It’s All About the Rave: Guide to Online Reviews
As a consumer, what is the one thing you almost always do when unsure about a purchase? Look for a rave. Statistically speaking, a buyer will go with a brand he or she is familiar with either from prior experience, via marketing efforts or through input from someone else. In today’s virtual marketplace, it is the rave that really sells a product or service – as in the positive review.
Consumerism loves a good rave. A report published in American Lifestyles 2015 states that 70 percent of shoppers look at the reviews before buying a product. User-generated feedback is just good business, but how do you go about getting those raves for your clients?
Get Someone Else to Throw a Rave
A buyer may look at reviews on the company’s website, but the ones they really trust are located outside your little patch of Internet real estate. As a marketer, your goal is to generate raves on review sites, blogs and in social media. That presence allows you to dominate organic searches and enhance the brand’s Internet reputation.
- Angie’s List
- Google Reviews
- Yahoo! Local Listings
- Insider Pages
You can start the party by creating a Yelp Business Owner Account. That gives potential reviewers a place to look for the business and provide feedback.
Have a Home Rave Too
Designate space on the product page or company website for reviews, too. It is important that you remain transparent when it comes to this local feedback. Instead of filtering out anything less than a rave, consider handling the problems online for all to see. A response to a bad review will tell potential buyers more about the company than just a laundered list of glowing comments.
Build It and They Will Come
With a little encouragement they will, at least. Hire freelance writers to create polished and engaging blogs that enhance the brand and build authority. Give blog readers easy access to the product review sites and a little push in the right direction to get them there. Encourage them to leave comments on the blog, as well, about products they like or recommend.
Lobby for the Rave
Sometimes the best way to get someone to throw you a fabulous rave is to just ask for it. Create a point of sale reminder, whether it is online, phone orders or in person, and make sure each buyer gets a prompt to leave a review.
Develop a system for collecting email addresses, either at the time of purchase or when setting up an account, so the business can follow up with an email reminder to solicit feedback.
Not every review is going to be as glowing as you might like, but a few may be downright damaging. Remember, reviews are a key part a brand’s Internet reputation. The occasional bad one will not cause much of a problem as long as you deal with it. Answer the complaint online and smooth that wrinkle into a rave.
Writer Bio: Darla F is a full-time freelance writer who specializes in helping agencies meet their goals by developing creative and engaging content.