94% of respondents from a recent survey said that positive reviews made them more likely to use a business, while 92% said that negative reviews made them less likely to patronize a local business.
In other words, reviews can quite literally make or break your business.
But, how do you keep up with positive and negative reviews, and how can you use them to benefit your marketing strategy?
In this article, we’ll explain all of that and more. By the end of this article, you’ll understand how to streamline the review process and how to integrate it into your marketing strategy.
First, a few housekeeping duties
Before you start integrating customer reviews into your marketing content, let’s explore how to streamline the review process:
Automate/Simplify the review process
One of the best ways to collect testimonials is by simplifying and automating the review process. Customers are super busy as it is — to encourage them to leave a review, you’ll need to make it as painless as possible.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Embed easy-to-fill-in testimonial templates on your website, landing pages, and social media.
- Offer time-bound incentives in exchange for a review. For instance, when you send a customer to their post-purchase confirmation page, you can say something like: “Thanks for placing your order. Interested in saving $5 off your next purchase? Click this link to leave a review, and we’ll send you a $5 gift card!”
The more you can automate this process, the more efficient review collecting will be for both you and the customer.
Monitor review websites
Keeping an eye on review websites (like Google Business or Yelp) is one of the best ways to collect positive reviews without breaking a sweat. It’s also essential to stopping back-to-back negative reviews.
To navigate this process, it’s important to respond to every review — positive or negative.
For instance, when responding to positive reviews, you can say something like: “Hi Linda, thanks so much for your kind words — we appreciate having you as a customer! Please reach out if there’s anything we can do to make your experience even better.”
When you’re responding to negative reviews, it’s important to address the customer’s concern politely and respectfully, then find a solution to their problem. For example, you can say something like, “Hi Matt, we’re really sorry you’re struggling with ___. We’re happy to clear up the confusion and rectify this on our end. How can we reach you in order to provide the best solution possible?”
When responding to comments, complaints, and reviews, don’t stop at review sites. Make sure to do this on your social media channels, blog posts, and anywhere else you have content. To make this easier, you can use a listening tool, like Google Alerts or Social Mention, to monitor your online reputation.
Gather a variety of reviews
When repurposing reviews for marketing content, it’s important to collect reviews in a variety of formats like:
- Case studies
We’ll explain how and where to use these formats in a bit.
Feature different target customers
The best testimonials feature people of different ages, backgrounds, genders, and ethnicities. That’s why it’s crucial to represent your customer base accurately and appeal to prospects by featuring different target customers in your testimonials. Consumers prefer testimonials from people like them.
Integrate reviews into your marketing process
Collecting and publishing reviews should be an integral part of your marketing process. For example, if Sundays are social media planning days and Wednesdays are webinar planning days, reviews should be included in those processes.
7 places to integrate customer reviews as part of your content marketing strategy
Once you’ve collected a few types of reviews, here are seven places you can integrate them:
1. Email campaigns
Including reviews in emails gives you the chance to nurture leads, share compelling stories, and potentially convince email subscribers who are on the fence to give you a shot.
You can include reviews in your:
- Promotional emails
- Lead nurturing emails
- Email newsletters
Here are two ways to embed customer reviews in your email campaigns:
Tell a compelling story:
Has your product or service significantly changed someone’s life for the better? Turn that experience into an emotionally captivating story. Include plenty of quotes from the customer or ask the customer to write the story themselves. Include visual aids like before and after pictures or videos wherever possible. When telling stories, make sure to be as authentic and honest as possible. Readers can feel when a review sounds off or dishonest.
Feature a customer as a case study:
Featuring happy customers as case studies is a great way to provide proof that people are satisfied with your offerings. When formulating case studies, it’s important to provide as many hard facts as possible. For example, how exactly did your offer or brand benefit them? Did their sales double in just a month? Did you save them a significant amount of time or money?
Be sure to also include a list of their requirements or pain points and a list of their exact results, like this:
When people visit your site, you need to give them a reason to stay. Featuring testimonials on your website is an easy way to showcase how your brand impacts customers while simultaneously lowering your bounce rate.
There are endless ways to feature reviews on your website — don’t be afraid to get creative!
Here are some ideas.
Include a large testimonial banner at the top of your website:
Add photo reviews at the bottom of your website:
Adding a photo of your customer along with their testimonial is a great way to show website viewers that your testimonials are authentic. Also, putting a face to a name helps customers feel what it’s like to be in your customer’s shoes.
You can also scatter testimonials on your product/service description pages, contact page, about page, and throughout your website.
3. Blog posts
Blog post articles are the perfect canvas for testimonials. Here are some ways to include customer reviews in your blog posts.
Feature a guest spotlight:
Video testimonials add an extra element of authenticity, persuasiveness, and personality, making them the ideal choice when trying to persuade your audience to take action. To get the most out of video testimonials, make sure your customers are sharing their stories in their own words.
Video testimonials work well on YouTube, Facebook, and IGTV.
5. Landing pages
Landing pages focus on a single conversion goal like getting someone to start a free trial or join an email list. This makes landing pages an ideal spot for customer reviews.
When trying to decide what testimonials to add to your landing pages, focus on the specific conversion goal. For instance, if your conversion goal is to encourage viewers to start a free trial, include testimonials about trial users who eventually committed to paid plans. Or, if your conversion goal is to get more signups for an upcoming webinar, include testimonials about how happy your previous webinar attendees were and how they got value from your event.
To draw people to testimonials on your landing pages, consider using videos, photo testimonials, or infographics with stars and graphs, like this one: