Customer Reviews: The Most Overlooked Aspect of Online Marketing

Search engine marketing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, blogging—no doubt you’ve been told that your business can’t succeed online without some combination of these inbound marketing tactics.

While it’s true that inbound marketing techniques are extremely effective for growing a brand online, there’s one aspect of online marketing that’s almost always overlooked—Customer Reviews.

What’s the Most Overlooked Aspect of Online Marketing?

Customer reviews pack a big punch. In a recent survey, 92% of consumers reported that they hesitate to make a purchase if there are no customer reviews, and 97% said that customer reviews factor into their buying decisions. But many businesses, particularly small businesses, don’t have a single review. Think about it like this: People value the opinions of their peers and in this case, that would be their “fellow shoppers.” Each review from a person who has already interacted with a business provides a piece of information that helps a consumer make a decision. 34% of the survey respondents said they like seeing both positive and negative reviews. People value authenticity, and customer reviews offer just that.

And 94% typically review written reviews. They’re looking for the “nitty gritty” what people like about the company, product or service and what they don’t like. Written reviews add insight and information that consumers cannot get from the company itself.

Now that you know the payoff that comes from generating customer reviews, you are faced with one essential question: How do I ask customers to write reviews? This is challenging because consumers tend to only write reviews following an especially negative experience. Brian Patterson, co-founder of Go Fish Digital, offers some great tips on how a business owner can prompt customers to write a review:

Ask In Person: If your product or service allows you to interact with your customers face-to-face, go ahead and ask for a review at the end of a positive transaction. At this point, you have probably gotten to know them better. There is a good chance your request will be well received.

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