Attracting customers is no longer as simple as creating a compelling billboard campaign, or even a series of PPC ads. More and more, marketing has become about connecting with potential customers. With the Internet at play, this kind of connection requires content that speaks to the needs and desires of your target audience. Using this mindset, marketers can use their customer’s voice to create content that makes this connection.
Why Honest & Authentic Reviews Are Important In the First Place
The first step in using your customer’s voice to create powerful content is to actually encourage and gather authentic customer reviews. Without these quality reviews, you won’t have much of a foundation for creating powerful content.
But why are honest and authentic reviews important for companies? Word of mouth has always been the primary way that products and brands gain awareness, and this process has only grown exponentially with social media and user-friendly review platforms.
- Reviews build credibility. The trend of relying on personal recommendations has not decreased just because people get their information online. In fact, one study shows that over 80% of people trust online reviews as much as their personal friends. That’s a huge number – and it shows how reviews build the credibility of your brand more than any marketing language ever could.
- Reviews help your SEO. There’s still no exact science to perfecting Search Engine Optimization. But the experts agree: customer reviews on your website make it higher quality, and therefore more likely to be ranked higher on the results page.
- Reviews give you authentic content. More than giving credibility to your brand and increasing your SEO ranking, quality reviews gives you a pool of content to pull from for marketing purposes. Reviews don’t have to remain on their platform – they can be used for landing pages, social media posts, videos, email blasts and more.
Tips for Using Your Customer’s Voice for Great Content
So you’re sold on the idea that authentic reviews can be a powerful source of content – but now what? How do you actually get started in using your customer’s voice to create powerful content that converts? We may not have an exhaustive guide handy for you, but you can start out by taking these tips to heart.
Tip #1: Don’t Be Afraid of Authentic Reviews
When you are first getting started, it can be tempting to cave paid reviews as an easy way to gain traction. But as with most things in life, the quick and easy route is not the best route in actually using your customer’s voice. Consumers can often tell the difference between fake reviews and genuine feedback. Taking the time to solicit honest, authentic reviews will prove worth it in the long run as you look for that powerful content. Similarly, incentivizing positive reviews can be damaging to what you’re trying to accomplish, even if it seems to give you a boost in the short term.
Tip #2: Identify All of Your Review Listings
It’s a lot harder to keep track of customer reviews and use them for content marketing if you don’t know where to find them. As you start out, take time to find out all of the places your company or product is listed and open to review. Using these review platforms, such as TrustRadius, you can make sure that your company is accurately represented on the Internet. Inaccurate information is a bad start for any customer, and can easily lead to a bad review. From there, you can get organized in following these customer reviews as they come in.
Tip #3: Feature Reviews on Your Landing Pages
This is where using customer reviews for content gets fun. When bringing reviews into the content marketing mix, it’s not enough to simply monitor reviews and respond on the same platform. Instead, you should actively look for ways to integrate insightful and positive reviews into your content marketing strategy. One of the most promising ways to do this is by incorporating reviews onto your landing pages. In some cases this can be beyond including a review section at the bottom – you can actually feature a particularly insightful quote at the top of the page. Potential customers often respond better to this personalized approach than any sales copy you could come up with.
Tip #4: Engage in Social Listening
Knowing what your customer’s like (and don’t like!) will help you know what to focus on for marketing content. This is where social listening comes in. With more and more customers taking to the Internet to make their opinion known, the overlap between community management and customer relations has increased. By responding to comments, questions and complaints online you are not only opening up the door for more customer reviews – you are actually listening to your customer’s voice.
Tip #5: Stay Engaged with the Review Process
Using your customer’s voice for content marketing is not a passive process. It actually takes quite a bit of work, even though it is work that pays off. Once you have the basics set up, make sure that you take the time to continue encouraging reviews, respond to reviews as they come in, and use the feedback you receive to inform your content creation. Over time, this will make your brand much more authentic.
Finding the Tools You Need to Create Powerful Content Using Your Customer’s Voice
If this process sounds involved, that’s because it is. But there are plenty of tools available for small and big businesses alike to get started in using their customer’s voice for content creation. Social media management tools will help you connect with your customers. Marketing tools will help you publish their voice. Collaboration tools will help you take a real project management approach to this process.
If you’re not sure which tools to start out with, online customer reviews can be a great place to start in identifying which software options will work for you. As long as you are doing your best to listen to your customers and translate their feedback into content, you’re on the right path.
Brooklin Nash writes about the latest tools and small business trends for TrustRadius. When he’s not writing, you can find him reading YA dystopian fiction (with guilty pleasure) and cooking.
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