How Customer Reviews Can Benefit Your Marketing Strategy
You’ve probably figured out that reviews are pretty important, but do you know how customer reviews can be used to improve your marketing strategy?
Customer reviews are an important part of your overall marketing strategy. You can use customer feedback to tailor your offering, shift your branding, and add authenticity to the claims you make about your products or services.
However, many SEO marketing strategies fail to adequately leverage the power of reviews. Simply relying on Google’s review isn’t enough if you want to get the most from existing customers’ feedback.
Instead, you need to be intentional about the way you use reviews. Foreground those which highlight your business’ niche and review data to help improve your offering.
Most marketing departments already use a few methods to gather consumer data. Usually, you can use things like social data or Google Analytics to break down who, exactly, is interested in your product or service.
However, you can also use reviews to gain more accurate data about your customers and their preferences. Some review sites, like Google and Yahoo, already share their user’s data when they leave a review. This means you can see how different demographics have responded to any recent changes you’ve made.
You can also gather review data yourself. When you complete an order, send a request for a survey along with the product or service. This can be as simple as an email that redirects the user to your review portal.
You can increase the volume of reviews you get by offering rewards for reviews and telling folks that the review will take less than two minutes to complete. This incentivizes your consumers, and will likely widen the feedback pool you receive.
Gathering data yourself also means that you can be certain of its authenticity. Anyone can leave a review on Google, meaning your data may be skewed by folks who aren’t even active customers. Sending your own survey following a sale mitigates this possibility.
Gathering reviews is particularly important if you are a small, or relatively new, business. Google uses reviews to highlight products or services in your area. So, if your business only has a few, mediocre reviews, it’s unlikely to show up when folks search for you.
Improving your ranking with reviews is particularly important if you work in the food or service industry. Folks who travel to your town or city will use a Google search to find “coffee near me”. If you haven’t stockpiled reviews, you’re far less likely to appear on their search.
The same rules apply to other businesses and industries, too. Data gathered by Semrush shows that, for SEO purposes, the volume of reviews received is usually more important than any other form of review data. Businesses that receive the highest number of mostly-positive reviews will rank higher than businesses with only a few great reviews.
A good marketing strategy should feel authentic to potential consumers. Customers today can smell fraud a mile off and will be hesitant to choose businesses that don’t have plenty of positive reviews.
You can improve the authenticity of your advertising by cherry-picking a few positive reviews and highlighting them on your website. Ideally, these reviews should speak about your unique selling point (USP) or reassure consumers that your business is reliable and the real deal.
You can use positive reviews to simplify multichannel selling, too. Many businesses now sell across different platforms and social networks. You can keep your advertising consistent by posting the same reviews on each platform.
For example, if you sell office furniture, you can use reviews that highlight the speed of your delivery or the comfort of your offering. Posting the same or similar content across platforms like Facebook or Instagram will reassure consumers and present a unified brand image.
Positive reviews are great for your marketing strategy and can be a real boost to your branding. However, you will encounter some negative reviews along the way. Rather than looking at these negative reviews as “problem customers,” use the reviews to repair relationships.
Acting on negative reviews is a great way to improve customer satisfaction. If possible, try to offer a quick fix that resolves the issue and leaves the consumer feeling respected. Correcting your mistakes may even lead to a re-review, where your customer now revises their review and leaves a positive one.
If a quick fix isn’t possible, consider offering promotional products as an extended apology. Offering promotional products can increase customer retention and help improve your brand image. However, you should always ask the disgruntled reviewer if they would like some freebies first, and give them a choice over what they receive. This will reduce waste and help consumers feel heard.
Your social media strategy is an important part of your marketing. Social platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook allow you to engage with consumers directly and create a strong brand image. Social media can also be a great place to highlight reviews and say “thanks!” to those consumers that publicly pose with your product.
Highlighting positive reviews on Twitter is simple. A quick quote retweet with a positive message is usually enough to improve your brand image and social metrics. You don’t necessarily need to aim to go viral with every retweet but try to post content that fosters engagement from users.
Using reviews on platforms like Facebook or Instagram can be a little more tricky. While you can still use reviews to gather data, highlighting reviews on these platforms is difficult. If possible, pin any top comments on Facebook so positive reviews appear first. Reply to positive reviews you receive on Instagram, too, as these will rank higher than other comments left on your posts.
If you notice a trend within your consumer base, use it to create engaging social media content. For example, if you sell coffee your customers might take pictures with their morning brew. Create a relevant hashtag and ask consumers to detail how they make their morning cup of joe. This can produce some great reviews and help you find consumers who value your product.
Customer reviews are an important part of your marketing strategy. Good reviews add authenticity to your brand and convince potential consumers to choose your business over your rivals. You can also use reviews to gather further data about your consumers and their preferences. Social media reviews are particularly useful, as they’ll quickly boost the reach and engagement of your social page.