Customer reviews are a great tool for reaching new and prospective customers by helping them see if your products and offerings are worth their time and money. People are more likely to buy a product that has great customer reviews. In fact, 89% of consumers won’t take action until they read at least some reviews.
So, if you are in charge of running a business, you should be using the reviews your customers leave in a way that will boost sales. To figure out the best ways to do this, we reached out to business leaders to hear how they went about using reviews creatively.
Reviews and You
Happy customer reviews can strengthen brand loyalty if used correctly while simultaneously converting more prospects and boosting your SEO. In fact, reviews make up an estimated 10% of the criteria for how Google displays search results.
Reviews of your business and product produce “social proof” that shows that your product is quality and worth their investment. People see reviews as impartial because they are being made honestly and without coercion (in most cases). Plus, reviewers are authorities on the product because they have already made the investment that new clients are considering. Derek Sivers, Founder of CD Baby sums it up well, saying, “[T]he single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are making people happy, as a side effect, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you.” It is an ouroboros that will continue to pay dividends.
Reviews can be a huge part of your company if you take the time to invest in using them, just look at how Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh co-opted them to boost his marketing. “We take most of the money that we could have spent on paid advertising and instead put it back into the customer experience. Then we let the customers be our marketing.” He’s right. And many other successful business leaders agree that your customers are everything.
Add Reviews to Your Emails
Emails are a great way to showcase the reviews you are getting. The average order value of an email is actually 17% higher than most social media and the ROI of a good email marketing campaign is 122%.
“Even just one review on a picture of your product in an email is an easy and creative way to make your review work for you,” says Omid Semino, CEO and Founder at Diamond Mansion. “A strategically placed customer review in an email can sway a customer who is on the fence.”
Let your customers speak for you and foster credibility without being too in the customer’s face about it.
“Think of this as the quotes you see on a movie poster. These are going to grab them from the jump,” says Eric Elggren, Co-Founder at Andar. “Many companies ignore the value of opening with a customer review on their landing page, but they are a great way to immediately show others how happy your product has made others.”
If done right, these quotes can also boost your SEO from within. Just make sure that the questions you ask on testimonials are presented in a way that will draw out keywords from prospective responders. Make sure you don’t tweak answers to fit your needs, though. Instead, get creative and gently guide them in the direction.
Social is everywhere in today’s world and it’s a great way to generate leads for your company. Many people come across a company while scrolling their social feeds and adding a customer review to the mix can grab their attention.
“You can make customer quotes the focus of the whole post to make it stick out in user’s feeds,” says Guna Kakulapati, CEO at CureSkin. “Include a call to action in each caption to help compliment the picture and make the post more effective.”
Using quotes on social has the added benefit of being a cheap way to create content for your social and shows customers that you are listening and engaging with them.
Sales infographics are an easy way to highlight your product’s benefits. Visually appealing and a perfect way to make sometimes complex numbers and figures more visually appealing, infographics are a good spot to include reviews and attempt to sway customers.
“You can include reviews in an infographic that might be aimed at addressing a common pain point that your product aims to address,” says Drew Sherman, Director of Marketing and Communications at RPM. “The customer reviews will show how your service has benefited them and give potential clients a visually stimulating way of understanding how the service will help them as it’s helped others.”
Quotes are great, but you can also show how many more positive reviews your product has compared to a similar one if quotes don’t fit onto the infographic as well.
If you opt for spending some of your marketing budget on paid ads, you can get more bang for your buck by including customer reviews in them, says Loic Claveau, CMO at TakeUs. “Google Ads will even allow you to include info from the reviews section of your business page at no extra cost to you. You would be silly to not take advantage of that.”
If potential customers decide to click on an ad that was made using this method, they will be taken to your page where they can read what others are saying. Make sure that if you decide to go this route your reviews are up to date and your whole business page is up to snuff.
That’s right, not all customer reviews have to be written! You can make use of customer testimonial videos that are in and of themselves fantastic ways to drive traffic to your site. “Putting a face to the words is a perfect way to help humanize your brand and build a connection with audiences,” says Dan Potter, Head of Digital at CRAFTD London.
Videos have a 95% retention rate. Make sure you keep things concise so you don’t lose viewers who don’t want to waste their time watching them. 30 seconds to a minute is a sweet spot. “Think of these as commercials,” added the sixth responder. “If a commercial is longer than a minute you would be changing the channel or hitting mute.” Be aware of what length is best for each platform as it can vary.
Place Reviews in Your Blog
Your blog is one of your best SEO-boosting tools as are your reviews, so why not combine the two? Inserting quotes from customers into your blog posts will help sway those that are reading your posts and trying to make a decision about whether or not they should buy.
“A carefully placed review in a blog post could be the thing that moves someone into the sales funnel,” says Lina Miranda, VP of Marketing at AdQuick. “It’s yet another tool in your arsenal that can help to establish your company as a leader in the industry.”
Take the Good with the Bad
“Negative reviews shouldn’t be ignored or deleted,” says Anthony Puopolo, CMO at REX MD. “Negative reviews will help you adjust your marketing technique and sales strategies.” Negative reviews also add credibility to the good ones. All positive reviews look suspicious to people.
Replying to these reviews will show your professionalism to potential clients and allow you to show your side of the story. You can even ask the poster to change their review if you are able to address the issue after they post.