The internet has allowed businesses to reach a global audience and level the playing field for small businesses that wouldn’t have had the same reach in previous decades.
However, because of this universal access, reviews are more important than ever. A positive review can boost your reputation and increase returns on your marketing efforts. An unhelpful rating, on the other hand, could drive potential customers away.
The importance of online reviews is obvious for any business owner — according to an independent study by WordStream, 66% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family when searching for businesses. As you develop your marketing strategy for 2019 and beyond, continue reading to know 5 simple steps to improve online reviews in your marketing strategy.
Importance Of Marketing Strategy
A marketing strategy is exactly what it sounds like — a plan to guide your marketing efforts. Whether you’re a small business owner or a marketing manager in a larger company, making sure that everyone on your team is on the same page when it comes to marketing is essential to a successful campaign. A marketing strategy will help you to avoid the pitfalls that can come with marketing haphazardly.
Without a clear understanding of what your goals are, you’re likely to make decisions that don’t help your business. A marketing strategy is also an essential part of creating a marketing budget. If you don’t know how much you’ll need to spend on marketing to reach your goals, you won’t be able to create a budget that makes sense for your business.
A marketing strategy will help you to determine how much you’ll need to spend to achieve your goals and stay on budget.
Online Reviews As A Marketing Strategy
Online reviews are the most trusted form of advertising for businesses, but only 36% of companies have an online review presence. Having more reviews will improve your reputation and make your business more visible. There are a few ways to get more reviews.
You can offer incentives to customers to leave reviews. You can also ask your existing customers for reviews, but you’ll need to be careful about seeming too pushy. You can also solicit reviews from your employees.
If you’re going to ask your customers for reviews, you can use a tool like Yotpo. Yotpo will allow you to collect reviews directly from customers, and you can use the platform to respond to reviews and respond to customers. You can also use Yotpo to collect reviews from non-customers.
Improve Online Reviews In Your Marketing Strategy
If you’ve been collecting reviews, but they aren’t as positive as you’d like, there are a few things you can do to improve them. If you want to reach out to the customers without making their reviews public, you can try reaching out on social media.
1. Review Your Reviews
Reviews are an integral part of your marketing strategy, and you want to make sure they are accurate and helpful. If you see a lot of reviews from customers who are unhappy with your product or service, those reviews may be inaccurate. This can negatively affect your business, especially if you’re trying to gain new customers online.
There are a few ways you can identify if reviews are fake, but the easiest is to look at the wording used in the review. If a review is overly positive, it may be fake. If it mentions several specifics about your business that would be impossible for a customer to know if they didn’t work at your store, it’s most likely fake.
2. Make A List Of Problem Areas And Goals
Once you’ve reviewed your reviews, you’ll want to make a list of problem areas and goals. If the commonality you find is that customers are unhappy with shipping times, you might decide to hire more people or make a few hires part-time to help with shipping.
If a lot of customers are complaining about the quality, you might look for ways to change your materials or manufacturing process. You’ll also want to make a list of goals. For example, if you want to generate more sales, you can ask customers to leave reviews and encourage them to purchase with discounts or coupons.
If you want to have a more established reputation, you can ask your current customers to review your company and products. You might also want to ask your current customers to follow you on social media and review sites like Yelp.
3. Make Your Online Presence More User Friendly
If your website isn’t user-friendly, you’re going to run into problems. People will struggle to find your site and leave unhelpful reviews — or none at all. When someone visits your website, they’ll want to be able to find information quickly and easily.
They’ll also want to be able to complete the action they came to your site for with as little effort as possible. If you have a lengthy “about us” section, visitors are likely to get bored and click away. If you have a complicated sign-up process, visitors will get frustrated and leave.
If you have plenty of jargon or technical language, people will likely not bother reading it. Most people don’t have the patience to wade through a lot of information that they don’t care about — they want action. Make sure that your site is as user-friendly as possible and that it is focused on helping people to complete their goals as quickly as possible.
4. Ask For Recommendations From Current And Past Customers
If you’ve been collecting reviews but you still aren’t at the numbers you’d like to see, you can ask your customers to leave a review. You should be careful not to come across as pushy or desperate, but asking customers to leave a review is an easy way to get more reviews.
If your business has been around for a while, you can also ask past customers to leave reviews. You can do this by contacting them directly or asking them to leave a review through an online form on your website.
5. Create A Paid Ad Campaign To Build Up Credibility
If you’re having a hard time getting customers to leave reviews, you can pay for ads that will lead people to your website. These ads will be geared toward people who are already interested in your products and services. When you create an ad campaign, you can include a call to action to leave a review. You can also include your website URL or even a request for specific reviews. For example, you can ask customers to rate your customer service or shipping times.
Every business owner wants more customers, but it can be hard to make the numbers add up. Reviewing your reviews and creating an online presence that is easy for people to use will help you reach your goals. You can also set goals to increase engagement on social media and post content that is meaningful to your audience. You’ll have a solid marketing strategy in place when you’re done.
If you’re interested in improving online reviews but feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of you, you can enlist the help of a company. The company will help you set up a review management platform, and they’ll also make sure that your reviews are positive and helpful to your business.
Online reviews are a powerful tool for businesses — especially small businesses — because they can give potential customers more insight into a business’s product and service than they would otherwise have. When consumers are looking for a new business, they often turn to online reviews to help them make their decision. And yet, when businesses fail to take the necessary steps to maintain their online reputation, their efforts may be met with a negative response.
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