Marketing strategy is about connecting with your customers and target audience. These days most target audiences are looking for this connection through brand authenticity. With social media at its peak, people have learned to trust online customer feedback almost as much as a personal recommendation.
The good news is you can harness this trust by using authentic customer reviews as marketing content. Having your customers tell others how great your product or service is will go much further than even the most compelling sales copy. With that in the back of our mind, let’s jump into why and how you should encourage customer reviews in your marketing strategy.
Why Are Customer Reviews Important to Marketing Strategy?
Many companies choose to focus their marketing efforts on compelling landing pages or social media ads. There is a time and place for those approaches, but customer reviews are a valuable resource for any marketing strategy. What is that reviews bring to your brand?
Reviews Make Your Brand More Authentic
When they first start down the funnel, customers are looking for trustworthy insight into your company. Authentic customer reviews offer exactly that. One study found that nearly 9 out of 10 online users rely on customer reviews when considering a product or service. Users are more likely to see reviews as trustworthy than a well-crafted email from a sales rep or landing page with a call to action. Not convinced? 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
According to research from TrustRadius, online buyers are very likely to use reviews in their purchase decision. 76% used reviews to discover new products, 69% used them to evaluate a product, and nearly half said user reviews would be key to selecting a product.
Reviews Increase Engagement With Your Customers & Audience
Review platforms offer companies the chance to engage with customers and audience in a new way. Marketers and sales departments can both respond to both negative and positive reviews, and even share them socially. Engagement may not seem as directly tied to marketing as building an authentic brand. But showing this engagement to your target audience will build the same kind of trust mentioned above. And engagement with customers will encourage them to become returning, dedicated customers.
Reviews Make Your Site Higher Quality
Even if Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t the primary goal of encouraging customer reviews, it is definitely a benefit. Featuring reviews make for fresh and new content, a key ranking signal to Google. At the same time, external review sites offer great backlinking opportunity.
How Do You Get Started Encouraging Customer Reviews and Using Them in Marketing?
So you’re convinced encourage customer reviews is a good idea for marketing. How do you actually jump in? Consider these quick tips as a starting point.
Take the Time to Focus on Authentic Feedback
Don’t give in to the temptation to pay for positive reviews or cherry pick reviews from one type of customer. Make sure you have a representative sample of reviewers when you start collecting reviews. Authentic and varied customer reviews will go much further in the long run – and online users can often spot the difference.
Keep it Simple – Ask for Reviews!
As you get started, send out emails asking for honest feedback from your customers. Many will be happy to oblige, particularly if you incentivize the review process. You should make this process as simple as possible for your customers. Use outreach and marketing automation software to help at this stage. For example, you can build a drip campaign in Marketo that focuses on gaining feedback from customers.
Get Creative In Using Customer Reviews
Customer review platforms are great on their own, but you shouldn’t start there. Once you start receiving reviews, look at ways to incorporate them into your newsletters, landing pages, social media and more. The more you feature, the more authentic your brand!
Use this brief guide as a starting point for encouraging customer reviews in your marketing strategy! Once you jump in, you’ll find it worth your time.
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