Research shows that an increasing amount of buyers are using peer experience to make their purchase decision. 34 million people visited review sites last year according to Capterra. Numbers this big can be good, even exciting, or very scary depending on how well you are managing your profiles across review platforms.
Recent studies by IDC, Gartner, and SiriusDecisions point to the growing influence of peer-to-peer selling and suggest companies consider an advocacy-based sales strategy. Following are five ways you can use positive user reviews in your marketing programs.
1. Use retargeting campaigns to direct traffic to review sites.
Trying to recapture the attention of website visitors who didn’t convert can be tricky in today’s marketing environment. With the rise of human-centered marketing, and customers demanding a personalized experience, following someone around the internet with your logo is unlikely to get them to return and buy.
Instead, create banners that highlight positive customer experiences and direct them to a 3rd party site to read what their peers are saying.
2. Make a good first impression with top of funnel ads.
One of the reasons companies turn to search engines is to learn. They want to know their options and are looking for neutral opinions of the solutions available.
Making sure your organic search rankings are strong is an important part of your overall strategy and these pages make sense to be very specific to your product features and benefits.
Paid search however can be a great channel for thought leadership. Share reviews and direct clicks to review sites. Meeting your prospects by providing helpful and unbiased information can go a long way toward building trust and ultimately winning their purchase.
3. Assure prospects of their decision by embedding reviews in email.
Those of us at computers all day send a lot of email. 149,513 every minute according to INC. Put those emails to work. Many review sites like G2Crowd have widgets that will insert your ranking and a link to your reviews page into every email you send.
As marketers we are always looking for the next new thing to shorten deal cycles and improve win rates. Don't overlook one of the oldest tools available (email) that help achieve both.
4. Gather more reviews by sharing reviews.
Once you’ve secured a few good reviews on your site, work them into your existing channels to solicit even more reviews. More is better with user reviews and review sites will often use the number of reviews as criteria to create reports and “Top Solution” listings.
It’s fairly well known among marketers that traction begets traction. Share customer reviews and offer your customers the chance to “join in” by sharing a review of their own.
A great place to intercept a great customer experience can be your support tickets. Your support team is interacting with your customers daily. Arm them with a link to collect feedback and after they’ve wowed your customers, they can share the link in their final message to close their ticket.
5. Show off your satisfied customer status at events.
Events can be an expensive investment for organizations. As with any big ticket item, engagement becomes even more important and teams are asked to prove return on the investment.
Win attention in a competitive exhibitor hall by displaying customer satisfaction proudly on your booth and increase your engagement metrics.
If you really want to go the extra mile, ask customers you meet at the event to write a new review for you on the spot. Have special gifts ready for those that take the time.
“The more you can get customers to speak
on your behalf, the more opportunities
you will have to prove value.”
If you’re just at the start line with gathering reviews, or you are ready to really step it up, many review sites offer support. Some review sites even offer your customers rewards for their effort. There's no better time than right now to give some thought to capturing, improving, and leveraging reviews in your marketing programs.