Review Generation Strategies to Boost Online Reputation in 2021
Learn how to obtain high-quality reviews and discover how you can best leverage those reviews for maximum impact on your brand’s reputation.
When you go looking for products or services that help you either in and around the house or as a way to improve your working experience, do you tend to go at it blind? Or do you like to know what you’re getting when you click on the “add to cart” button?
Chances are, if you’re like the rest of us out there looking for crucial solutions to our everyday challenges, you’re looking for reviews to help inform your decision-making process. And if you’re like the rest of us, you’re probably tracking down at least 7 different reviews before trusting a business enough to ultimately make it your go-to in that service or product category.
Reviews play a crucial role in the buyer’s journey, and therefore it’s extremely important for your brand’s online reputation that you have a solid plan in place to elicit reviews from a number of sources and across different channels. In this discussion, we’re going to talk about how to source more reviews from different audiences and how best to leverage those reviews for maximum impact on your brand’s visibility and reputation.
The Case for Actively Managing Reviews in the Current Economy
As with much of what we’ve written over the last 11 months about trends and strategies for success in marketing and advertising, it’s hard to talk about these topics without also talking about the specific impact COVID-19 has had on the topic at hand. And when it comes to reviews and consumer behavior, there’s no exception.
Product and service reviews have always been important drivers of consumer behavior. Consumers want to know what solutions your brand offers that others might not. In the wake of COVID-19, however, consumers are noticeably more concerned with what others have to say about the brand experience as well as a company’s activities relative to the community and its workers. This makes taking an active role in review solicitation and management even more important than in previous years.
How to Ask for Reviews
Written reviews of products and services have always been important in the marketing and sales landscape. Written by real users of your products and services, consumers often consider reviews they find online as influential as personal recommendations from a friend or family member.
The key is to remember that customers who are happy with your services or product want to talk about it and want to tell others, so leveraging natural interactions throughout the client-customer relationship can be the most successful method for generating reviews.
Consumers in the Wild Love to be Recognized As Supporting Your Brand
As a service provider or business that sells products, you’re apt to talk to consumers in any number of settings. You could run across them at an industry event, or more likely in today’s business environment on an unrelated zoom call. Whatever the setting, it’s likely they will want to share with you their experience with your brand. If it’s a positive conversation, you should ask them if they are willing to write a customer review and share the review with you. Ensure that you’re eliciting a true and honest product review, rather than telling them what to say or asking for a review from a family member or someone else who might be considered having a conflict of interest.
Mailing Lists are the Perfect Place to ask for Reviews
If you provide a service or product, chances are your marketing department maintains some form of a mailing list that you could easily reach out to via email and elicit positive reviews from as part of a weekly or monthly newsletter. Include links to the most useful review channels for your brand, as well as for instructions as to how to provide a review on those platforms.
Your sales process should include some form of consumer follow-up and opt-in for future communication in the form of a mailing list or newsletter. In the course of this follow-up, your messaging should also include details on how and where to leave reviews about the service they’ve experienced and their opinion on the brand. This is not only one of the strongest sources of review building, but also one of the most effective methods for building repeat sales.
Solicit Video Testimonials to Pair Powerful Video Content with Brand Management
When it comes to reviews, you want consumers to provide other potential clients with as much personal insight as possible. Rather than words on the screen, you want them to see and hear your clients’ excitement and enthusiasm about your brand, and no other medium does that better than video testimonials. With 89% of marketers pointing to video testimonials as one of the most powerful content marketing tools, you should definitely provide customers with the opportunity and resources to submit their own video reviews of your brand.
Managing Your Reputation Where Reviewers Tend to Gather
It’s important as a brand to take the lead on review generation with your client base by providing them links and guidance on where they should post reviews, given how little control you ultimately have over the many review platforms that exist across the internet.
Two of the primary platforms you should focus your efforts on are Google’s business profiles and Yelp’s business profiles. Both of these platforms are easily accessible to businesses looking to create profiles, but also equally accessible to customers looking to leave reviews of services. Luckily, it also makes the interface for responding to reviews extremely easy. Managing reviews in this way allows your brand to interact with consumers to promote positive ongoing relationships and address customers who might feel that their interaction with your brand was less than perfect.
Making the Most of Reviews Customers Leave for Your Brand
Much of brand management and your organization’s online reputation can be gleaned simply from the reviews left by customers and the visible ways in which you interact with and manage those reviews. In this way, reviews are a powerful introspective tool your leadership can use to gauge what your brand is doing right, and what you can quickly and easily improve upon in order to improve the customer journey and overall consumer experience of your brand.
With the need to build market share and customer base back up in the wake of one of the most difficult economic years in recent history, focusing on positive consumer feedback and building brand interest by leveraging reviews across social media and in inbound marketing strategies, your sales team will be better able to foster brand interest and subsequently convert interested leads into paying customers.
Positives Leads, Positive Results
Not every customer review online will be a positive one for your brand, and negative reviews could be seen by hundreds of potential clients. This is why it is so important that your organization takes an active role in review generation. Your existing customer base wants to help your brand be successful, as they are invested in your ongoing ability to meet their needs as consumers. In fact, 68% of consumers asked to provide feedback will do so. And with this many more of your customers providing feedback on reviews sites, you’ll effectively negate the poor reviews over time, leaving potential clients to see that a majority of your existing customer base is happy and inspiring them to become customers themselves.
Managing your online reviews can be a time consuming and daunting task, especially for small businesses just getting started. If you understand the importance of reputation management, but don’t have the internal resources to manage it on a regular basis, consider exploring UpCity’s network of B2B service providers. There’s bound to be a reputation management firm that can ensure your positive image with your clients and across the web.