- Mar 15, 2016
Online reviews aren’t vital.
“They’re not that big of a deal. We’re doing fine without them! I mean they can’t be that important, right?”
It’s a common assumption businesses make. Online reviews are important but somehow they’re neglected and placed on the backburner.
Some aren’t sure how to ask (or when). A few are too busy chasing customers and putting out fires to take them seriously. A few feel their business doesn’t depend on reviews (good or bad) to be successful.
Ignoring online reviews = burning money
A good inbound marketing funnel has three stages. These stages are pretty straight forward.
1. Attraction. Customers discover your business. They’re drawn to you via a lead magnet, offer, tool or incentive.
2. Conversion. You give customers a compelling reason to become a subscriber, customer or evangelist. Customers at this level are uneasy but have enough of the information they need to trust your business.
3. Consumption/ascension. People in this category use your product or service. Naturally, they’re more likely to promote your business to others and write reviews.
Here’s the problem.
Businesses tend to focus on the consumption/ascension stage. They know prospects will look for positive reviews and they understand the difference reviews will make in drawing customers in.
They’re right, and that’s the problem.
We treat reviews like a piece of the puzzle
Some of us think, “Okay, let’s use reviews to attract customers to our business.” When customers are happy with our products, we ask for reviews.
But we quickly move on to the next customer, ignoring the value of what we’ve just received. We treat customer reviews like tiny puzzle pieces.
Do this and it’s like you’re burning money.
This perspective creates problems because it leaves prospects feeling anxious and unsatisfied. It’s tough for them to get many of the answers they need. Sure you can give them those answers, but that’s the problem. They don’t trust you yet.
Here’s why that matters.
Online reviews are a crucial part of the entire inbound marketing funnel.
What does that mean exactly?
It means online reviews, when used properly, are a continual, never-ending part of your inbound marketing funnel.
It means you…
- Attract customers with a compelling customer review, using your ads, content, images or video as the delivery mechanism.
- Introduce yourself with content reviews that establish credibility.
- Share the problems you’ve solved for customers, in their own words.
- Provide social proof whether that’s with raving super positive testimonials, a large volume of positive reviews, or a non-stop drip of happy customer feedback.
- Defuse objections by showing customer fears – the risks they took and how things improved.
- Tie reviews to your offer giving customers a compelling reason to convert – join, buy, sign-up or watch.
Here are a few examples of what this looks like in action.
- Use reviews to upsell once customers have purchased your product or service, you use reviews to lead them to the next step.
Personal trainer Diamond Dallas attracts a never-ending stream of new clients with before and after video reviews like this.
Boxing toolmaker Hykso uses an inspiring but soul crushing review to introduce themselves to customers.
Digital Ocean shares the story of a massive problem they’ve solved for their client .IO.
Cards Against Humanity is an incredibly popular card game with more than 35,000 reviews and a solid 5 star rating. Tough to pull off on Amazon but the social proof is there.
A mother has a “problem” with her teenage sons that only Kleenex can solve.
Dollar shave Club shares 30,700 positive reviews from passionate customers, inviting you to “Try the club”. Mixing customer reviews in with their offer.
Amazon uses reviews to routinely upsell customers, using clever wording, social proof and low prices.
Can you see what’s happening?
Used smartly, reviews turbo-charge your inbound marketing funnel. At every turn you’re teaching prospects, showing them what it’s like to be your customer.
Read the rest of Andrew's post here.
Does your business use inbound marketing? If so, how are you incorporating reviews into the inbound marketing funnel?