by Rose Lugo – Head of Global Marketing
Product reviews help SEO, driving shoppers into discovery and consideration. Quality reviews written by consumers sway buyers at point of sale on and offline. As a brand marketer or an ecommerce marketer, you know authentic reviews are essential, but how do you get them?
Whether you have a new brand or need to improve relevancy and reputation, you can indeed generate quality and authentic product reviews at scale.
Here are 7 surefire ways to boost your product reviews:
1. Add reviews to your trial program
Seize the moment at your product launch to stimulate consumer reviews. A well-rounded brand advocacy partner can augment your test and trial program to garner insightful product reviews.
In the case of a consumer electronic brand in the UK their launch program included product reviews which averaged 2.6 per Insider—member of our community targeted for this campaign.
The review volume coupled with improved ratings to match were enough to give the brand two hits on Google’s top 10 search results for vital keywords, increasing product relevance and consumer consideration.
2. Educate your consumer
Have systems in place to proactively educate your consumers. Beyond ensuring product pages display informative descriptions, photos, and videos, seek out your ideal brand ambassador with customized educational materials that both inform about your product, and excite consumers to try and share their experience with others.
Insiders customarily receive a brand VIP pack when they are selected for an activation. The pack include fun and interactive educational materials, talking tools to help Insiders spread the word, and products samples. Insiders enjoy learning about a brand and showing off their branded VIP pack on social. The point is to find ways to engage the consumer in learning about your brand so they are equipped to provide educated reviews.
3. Offer incentives
Incentivized reviews should not be mistaken by fake or paid reviews, which will surely hurt your brand. On the other hand, gracious incentives for authentic reviews will actually help your brand make meaningful connections with your most valuable consumers and give you tons of authentic reviews that drive sales.
Empower your consumer. When we send Insiders products for free in exchange for their honest opinion, we hear from them that they feel appreciated because we are showing that their opinion matters. If sending products for free is not an option in your industry, consider offering coupons or discount codes, which are common practices among brands with goods at a higher price point.
However you decide to customize them, incentives are worth the effort because everyone loves a deal. A client brand in the food industry, for instance, ran an Insider activation with a combination of free products and discount coupons at one of the largest retailers in the world, which resulted in over 1700 reviews for 3 SKUs, and product ratings going up from 2.5 stars to 4.6 stars.
4. Ask in an email
When done right, email marketing is an effective channel. Let your consumer know that you value their opinion and ask them to post a product review. Reasonable timing is key for this tactic to work. Wait at least one week after purchases at physical stores, and two weeks following online orders. Allow your customer time to test the product before posting a review, it will increase your odds of generating more insightful reviews.
Once reviews are in, you can multiply their impact by reposting them on the most relevant retail sites for your industry. A reputable brand advocacy partner will be able to quickly scale your reviews through syndication. As a result, your consumers will find reviews about your brand at their favorite digital retailers.
In the example of an Insider activation in the United States, an upscale consumer electronics brand turned a couple dozens of Insiders product reviews into several hundreds by having them reposted on hundreds of relevant retailers, so they were available for shoppers looking for a new TV set at their preferred online stores.
6. Drive SEO
It is a continuous cycle, more product reviews enhance search engine optimization, and better search ranking improves product relevancy, which in turn generates more product reviews, and the cycle goes on.
Insiders’ data experts have figured it out that after a push for a relevant number of reviews placed on key high traffic retailer websites, a marketer’s best bet is to have a steady supply of at least 50 new reviews quarterly for each SKU to ensure best odds of ranking high on major search engines.
7. Leverage your reviews
Be creative on how you leverage your reviews beyond the product page. Marketers have used consumer-generated content on social platforms, email marketing campaigns, product packaging, physical stores, ads. How else can you tap into the power of peer trust to make your brand top of mind for your consumer?
Don’t be afraid of negative reviews, consumers are skeptical of brands with pitch-perfect reviews and 5-star ratings. Rather, use consumer insights on the main purchase barriers for your brand to improve your product.
Lastly, be proactive, if there are benefits consistently overlooked in the reviews, invest in a partner that specializes in brand advocacy to educate your consumers turning them into well-informed brand advocates who will bring purchase drivers to the forefront of the conversations around your brand.
Then sit back and enjoy the ripple effect of authentic consumer reviews making a difference on your incremental sales.
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