The following post was contributed by our friends at G2:
There’s no doubt about it – word-of-mouth marketing is the new normal.
For years now, B2C and B2B companies have embraced review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and G2.com to gather valuable feedback and maintain a pulse on the way their customers are feeling.
But now, we’re entering phase two.
It’s no longer just about gathering these reviews.
To truly thrive in the review economy – and not just survive – you need to fully embrace them. This means fully incorporating them into every aspect of your business, from your marketing efforts to the closed deal – and even beyond in your product development.
Luckily, it’s easier than it sounds, and we’re here with plenty of actionable tips that you can implement almost immediately.
Are you ready to fully embrace the review economy? Then let’s start with step one – how to use customer reviews to fuel your marketing efforts.
8 Tips For Marketing With Customer Reviews
1. Build a testimonials page
A modern truth? Potential customers are going to seek out your customer reviews – whether you want them to or not.
So, how can you get in front of this, practice transparency, and make your customer experience as seamless as possible?
Easy – by building a testimonials page! Testimonial pages prove to your prospects that not only do you accept your customer feedback, you embrace it and want to show it off.
Even better, testimonial pages keep your potential customers on your site, as there’s no need to seek out reviews elsewhere if they’re right there in front of them. They are able to answer sales objections a prospect has before it’s even asked.
One quick tip? Feature a couple of your negative reviews (yeah – I said it) to make your testimonials page really stand out from the rest. By including these, you’re saying “hey – we heard you, and here’s what we’re working on,” and that, in combination with the clear emphasis on transparency, will go a long way.
2. Inspire your social media ads
How many social media ads to your scroll past in a day?
If you’re anything like me, I’d guess that it’s probably quite a few.
An easy way to cut through the noise and stand out is by featuring excerpts of your customer reviews on your social ads.
Consumers see right through the traditional advertisement. A review quote not only writes itself, but helps your social media ads stand out among the clutter. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Manage responses and engagement of these ads through your social media management tool.
3. Decorate your office
Every single employee at your company should think like a marketer.
No, I’m not saying every employee should be on your marketing team (that’d really be something, though).
What I am saying is that every employee should know your brand’s story, its mission, and most importantly, feel comfortable sharing that with others.
So how, as a marketer, can you facilitate this?
By letting your office tell your story just as much as your own team does.
An easy way to do this is by featuring your customer reviews around your own office. This will help your employees feel more connected to the brand, and as an added bonus, better understand what your customers love about it.
4. Enhance your Careers page
Marketing isn’t just about selling your product to potential customers.
It’s about selling your company to potential employees, too.
A way you can amp up your website’s Careers page a bit is by featuring some of your best product reviews from some of your biggest advocates.
While this may not explicitly speak to your company culture, or what it’s like to actually work there, it serves an important purpose: proving that your company – and its product or service – is on the right track to success.
In addition to your Glassdoor reviews, this is exactly what a potential employee will want to see.
5. Feature a review on your home page
It’s important to start letting your prospects know what they can expect as soon as they visit your site.
An easy way to do this is by featuring a review (or even a review carousel) directly on your homepage.
By doing so, you’re setting the standard that customer reviews aren’t just important – they’re mission-critical to your business.
One quick tip? If you’re using a carousel to feature multiple reviews, select reviews that highlight different features, were written by users from a variety of company sizes, etc. to prove to prospects that you have the full package.
6. Link to review sites in your email signature
Remember what I said about prospects seeking out customer reviews no matter what?
Well, that’s still true, and here’s another way you can make it easy for them.
Encourage your team to include a link to your company reviews in their email signature, just like they do with their LinkedIn profile or their Twitter handle.
This is a good look for anybody in your company who sends emails on the regular, but it’s an even better look for sales reps who are regularly using email to communicate with their prospects.
7. Inform your case studies
This may be a controversial opinion, but I believe that case studies are just as relevant today as they were ten years ago, so long as you make sure it fits with the times.
And there’s no better place to identify a case study candidate than from within your customer reviews.
Once you identify your candidate, you can use their customer review to guide the direction of your future case study. You’ll know which product features to highlight, which experiences to dig even deeper on, and more. And of course, you can (and should) feature the original review itself.
Only reaching out to your happiest customers for case studies is so 2010. Modernize your case studies with customer reviews.
8. Increase your landing page conversion rate
According to a 2017 study from Spiegel Research Center, displaying customer reviews can increase conversion rates by 170 percent.
When customer reviews are displayed for a high-priced item (say, business software or B2B ecommerce), that number jumps to a staggering 380 percent.
So, if you’re trying to improve your landing page conversion rate?
Featuring reviews at every part of your buyer journey – from your advertisements to your homepage right up to this final step – mean that no matter where they are in their buying journey, your potential customers are constantly reminded why they’re making the right choice.
If you want to fully embrace the review economy, it’s time to acknowledge that gathering reviews is only the first step.
In fact, their value goes far beyond just getting a glimpse into your customers’ thoughts.
Today, companies can use reviews to fuel their marketing efforts, fine-tune their sales pitch, and even inspire future product development.
By incorporating these reviews in every area of your business, you’ll be setting up your team, your customers, and your prospects for success.
By Claire Brenner
Manager, Content Marketing & SEO @ G2
Claire is a content marketing & SEO manager at G2.com. Hailing from the University of Dayton, Claire found her way back home to Chicago upon joining G2 in May of 2016. In her free time, you’ll find Claire practicing calligraphy, seeking out the city’s best BYOB sushi restaurants, and planning her next trip.