As a business owner, financial success depends on selling your product. But in order to sell your product, you need to build a positive relationship with your audience. Word of mouth is an excellent way to garner brand attention and recognition – which is why online reviews are an essential part of any marketing strategy.
Why Are Reviews Important?
According to the Local Consumer Review Survey – conducted regularly by Bright Local – online reviews hold major clout for influencing potential customers. Surveyors discovered that 88 percent of respondents read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. Furthermore, 85 percent of these consumers read up to 10 reviews for a local business – and 7 percent read more than 20 reviews.
For these consumers, positive reviews and testimonials inspire trust in a brand. Negative reviews, on the other hand, can have devastating effects on a brand’s reputation – especially because 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations.
3 Ways to Take Advantage of Consumer Reviews
- Branch out beyond the basics. Review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List are a great starting point, but by getting your product featured by an industry-specific reviewer, you’ll get brand exposure for an audience that’s already interested in your type of product. For example, having your hunting gear featured on a site like Target Tamers will expose you to a readership that’s already on the lookout for new equipment.
- Encourage satisfied customers to post. Don’t let your happy customers exist in a vacuum. Instead, encourage them to post about their experience online – and in the process, they’ll become advocates for your brand. Reward these customers for their reviewing efforts with a discount, coupon, or free sample to seal the deal.
- Build relationships with your client base. Customers who like you will be more willing to post positive comments. Make sure you show your appreciation by responding with a “thank you” wherever you see a positive comment on Facebook, Amazon, or any other online location. Not only will you show your customers you appreciate them, but you’ll also show any outside readers that your company is courteous and active online.
Final Thoughts: Get Real
Consumer trust depends on two factors: whether there are multiple reviews for them to form a complete opinion, and whether the reviews sound authentic. Customers are savvy at telling whether reviews are fake – and only becoming more discerning. Make sure any reviews you post are organic and authentic to enhance your site’s relevance and authenticity – and you’ll be sure to impress any visitors with positive feedback.