90% of us are influenced by positive reviews when buying a product, according to a survey by Dimensional Research, and 72% of us consider online reviews as important as opinions from friends and family. These numbers show that customer reviews are growing to be an important factor in business development.
In order to have an effective growth marketing strategy, your business should work to win customers’ trust and develop brand loyalty. Your first step towards this goal is to leverage word-of-mouth (WOM), and especially digitally enabled WOM.
The online world provides easy access to a mountain of customer reviews, which could be used to both learn and improve. Here are a couple of ways reviews can be used in marketing, with real business examples from Helloprint.
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One of the most obvious ways to integrate reviews in your marketing strategy is to display your overall ratings. Place them on a sidebar on your e-commerce website, in your TV ads, on your packaging, or just print them out on a sticker or a sign and put it up on your shop window.
If numbers don’t seem as persuasive as words, quotes from customers can also serve well for such purposes. That is, as long as the sentences selected are short and powerful.
The power of reviews in online marketing
According to Forbes, 1 in every 4 consumers uses social media to search for reviews. While that may not seem like a big percentage, it is important to use all opportunities to draw in customers. Unfortunately, Facebook reviews are not enough to convince customers of the quality of a brand.
For further validation for your brand, third-party review platforms like Trustpilot can be linked to any Facebook page. Trustpilot also offers an Image Generator tool to highlight some of your favourite reviews, directly on your feed. To fully capitalize on the reviews on social media, it is a good idea to include numerous links to your e-shop. That way, customers can directly click on the ‘shop now’ CTA after they’ve made their mind up based on reviews leveraged on your profile.
Emails are a powerful tool, which is proven to be very useful for persuading customers to purchase products. 59% of respondents from Experian’s research state that emails influence their decision about purchases. Combining the influence of email marketing with the high impact of reviews as a stamp of social proof results in a highly convincing message for customers.
Customer reviews are best used in welcome email sequences in order to build trust with your potential new customers. They are particularly useful when customers have signed up, but have not placed an order from your online shop.
Do online reviews work offline?
An area of marketing strategy that cannot be overlooked is print advertising. The main advantage of print advertisements is tangibility. They make brand appear real and trustworthy. Especially if banners or posters are interactive, they could be easily connected with an online marketing campaign, providing the best of both worlds. Reviews serve to provide another layer of customer approval on advertisements.
In their search for original marketing, brands sometimes go back in time, when direct mailing was a popular strategy. However, it is important that direct mailings are updated with a fresh modern look to be really effective.
To make direct mailing even more impactful, place you reviews on the print materials. A review score or a couple of quotes will assure customers that your brand is trustworthy.
What about negative reviews?
Negative reviews are vital for growth. A surprising way to use them is as an idea box for experiments to improve your business.A lot of ideas can arise, if the reviews are carefully read and analyzed. Trustpilot’s new Review Insights tool allows businesses to use the power of AI to identify trends and areas of development, and work towards delivering a better customer experience.
For example, a couple of reviews might state that a website is difficult to use. From this step, it is important to investigate exactly how is that so. Statistical measures, which would provide information about which pages are difficult to understand are the bounce rate, as well as drop out rate in the process of purchase.
However, it is good to point out that all measures are not directly proven to be related to customer confusion, there could be many reasons, that’s why A/B testing is a good way to find out what works.
What is A/B testing? At its simplest, it is an experiment which includes two sample groups. In practice, this would mean that you show part of your customers the old page, and the other part the updated version. After a period of time, you can analyze the measures, and iterate on how to proceed with the gathered data.
Here’s an example from Helloprint. They hypothesized that including Trustpilot reviews on the top of their page, next to their main USPs and value propositions, would have an effect on conversion rate. The test was successful and resulted in an increase of conversion rate.
Helloprint's banner without Trustpilot's ratings during the A/B test
Helloprint's banner showcasing Trustpilot's ratings during the A/B test
Reviews provide direct opinions from your customers. There is benefit in it, no matter if it’s constructive criticism, which would help a business grow, or whether it is a compliment to validate the employee’s hard work.
Find out how Trustpilot reviews can help you out today, download a free copy of Trustpilot’s Complete Guide to Reviews below.
Author: This blog post was written by Slavena Varbanova, Content Marketer at HelloPrint.