Consumers these days have, unfortunately, grown to distrust the majority of content and marketing messages that businesses are putting out. According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer report, 36% of the public reported that they do not trust businesses to tell them the truth.
Too many customers have been offered false promises from brands or have had negative experiences with businesses in the past. This has led many to approach the arena of online consumerism with a sense of skepticism.
However, if there is one thing that consumers do trust, it is the opinion of other customers. In fact, up to 91% agreed that they found an online review just as reliable and trustworthy as a personal recommendation from a friend.
Most businesses know that displaying lots of reviews is a good way to convert new customers. But, most marketers do not realize that customer feedback can actually help them to improve their content marketing strategies and their brand’s reputation, too.
The content experience can have a strong impact on the customer experience. By using customer reviews to guide the topics and focuses, businesses can create the kind of content that influences conversions.
Here are four ways that your marketing team can get started.
1. Refine Your Gathering Strategy
First off, in order to get the best use of reviews, you need to have a lot of them. You also need to have detailed feedback from your customers in order to identify repeating patterns and information that can be applied to your content strategy.
Gathering meaningful reviews is a game of happy mediums. On one hand, you want to ask prompts that give you as much information as possible. On the other, you can't make the prompts too strenuous that customers do not write them.
The key is to keep the prompts simple but open-ended so that customers feel like they can share their honest opinions. One way to do this is to create your own set of review prompts that ask for both the pros and cons of their experience, as well as additional details that they would like to share. With this information, you can pinpoint patterns and use them to fuel content creation.
For example, the software program Trustpilot creates prompts to gather customer reviews that are formatted to draw out 360-degree opinions of the customer experience. Customers are asked to explain what they liked and disliked about the platform, as well as share any recommendations to potential customers.
A basic review approach that asks for a star rating and any additional comments will not always provide you with the detailed information that is needed for insight-based content. You don’t need customers to write out an essay on their experience, but prompting them to get a little bit more detailed is crucial for better feedback.
2. Identify the Common Pain Points
Once you start to collect more thorough reviews, it is time to look for commonalities and related sentiments. Within the reviews, there will likely be patterns as to where customers are struggling. You can use this information to create content to answer the burning questions and provide solutions to common issues.
Wordstream utilized this approach by conducting qualitative customer research and creating a word cloud that highlighted the top keywords in their reviews. They also conducted market research on their own and asked clients what their biggest challenges they were facing in the upcoming year.
This helped their marketing team to better understand the topics that customers were bringing up the most and helped to identify the areas that needed further attention. In one case, they saw that most customers complained that they struggled with time management, and many of their reviews touched on productivity.
Spotting the patterns in customer reviews is not overly complex. If done properly, it can be a gold mine for meaningful content inspiration.
3. Turn Them into Case Studies
B2B clients are notoriously harder to convert because they are usually viewing their purchase as an investment. Typically, they take the research process very seriously and are often on the hunt for top-quality content that proves a product’s worth. B2B buyers are especially influenced by data-driven content like case studies in the mid and late stages of the buyer’s journey.
As you get more reviews, you can use the patterns and focus on different features of your product or services and create case studies about the successes that your clients have experienced.
Again, this will require a strategic approach to gathering reviews, and you may want to follow up with clients who have left positive feedback to gather more details that can be used to create this kind of influential content.
4. Incorporate Quotes into Your Sales Content
Writing impactful sales content can be tricky. Customers are typically turned off by overly promotional text. Since trust in corporate honesty is fairly low, customers won’t necessarily believe the great things you have to say about your business. However, they are likely to believe other like-minded people. Valuable quotes can be HUGE weapons to help seal the deal on your sales-oriented content.
In order to make the most of customer quotes, use snippets that highlight the UX and help to build confidence in purchasing decisions. Try to include a mix of reviews from people in various positions and industries (if applicable to your B2B audience) in order to appeal to a wider customer base.
Take Sleeknote’s homepage as an example. From the very beginning, customers are greeted with testimonials from three leaders in different types of businesses, all of which touch on specific benefits they have experienced from the program.
Customers Are Your Secret Weapon
Customer opinions matter more than ever in the age of consumer distrust. Businesses need to understand how to utilize customer reviews to create the kind of content that directly impacts conversions.
By adopting a more strategic approach to gathering feedback and applying review data correctly, brands can find even more ways to build trust and delight their clients with relevant content.