Online reviews should be part of all marketing strategies. Whether you like it or not, users will talk about you and seek opinions from other customers before buying from you.
If you know how to properly manage digital opinions, you will have a lot on your part to earn the trust of your customers and increase conversions and loyalty. Let’s see what are the key elements of a marketing reviews strategy.
Why Are reviews important?
User-generated content is one of the biggest marketing trends in recent years. In general, people trust more in other people with whom they identify and less in the messages of the brand, especially if they have an excessively corporate or promotional tone.
In this context, online reviews are becoming increasingly important; in fact, 84% of digital shoppers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
These types of digital opinions are more visible than ever; In addition to being on social networks, personal blogs, and specialized review sites such as TripAdvisor, they are now also directly accessible in search engines. It is very easy for consumers to find opinions about your brand and use them to decide if they want to become customers.
The best thing about all this is that online reviews not only benefit consumers, but also the brands themselves. Analyzing digital opinions about your products and services can help you better understand what aspects you should improve or become a source of positive testimonials that provide social proof.
Keep in mind that not all opinions about the brand have the same influence. Sites that include star ratings, such as Facebook and Google, show average ratings to all your future customers, which becomes a very important factor in your online presence and your visibility in search engines. On the other hand, opinions about the brand on other sites, such as Twitter or a personal blog, do not generate such immediate visibility.
According to data from BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey, 68% of respondents said that a positive review would encourage them to use a local business, while 40% said that negative reviews would prevent them from buying. But what exactly do users value when they look at an opinion online?
What Do Users Value In The reviews?
For most users, the rating (usually indicated in stars) is the most important aspect of a review.
Typically, consumers who read reviews have a minimum score in mind. If the valuation of your product or your service is below three stars, it is most likely that they will discard it and go to a competitor with a better score.
According to studies, this is the minimum score for different consumers:
5 stars: 8% of consumers say they would not use a business that did not have a 5-star rating.
4-star: 37% of consumers demand to see a minimum 4-star rating.
3 stars: 42% of consumers would not buy from a company with less than 3 stars.
2 stars: 9% of consumers would use a business with a 2-star rating.
1 star: only 5% of consumers would be encouraged to buy from a company with one star.
Amount of reviews
The number of opinions is the second most valued aspect for online users, only behind the score.
As with star ratings, users want to see a minimum number of reviews to take them into account. This figure ranges between 2 and 21, but the most common is that they consider that between 4 and 6 reviews are enough.
Quality of the reviews
The quality of reviews is important both from the point of view of consumers and from online review platforms, as they can hide reviews that do not inspire confidence.
This is a difficult factor to control, as some customers enjoy leaving a detailed review, while others are limited to a star rating or a short comment. Of course, the more reviews you get, the greater the probability that there will be quality opinions between them.
Date of the reviews
Finally, we have the factor of the age of the reviews. Consumers know that companies’ products and services can change over time, so they tend not to trust reviews that are older than 6 months.
How To Implement A Review Strategy Step By Step
Finally, we are going to look at some key steps to improve the quantity and quality of the reviews your company receives and incorporate them into your marketing strategy.
Identify the main review sites
Today we can find opinions about companies all over the internet, but trying to cover them all can be practically impossible. Instead, you should identify the main digital review sites that you will focus your strategy on.
To start, you can make a list of all the marketing review sites that you can think of or find on Google and see how many opinions about your company there are in each of them.
The key review sites vary by sector. For example, for tourism-related businesses, TripAdvisor is the star. Google My Business is important in many sectors, but especially in local businesses. Instead, restaurants can get a good number of reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, Yelp, Facebook, and food delivery apps.
If you are starting with your review strategy, I recommend you focus on these three sites:
Google Business Profile: When researching a business, users often start by searching for it on Google. If you create your own Google My Business profile, you will be able to control the information about your company that appears in the search engine.
TripAdvisor: it is one of the most consulted sites for planning trips, so keep this in mind if your business is related to tourism or hospitality. To begin with, if there are already opinions about your company, you can start by claiming ownership of your file in order to manage them.
Facebook: if you have a presence on this social network, be sure to activate the recommendation option so that visitors to your page can see testimonials from other clients.
Monitor the reviews about your brand
To know the situation from which you are starting, it is essential to audit the reviews that already exist about your brand.
To prepare it, make a list of the main digital opinion sites in your sector and check if your brand has a presence on them. If you want to broaden the scope of your audit, you can also do a Google search for “opinions about [your company or your product]”.
When analyzing the results, use the 4 aspects that users take the most into account: star rating, number of reviews, quality of opinions, and age of the review.
Respond to online reviews
Reading negative opinions about your brand can be very frustrating, especially if you think they are not justified, but it is also an excellent opportunity to gain the trust of your target audience. In fact, 33% of users who receive a response to a negative review edit the opinion to improve it and 34% delete it. In addition, the companies that respond to the reviews receive more opinions and these are more positive.
When responding, try to personalize as much as possible, using the user’s name and summarizing the problem in your own words. Explain in detail the steps you have taken or will take to improve the situation and keep your tone friendly and understanding.
Many review sites do not allow you to offer discounts or other benefits in exchange for opinions. But it is advisable to remind clients that they can leave you a review if they want. For example, you can send them an after-sales email to ask if they are satisfied with the product received and if there are any questions they want to solve and encourage them to share their experience on a specific site.
Implement the information from the reviews
Digital reviews are an incredible opportunity to find out what customers think of your products and services. A few years ago, you had to make a big investment in a market study to find out what were the favorite and least favorite aspects of your brand, but now customers tell you directly!
Therefore, as part of your review strategy, be sure to analyze the opinions thoroughly to detect possible areas of improvement for your brand and make sure they are put into practice. It is one of the fastest and most effective ways to have a lot of satisfied customers.