Reputation, reputation, reputation. Like location is important when buying real estate, so is a reputation for your business. There’s no greater way in today’s digital-first marketplace for you to build that reputation than online reviews. Many online businesses fall flat when competing with bigger brands as a result of having little to no online reviews.
I would argue that having these reviews are perhaps the most important part of any business today. If you are finding yourself scratching your head wondering just how you can get the ball rolling, read this article to learn why it’s important, how to actually get reviews, and what to do with them.
First, let’s talk about why it's important.
Increase your sales
Perhaps the most obvious reason you should care about online reviews is that they increase your sales. People put a lot more research into buying their products than they have ever before. In fact, a report from Search Engine Land states that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Customer reviews boost your SEO rankings
When someone performs a search for your company, the reviews appear on the first page. The more reviews you have, the more likely customers are going to trust what you have to say and then make the actual sale.
It’s a known fact that Google ranks companies that have more reviews higher than a business that has just a few.
Understand your customer
There is no greater way to learn more about your target audience than by allowing them to review your product. They will tell you what they love, hate, and wish that you’d improve. The information you gain from these reviews is paramount and can help you launch a better version of your product that takes the world by storm.
Create marketing opportunities
The reviews you receive can be just what you need to create new marketing campaigns and help to further establish your brand. The actual words from your customer can serve as inspiration for new taglines, as well as new ways to feature your product from a design standpoint. Do not underestimate the power of crowd-sourcing for new marketing opportunities.
Now you know why online reviews are important and you are ready to take the next step. But how do you get the reviews?
Here’s how to get the reviews...
Start by spending time on Google searching for all the sites that would be a good fit for your product. If your product is a fancy age-defying face cream then you would want to perform Google searches like:
- Face cream reviews
- Where do I submit my face cream review?
- Face cream blog (make sure you find a blog that is relevant to your industry)
As you are researching, make note of all the URLs for the websites that come back. Once you have these, try to make contact with the owners of those sites and build a relationship with them to learn how you can get your product reviewed on their page.
Guest blogger outreach: This becomes especially important for bloggers in your industry. Bloggers can be major influencers, so long as they have a good following. Treat these contacts as a business relationship. Send a genuine email to them that is brief and offer them a sample of your product to try for free. See where the relationship goes from there.
One important note: don't ever pay for a review. If you want to be ethical and you don't want Google to penalize you, stay as squeaky clean as possible. Try looking for blogs that don't specialize in reviews as official review sites tend to have a bad rap with Google. Plus, those sites tend to be so overgeneralized that you likely won't have the focused audience reading your product's reviews.
Beyond this, and this advice becomes more important if you have a supporting digital marketing infrastructure, you can create email nurturing workflows that send automatically to customers post-purchase and ask them to rate their experience along with the link to the applicable review site.
What about reviews on social media? There's a lot of great and creative campaigns you can build to get people to review your products online. Contests play really well into this. Create a contest that asks the customer to make a video or written review of your product and be entered to win something. Think of offering them public recognition or something that doesn't involve a monetary prize so it doesn't seem like you are paying for a review.
OK, so you've done your research, you know how to get reviews and you have started to receive them. Now, what do you do?
Knowing what to do with your reviews becomes especially important when you get bad ratings. Most people only review a product when they either love or hate it. But research shows that having the whole gamut of reviews creates a trust in your brand’s ability to thrive in all conditions.
Here’s what to do with the reviews...
So someone doesn't like your product, don't worry. The adage "you can't please everyone" does not apply here. You can make your unhappy customer walk away feeling heard and willing to give you another chance if you take the time to carefully and politely respond to their concerns. Be careful with offering a refund on public sites as other, somewhat shady readers might try an take advantage of your kindness.
As much as you think the not-so-excited reviews may bring your reputation down, there is actually quite a lot of intel you can gain from these types of reviews. They help you get to know your customers, both their wants and needs. Beyond this, an average review can be more telling to a potential customer than ones on the opposite ends of the spectrum. These are the reviews that they tend to trust most.
True, these are the gold mines and will more than likely be what makes the potential customer take the leap. Take the time to respond to these customers and thank them for their kind words. Readers will see this and be incentivized to review your product themselves post-purchase.
By now, you can see why customer reviews are so important to your success. Do everything you can to get the wheels in motion and watch your business reach new heights.
If you are looking for a cutting-edge digital marketing agency to help you further establish your online presence, take a minute to explore how Revenue River can take your business to the next level.