Satisfied customers are one of your biggest ambassadors. You could be having the best online and offline strategies in place but if you under-utilize the feedback of your satisfied customers, you are not optimizing all resources available at your disposal to drive your sales.
Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. In fact, both good and bad reviews have the potential to affect the bottom-lines.
So how can businesses leverage customer reviews to drive traffic and help market the products? Let’s find out.
Use testimonials and user reviews in the website content
Add testimonials and user reviews as content on your website. Choose the feedback that specifically talks about the features and benefits of the product or services. Ideally it should explain how exactly the customer benefited from using your products.
If a review has the details on how your product measures up against other available products in the market – you hit gold. Congratulations. You have a winning testimonial and it should be given a proud place in the layout when designing your website.
Testimonials carry more weight when they are from reputable and trustworthy clients. Good words from heavyweights can help build credibility.
Embed reviews in product pages
Yes. Just like Amazon. If you have an eCommerce site, you need to have a place for posting reviews where your customers can share their feedback with ease.
The reviews your verified purchasers leave on your product page influences potential buyers. It helps the fence sitters in making up their minds. If the feedback is search friendly, it aids in being discovered by Google spiders and your organic search traffic increases.
Use product reviews to push traffic via social media
Should you share positive feedback with your followers on social media? Yes. Absolutely. You must acknowledge the person and thank him for providing the feedback too. Basic courtesy. You can even use them on your site after getting their permission.
You can also do cool things like create widgets based on positive reviews etc. Below is a Twitter widget we created to showcase customer reviews.
If the platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram etc. are relevant to your business, share the positive reviews you find with your followers. Not only will this attract new customers but also boost your brand across social channels.
Use customer feedback to promote new products and services
Iconic American brand Tommy Hilfiger used a customer’s declaration of love for a product and his query, to promote its upcoming line beautifully on Facebook. A customer very obviously smitten with Tommy Hilfiger’s original lion crest logo wanted apparels with it and the brand smartly told him about the collaboration on a vintage collection which was on anvil. This interaction helped create awareness and a sense of anticipation for all its fans and followers who read the posts.
Use reviews and testimonials in newsletters and emails
You could weave testimonials tactfully in the articles you write for newsletters. Make sure they look like organic plugs. You can segment your users and send them targeted newsletters and emails with related reviews that focus on specific products and services you want to highlight or promote.
These reviews and testimonials are social proofs – seals of approval for the promoted products and services from their own kind in their in-boxes.
Use reviews in ebooks, print materials and broadcast ads
Using reviews and user testimonials to shape opinions has been one of the best way for the content marketers. Hence, they should be used optimally by big and small companies. If you are writing an ebook related to your company and on the products or services you provide, you would do well by including the voice of your customer in it.
Print and TV testimonial ads have long been a foolproof way to establish credibility and to win the trust of customers. If you are going that way make sure you use real customers. If you use actors and if the word gets out, your image will take a beating.
Use as a case study
Case studies are another great way to use customer reviews and they help your business immensely. Case studies depict in detail how a product or service helped a customer in turning his life or business around. It focuses on one big problem that your product or service helped solve in a unique manner. Case studies are a great way to highlight your success.
You get to tell the whole story from start to finish. Who was the customer? What was the issue? How was the issue resolved? Put in real numbers and pictures. The idea is to show the readers that your product and services solved the problem satisfactorily and how it could solve similar issues for other interested clients.
Don’t fret over negative reviews
Life isn’t really fair. There will be haters and people who will be dissatisfied with your product and services. Your product will fail sometimes – Murphy’s Law. There will be negativity and bad reviews on your product pages. Don’t fret over them.
If all the reviews of your products are great, rated high, people will suspect that you have been fiddling with the posts. Let the unflattering posts be. They present a more real picture of your business to the world.
From your end, let your customer relationship department see if the complaints are genuine and if they can fix and salvage the situation. For starters, an email or a comment expressing regret helps. Respond to negative reviews as soon as you can.
Why do people trust customer reviews more? Let’s try to understand. A verified user actually purchases the product, pays dollars from his pockets for it and hence his words are more trustworthy than the paid advertisements customers are surrounded with.
His reviews do not come from sales point of view, he is the prime user and he shares his user experience. He is not paid to say the things he does. It is no wonder then that the voice of a real user easily overcomes the initial skepticism of customers and influences their buying decisions.
Using user’s feedback to promote products and services is a very effective content marketing strategy. You declaring that you are the best in the market – again and again, doesn’t cut with the customers. They relate more to social proofs.
Ensure that you use customer reviews and testimonials for real customer. Use real photographs. Promote the latest reviews to show that the products and services are all up to date and current. Have a system of generating steady stream of feedback.
If possible ask the customers if they would be ok with you promoting their comments and feedback as promotion. Generally you will get a yes. Use the feedback smartly. And that’s a wrap.
Author Bio: Vivek Patel is a Local Search Specialist at E2M, one of the fastest growing SEO company based in India committed to meeting the highest ethical standards of digital marketing services to encourage and drive strategic and sustainable business growth. He covers local search optimization, link building tactics, and social media marketing strategies. You can find him on twitter @vivekrpatel or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org