, it is important to manage them well. Working with Birdeye reviews will help you manage these reviews from a single dashboard, allowing you to reply, action on them, and share them easily.
Ask for honest feedback
Always ask your customers for honest feedback, although you won’t always receive the responses you’d like. Remember that you want to improve your business. And that’s only possible if you cultivate a culture of honesty and transparency in your review process.
Set up a process that flags negative feedback instantly so you can follow up with an in-depth survey or personal phone call to sort out the differences. Studies have shown that customers would be willing to work with brands that act on negative feedback as it implies they care about customer experience.
Respond to all reviews
Read and respond to all reviews, even if some seem trivial or unimportant. Customers love it when businesses engage with them and value their feedback. It’s also your chance to present your side of the story if customers have misconceptions about your brand, products, or services.
When you share reviews online, showing that you responded to them tells your audience you regularly monitor reviews. This increases the percentage of customers reviewing your services as they now know that someone is listening to their opinions.
Share reviews online
There are several avenues available to you to share reviews and elevate your social proof, such as follows:
Reviews on website
The first place to showcase your customer reviews is on your website. Have a dedicated customer testimonials page on your website where other users can peruse these. You may also place a reviews widget on your “About” page, homepage, reviews page, specific blog posts, and your products or services pages.
Reviews on emails
Email is still one of the best ways to connect with new and existing customers and an effective marketing campaign. Include those positive customer testimonials in your emails to convince customers to purchase your latest products or services.
Reviews on social media
Hey, composing compelling social media posts is challenging. But customer reviews make great talking points for social media users, so feel free to use these often in your posts. You can also tag the customer who wrote the review.
Reviews on printed marketing materials
Use customer reviews on your printed posters, flyers, and leaflets. Don’t forget to add a QR code on all these printed materials to take customers to your website’s testimonials, products, or services page.
FAQs about review marketing
You can use review in emails, social media posts, landing pages, printed materials, and CTAs. Use Birdeye’s Review management platform to make the most of your reviews.
Yes, but only if you get enough positive customer reviews to build social proof. Remember to regularly request customer reviews to boost the volume of positive reviews.
Reviews improve the trust in your brand and implies to the search engine that your business is a reliable source for customers.
Including positive customer reviews in all digital marketing channels increases your brand’s visibility and trustworthiness.
Business reviews, product reviews, photo reviews, and video reviews are the four major types of reviews.
Leverage review marketing with Birdeye
Review marketing takes work, but is completely worth it. Efficiently managing this process will save time while boosting your online reputation.
Birdeye is an all-in-one reputation management platform to help you automate, collect, generate, monitor, and share customer reviews. You can also turn your best reviews into engaging social media posts and put your five-star feedback in front of new customers.