In order to find out what customers think about the quality of products and services, most businesses enable testimonial and review sections on their websites. These online reviews benefit the business by allowing it to identify its strengths and weaknesses. At the same time, other customers can benefit from the experiences of the reviewer. Besides online reviews, people also write reviews on many other platforms. As a business owner or manager, you can benefit from these comments and ratings. Why? They are powerful PR tools. Learn more below!
Online Reviews Influence Purchases
Wondering why to use online reviews as PR tools? Although we see them as a few positive or negative sentences or paragraphs, these reviews are more than that. They can either inspire someone else to make a purchase or deter them from the idea. Evidence shows that consumers who read positive reviews have a 133% higher conversion rates compared to their counterparts who don’t. At the same time, consumers spend 31% more on a business with positive reviews and 72% say they trust local businesses more because of the excellent reviews. Customers trust and engage with online reviews. Therefore, they make a reliable ally for the business in promoting their products and generating more leads and sales.
Benefits of Online Reviews for Your Business
In today’s competitive market, it is important to use all resources available to beat the competition and achieve the success you seek. Among many tools that help us improve our business in one way or another, online reviews stand out as a truly unique approach toward promoting and developing business. The benefits include:
- Better search engine results
- Free advertising
- Constructive criticism and useful suggestions
- Improved relationship with customers
- Increased conversions
- More confidence in your service/product
- A useful way to reach more people, particularly in targeted demographics
- More website traffic
- Increased word-of-mouth marketing
How Can You Turn Reviews into PR Tools?
Consumer reviews contribute to the company’s reputation. Positive reviews and posts make the brand even more reliable and send a positive message to other potential customers, while negative reviews do the opposite. Yes, we are aware of benefits that come with online reviews, but how to use them as PR tools? To do so, you have to encourage customers to leave reviews about their experience with a certain product or service. Here’s how:
Ask for a Review
Customers love to feel they are an important part of some company, but rarely will businesses use this fact to their advantage. Ernest S. Morrison, marketing specialist at ProEssay Writing, says that most people will gladly leave a review when asked because they believe a few simple comments can have a major impact on the business and inspire other customers to have the same experience.
And you know what? Regardless of how big or small the online review, it does have a major influence on both your business and customer acquisition and retention. Asking for reviews can include sending emails to those who make a purchase online. Of course, the email should be short, precise, and well-written, without grammar and spelling mistakes. Whenever a task includes writing content, the best thing to do is to get assistance of professional writers. If you have a “physical” store, a practical (and unique!) approach is to print customer feedback cards and hand them out to people who purchase something. These cards give customers simple instructions on how to leave feedback and a review on your preferred site.
Don’t Focus on One Review Site Only
Even though it may seem tempting to focus on one review site only, that is a wrong move. Why? Simple: appearing on multiple websites makes the business well-rounded. Let’s not forget the fact that most people visit some particular site only. The goal is to reach as many people as possible with online reviews and the best way to do it is to ensure customers leave their posts on more websites. As a result, even those who don’t visit one particular review website can still read about positive customer experiences regarding your business.
Respond to Online Reviews
The last thing your customers want is to be ignored, but sadly many businesses neglect the importance of interaction with people who buy their products or services. Responding to online reviews is a great way to improve reputation and show you care, and it’s a great marketing tool at the same time. This also includes responding to negative reviews, proposing helpful solutions, and enabling the dissatisfied customer to change his/her mind. You can reply to the reviews directly on the review website or share it on the company’s official social media page. Tips to remember
- Inspire customers to leave reviews
- Be quick with your replies
- Turn customers into brand ambassadors
- Check review websites regularly
- Share reviews in promotional emails
- Share customer reviews on social media
Online Reviews Facts and Stats
- 70% of consumers leave a review for a business when asked
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendation
- 54% of consumers visit the business’ website after reading a positive review
- 68% of millennials trust online reviews
- Customers trust consumer reviews 12 times more than descriptions coming from manufacturers
- 50 or more reviews per product can lead to 4.6% increase in conversion rates
- 35% of customers leave a review to inform others about customer experience
- 26% of customers leave a review to help other people make decisions
- 92% of customers read online reviews
We live in glorious times when everything can be used as a promotional tool for big and small businesses. Online reviews aren’t the exception to this rule. Encouraging customers to leave reviews contributes to branding, generates more leads and traffic, and fits perfectly into a digital marketing strategy. Best of all, it doesn’t cost a penny and you can use the benefits of online reviews for PR even if you have a limited budget.