5 Ways to Use Customer Reviews to Hack Content Marketing
If any piece of content can push potential customers towards converting, it’s customer reviews.
That’s because testimonials from previous customers are powerful pieces of content. They show potential buyers that others vouch for how awesome your product and brand is.
People want to know they can trust you before they work with or buy from you, and they base their trust on past customers’ opinions of you.
So how can you use customer reviews as an intentional marketing strategy?
PC: Referral Candy
Well, Domino’s is the perfect case study. After focusing on customer feedback for their Pizza Turnaround campaign (and using reviews in their marketing strategies), they saw a 14.3% jump in store sales—despite a 3% decrease in the pizza delivery business overall.
So how do you do the same thing for your brand? Let me show you. Here are five ways to use customer reviews to hack content marketing (and increase sales).
How to Collect Customer Reviews
Before you can market customer reviews, you have to get customer reviews. But how do you get previous customers to give you a glowing review, quote, or testimonial?
A few options are:
- Including a link to your customer feedback survey in purchase confirmation emails
- Creating a Twitter account for support queries
- Using UserTesting on your website for design and accessibility reviews
- Reaching out to repeat customers one-on-one for targeted feedback
- Text messaging customers asking them to leave an online review
- Creating Twitter polls and Facebook surveys to catch social media fans’ opinions
- Including comment boxes on key pages of your website
When doing this, remember that you might need to incentivize previous customers into giving a review. You could offer a discount on their next purchase, or give them a cash reward.
Customers want to know what’s in it for them. Give them something in return for their time!
Now that you’ve got customer reviews - or are at least on the right track to getting them, here’s how to use reviews for content marketing.
5 Ways to Use Customer Reviews to Hack Content Marketing
In general, you want to share your reviews everywhere - on your website, on social media, in emails, etc. But here are five strategies and case studies that are easy to follow.
1. Create a case study around the customer.
Data-backed reviews are even more powerful than ordinary reviews. Why? Because they:
- Prove that a customer has seen success from whatever you’re selling
- And because hard numbers set an expectation that potential customers get excited about
Let’s take this data-based review, for example:
Your company’s consulting service helped me to increase leads by 30%!
Notice how the added statistic makes the review more believable? Here’s one from a Text Request customer:
[After three months], we have seen an increase in sales by 17%, an increase in collections by thousands a week, and a 66% increase in customer retention! - Sarah, Healthcare National Marketing
It helps the potential customer who’s reading it to understand what benefits they could experience by purchasing from you, too. That’s the perfect basis for a case study.
To do this, use the data-based review as your title - such as “How [Customer Type] Increased Leads by 30% in Just 30 Days” - and explain how your business helped that to come true.
Here’s a fantastic example of how Backlinko uses this tactic to create case studies on their blog. Explaining the story of how one client got to rank #1 in Google, they aren’t afraid to go all-in with their case study.
When creating case study content, your main priority should be providing value. Don’t fall into the trap of raving about how awesome your company is—even if that’s true.
Focus on telling your customer’s story, and how they grew with your help. If that results in an immediate sale, bonus!
If it doesn’t, don’t be disheartened. Content marketing can take a while to pay off, but providing tons of free value - with examples of how it’s been done before - is bound to encourage sales in the future.
2. Use customer feedback as inspiration for future content.
As you get customer feedback, pay just as much attention to the negative reviews as you do to the positive ones. Reading negative feedback can be tough, but they can still be used to hack your content marketing.
By identifying common problems and resolving them, through content.
What are customers telling you could be better? What objections are your sales team hearing? Create content around those things. Here’s an example.
If a software company received hundreds of negative reviews that said “the software wasn’t easy to use,” they could create a how-to document on setting up the software, and offer this in their welcome pack.
By resolving the problem through content marketing, you’re eliminating key pain points for your buyer persona - and reducing the number of negative reviews you’ll get.
That’s exactly what we’ve done at Text Request. Our Queuniversity acts as a home for user guides and help documents, and was created to resolve key questions our customers have when using our online SMS service.
Just take the compliance section in our SMS 101 guide, which explains (in layman’s terms) what the average business needs to understand. People have said “thanks, that was really helpful."
Support docs also help our support, success, and sales team. If one of our customers ask a question, our team can give a short answer with “here’s a link for more info.”
But why does this work so seamlessly?
Well, along with saving time internally, it’s appreciated by our customers. Pointing them in the direction of this content is a way of saying “You’re not the first person to have this question. You’re not alone, and we know how to take care of you.” That inspires confidence and trust.
3. Turn testimonials into videos.
When you’re putting together a content marketing strategy, you shouldn’t focus solely on written content. Not everyone loves reading and writing!
In fact, videos, email content and infographics are more in-demand than blog posts.
So, instead of asking your customers to provide written testimonials, get them incentive to video themselves speaking it. You could do that by:
- Holding a giveaway competition with an entry requirement to submit a video testimonial
- Giving people free products in return for a review (great one if you’re working with influencers)
- Inviting your best customers to visit a location to film their testimonial, covering their travel expenses
Once you’ve got the video testimonial, upload it to your business’ YouTube channel and follow general video optimization tips. That way, you’ve got a wider variety of content to appeal to more people, along with the chance to reach people on another platform.
78% of marketers say video gives them a good ROI, but combining the power of video and customer testimonial is a fantastic way to get even more out of your feedback.
Here’s an example of how Freshbooks use video testimonials from their customers:
It’s simple, to-the-point and shows their brand in a positive light. That’s all you need to crack a good video review from your customer!
4. Fill your social media calendar with reviews.
Did you know that 48% of people will visit a company’s website after reading positive reviews? If you’re using customer testimonials to fill your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn schedules, it could be the start of a surge in referral traffic to your website.
(Remember: Website traffic is one of the most important metrics to track. You can’t make sales if you don’t have anyone to sell to!)
To make customer reviews - with a link to your website - a key part of your social media schedule. You could:
- Retweet positive customer reviews from your business’ Twitter account
- Copy and paste reviews to your business’ Facebook page
- Invite connections to review or endorse you on LinkedIn
- Share links to a customer who’s reviewed your product or service on their blog
- Add calls-to-action on your website that link to leave a review on social media.
Fuel Equip has a fantastic example of how you can do this on Twitter. They share a link to the customers’ review, and tag them to say thanks.
If you want to take things a step further, you can create a dedicated support account for your business and reach out to previous customers to ask how they’re feeling about your product or service - like Apple’s support account.
That way, you’re always on-hand to deal with customer queries, and can respond to both positive and negative reviews in a matter of minutes.
Talk about a win-win!
5. Show positive feedback in search engines.
In business, you’re always competing with someone. That’s no different when it comes to the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), where you’re actively competing against competitors for a searcher’s click.
But, considering 94% of consumers would use a business with a four star rating, you’re able to use a sneaky SEO tip to weave your glowing reviews into the SERPs.
Your meta description—the small section of text below the page title—is one of the first things a searcher sees when they’re browsing their list of results. Since it’s often the first impression they have of your brand, you can make that a strong one by using customer reviews.
With your 300-character allowance, your meta description could be: “Our pest control services are carried out by friendly professionals. Get 20% off orders using code ‘SERP’. Rated 5* by 1,000+ happy (and pest-free) customers.”
Much more interesting than a standard “buy from us”-type description, right?
You can also use the star-based review system by using Schema markup for reviews to use your testimonials in the SERPs. This shows how many stars you’ve been rated - like these two results for “smart speakers."
Notice how those stars stand out against standard text? That attention is extremely valuable in such a competitive space, and bound to make your customers click your URL instead of a competitor.
Final Tips for Using Reviews in Content Marketing
Once you start to use customer reviews in your content marketing campaigns, there’s no limit to the number of new visitors you could attract, engage and convert.
But remember: Don’t forget to constantly ask for new reviews. Your audience will quickly get bored (and you might look worse) if you keep regurgitating the same testimonial.
So, add “collect customer reviews” to your to-do list and always encourage previous customers to share their feedback. It’s better to have too many reviews than too little.