How do you define ‘good performance’ by a brand? While some PR experts would consider profitable sales numbers, others would refer to media popularity, both of which are partially accurate. However, the determining factor behind a brand’s performance and popularity depends on how it is perceived by its customers.
Your customers are divided into leads - ones that give your brand attention, and converted audiences - ones who are your source of sales. Your aim as a PR professional is to maintain your bond with existing customers as well as encourage your leads to become your sales generators. Your best weapon to keep the cycle going is communication that both sets of your audience can trust and follow.
While your strategies focus on creating trustworthy communication, 93% of market users admit that online reviews impact their buying decisions. Customer reviews hence evidently weigh more in credibility than communication created by your brand. But, why?
Your audience fears uncertainty, and when trusting a brand to spend their money on, they want to be sure of what they are getting into. From poor quality of products, scams, and late deliveries, to bad customer experiences by the business, your customers want to be aware of what they’re investing in.
When associating with a new business, customers seek reassurance that they are not alone in the venture. Online reviews are the best source of information to introduce them to other consumers collaborating with the brand.
74% of consumers say that online reviews increase their trust in a company, one of the main factors helping them pick you against your competitors. Online reviews by real customers act as social proof testifying to your brand.
Now, how can you make online reviews a part of your PR strategy?
There are two ways to acquire online reviews - wait around for your customers to share their views or ask for it. Your primary role is to create a space for them to share their reviews, either wait or invite them and collect every piece mentioning you. Here are four ways you can integrate these reviews into your PR plans:
Collecting and sharing your online reviews on Social Media allows you to open up to a vast audience. From requested reviews and DMs to comments, social media reviews are unfiltered and accessible to all on the platform.
81% of consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses, making it essential for your brand to be listed on Google Business Page. When someone looks you up on the search engine, views other customers have about your business add to your brand’s credibility.
Making reviews a part of your Digital Stores enhances your consumers’ shopping experiences. They don’t just get to know about your brand, but the reviews also help them understand the effectiveness of the product for them.
Review Syndication, the concept of sharing user-generated content like reviews and ratings from your brand sites to retail partners’ sites, is another way to garner your consumers’ attention and trust.
Remember, every review counts. Besides the ratings and views, how you deal with the comments, positive or negative, also affects your brand reputation. Responding to your digital reviews presents you as a responsible, caring, and authentic brand for whom customers actually come first. While every brand has its own style of dealing with feedback, here are some businesses you can take a cue from for creating appropriate and effective responses in various situations:
How you handle online reviews has a direct impact on your PR strategies as well. When establishing yourself as a thought leader, being a part of the online chatter around your business helps you gain valuable insights about your audience. On the other hand, sharing timely replies on online reviews and handling criticism with care ensure that you make your customers feel acknowledged and heard, encouraging them to share their thoughts with you. Still unsure of how to integrate your audience’s reviews into your PR strategies? Share your doubts with us.
Psst! This blog was made with 💕 and created after some thought by a real person.