Deloitte state that 81% of people read a review and check ratings. Consumers have more information available to them than ever before with specialist apps and directories. To overcome this, brands have been using social media to pull consumers toward their products. But when it comes to trust, many people prefer to turn to their friends rather than communicate with brands. This presents a challenge for brands because they do not control the sentiment being expressed online which will then be used by consumers to make purchasing decisions.
When consumers give their opinion on a brand or past purchasing decision by leaving a review, we see a demonstration of the power of the crowd. Enabled by technology and information overload, consumers can decide how engaged they want to be across the different points on their path to purchase. This has changed the traditional customer journey and helped to create a cycle where one consumer’s experience feeds into another consumer’s decision process for whether to buy a product or a service. Review marketing then becomes quite important to a brand.
Quantity of online reviews is another important aspect of review marketing. Most consumers need to read on average four reviews, but this number can extend to 20 depending on the customer type (demographics etc). As well as quantity, the quality of the feedback is a major element to review marketing. Some consumers will simply write “Great!” or write nothing at all and simply leave a star rating. That is a waste because a positive review has no keywords and a negative review doesn’t explain to other customers why your brand was rated so badly. The way to gain high-quality reviews is simply to increase the quantity (numbers will win out).
The initial enquiry stage of the customer life cycle is now dependent on how brands manage online sentiment in order to progress to become a lead and ultimately a customer (review marketing). This is the power of the online review and why every brand needs a review strategy. YouDirectories manage business directory advertising (think Yelp) which is heavily review focused. They are specialists in review marketing. It is no longer acceptable to only push brand messaging to consumers via above-the-line advertising. The age of the 5 gold stars review is here.
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Deloitte Consumer Review
YouCom Media News, Dec 2018, London, ‘Review Marketing.’