Reviews are everywhere.
Whether or not you’re reading them, there’s a good chance your customers are writing reviews about you.
As a marketer, you need to read customer reviews. Reviews have an impact across the business, including marketing, sales, and customer success.
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Consider using reviews in your business to:
- Emphasize your strengths. If you’re making changes to your products and services, use reviews to make sure you keep what your customers most love about you.
- Discover where to improve. While every company has their strengths, there’s also room for improvement. By reading reviews with an open mind, you can uncover where to put your energies when implementing changes to your products, services, customer service, communications, or processes.
- Reveal competitive insights. Not only do consumer reviews give insights into your business, they give you a sneak peek at your competitors too. If there’s a specific competitor you keep losing sales to, keep a consistent eye on their reviews. Look at where their strengths are, then find how you can do it better.
- Increase brand awareness. When consumers are looking to purchase in an unfamiliar market, where do they look? You guessed it - review websites. When someone is looking for a restaurant or mechanic, they go to Yelp. If they need a hotel, they go to TripAdvisor. If they need software, its G2 Crowd. If you’re not on review websites, prospects will go to your competitors before they even know your name.
- Build trust and credibility. Reviews are credible. This is why people like to discover brands using review sites instead of Google. Customers know that a brand’s website doesn’t always give the full picture, which is why people like to discover brands on these review sites instead.
In addition to the wealth of insights reviews provide, you can put them to work in your marketing strategy. Once you start reading reviews, it’s time to put them to work for you.
It’s a strategy that works.
According to a study on B2B consumer reviews by G2 Crowd and Heinz Marketing, nine out of 10 companies currently using reviews as a part of their business strategy say that their importance has increased or stayed the same in the past one-to-two years.
While participants in this study are B2B marketers, the benefits of reviews apply to both B2C and B2B marketing.
If you’re ready to start using reviews in your marketing strategy, here are a few places to start.
Whenever you are using reviews in your marketing materials, be sure to check the terms and conditions of the third-party review platform. While some do, not all companies allow you to quote reviews from their site.
1. Your website
By using reviews on your company’s website, you are sharing a stamp of approval that can be recognized in a moment. Plus, reviews have more trust and credibility than marketing messages written by your own team.
Here you can see how the Hilton in downtown Cleveland embeds reviews on their website:
Many review websites enable you to embed reviews on your website. Widgets vary between review providers; for example, at G2 Crowd, you can choose which reviews you want to be displayed through the widget.
Instead of showing full reviews on your homepage, you can also display any awards you’ve won from review websites, your top-ranking position, or your overall ranking on a third-party website. Here you can see how Hilton’s competitor in Cleveland, The Radisson, displays their TripAdvisor ranking:
2. Social media
Every marketer knows you need social media. Finding content to post on social media can be a challenge though. When you get a great review, turn it into a social media post. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, add a few simple design elements to your quoted review, and you’ll be sure that powerful customer quote has an impact.
You can use these posts as a standard social media post, or promote them as sponsored posts.
Once again, be sure to check the terms and conditions. Many review platforms require you to give attribution to where the quote came from. For example, if you’re using a review quote from Yelp, your social media post must cite Yelp as the source.
3. Sales collateral
Reviews are a great way to find brand advocates. When you find someone who writes a great review for you, they may be willing to work with you to create additional marketing materials such as case studies.
You can also cite your review site ranking or statistics about your company within sales collateral.
For example, if a review platform shows that you outrank your competitors in customer service, put it on your brochure and let prospects know!
Don’t just stand on the sidelines; get into the review game and start putting them to work in your marketing strategy. Read reviews, and consider email outreach asking customers to write reviews post-purchase. You’ll discover a world of content at your fingertips.
And, best of all, that content was written by the people who matter the most - your customers!
About the author
Kristen is a marketer at G2 Crowd who calls both Chicago and Australia home. Her background includes marketing, events, and public relations across various industries including film, publishing, professional associations, and tech. Also an actor, Kristen applies the craft of acting to the profession of marketing to create content that is honest, sincere, and authentic. Find Kristen on Twitter or on LinkedIn
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