Like it or not, with social media, as well as sites like Yelp and the Yellow Pages enabling consumers to leave reviews about products and services, companies don’t have the final word over how the public perceives their brand. In fact, some marketing experts say that consumers now trust each other more than companies. So how can you leverage customer reviews to your advantage?
Imagine the following scenario: Summer’s just around the corner — and that means frequent cookouts with your friends and family in your backyard. But your old grill has seen better days, so it’s time to replace it. You start looking at various models, and you find a grill with two stainless steel burners and a smaller side burner whose manufacturer says it cooks everything evenly and quickly. It costs $899. Interesting option, right?
Then a friend tells you he bought an awesome grill with three stainless steel primary burners and two additional burners that cooks meat, fish and veggies to perfection. Best of all — it’s a breeze to clean, and it’s also $899.
So which one are you more likely to purchase, assuming both have the same warranty? If you’re like most of us, you’ll be more interested in the one your buddy recommended. Why? Because it’s in our nature to trust people we know more than “faceless” companies.
Consumers Trust Each Other More Than Companies
According to many marketing experts, consumers now trust each other more than they trust businesses. If that’s true, it would certainly explain the fact that according to Pew Research Center, 50 percent of U.S. adults under 50 habitually read online reviews before purchasing new products or services. It would also explain why sites like Yelp and the Yellow Pages that allow consumers to share reviews about companies, products and services are so popular.
What this means is that companies don’t have the final say over how the public perceives their brand. Ultimately, the power lies with the consumer — and that’s a great motivator to always optimize your products and services.
Customer Reviews — The Statistics
How You Can Use Customer Reviews
When you’re confident you provide a great product or service, customer reviews are nothing to be afraid of. In contrast — they’re something to be valued. Why? Because they’re basically free advertising that comes from the most reliable and honest source — other consumers. Moreover, companies who encourage feedback and engage with customers are perceived as more trustworthy than those that don’t. So, if you keep the points from the study above in mind, how can you best use customer reviews in your content marketing plan?
- Include customer reviews on your website, product pages, social media, email newsletters and print communications.
- Use customer reviews in videos. Recently, Promo.com — a video creation app — and Trustpilot — a review app — announced a partnership that allows users to solicit reviews from customers and directly import them into a video. And with video rapidly becoming one of the most important forms of content marketing, this is a highly useful tool.
- As the Content Marketing Institute points out, if your product is listed on a best-of list that’s based on customer reviews, you can use that fact as a foundation for a blog post and link back to the list.
- If you’re in a B2B market and you have an outstanding review, why not base a case study on it? Especially when your product or service comes with a hefty sticker price, providing long-form content that shows how a product or service positively impacted a business can be very helpful.
Note that it’s always wise to check to see if you need to request permission or pay a small fee to use a review, since third-party sites and apps might own the rights.
Contact Us for Help Leveraging Customer Reviews
As we’ve seen, other people’s opinions can significantly impact a customer’s purchase decision. That’s why it’s advisable to start using reviews as soon as possible to help increase your bottom line. If you need assistance with integrating customer reviews into your content marketing plan, simply contact us. We’re always happy to help!