Marketing is a broad term. From Search Engine Optimization to running ad campaigns across the internet, developing an effective marketing strategy is something that all businesses must work on. As we are continually embracing digital, online reviews are occupying a central portion position in the digital marketing strategy.
Devising a strategy to get more positive online reviews is something that not a lot of business owners are focusing on. Online reviews can immensely contribute to the overall marketing strategy of the business.
But is it the most powerful marketing tool out there? Let’s find out.
Online Reviews vs. Other Marketing Strategies
In this section, we’ll analyze where online reviews stack up against other marketing strategies. So, let’s delve deep!
1.) Online Reviews and Advertisements
Advertisements are obviously the first thing that will come to your mind when you think of advertisements. There’s no denying that advertisements are necessary to generate more traffic to websites, but let’s analyze whether it is as impactful as online reviews.
According to a recent study, only a small section of the online population (17%) trust online advertisements. Nowadays, customers are careful about buying goods and services from online platforms. They know that it is not difficult to set up ads on the internet. Thus, no matter how good you are at advertising your products, it won’t work on customers who’re susceptible to your products.
Now, if your customers are not a big fan of advertisements, what do they do if they wish to buy a product? They research to help themselves make informed decisions. A big chunk of this “research” comes from online reviews.
Customers prioritize online reviews as the primary source of legitimate information about the products that they might buy. The comparison is simple to understand. Online reviews are more effective than advertisements when it comes to attracting customers.
2.) Online Reviews and SEO:
Search Engine Optimization is another effective marketing tool that almost everyone uses to boost their business. Experts believe that if website owners are not focusing on SEO as a part of their digital marketing effort, it’ll be difficult for them to generate organic traffic. So, can online reviews compete with such a formidable marketing tool?
Online reviews are often considered an extension of SEO. Getting the most of online reviews will also translate to having a good SEO score to rank your website higher up on search engines.
Here’s how this works: in online reviews, your brand name or ‘brand mentions’ are bound to shoot up. Customers will be talking about your business and the services that you offer everywhere. This will also boost your website’s SEO. Thus, these two marketing tools go hand-in-hand and work along the same line.
3.) E-Mail Marketing:
E-Mail marketing is another strategy that is both popular and easy to pull off. As a result, website owners flock to leverage this and give their businesses a coveted boost. But is it effective?
If you are not sure how to judge this, check your E-Mail account’s ‘spam’ folder. You’ll find hundreds and thousands of advertisements scattered there. Even the ones that your hosting provider won’t classify as spam would probably be left unopened. E-Mail marketing has a minuscule success rate and does not always guarantee success. Online reviews, meanwhile, will prove to be more effective in comparison.
So these were the three main marketing strategies that almost everyone includes in their campaigns. It’s apparent that online reviews have one up against all of them. Does that make online reviews the most powerful tool in marketing? No, because there are hundreds of other parameters that we would need to consider before making such a statement. But the conclusion is clear – online reviews are an integral part of online marketing, and you’ll not be able to reap enough benefits out of other strategies if you do not invest in them.
Tips on How to Get More Positive Reviews
Now that you know the importance of getting online reviews, let’s see how you can earn them.
Here’s what you can do to get more online reviews from your customers:
1. Try Asking: Sometimes, the best way to achieve something might be to follow the simplest steps. Just ask your fans to review your products and see if that works.
2. Devise a Review-Asking Process: Depending on your creativity, you can create a process on your website that contains sending reviews as an integral part of its roadmap.
3. Use Automated Processes: Many people use automated tools to do the “asking” for them. This saves you the trouble and time that you would be wasting chasing unwilling customers.
4. Target Satisfied Customers: The most important tip that we have to offer is that you shouldn’t just aim for getting reviews. You should be gunning for both positive and negative reviews to establish authenticity. There are many ways to cherry-pick satisfied customers. One of them is to create a survey to find out the customer’s experiences. If the survey is positive, you can ask them to fill out a review form, something that they won’t mind doing.
5. Make Review Writing Simple: People don’t want to waste their time writing reviews for a business. To get them to do so, you will have to minimize the amount of effort they need to put in. Create a simple interface that can accommodate short reviews. It will also help if you can provide a template for the review.
6. Engage with Reviewers: Customers always like an interactive business. Engaging with existing reviews will encourage people to open their thoughts productively. They will invite a possible conversation with the business representatives.
The Impact of Positive Online Reviews – Why are they needed?
For the next part, let us cross-check some of the most exciting advantages and positive impacts of having great online reviews.
1.) Online reviews act as social proof. Investing time and money in this business is fruitful. People tend to believe what they read from other reviewers.
2.) Online reviews make your business more visible. First of all, they can boost up your SEO because your brand mentions will skyrocket. At the same time, search engines have a traditional preference for websites having good reviews.
3.) They increase the credibility of your business. Positive online reviews will compel your customers to trust your products.
4.) Online reviews are the final step in the decision-making process when it comes to sales. The better your reviews, the higher are the chances of your customers buying your products.
5.) Online reviews provide you with a forum where you can interact with your customers. This sort of interaction is important for the overall development of your brand’s stature.
So while there is no absolute way to check if online reviews are the most powerful marketing tool, we can conclude that it is one of the most important. The advantages that they bring to the table are phenomenal for your business’s success. It does require some amount of effort to get online reviews to work in your favor, but it will surely yield long-term results for your business.