One of the most exciting aspects of online reviews is the fact that they directly affect businesses in every industry. In short, that means EVERYONE should care about their business’s online reviews.
Unlike other aspects of online marketing, which can be beneficial for some verticals but not others, online reviews are something that can and do affect every single business. This is because every business is dependant on customers.
Whether your target customer is a doctor’s office looking for marketing, a parent looking for team merch for their kid, or someone who is looking for a tech solution, they will all want information about your business before making their choice.
If you live in a bigger city or the suburbs–like most people in this country– chances are that you depend on the Internet to find out about local businesses. And reviews play a big part in that. Online businesses have known this for a decade or more, but the rest of the world is catching up now.
According to a recent Pew Research study, 82% of U.S. adults say they “at least sometimes read online customer ratings or reviews before purchasing items for the first time,” including 40% who say they always or almost always do so.
It’s not a big stretch to say that your business could be made or broken by a difference of 40%. And this is true for any business. Owners and managers of hotels, restaurants, doctor’s offices, car dealerships, and real estate agencies benefit from managing their online reputation to ensure that all potential clients can make an informed decision.
Here’s the thing: everyone at work contributes to online reputation, and everyone should be concerned with it. But business owners and C-level officers should think this is important and pay close attention.
Here’s a more specific breakdown:
As a business owner or a C-level officer, you already know that a business’s reputation and brand image are significant reasons why customers choose to work with you. Given customers start their journey’s online, your reviews play a big role in shaping your brand’s reputation and image. They are public references for the great things you do.
When a good online review management strategy is in place, you’ll also gain useful feedback from customers that can help you:
Like the CEO, the person who is heading a business’s marketing strategy should also care about online reviews. Further, the head of marketing is the person who truly understands that reviews are a differentiator.
For many businesses, the only thing that makes them different is the clients they work with and what they say about the company. That’s why gathering more online reviews can help marketing execs better understand how people are interacting with their brand and how the customer experience is doing.
In fact, reviews can be used to benchmark your customer experience!
Online reviews can also aid in increasing boosting search rankings and traffic to a business’s website, making it easier to attract new customers and get more eyes on other marketing endeavors.
With a good strategy for online review management in place, you can improve campaign performance because, if your business is highly rated, a customer is more likely to respond to your promotions, and offers.
Though someone who is working as a marketing associate may not have a direct hand in creating the business’s marketing strategy, they are key when executing on those goals.
When a marketing associate has a wealth of online reviews to pull from, they can use what’s said in the reviews as a part of the campaign creative.
As we mentioned earlier, user-generated content is vital in helping businesses gain the trust of potential customers. Although anything that is coming from a business’s marketing team doesn’t usually qualify as user-generated content that increases confidence, pulling directly from reviews creates a useful loophole.
So, listen up, marketing associates: use content from reviews in ads. Use them in social media campaigns. Use them to reach out to that customer to film a video or make them a brand ambassador.