The Internet has fundamentally transformed how we shop. For example, consumers no longer have to make their major purchases “blind.” Instead, they can take as much time as they want to read reviews from other buyers, developing a more fully formed opinion about how to spend their hard-earned money.
Statistics indicate that consumers take this opportunity very seriously indeed; in fact, more than 90 percent of consumers say they consult online reviews before visiting a particular business. Meanwhile, close to 95 percent of online shoppers say that negative reviews have convinced them to avoid a particular product or brand.
All of that just goes to show that reviews can have a real impact on a business’ bottom line. And for businesses to edge out their competition, it’s of the utmost importance that they regularly generate new reviews, providing peace of mind to potential shoppers.
How Online Reviews Give Your Business an Edge
Consider a few specific benefits of ongoing review generation.
Online reviews provide social proof.
Start with the psychological benefits of online reviews. Buying any product is a bit of a gamble and buying from an unfamiliar brand can seem especially risky. But consumers are much more likely to take that risk if they see that other consumers (yes, even strangers) have bought the product and had a positive experience. In fact, this kind of social proof makes the purchase seem like it isn’t risky at all.
New reviews keep your brand more visible.
There’s psychology, and then there’s SEO. Simply put, search algorithms want to highlight local businesses that seem like they are active, and that display they are taking action on the needs of consumers. When you rack up reviews, you’re signaling to the algorithms that your brand has something of substance to offer prospective clients. Online reviews are a significant factor for Google, Bing, and even Facebook.
Reviews can create a conversation.
Word of mouth. It’s something that has always been an asset to businesses and brands, and online reviews help to foster it. When you put a strategy in place to actively court reviews (that is, if you’re intentionally asking people to review you), you’re creating word of mouth buzz. You’re inviting people to talk about your brand. And you’re providing yourself with an opportunity to jump into that conversation, even if it’s just to offer a quick thanks.
Reviews cultivate trust.
Tied to the notion of social proof is the idea of trust. All businesses need to earn the trust of their customers, but this can be an especially important concern for businesses in the health or beauty spaces. (Think medical and dental practices, hair restoration clinics, etc.) Consumers want to know that they are entrusting their physical wellbeing to someone who will keep them safe and help them achieve the best outcomes. Reviews can provide just that kind of confidence.
Generating reviews helps you stand out from the crowd.
One final reason to pursue online reviews is that they are invaluable marketing collateral… and if you have more reviews than your closest competitors, that can give you a real advantage. Imagine if there are two auto dealers located in the same city, one with a catalog of five-star reviews, the other without any online reviews at all. Which do you think stands out as the more professional, the most customer-focused, the more trustworthy, and the more credible?
Our Approach to Review Generation
At enCOMPASS Agency, we know just how consequential reviews can be, which is why we make review generation a part of each client’s strategy… not an afterthought, but a critical part of our digital approach.
Specifically, we recommend and using third party platforms which we consider to be the best review management tools available today. These platforms are loaded with tools and features to help our clients generate reviews. As an example, we are able to take our customer’s client lists and upload them into the software, which then sends out emails in batches (so as not to get too many reviews in a day, which can look suspicious to search engine users and is also a red flag to the Google algorithms). And we can also set up a system where a brick-and-mortar business that has customers sign in (think med spas, medical facilities, etc.) is able to have an email or text go out within a certain time of the customer’s visit. This automated process is highly effective at generating reviews, without causing our clients any extra legwork.
Review generation isn’t something that happens by accident; it happens through careful digital strategy. That’s something we provide to our clients, and it’s something we’d love to talk about with you. Reach out to the enCOMPASS team any time you’d like to learn more.
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