Using Reviews to Drive Sales

The best kind of content about your brand or product doesn’t come from you – it comes from your customers.

Are reviews and open comments a source of anxiety for you and your company?

If you are considering promoting conversation from consumers on your site or you are concerned how third party sites are rating you, know this: review information is a very important factor to many consumers’ purchasing decisions.

The question becomes, what type of information are your potential customers seeking, how and where are they doing looking for it, and more importantly why? Armed with this understanding, effective strategies can be put in place and truly insightful findings can be uncovered.

Our research shows consumers seek product reviews in three main ways:

1.  From Trusted Professional

Some consumers only require the endorsement of a trusted source. When picking a restaurant, they look for a Zagat rating on the door of a restaurant, pick up a Fodor’s guide before heading out on a trip or review the latest issue of Consumer Reports before purchasing that new coffeemaker. The reputation of the organizations providing the review is enough to reassure these consumers that the information provided is accurate and of the highest quality. These consumers refer to printed or online publications from trusted groups, and look for endorsements, seals, or labels on products online or in store.

2.  Man on the Street

Another consumer group believes that the more information they have, the better. They use Urbanspoon on their way to dinner, TripAdvisor while planning their vacation, or Amazon when Christmas shopping. A robust review site of independent third party reviews makes them feel they have access to the best, least biased information possible. They actively consume information via social media and aggregator sites, but they are unlikely to respond. This group is armed with various review apps and they place high priority on tapping into information on the go.

3.   Someone Near and Dear

This consumer group believes the best way to get information about a product is to ask a friend, someone that shares their tastes and interests. They use private channels and are likely to text their bestie for a restaurant recommendation on a Friday night, choose a hotel for their next trip based on a glowing account from a friend, or purchase products from a brand or store where they and their friends like to shop. Although a lot of this interaction sounds like it would happen in person, that isn’t necessarily the case; these consumers leverage social media for a two-way conversation or even through aggregators like Pinterest.

The best kind of content about your brand or product doesn’t come from you but from your customers. A main focus of our engagements with clients is to provide focus on the right communication strategies and tools that make reviews simple and allows customers to share with their friends easily.

Once you understand how, where, and why your potential customers want review content, you can develop strategies in order to ensure your messages are in the right places at the right time, and are coming from the right people.