You’ve probably already heard that online reviews are essential for a business. A BrightLocal survey shows that 93% of consumers read reviews before deciding on a company. Online reviews can raise your business’s profile and generate trust. They’re also great for connecting with your customers and learning more about them. In addition, they can help drive more traffic to your website. Here are seven (7) ways to use online reviews to increase customer engagement.
1. Increase sales
The impact of customer reviews can be immense for your business. A high-quality review from a satisfied customer can increase conversions by 34%. This is particularly important for expensive items, usually the biggest moneymakers. The best way to encourage customers to leave a review is by giving them a good reason to do so. Offering special offers to your existing customers will also encourage them to write a review. This will increase sales, which will ultimately result in more profits.
Positive online reviews increase search engine rankings. Positive online reviews increase the number of visitors to a website and increase its activity. They also help cultivate a brand’s search engine visibility. The more people talking about a brand, the higher it will appear in the search results, which ultimately encourages people to buy your products. Increasing sales using online reviews is a simple yet effective way to start. But the benefits are many.
One of the most important benefits of online reviews is the increased trust they generate for your business. Studies show that consumers are more likely to trust a product with positive reviews. The same goes for recommendations from friends. So using product reviews can boost sales because they are trusted by consumers, and they are not biased. Even Google and Facebook have policies for allowing reviews, and recent laws require businesses to clearly state when their posts are paid advertisements.
2. Increase brand exposure
Online reviews are essential for brand visibility and building trust with consumers. In fact, 94% of consumers check online reviews before purchasing a product. This statistic is based on the Social Proof study, which shows that most consumers give online reviews equal weight to word-of-mouth recommendations. To help you make the most of online reviews, here are some ways to get started:
Creative ideas. An innovative idea can result in significant brand exposure. Modern marketing decisions are based on data analysis and run through sophisticated algorithms. However, creative ideas can be a real spark to make your brand more visible. Once you’ve defined your brand and determined its unique qualities, the next step is getting exposure. Listed below are some ways to increase brand exposure using online reviews. You’ll also need to consider incorporating content marketing into your marketing plan.
Track customer dissatisfaction. Online reviews are an excellent way to learn more about what customers think about your products or services. The more you listen to your customers’ opinions, the more likely they’ll become repeat buyers or brand ambassadors. Similarly, customers tend to think it’s fake if you only have positive reviews on a given site. Taking the time to track negative reviews will help you understand why your customers are unhappy and how to fix it.
3. Increase revenue
In the online world, consumers trust online reviews more than personal recommendations. An online review can boost your business’s credibility by up to 18%, according to a Harvard Business School study. A review that gives your company five stars will likely increase your revenue by approximately 9%. If you’re interested in improving your online reviews, there are several ways you can do this. In one way, email marketing can be used to solicit reviews. When new customers buy something, an automated email is sent to them, encouraging them to give feedback or to leave a review. Of course, avoid offering incentives for reviews if you don’t want to violate Google’s review terms, as this could put your business in danger of being banned from Google’s review system.
Education is one of the most important steps for businesses in creating a review strategy. While you’re working to optimize listings and provide outstanding customer service, educating your customers on the value of leaving a review is critical. To encourage customers to write a review, you can ask them for one. Research shows that 68% of customers are willing to do this when asked. Asking customers to write a review can happen automatically at the time of purchase, during a satisfaction survey, or through an automated email campaign. Another way to get customer reviews is by sending them directly to an online review platform. This will allow you to communicate directly with them and ensure that they write a positive and helpful review.
4. Increase trust in your brand
Consumers are not always willing to give your brand the benefit of the doubt, but they are ready to trust you enough to read recent reviews of your products. It’s worth mentioning that Patagonia, a famous outdoor clothing company in the U.S., recently committed to stop sourcing cotton from China. But that doesn’t mean Forever 21 should ignore all the bad customer reviews on their website. Listening to your consumers and building a brand they can trust is essential.
While most businesses believe they are invulnerable to negative reviews, many companies stop caring about customer feedback once they have a few positive reviews. This is a mistake. The same considerations you’ve collected for years can haunt you and your business. To increase the trust of your customers, ask for online reviews regularly. Don’t spam them; instead, ask them to leave an honest review at a pivotal moment for your brand.
While building a brand requires a lot of work, positive reviews help develop brand loyalty and can help your website convert more visitors. Moreover, online reviews can be a powerful marketing tool if used correctly. However, building trust takes time, but it will reward you in the long run. By using online reviews to increase brand trust, you’ll be able to make your business better and gain more customers.
5. Increase click-through-rates
Increasing click-through-rates when using online review content for customer engagement is crucial to your business’s success. Whether your company uses the Trustpilot platform or not, your website reviews can be invaluable to your customers. Moreover, they can help people find great companies and make better buying decisions. However, increasing click-through rates isn’t always easy. Here are some tips to help you improve your CTRs:
Consumers don’t always believe what they read in marketing, especially in the digital world. As a result, click-through rates are pathetically low compared to other forms of marketing. Currently, ads’ average global click-through rate is 0.05%, with only five clicks per 10,000 impressions. This makes brand differentiation more crucial than ever. Consumers don’t trust advertisements, but they do trust reviews, which is why they should be included in your marketing campaigns.
6. Automate review responses
If you’re interested in improving customer engagement and driving repeat business, you might wonder whether it can automate review responses. Responding to customer reviews involves identifying the type of feedback, both positive and negative. Unfortunately, negative reviews typically contain many topics and commentary, and getting lost in the weeds is easy. However, with the right tool, creating an automated response tailored to the context is possible.
An automated solution can help you manage reviews, but it’s not foolproof. Even though customers read 10+ reviews before making a final decision, you can’t guarantee the quality of those reviews. Moreover, you won’t want to turn your review responses into a sales pitch. Automated response tools can help you maximize the SEO benefits of your answers. Custom templates also enable you to reference keywords in your reviews. For example, if a customer mentions takeout, the tool recognizes and works it into the response template.
While this might sound like a difficult task, the time and energy you’ll save will be well worth it. Even small businesses can benefit from automating this process. It will reduce manual efforts and make your business more efficient by eliminating time-consuming tasks. Review management software is an excellent solution for small businesses as it can drive more reviews, improve ratings, and give your company better insight into your customers’ experiences. The more reviews you receive, the better your business looks to potential customers.
7. Avoid incentivizing online reviews.
While incentivizing online reviews has become increasingly popular among business owners, it has several risks. First, it’s unethical and violates the terms of service of major review platforms. Secondly, it puts businesses at legal risk and can result in massive financial penalties. Thirdly, incentivized reviews are not the only way to gain valuable customer feedback.
Incentives should be a last resort. Even if offering something for free is tempting, incentives can quickly eat into a business’s profit margin. A $10 or $25 gift card is a poor incentive, and a ten percent discount is a better option. Additionally, monetary incentives are generally the most effective but erode public trust. Many business owners believe that incentives work, but it’s important to remember that most busy professionals are unlikely to review a product while at work.
Incentivizing reviews also have hidden problems that require different solutions. It changes the relationship between reviewer and reviewee, dilutes the quality of reviews, and creates unrealistic customer expectations. As a result, businesses should avoid incentivizing reviews. If you’re unsure about the rules, read the consumer guidelines for major listing sites. Ultimately, the benefits of online reviews are far more significant than any negative feedback they may receive.