Like it or not, online reviews are the engine driving your company’s reputation—and sales. Unfortunately, if your company doesn’t have a rock-solid review acquisition strategy in place, its online reputation could suffer.
The following is a contributor post from SmartBug Media Marketing Manager Alejandra Melara. Learn more about Alejandra at the end of the article.
Ready to proactively boost customer satisfaction, churn out more positive reviews, and put them on display for the world? There are seven killer review acquisition strategies your company should be using.
First, Why Are Review Acquisition Strategies Important?
Implementing a review acquisition strategy will require extra work from your marketing team. You may be wondering, “ Is a strategy really worth it?”
The answer is a loud and clear, “Yes!” Customer reviews data from ReviewTrackers found 94 percent of customers have avoided a business altogether because of a negative review.
And the upside is even greater. More and more, consumers are relying on the voices of fellow customers as a source of truth. According to Hubspot, 81 percent of consumers trust the advice of friends and family over businesses. That makes positive reviews essential to building trust and sparking your business’ success.
7 Review Acquisition Strategies to Launch Now
Looking for a review acquisition strategy that can solidify trust and boost business? Here are seven strategies to lift your online presence.
1. Smooth Out Quality Control
Before you start sparking new online reviews, it’s important to do damage control. It doesn’t matter how good your company is at pulling in new reviews; if the web is being flooded with negative reviews, it will hurt your online reputation—and if your company already has a pile of poor reviews, it’s a good indication that something is broken.
Make sure you’re using inbound marketing to keep your customers engaged at every stage of the Buyer’s Journey. If they’re falling through the cracks, it could be causing a problem that’s turning into negative experiences.
Once you know the business has filled in the gaps in customer service, you can start launching a strategy for acquiring more reviews with confidence.
2. Solidify Trust with Inbound
If you want to generate positive reviews, it takes trust. When customers trust your company, they’ll be happy to recommend it to the people they care about.
A trust-centered inbound marketing strategy will help turn one-off customers into loyal brand ambassadors. That strategy should include giving potential leads and existing customers valuable content. Whenever they learn, receive quality content, and benefit from your company, they’ll trust your company a little more. From there, they’ll be ready to spread the good news about your business.
3. Secure Reviews with an Ask Campaign
It may seem obvious, but one of the best strategies to boost review acquisitions is to simply ask. By encouraging happy customers to leave reviews through a calculated campaign, you’ll tip the odds of grabbing positive reviews in your favor.
In order to connect with the right customers, you’ll want to create email marketing campaigns that target those customers who are fully engaged with your company. From there, hit them with emails that ask for their review. Setting up an ask campaign helps you amplify the voices of satisfied customers who may be silent otherwise.
4. Cut Out Any Friction
The easier you make leaving a positive review, the more likely your customers will be to follow through. That’s why one of the best review acquisition strategies out there includes clearly directing customers through the review process.
When you’re crafting your ask emails, include links to the third-party sites where you want reviews to pop up. Always lay out step-by-step instructions on how to leave a review to simplify the process.
5. Ask for Reviews In Person
If you’re regularly meeting with customers, in-person meetups can be an excellent chance to solicit reviews. When you have a positive interaction or deliver big for a client, remember to nudge them to leave feedback. Just remember to give them a clear direction about how and where to leave reviews.
6. Spread Reviews Out Across Platforms
Of course, your review acquisition strategy should encourage customers to leave reviews on major sites like Google. After all, it is by and far the most popular review site out there. However, don’t forget to give customers the option to leave a review on sites such as Facebook, Yelp, or other third-party review sites.
Not only does this widen the reach of positive reviews, it gives your customers a choice to communicate through a channel that’s comfortable for them.
7. Squeeze All You Can Out of Reviews
With the right review acquisition strategy, your company should be poised to rake in positive reviews and repeat customers, but don’t forget to incorporate the best comments in your full inbound marketing campaign.
By including positive social proof in your case studies, emails, website, and other inbound content, you can boost the worth of newly harvested reviews even more.
Alejandra Melara is SmartBug Media‘s Marketing Manager. She’s worked remotely for the past 5 years and she’s had different roles in sales and marketing. In her free time, she works on creating educational videos around digital marketing for her “InboundNomad” social accounts where she promotes traveling the world while being a full-time marketer.