Marketing Tips Blog

Local Marketing: Why Reviews Matter

Marion Michele Brown - Thursday, January 16, 2014

Everyone has something to say, and with reviews they get a chance to say exactly what's on their mind. For most, online reviews are unsolicited, authentic feedback on a business' products or services, and for this reason they are looked upon by potential customers as the "real deal" of what they're in for. From these reviews people will judge if they trust a business enough to become a customer. You may already know this, but there are some surprising reasons why both good and bad reviews can help your business.

The most surprising tidbit of information on reviews comes from the bonus of negative reviews. First, let's just clear up that if you have way more negative reviews than positive ones this in no way will help your business. But a few negative reviews can do two things: they can help deliver the feedback you need to improve your services and they can legitimize your company's online presence. C'mon no business is completely perfect, and if you have ONLY positive reviews, potential customers might be a little skeptical as to why that is.

Another surprising tidbit on reviews is that potential customers do not care about the number of positive reviews you have as much as they care about the quality of each review. This means that one hundred bland "five star" reviews with little or no substance does mean as much as fifty rock solid and detailed reviews.

Trust is a factor to online reviews. According to Nielsen's 2012 "Global Trust in Advertising Survey," 70% of customers trust online reviews from people they don't know. This information is HUGE! It means that a past customer is very likely to influence a potential new customer to or away from your business.

Online reviews are increasing in importance, and you should be monitoring them frequently. As a business owner, you can influence the number of online reviews. I am not talking about paying someone a fee to make up reviews for you--customers will read right through this. What you can do is even simpler. Ask them. More times than not, customers do not mind writing online reviews, but sometimes they just have to be reminded to do so.

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