You work your butt off marketing your products and services online and your business is doing OK. You have a continuous flow of customers and life is good. Watching your numbers has become second nature. Your social media engagement, your conversion rate, your newsletter open rate and all that fun stuff.
Still, there is something that is not quite right.
You know your growth could be higher, more robust. Chances are, there are some numbers that you’re not paying attention to.
Let me give you some number facts.
- More than ¾ of online user buy something on the internet.
- Over 80% of online users will read reviews on a business or product before making a buying decision.
- When it comes to dealing with a local business, 9 out of 10 consumers will read the reviews for that business.
- Most of those people will read at least 7 reviews, and this number is growing year by year.
- About 75% of people will trust a local business more after reading positive reviews and about 8 out of 10 of them will trust them as much as personal referrals.
- ⅔ of consumers leave reviews for businesses when being asked and a third of them think that getting a response to their reviews from the business is important.
Now that I have inundated you with all these numbers, I think you get the idea that reviews are important for your business. Not just so you can show off but also for your growth and as a marketing tool.
I have come to the same realisation when I started talking to my customers and what they were telling me about reviews and their own online purchasing habits corresponded with all the data and statistics I could find online.
Reviews help grow business
Ways to use reviews in your marketing strategy
Reviews have become an everyday feature of the online landscape and an important tool in driving your conversion rate. They are left by people who have experienced your business, service and product first hand and that takes away the wondering from your prospective customers’ point of view.
They alleviate fears about the quality of your services, your complaint handling, your reliability as well as the value and quality of products you offer.
Add reviews to your website and social media pages where you display your products and services and make it really easy for people to access them. Be transparent about your rating.
If people need to dig to find information about the quality of services and products you offer, they will either abandon the search or will wonder what you’re hiding.
Make reviews a part of your SEO strategy. When someone is reaching for a product or service you offer, they will enter those search words in the search engine and more than likely the word “review” or “rating” or even “testimonial”. You want to capitalise on that and drive more traffic to your website. It’s not just about the product, it’s also about where your customer will buy that product from.
And you want them to buy from you!
Raving fans will be happy to leave reviews on your website multiple times if you have a product based business and each item has the option to leave a review.
For service-based businesses it’s more about what it’s like dealing with you and your business in general, so you will have less review content material but will speak to your prospective clients on a more personal level.
How to get reviews
OK, so you get how important it is to have reviews of your products and services. Now the question is, how you get those reviews.
The trick is to make it as easy as possible for your clients to leave you a review. Here are a few ideas you can try. Depending on your business and your set-up, some options will be more suitable than others. You may even use a combination of a few.
Think about where you search for reviews when you are after a product or service.
Do you go to an online directory for local businesses?
Do you go onto a review site such as Trivago, Sitejabber, Tripadvisor or the like?
Are any of those suitable for the type of business you run? If the answer is yes, then this is one option you can give a go.
Having a Reviews tab on your Facebook page is another popular option. Anyone checking you out on Facebook will have access to those reviews readily and the best thing about those is that it’s easy to respond to the reviews on your Facebook page.
Giving people the option to leave comments on your website is also a great way to collect feedback. This is a less formal way to get reviews on your site but engagement with your website content has other added benefits, so if this works for you then make the most of it.
You can create surveys and forms on online platforms such as Survey Monkey, Typeform and Google Forms. This allows you to direct the conversation about your products or services and collect information from the people that you want to target.
This is an excellent way of getting feedback about your workshops, courses, and services provided.
Tech to use to incorporate reviews
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can look into some tech to include in your review process. There are several WordPress plugins available that will allow your customers to leave reviews of individual products on your website.
E-commerce platforms also have the option for reviews you can add to your store.
You can also get plugins that will help you get your Facebook reviews integrate onto your website.
For the tech-savvy people, you can even embed the review posts from your Facebook page in your website sidebar widget by copying and pasting the code.
You might opt for a simpler option of just taking a screenshot of a testimonial, crop it to fit wherever you want to place it and add it as an image.
If you like platforms like Canva, you can copy the text into an image and make it pretty and branded to use on your website or social media platforms.
Some WordPress themes have an in-built testimonials plugin where you can add the text to the widget and it will display on your site according to your settings.
Video testimonials are becoming more and more popular, so if you can get your customers to send you their own short video testimonials or record one while you’re having a conversation with them, they can be used as a powerful tool. Make sure you ask their permission to use their footage.
What to do with good reviews
All or any of the above. Don’t be shy to strut your stuff! Boasting about how fantastic you, your services or products are is one thing but being able to back it up with genuine reviews from real customers of yours will take your credibility to the next level.
Beat your own drum by sharing your reviews!
Write reviews for others to generate content – Read blog
What to do with bad reviews
Sooner or later, no matter how good your services or products are, you will receive a review that will be, well, bad.
I’m not talking about the fake reviews that your naughty competitor or a troll will leave on your site or Facebook page. As sad as that is, that will happen too.
I’m talking about when things just don’t work out and your client is not impressed.
How you handle that situation will show your future customers how you are able to stand up under pressure. It will also show how willing you are to accommodate customers and how creative you are solving problems.
This is your opportunity to shine! Your prospective clients can see how you handle conflict and what your professional conduct is like.
A bad review can still have a great outcome for your customer as well as your business, depending on your handling of the situation.
Reviews are another type of content that you can use to market your business and strengthen your brand.
Remember, you don’t have to wait for people to leave you a review. Ask, encourage and entice them! Make it easy to give you feedback.
Use that feedback to make your products and services better as well as to grow your business.
Not sure how to go about getting or using reviews? Let’s chat.