Why online reviews should be part of your online marketing strategy

Imagine yourself buying a new audio system. Would you make a purchase, because the ad promises it’s everything you’ve always wanted? Or would you first google your brains out to read what other people have to say? You would be looking for stars and stories right?

Ratings and reviews have become two of the biggest influencers on a buyer’s journey. If ‘the people’ say you’re out, then you’re out. If they say you’re in, then you win.

There’s nothing new on the horizon here, it’s called Word Of Mouth (WOM) and it’s the principle of marketing and advertising. It’s been like this for ages. But in the last decade, with the rise of online shopping, WOM inevitably found its way to the online market and has become a serious player in online marketing.

Why online reviews affect your business today

People don’t listen to ads alone anymore. They now listen to people. And it doesn’t even matter whether they know each other or not. In fact, 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation (Bright Local 2016).

With this information, it’s hard not to imagine the importance of consumer feedback for your business. In fact, online reviews play a remarkably big role in the success of your online marketing strategy.

Here’s how:

Buyer cycle

They influence the consumer in the buyer’s cycle from the first stage of awareness to consideration and finally conversion. They even add an extra stage to the cycle: evaluation. Meaning: writing a review that will eventually play its part in the awareness stage of the next buyer again.

Conversion

95% of the American shoppers say that reviews are an essential resource while making a purchase decision (Power of Reviews, 2016). As our A/B-testing case LELO HEX already confirmed, having more reviews for a product leads to a higher conversion. The question is: how many reviews do you need to make a difference in online sales?

On-site rating

Reviews on your company website offer unique content about your product. And the more of this you have to offer, the more likely Google is going to reward you for it with a higher ranking in search results. On top, reviews lead to a higher conversion. And conversion rate is a factor search engines use when ranking websites.

Off-site ranking

Are you selling your product on a retailer’s website? The more reviews your product has to offer, the more likely it will show up first in the vertical search engine of the etailer. The product page will also rank higher in Google when searching for it. So if you want to increase your sales on a certain retail website, make it a target in the next review campaign.

Consumer feedback

There’s no better feedback than the one you get directly from your target group. It’s brutally honest, yes, but it’s oh so valuable in many ways. First, it is direct input for your R&D department. Second, if managed well, it can be used as an extension of your customer service. Third, it builds trust. Especially if you actively follow up on bad reviews and useful comments.

Now back to the audio system that you’re planning to buy: start googling your brains out and make sure you buy something that will blow you away!

In the meantime: if you have a product and you acknowledge the importance of more reviews, schedule a call with us and we are happy to explain our solutions to you.

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