Word of mouth marketing is the best form of advertising. So much so, that there are now derivatives of it in the form of influencer and sphere marketing. However, there is another form that’s just as powerful—online reviews.
A powerful & trusted source
Online reviews are so important because your prospective client reads them. Even though your client doesn’t typically doesn’t know the reviewer, they are looking at that person’s experience to see if they want to experience the same thing. The website Birdeye.com states that online reviews are so powerful that 88% of people read them. Sixty-eight percent of those readers trust reviews enough to make a buying decision based on them.
You are not too busy to ask for a review
Many business owners don’t tap into this extremely effective form of branding and marketing because of they think they already have too much on their plate. That can hurt you. People will begin to question, “If you’ve been around for 10 years, why do you only have 8 reviews? You must not be that good.” Then they will use someone who has been around for 3 years and has 40 reviews because they trust the opinion of those 40 people over your 8.
Factors to consider when getting online reviews
Engage your clients in their favorite social media
- Funnel most of your reviews to where your clients are engaging with you the most. Whether it’s Google, Facebook, YELP or Angie’s List—curate your reviews to help strengthen your brand.
Curate your reviews and use them to clarify your services
- Use them to dispel weaknesses in your business and confirm you’re the best choice. For example, one concern a family had with my brand, Cherished Keepsakes, was whether we could turn around a funeral program order in time for their service which was the next day. Of course we did, and the family was ecstatic. I asked them to leave a review and please mention how fast we turned their order around. Now when others have that concern, they’ll read my reviews, and have peace of mind.
Ask for your review early and ask again when services are completed
- As a bonus, ask for reviews at the height of their satisfaction which may be before the service is complete. This way you have two opportunities to get the review if they didn’t write one the first time.
Automate your reviews
Make it easy for your client to review you. Send them direct links to your review platform via email and text. You can also automate this task with SAAS (Software As A Service) tools like Birdeye and Trustpilot. There is a cost to use those platforms and it is definitely worth it, if you have a retail or high volume business.
Leverage the reviews
Create snippets of your strongest reviews to help with brand awareness on social media with a call to action at the bottom. Be careful, this is something you season in with your posts, not a regular thing or else it’ll backfire.
The more reviews you get the easier you’ll make it for prospective clients to choose you over your competitors. Until next time I wish you much success in leveraging your brand to realize your dreams.
George Paul III is a branding expert and award-winning designer. He’s the Founder of Seize the Brand, an education platform designed to empower business owners by leveraging the power of branding to realize business and life goals.