What's the Number 1 form of marketing?
Word-of-mouth marketing - and it always will be!
Why? Because people trust each other over anything you will every say as a business. It's nothing you're doing wrong! It's just the reality.
Unfortunately, many brands overlook this, which can cost them in so many ways. Here's how to get the best from your online review marketing so you can add this to your marketing arsenal.
Let me start with a question
How many reviews do you have on your Google My Business profile?
Did you just think, "What is a Google My Business?" or "I'm not sure?". The problem is, this may be costing you a significant amount of business.
Like... a LOT of potential business.
When people Google you or your industry, the little window on the right is a Google My Business page, where you can promote yourself for free. But, it has a far more important role.
A Google My Business page, like mine below, is what people base a LOT of their purchasing decisions on today. That's because of two reasons:
How bad does it look when you have a very low star rating, or worse, you're business doesn't show up?!
If you want to optimise your marketing, you need to include customer reviews in your strategy. Otherwise you're missing out on a lot of marketing power.
Your customers are looking for online evidence
The majority of people today naturally search for online reviews to determine the quality of a business.
This means that, despite expensive advertising and mainstream marketing efforts, your customers are still taking the word of others to assist them in forming an opinion about whether they should choose you or not, over many other communication methods.
Take, for instance, when you are choosing a new restaurant. You naturally look at the online reviews to see what others have said. Why? Because the people who leave reviews have no incentive to lie about their own experience - especially on Google. That means other people feel comfortable about trusting the majority of these reviews left by their peers.
People trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
Another fact that a lot of research shows is that most people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
This is a phenomenal shift in the way that people are utilising the internet when making purchasing decisions. And you can't blame them!
While both B2B clients and B2C customers will review your content and website to understand your business, they will hunt for real customer reviews and star ratings to get a real sense of your business.
Why aren't businesses taking this seriously?!
While everyone knows this when they have their "customer hat" on, when people put their "business hat on", they forget!
So: what's going on here?
Your customers are actively hunting for online reviews as social proof of your business' quality, and yet brands are completely undervaluing the power of customer reviews in marketing.
It's time to embrace your customer reviews and use them as social evidence for your brand.
How to improve your customer review marketing
Right - so if they're so powerful, it's time for businesses to make the most of them.
But how, without unethically skewing the results? Easy!
These tips will help you collect more reviews and use them to enhance your marketing.
Your customers are driving this change
Today's customers are driving this shift.
The majority of decisions are made by your customers before they have even made direct contact with you.
That's because they are changing the way they inform themselves via the internet, and Marketing must learn to adapt to utilise this medium effectively by encouraging reviewing systems, promoting testimonials and enabling brand advocacy.
Don't resist it! It’s actually a positive thing for industries, as it simultaneously provides a free PR campaign that is often far more powerful than any paid advertising, and keeps organisations accountable for their products and services.
But it's not just your own customer reviews and testimonials that people are looking at. They're also looking at review websites too.
Review websites are everywhere now! And your customer knows it
This is why a lot of organisations, such as RateMyAgent.com.au, ProductReview.com.au and Zomato.com.au have spawned- to create an accessible platform where people can log in and even use their own social media accounts to offer their feedback, which others are very willing to read and trust.
With this comes the obvious legitimacy issue.
Reviews must be truthful and genuine, otherwise they can backfire on the organisation. Interestingly enough, consumers have developed a natural instinct when selecting and interpret reviews. The new culture sees people read all ranges of reviews and then naturally dismiss silly, unwarranted, fake or even old feedback, and seek out the legitimate ones.
So, what should your business do?
Peer-to-peer reviews are increasingly becoming the most trusted source of information on the internet when it comes to an organisation’s products and services.
It’s therefore essential for Marketing to not only encourage and manage these, but also ensure that the product deserves its positive reviews, and then promote these reviews to other potential customers in order to capitalise on this medium.
This kind of crowd-sourcing is relatively inexpensive and very powerful in creating a strong brand-advocacy message.
How can Melotti Media help you?
Good content leads to a great experience for your customers, who will leave you positive reviews!
To engage your customer and achieve ongoing business success today, you need a powerful message, quality copywriting and consistent content. However, this is easier said than done.
Perhaps you’re time poor and spread thin, or writing may not be your expertise.
So, let us take care of your message marketing, copywriting and content marketing needs!
For more information or to speak to a quality marketing copywriter to get the results your business deserves, contact me now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Message Marketing services can sharpen your words into achieve your goals, today.
Melotti Media | Copywriting & Message Marketing Bureau
DISCLAIMER: This blog expresses the opinion of Christopher Melotti (Melotti Media) and should be taken as general information only. No responsibility is taken for your actions in response to any content in this blog. See the website's Terms and Conditions for more information.