What marketing campaigns are you using right now? Are you into paid ads? Content marketing? Social media? Or video marketing, perhaps? There’s no doubt that these marketing methods can give your business the boost that it needs, that is, if you are executing your campaigns the right way. In fact, countless businesses have garnered mind-blowing results using these marketing methods.
In addition to these; however, I’d like for us to talk about a marketing method that isn’t widely talked about, but is just as potent of a tool to grow your business. What marketing method am I talking about, you might ask?
What are online reviews?
Online reviews are what others are saying about you, or your business. And by others, I meant those who aren’t associated with your business. The reviews come in different shapes or forms.
Other businesses are keen on getting video reviews through YouTube, others are focusing on growing their Yelp reviews, some are into social media reviews, and there are also those who are gunning to entice webmasters from other niche related sites to write them a review on their website.
Why are we talking about this?
Sadly, while online reviews are such effective marketing tools, not many are giving it its due credit.
Myles Anderson mentioned in his article at SearchEngineLand.com how, 88% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations.
If that doesn’t convince you how powerful online reviews are, then nothing will.
So what’s the strategy?
The goal is to have as many reviews (ideally positive ones) written about your business/services. That way, when your prospect customers come looking for you (or the type of service that you provide), they won’t think twice about doing business with you since you have tons of positive reviews written about you all over the web.
Not only are reviews effective in influencing your prospective customers into buying your services, but reviews are also amazing at giving you more visibility online, PR, and even helping you with links to boost your website’s SEO.
How can I get others to review my business/services?
While there are several approaches that you can use to get others to write reviews about you, these are some of my favorites:
- Use contests.
This strategy is pretty cut and dry. All you need to do is run a contest so you can catch your audience’s attention. You’ll then require your audience to write a review about your business as a means for them to join your contest. Provided that your contest’s prize is of value to your audience, they’ll surely write you some reviews so they can join the contest.
- Give freebies in exchange for reviews.
I guess you can’t call it a freebie at this point since your audience would have to do something before they can get your “freebie”. However, writing a review takes very minimal effort that your audience won’t mind doing it for you in exchange of something that’s of value to them.
- Incentivize your existing clients/customers to send you a review.
There are a lot of things that you can use as an incentive to your audience to entice them to write you a review. You can use discount coupons, freebies, or offer them free publicity (among others).
While there are other strategies that you can employ to get the reviews, you can use the tips that I shared above as your starting point and try to build from them. If you’ll do that, it will only be a matter of time before you can come up with your own strategy that fits your business’ dynamics perfectly.
Round up reviews are amazing because it helps make your business look even more credible, and more authoritative than it actually is. If you can manage to get your business included on roundup reviews where your company is pitted against bigger and more established brands, it can easily create the illusion that your business has the same level of clout as the other businesses mentioned in the round up.
That being said, even if your company is just a month old, it’ll look as if you have an aged company since your business is pitted against established and well known brands. Getting yourself included in roundup reviews can be quite challenging especially when your business is fairly new. However, there is a strategy that you can use to get it done.
And that is… to initiate the round up yourself. Don’t wait for publishers to reach out to you asking if you’d like your business to be included in a review round up. The chances of that happening is very slim. You need to be deliberate about it by writing the round up yourself, then contacting webmasters to ask them if they’d like to publish the round up.
Be very careful not to sound biased.
The temptation is quite strong to position your company as the best among all the companies that you mentioned in your roundup. However, if your company is fairly new, the chances are good that your company isn’t the best.
Come on. Let’s be honest here.
What you can do instead is to focus on a specific aspect or angle and leverage on it. For example, while your business can’t compete with the overall product of your competitors (at least not for now), what you can do is be very competitive in terms of pricing or on other very specific aspects.
If you’ll position your business as the most affordable, then you’ll have an edge over your other competitors even if their products are better as a whole.
Benefits of getting reviews.
Allow me to share with you some of the benefits that you can gain from using online reviews as your marketing method.
Since others will be writing about you, you’ll get more online real estate for your business. Of course, the more webpages you are at, the higher the chances of your customers finding you.
- Link juice. Improve your website’s SEO.
It is only but natural for others to link to your website when writing about you or your services. That way, should their readers have questions, or there are things about you that they’d like to investigate themselves, they can easily do so since the publisher inserted a link to your website.
If you aren’t familiar with how Search Engine Marketing works, know that links are counted as “votes” by Google. The more high quality sites link to you, the better chances your site will rank on the search results for the keywords that you are targeting.
The strategy at work
A good example of an industry that has greatly benefitted from reviews are hotels. According to an infographic published at tnooz, about 81% of travelers find user reviews important, and about 49% of travelers won’t book a property without reviews. In fact, online reviews have become so important that there has been such a massive jump from the average review a hotel has on 2004 (which is about 10 reviews per hotel), to what it has become in 2013 where an average hotel gets about 465.
Friends, I don’t know about you, but those figures are quite telling of how much value reviews can add to your business.
What do you think?
I’d like you to share your thoughts on the importance of online reviews. Have you used them as a means to market your business in the past? How did it work out for you? What are the important things that you learned from your experience?
These are just some of the many questions that I’d like for all of us to discuss. Please add your thoughts in the comments section below.