Reviews vs. Ads: Why a review generation program should get your marketing-dollars

Historically, consumers have relied on the advice of neighbors, friends and family when searching for a new service.  Busy lifestyles, and the availability of information on the internet has moved word of mouth online.

Online reviews now dominate search results leaving local business owners wondering how best to attract new customers and allocate their scarce marketing dollars. We have found that business owners are trying to balance how best to spend their marketing dollars between an online reviews solution vs. advertising.  When your marketing budget is small, you want to focus your spend on what gets results, which is why we recommend focusing on your review strategy over ads. Below are the benefits of using an online reviews solution for your business:

Free advertising

Each review you receive from your customers advertises the value you deliver to your customers and your community every day.  Prospective customers trust online reviews over advertising because they are left by real people who have worked with you and have seen the amazing service that you provide, first hand. Reviews have become trusted recommendations that happen between neighbors.

Improved search results

Local search results are greatly influenced by the number and recency of reviews you have, and number of times your business is mentioned online. Frequent and relevant reviews helps your business rank more effectively in search results because Google recognizes activity on your pages. In order to rank high in search results, Google needs to see that you’re still active online, and that your customers are engaging with your business by leaving you feedback. Ads simply can’t provide the same value as reviews.

Peer recommendations

According to a recent study by Pew Research, 82% of U.S. adults say they read online customer ratings or reviews before purchasing items for the first time. Reviews let new customers know of the quality, attention to detail, service and in many cases even the pricing of your services.  This allows your customers to  know exactly what to expect from you and your team before they ever work with you.

Constructive business suggestions

While we all strive for positive feedback, some negative reviews can result in ideas on how to improve your business.  In many cases, negative feedback can be used as a mechanism to refine your team’s processes, products or services offerings. This  ensures you are being responsive to your customers needs, and continually striving to deliver the best solution to the community you serve.

Closer relationship with customers

By giving your customers a forum to comment on their experience with your business, you are showing you care and forging a deeper relationship with them and the community you serve.  With replies to their reviews, you show there is a person that cares, who values constructive dialogue with his or her customers, and will continue to build loyalty and trust.

Trust

By investing in your review strategy, you’re investing in your customers. Reviews build trust by validating why customers should work with you. Nowadays, consumers can easily distinguish user-generated content from advertisements. Modern consumers subconsciously ignore ads, because they attribute paid-content with being untrustworthy. In contrast, reviews are a trusted information source, and are positively associated with your brand.

If you’re looking for a review solution, Broadly can help! Broadly works with small businesses to generate online reviews across Google, Yelp and Facebook to ensure your customers trust you before they’ve met you. We help you look your best online, retain your customers, and optimize your business processes – all with the power of reviews!  Get in touch with us to learn more.