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10 Easy Strategies for Growing Your Local Business Fast

grow your business

Let’s face it. Scaling your business takes considerable effort. You have to deal with marketing and sales, understanding corporate compliance and taxes, interacting with customers and more. That’s probably why statistics show that 70% of small businesses only survive around ten years.

So if you’re putting in the time to grow your business but not seeing the results, don’t give up! Owning your own business isn’t easy. The stress of being responsible for paying yourself and your team can be huge. But you can’t let those discouraging thoughts win. Review Point is here to make sure you’re not part of that 70% statistic

What’s the best way to grow your business quickly?

To really start growing your business, concentrate on creating and following a long-term plan. In the short-term, take care of your customers by communicating your genuine concern for them and the problem they need to solve. And always provide excellent customer service. But ultimately the most important action you can take is long-term planning. You need to know where you want to go before you can figure out how to get there. 

So take a deep breath, clear your mind and change your perspective. We’re here to help, and we’ve put together a few how-tos on the best way to grow your local business quickly. 

#1: Build a solid sales funnel

You’re making a monumental mistake if you still don’t have a solid sales funnel. Whether you’re selling a high-ticket coaching package or homemade apple butter, you simply cannot grow and scale a business without a working sales funnel. And getting the right sequence may take some time and several iterations. So you need to get started right away! 

#2: Expand your email list

An active and engaged email list is a great way to deliver your message to current customers and future prospects. According to Adobe statistics, marketing to your email list can have an ROI of $40 for every $1 spent exceeding paid and organic search combined. In comparison with any other form of online marketing, emails always win the day.

#3: Create a customer loyalty program

Customer loyalty programs reward regular customers with discounts and bonuses as they purchase more or refer others. For very little cost, you’ll give your brand a boost in comparison to your competitors. And you’ll position yourself to attract new customers more easily. 

#4: Use your Customer Management System

If you’ve been in business awhile, you’ll get to a point where you’re no longer able to remember every customer and what they need. You need a good customer management system (CMS) that works well for your industry. And then you need to actually use it! Set up automated email sequences to promote complementary products and to encourage customers to share your business with others.

#5: Set up strategic partnerships

Would you like to reach a lot of new customers quickly? Of course, you would! A strategic partnership with the right company can be the perfect method for increasing your audience with very little effort. You do need to find the right company to work with and put in place a deal that is mutually beneficial. That can be difficult, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

#6: Look for opportunities to license your product

Licensing one or more of your products is a great way to increase profits without too much additional effort. Like a strategic partnership, licensing gives you access to an entirely new set of customers that you may never have had access to. If you find the right company to work with, a licensing deal can help grow your business very quickly. 

#7: Use social media

Social media marketing is a powerful tool to promote your business to current and future customers. You’ll also gain valuable insight around how your product is perceived, what customers are saying about your brand and how you can improve through social listening. You can also identify more relevant keywords and trends that appeal to your target market. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get quality information you can act on. 

#8: Diversify your offers

Offering complementary products or services is an important piece to growing your business. You should always be looking for opportunities to maximize your product with add-ons. Analyze what you’re selling to identify new products or services your target audience may need (or want!) in addition to your flagship product. You don’t always need to be searching for new customers if you can sell your current customers an additional product.

#9: Host events

Get to know your customers better and build a more solid relationship with them by hosting regular events. These don’t always have to be sales focused either. Think of ways to thank your current customers for their loyalty or provide education to deepen their understanding of how your product can help them. Then invite your best customers, and ask them to bring their friends! The accounting software company Freshbooks is a great example of how to do this right. 

#10: Find out what works

Monitor where your customers are coming from to measure the effectiveness of your marketing activities. Experiment. Refine your approach if something doesn’t work as you want, and focus on activities that bring the best results.

Use these strategies to improve your business growth, be patient and work hard. Don’t let obstacles prevent you from achieving your goals, and you’ll soon experience the positive results you’ve always hoped for.

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What is the Average Income of Small Business Owners?

Small Business

If you’re dreaming of escaping the corporate rat race to be your own boss, you’re not alone. In 2018, the US Small Business Administration reported that there were 30.2 million small business owners in the United States, and that number grows every year. So why are so many people starting small businesses? And, if you do start your own business, how much can you expect to make?

What is the average small business revenue?

Of course, the revenue your small business earns directly affects how much you can pay yourself. Most small businesses really are small. They’re home-based, don’t have employees and bring in an average annual revenue of $44,000 with two-thirds earning less than $25,000. But when you start adding employees, that revenue number increases significantly. Even with just one to four employees, the average annual revenue climbs to $387,000. And at five to nine employees, revenue averages more than a million dollars.

How much do small business owners really make?

Aside from the annual revenue of the business, there are other factors that contribute to how much small business owners can pay themselves each year. Size is a big one, but other factors that impact the average small business income and business owner salary are industry, gender, geographic location, type of business and length of time in business.

Industry

Because a small business is defined by the US government as any business with fewer than 500 employees, average revenue varies widely. A construction company with 499 employees may bring in many millions of dollars while a web designer with no employees probably has an average annual revenue of a few hundred thousand dollars.

Gender

With owners being able to control pricing, you wouldn’t think the wage gap—where women earn 79 cents for every $1 earned by men—affects small businesses, but it does! A study conducted by Freshbooks in 2018 concluded that male small business owners generally earn 28% more than female small business owners. Considering that many women leave traditional jobs to start their own business precisely because of the wage gap and lack of advancement opportunity, this statistic is even more discouraging.

Geographic location

According to Payscale.com, the average small business owner in the US makes $66,177 a year. But don’t be concerned if you live in a high-cost city, the average is just that: an average. For example, the average salary for a small business owner in Los Angeles is $85,000, but that number drops to $65,000 when you set up shop in Wichita, Kansas.

Type of business

According to 2016 SBA data, in an incorporated business, owners made above $50,000 while those who were just self-employed made close to $23,000. This makes sense since most small freelancers in the US would not need to incorporate until the business grows beyond what they can service themselves. Incorporation is the result of a revenue increase, not the cause!

Length of time in business

The longer you’re in business, the greater your skills and reputation. As you gain experience and collect positive customer reviews, more clients are referred to you. When you’re well-established you have more business, and you can charge more. So make sure you’re updating your prices each year to reflect your true value!

3 easy steps to increasing your income

To grow your profits, and pay yourself more, you have to increase what you charge and decrease what you spend. Sounds simple, right? But many small businesses have trouble competing, against both big businesses and other small businesses. As a result, you start offering more and charging less—exactly the opposite of what you need to do to improve your income!

We’ve put together three steps you can take to increase profits and cut down extra expenses.

Step #1: Know your reputation and look for ways to improve

There’s a direct correlation between the reputation your business has and your average annual revenue. Improve your brand awareness and reputation by managing your online reputation. Always respond to customer feedback, regardless of whether it’s good or bad. Create a plan to respond to customer issues with your product or service so you are able to solve problems quickly.

You may feel shy, but always ask customers to leave a review. Social proof is the currency of the future, but you have to actively build a positive reputation. Customer reviews won’t just help you improve your brand reputation, those reviews boost your SEO and help you rank higher in search engine results.

And don’t miss the opportunity to get your business in front of folks on social media! Social media is one of the most important and useful ways of spreading the word about your business.

Step #2: Talk to your employees

If you have employees, they’re your direct connection to your customers. They also experience the strengths and weaknesses within your business every day. So ask them to share their observations and ideas about how and what you can do to improve the business. You may discover new creative ideas for marketing your products or services or improvements you would have never thought of.

Step #3: Cut down expenses

You should always know how much your revenue is versus your profit. If you don’t know what you’re spending, you’re probably wasting money. So run accounting reports regularly—especially the profit and loss report. 

And at least once a quarter, complete an audit of your expenses to confirm you’re spending only what you need to. You may find you’re still paying for a service you no longer need or that there’s an annual plan available that costs 20% less than paying monthly. Just as with personal finance, every little bit helps to increase profit and your take home salary!

The average income of a small business owner is affected by several factors. But the good news is you can control most of those factors and increase your salary with just a few easy steps!  

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How to Respond to Negative Reviews in 6 Easy Steps

Negative Reviews

A package that doesn’t arrive on time, a restaurant that delivers the wrong food, the doctor’s office that forgets to log a patient’s appointment… Whenever a customer has a problem with your product or service—or even when they don’t—you run the risk of a bad review.

Unfortunately, your online reputation suffers whether your negative reviews are unfairly given or well-deserved. Today we’re sharing not only how to respond to negative reviews, but also how to use them as a marketing tool that actually benefits your business.

The importance of responding to negative reviews

Yes, ignoring a negative review is tempting, but definitely don’t! While responding to negative online reviews isn’t fun, the task is never a waste of time. In fact, ignoring negative reviews indicates to your customers that you don’t care about their feedback or experience with your product. And that is definitely not the message you want to communicate.

Taking the time to interact with customers—whether they’re expressing concerns, praises or complaints—shows that your business is active and responsive. You’re demonstrating that you’re a concerned business owner who puts the customer first, values their feedback and prioritizes their needs. A reputation for caring is far more valuable than any other marketing you can do.

And a positive, useful response to negative comments often results in turning a detractor into a lifelong customer.

So how do you respond to a negative review?

The team at Review Point recommends the following six steps to respond to negative reviews in a way that is beneficial to the customer and your brand reputation.

Step 1: Keep calm, and don’t panic

When you see that first negative comment about your business, naturally fear sets in. But don’t panic!

Take a deep breath, and remember:

  • Bad online reviews happen;
  • Negative feedback isn’t the end of the world; and
  • There is a way to turn a negative review into a positive.

One or two bad reviews won’t immediately destroy your company. So focus on that fact that you know how to respond, and take action right away.

Step 2: Respond to the negative review

Many times a grumpy or disappointed customer just wants to be heard. If the customer feels you’re listening to them, and that you’re happy to resolve their problem, that may be enough to defuse the situation. Did you know that customers who get an efficient, first-contact resolution to their problem are twice as likely to use your product or service again? So answering negative (and positive!) reviews quickly and promptly is essential.

Pro tip: Don’t respond to reviews when you’re hungry or angry! If you feel upset, step away from your computer, and take a break. As difficult as it is, try to put the review in perspective. Complaints are an unavoidable part of doing business. And the response process will be a lot easier if you have a plan in place to guide you.

With that in mind, develop a set of standard, short responses to both negative and positive comments that give you a starting point for your answer. But when responding to negative reviews, never use the same canned responses repeatedly. Customize each one according to the individual feedback of the customer. Copying and pasting the same response doesn’t make the customer feel heard and will probably make the situation worse.

Step 3: Find the positive in the negative

When you receive a negative customer review, take the time to consider what the person wrote. Did they have a bad experience at your location? What was wrong? What did they expect? If you answer these questions and understand what happened, you may have the opportunity to identify and correct internal procedures. And, in the end, that’s a win for you and your company.

Step 4: Keep an eye on the feedback

Being aware of what your customers are saying about your business is essential. If you don’t know what’s being said about your company not just your brand reputation, but also your profits, can suffer as a result. As a baseline, keep track of:

  • Why people leave negative reviews about your company;
  • Whether you have as many five-star as one-star reviews;
  • The sites your customers use to leave reviews about your company; and
  • If the reviews seem trustworthy or fake.

With the help of a powerful review monitoring tool, you can easily keep track of your customer feedback on all the top online review sites. This gives you the crucial online reputation management that is vital to every business.

Step 5: Apologize

Apologizing is an important step to repairing a bad customer experience—even when the problem is not necessarily on your side. Although you may not want to say your sorry, a sincere apology goes a long way toward turning the negative into a positive.

And there’s no need for the apology to be long. A simple apology accompanied by a proposed solution is always the best response.

Step 6: Say “Thank You”

Again, this interaction is an opportunity to show your customers their opinion matters to your business. Always thank the customer for their feedback, even if what they said is negative.

Negative online reviews do influence the way potential customers think about your business. Your reputation not only depends on how you represent your business, but also what customers share about their experience. So even when you don’t want to, follow these six steps and respond to negative reviews. The outcome will only ever be a positive impact on your brand reputation!

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Why Sharing only Positive Reviews is a Really Bad Decision

review

When you receive a glowing review on a site like Google, Facebook or Yelp, of course you want to brag a little. Naturally, you share those positive reviews on your social media, because you’re hoping to attract prospective customers and grow your business. And sharing is always a good thing. But some businesses make the mistake of only sharing positive customer reviews.

Here’s how to use reviews—both negative and positive—as a marketing tool that benefits your business.

4 reasons to showcase your online reviews

Some people don’t want to share positive reviews precisely because it does seem like bragging. So let’s look at why you should always share your reviews.

Reason #1 – Reviews are like content you don’t have to create—or pay someone else to create! As a rule, they’re filled with relevant keywords and, if you’re a brick-and-mortar business, are focused on the local area. That’s a good thing!

Reason #2 – When customers talk about your brand online, you gain a unique type of exposure. Social proof—when prospective customers buy because they see others have—is a powerful marketing tool.

Reason #3 – Yes, the internet is forever. So when you post a review on your website, link to the original poster to reinforce the message that you’re trustworthy and only sharing real reviews. But occasionally users and their digital footprint do disappear. So if you’ve posted the text of a customer’s review on your site, and that review is removed the original site for whatever reason, you still have the information.

Reason #4 – Seeing what others have written encourages more customers to write reviews. And when you have more reviews, you organically raise the visibility of your business. Your business is perceived as well-established and profitable. As a result, you get more customers and higher profits.

Why do you need negative and positive reviews?

Obviously every business wants as many five-star reviews as possible. When you’re ordering a product online, visiting a new restaurant or a shop for the first time, what’s the first thing you do? You check the business’s reviews.

If you read too many negative reviews, or see nasty responses from the business, you feel less confident in purchasing from that company. And you move on.

And that’s why sharing negative reviews probably goes against your instincts. But you shouldn’t be afraid! Because if handled properly, negative reviews can actually help your business. Showing customers that you respond to and act on negative reviews is actually one of the best ways to impress your target audience and increase your brand awareness.

So if you’ve been focused on hiding or pretending your negative reviews don’t exist, stop!

The benefits of negative reviews

There are some benefits that come from negative reviews that you can’t get anywhere else.

Benefit #1 – Negative reviews give other customers an idea of the worst-case scenario. Negative reviews are highly valuable to customers who want a clear understanding of what can go wrong. Then they can make an informed decision about how much that matters to them.

Benefit #2 – No matter how amazing your customer service is, not every customer will be satisfied every time. For some shoppers, too many good reviews about one company seem fake. So when they see a few negative reviews, they feel the business is more reliable and trustworthy.

Benefit #3 – Negative feedback is an excellent opportunity to improve your business. All feedback is valuable, but negative feedback alerts you to potential problems. You’re getting a free piece of valuable information you can use to make a change before an even greater issue arises.

Benefit #4 – Negative reviews show your human side. No one is perfect; everyone has made a mistake along the way. But it’s easy to forget that a business is made up of people. By admitting that something went wrong and attempting a fix, you connect with customers as a human—not just a faceless business.

Responding to negative reviews

The way businesses respond to negative reviews tells their customers a lot. So what should you do if you receive a negative customer review?

Don’t panic! Stop, and evaluate the feedback internally. Customers have a lot of power online. So don’t respond until you’ve investigated the incident that resulted in the negative review. Because if you provide an answer to a negative customer review without thinking, you may make the situation worse. So before you respond, look into what happened, and create a game plan to solve the problem.

Do work as quickly as possible to develop an efficient response that will work positively for your business. Then, respond to the review publicly. Acknowledging that you or your company made a mistake shows your current customers and your target audience that you’re paying attention, that you care about them and that you’re not afraid to take responsibility when there’s a problem.

Don’t be afraid to tell your side of the story. Not every customer is pleasant, and sometimes the situation requires further explanation. Without making excuses or being accusatory, you can communicate additional details. Other customers can make an informed decision for themselves about what happened.

Do offer a solution. The phrase “we apologize for the inconvenience” is more annoying than helpful. Apologizing is a good step but not enough to rectify the situation. Your goal is to offer a solution that makes the customer happy and raises the confidence of potential customers that they’ll have a positive experience with you even if something goes wrong.

Too many negative reviews

If you have more negative than positive reviews, you know something is very wrong in your business. Take action to correct the issue—whether it’s a bad employee or product—as quickly as possible.

You can avoid too many negative reviews in the first place by asking your customers to let you know the moment their experience is unsatisfactory. Have a plan in place to resolve customer service issues on the spot.

Businesses try to avoid negative reviews, and usually that makes sense. But sharing only positive comments can hurt your brand reputation. Your reaction to negative reviews can build trust and create a healthy balance in your online brand persona.

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How to Build Strong Relationships with Customers

relationships with customers

The primary key to the success of any business is building customer relationships. Excellent support and ongoing contact must be a top priority when your goal is a healthy business and continuous growth. Most business owners understand the importance of this relationship, but not everyone knows how to build relationships with customers.

First, let’s look at how and why negative relationships evolve. Negative relationships develop when customers feel dissatisfied. And many times the reason they’re dissatisfied is that they don’t feel connected to your company. A more intimate business relationship can mean more long-term, quality clients that are happier overall with your product or service.  And remember, you’re not just looking to keep the customers you have. You want every customer to feel confident recommending you to others.

Building a Strong Relationship with a Customer

Know Your Customers

Do you know your customers? If you do, great! Because many customers prefer working with businesses where they can connect with an individual rather than a faceless corporation. When you get the chance to interact directly with customers, take the time to ask about their interests and concerns as well as for feedback on your work. And don’t be afraid to take notes! You want to make sure you take action on the information the customer is providing and that you have a clear understanding of their experience. Moreover, recalling that personal information the next time you speak with them goes a long way toward creating a positive relationship.

Create a Customer Database

The more you know about your customers, the better understanding you have of how to meet their expectations and needs. Create a customer database that includes not only names, addresses, emails and phone numbers, but also their preferences, order history and ongoing requirements. Armed with this information, you’ll be well-positioned to give your customers exactly what they want .

Communication with Customers

Communication is the foundation for developing strong relationships with customers. Establishing regular communication channels helps you avoid many customer service issues and solve them faster should they arise. Your goal is to develop two-way communication with your customers, so make sure you start the process early in the relationship, whether you keep in touch through emails, newsletters or check-in phone calls.

Use Questionnaires to Learn More about Customers’ Needs

Questionnaires, polls and surveys are vital to communicating with your customers. Using these tools, you’ll gather more information about what your customers like about your business as well as what can be improved to serve them better. And your customers will be encouraged to buy your products or services if they feel their feedback is being taken seriously. That’s why checking in regularly is an important step to increasing your clients’ engagement with both your business and you.

Develop a Social Media Presence

Social media marketing plays an important role in growing your target audience. Engaging on social media is an efficient way to interact with current customers and to gain new customers. Determine which social media platforms are used most by your target audience, and set up accounts for your business. Then use those social media platforms to keep your customers informed about new products, upcoming sales and general updates that add value to your relationship.

Delight Customers with the Unexpected

Delighting your customers is simple! Simply give them more than what they expect.That means going above and beyond what you promised. For example, try surprising clients with a gift on their birthday. Or sending a small token of appreciation to a repeat customer. The gift doesn’t have to be expensive. A Starbucks gift card, a discount code for their next purchase or even a free sample of your product says thank you without going overboard.

Organize Special Events or Parties

Everyone enjoys knowing they’re appreciated. Special events, parties and contests give you the opportunity to meet your customers face-to-face, demonstrate your appreciation for their loyalty and show them how important they are to you.

Be Always Honest with Customers

A reputation for reliability, honesty and integrity are crucial to building strong relationships with customers. A customer’s trust is as important as the products you sell or the services you offer. Be honest, open and sincere with your clients. If you’re not able to follow through on something that was promised, let them know right away. Long-term, successful customer relationships thrive on trust and transparency.

Interact with Customers in Person

Interacting with customers in person is a great way to demonstrate how important they are to you. Access to you—or other high-level managers in your business—is essential to building a long-lasting relationship.

The foundation of any relationship, but especially customer relationships, is one-to-one connection. Common interests, understanding, constant contact and support are the key factors to building relationships with customers.

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What is Reputation and why is it Necessary to Grow Your Business

grow business

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

Jeff Bezos

Reputation is a big deal for any business. To achieve the highest level of success for your company, you must pay particular attention to reputation. A good company reputation opens the door to opportunity and provides unhindered access to your ideal client base.

Reputation Definition

To understand the importance of reputation, you first need to understand what reputation means.

Oxford Dictionary defines reputation as “The beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.” Whether your business has a good reputation or a bad reputation is up to you.

Today most of the people view the reputation of a brand through the lens of search engines, social media and word-of-mouth.

What is the Importance of Reputation Management?

Reputation management is making the effort to influence what and how people think of a person or brand. Sharing positive information about a brand or person to increase positive sentiment is an effective strategy for reputation management.

What are the Benefits of a Good Reputation?

The benefits of a good reputation include:

  • More business opportunities
  • Lower marketing costs
  • Attracts loyal supporters
  • More customers and sales
  • Distinguishes you from competitors
  • Promotes good relationships with clients
  • Greater revenues
  • Cost-free advertising
  • Attract better quality prospective employees
  • Higher company value

No matter who you are or what your goal is, without a good reputation you’ll find it difficult or almost impossible to achieve success. Customer swant the most for their money, so naturally they choose the company or person they think is  superior. No one wants to pay for a product or service that is lower quality than they initially believed. So whether you’re pitching a new client or looking for business partnerships, your reputation affects your bottom line.

Active is Better than Passive

The influence of the Internet is still growing. And that means that if your brand is in the public eye, you will be seen and judged. Unfortunately, a negative reputation can result from just a single negative complaint or review. Or, in a worst case scenario, the collective opinion of many. And if you’re not actively managing your reputation your competitors can and will take advantage. But if you take an active approach to reputation management your brand will flourish with more clients, leads and sales.

“You can’t buy a good reputation; you must earn it.”

Harvey Mackay

Earn More Money with a Good Reputation

Why is reputation important in a business? A good reputation not only makes you money, but also helps save on marketing expenses. The mechanism for building a good reputation is like a chain containing small, interconnected pieces. Customers feedback form this chain. At the end of your chain is a positive or negative business reputation. When you have a good reputation, you may not need to spend a fortune on marketing. Why? Because your customers act as brand ambassadors promoting your business to their friends, family and colleagues.

How can you Improve your Business Reputation?

If your business reputation is trending toward negative, , there are a few essential actions you can take to move toward improvement:

  1. Stick to Your Word

A negative reputation can be the result of a simple misunderstanding. To avoid this, make sure your mission is clearly defined both internally and externally. Communicate with your customers on a human level. Customers who align with your values will become the client base you need to expand and grow your business.. When customers know what to expect building trust and promoting positive reputation will be much easier.

  1. Use Social Media Proof

One of the easiest and the most effective ways to increase confidence in your reputation is through social proof. Showcase each and every positive testimonial you receive. But don’t just publish them to your website where they may never be seen. Promoting your successes on social media is how you use your positive reputation to increase your client base.

  1. Improve Customer Service

Lousy customer service is the worst. Poor customer service has earned many brands a bad reputation. And that type of bad reputation is difficult to recover from. With the high number of services available to manage customer service, you should be able to easily avoid this pitfall.

  1. Communication and Transparency

Your reputation depends on how people perceive your business. All correspondence—whether emails, letters, voicemails or any other method of communication—should always be polite, informative, professional and grammatically correct.

  1. Always Be Honest

You will never earn trust by lying. If your company makes a mistake, acknowledge the issue and make it right. A cover-up is a fast way to earn a bad reputation. The best approach is always honesty, even when public relations mishaps occur.

Your company’s reputation can be a catalyst for new business or a roadblock for new customers. Protecting and improving your business reputation is the best way to increase your brand visibility, promote growth and achieve success!

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How to Make Your Brand Using Customer Reviews?

customer reviews

Today, customers’ reviews have become omnipresent. Reviews are visible on Google search as well as on different social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.

In case you are new to the online business, then reviews may seem to be a daunting, complicated and challenging task. Many successful companies use customers’ reviews as one of the most powerful and efficient tools to grow their total bottom line. However, there are those businesses who brush reviews off as something that’s “nice to have” or “just there.” As studies show, those who do not pay particular attention to the importance of reviews on their websites and businesses, are not as successful as those who do.

The fact is that customers rely on those reviews to make the best buying decision. Approximately 85-90% of American consumers read customer reviews before making a purchase. This is because customers do not trust advertising and marketing anymore. Anyone can share their honest feedback about brands through online surveys. It is handy as well as helpful for others who would like to buy a product or pay for service, using the same brand. Thus, customers’ reviews are more critical than ever.

The spread of online reviews provide any business with an excellent opportunity to increase exposure as well as influence and attract potential customers, which can lead to business growth, and, as a result, increase your income. Thus, if you want to get a leg up on the competition, you should keep an eye on online reviews. If you are not using your best customer reviews in marketing campaigns, then you are ignoring the most valuable voice available. The voice of the customer.

How to Use Customer Reviews in Marketing?

These recommendations will help you establish your business brand as a trustworthy, reliable and quality company based on unbiased customers’ reviews. Keep on reading to get more useful information where using customers’ reviews gives the best and the most efficient results.

Use Reviews on Key Pages

Approximately 80% of customers trust others’ recommendations as their own. They read up to 10 reviews (or more) before making a purchase. They need to learn more about your product or services, understand more information from other people’s experience before they will trust you enough to do the same.

Use your current customers’ experience to build strong consumer trust with prospective customers. Your homepage, as well as top pages of your website, are the best solution to display your consumers’ feedbacks. Being transparent means that you are sincere and open to potential customers. It is a great chance to attract your target audience and convert them into potential customers.

Use Reviews in Search Ads

Search engines not only rate your website based on how successful you optimize listing. Search engines also monitor what other people (your customers) say about your brand.

Prospects can see how much you measure your customers’ needs, requirements and expectations. It will show them that your customers’ satisfaction is your top-notch priority – is one of the most efficient ways to show your brand is reliable, safe and trustworthy. Moreover, gathering fresh content can assist you in acquiring Google Seller Rating and Rich Snippets. As a result, you will significantly improve your brand visibility on search engines.

Rating, orange stars, and the number of customers’ reviews show useful feedback information to search engines – it will help you to get a leg up on the competition, build trust and reputation before the potential shoppers even visit your customer reviews website.

Use Consumers’ Voices

If you want to turn even the most undecided customer into your constant, loyal paying customer, you need to think about all the possible ways that will help you to engage your audience with the other consumers. Social channels are one of the first sources used by consumers to research brands. With the help of social channels, internet users can monitor other people customer experience. As statistics shows, 2 out of 10 users follow brands on social media. Thus, it is crucial for you to showcase your customers’ feedback on social media.

Using as well as sharing third-party validation on your website can significantly increase your brand awareness as well as grow your company’s name and recognition.

Use Emails

One of the most popular ways of enhancing your brand is using reviews in emails – the best channel for ROI. By highlighting customers’ feedbacks in emails is not only an efficient and productive way to increase credibility, but it also boosts conversion and click-through rates. It also shows the readers what they can expect if they become your customers.

Improve Customers’ Experience

If you want to improve your customers’ experience you need to stay on top of online reviews. You should show that you take care of your customers and that each of them is of special importance for you.

Never ignore your customer comments even if they are negative. Making your customers feel like they are talking to a wall will not help you to keep them or convert others. Of course, customers may understand that you are busy and cannot respond immediately. However, they need to know that you listen to them. You should assure your customers that you are doing your best to provide them with the best solution.

Responding to positive customer service review comments is also essential. It helps your customers to keep engaging with your business.

As you can see, there are a lot of efficient ways that can help you evolve your brand and increase its ROI. They can also increase your sales, marketing, and product and service development. Thus you need to take all this advice into account. Don’t let them slip away into the competitors’ hands.

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5 Top Strategies to Promote Your Startup Like a Pro

marketing strategy

Undoubtedly, every individual or business can agree that marketing is one of the biggest challenges any start-up will face. So, how can you promote your startup? How to market your business and increase your brand awareness if you have a tight budget? How to tell the world about your business in the most efficient way?

It is a complicated task to stand out from the crowd. Businesses should always improve their marketing to get a leg up on competition and tell people about their business, especially if the business is a start up People should know about your business as well as what is offers whether it be products or services. Even if the product or services you offer are of high quality, it is difficult to generate sales and grow your business without dedicating individual resources towards promotion.

Since marketing for beginners (startups) is a complicated thing, this guide will give you a great place to start. Here you will get the most effective strategies that will positively influence your marketing, and brand awareness. Keep on reading to get more information about the most efficient ways to market your business to attract customers through word of mouth.

1.    Content Marketing

Content marketing is the most efficient starting point for any business. There are at least two reasons:

  • It is more affordable in price than ads
  • It is more effective than a cold call

Using inbound marketing can significantly increase website traffic. In case your top-notch goal is to generate sales and leads for your startup, then you should pay particular attention to content marketing. To work on its own, it may take a month if not years. That is why you need to pay attention to paid promotion. Find a team of experts who will do their best to help you and fasten the process of your content, and, as a result, your brand growth and awareness.

Content includes the following media assets’ types:

  • Text;
  • Images;
  • Infographics;
  • Podcasts;
  • PDFs;
  • Videos

Thus, if you are going to start an effective content marketing startup for your business, your goal should be to take into account all the mentioned above types of media assets. It is necessary to use various content types to achieve maximum success.

2.    Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is an efficient solution that will help you to grow your business. It can offer businesses to unify their PR, marketing, sales, digital marketing, product, and social media via relevant relationship-based communication. This type of marketing has significantly higher ROI than the other forms of digital marketing. The one disadvantage of influencer marketing is that it can cost you a pretty penny. Thus, if you have a low budget, you should cooperate with several niche audience-relevant micro influencers who offer more affordable services. As a great alternative, you can turn your executive startup’s leaders into trusted influencers.

3.    Word of Mouth Marketing

This is one of the oldest, but the best way to advertise your business. People trust people, especially those they know. You can easily use this form of marketing by tapping into social networks both online and offline. Word of mouth is one of the easiest ways to promote your startup as well as the most affordable. In some cases, it is even cost-free: you can ask your colleagues, friends, or relatives to help you spread the word.

4.    Social Media Marketing

How to market and advertise your business with social media: Like word of mouth marketing, this approach to marketing has the same goal – spread the information. The difference is that social media marketing can spread the word to far more people in a shorter period. Thanks to Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Quora, Instagram, and other social media, you can spread information with your target public in a fast, easy and convenient way. Announce the latest venture to your networks! Set up accounts for your company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Start sharing the latest updates, concerning your company products and services. Be active on social media.

5. Email Marketing

It is one of the most efficient as well as the most affordable or even cost-free strategies for attracting customers to your startup. In case you have your customer’s email address you can quickly send him or her emails, informing them about the latest updates, sales, special offers, and other relevant information. This way of marketing can significantly promote your startup. However, to achieve your goal you need to gather the email addresses of your prospective customers. If you have a website that you specially designed for your startup, then you should place a newsletter signup form on it. As an alternative, you can ask your customers for their email addresses. Take into consideration that it is necessary to diversify your emails with non-commercial content, infographics, special offers, etc. It will help you to attract your customers and encourage them to take the desired action (make a purchase or order your service). In case you ignore these recommendations, your subscribers will opt out of receiving your emails.

Which techniques from the mentioned above will you choose to promote your startup like a pro? The best answer is: try all of them, test and pick the best one that will work best for your business. Try content marketing to generate leads, influencer marketing to promote sales, word of mouth or social media marketing to increase your brand awareness and improve your sales, email marketing to attract customers to your startup. Consider these five strategies to promote your startup and generate more sales.

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How Online Reviews Impact Your Business

customer review

Today, online reviews can make or break your business depending on how you handle them. Positive reviews are wonderful but negative reviews can be an inevitable part of business, but with review management strategy, your customers can do the marketing for you. Businesses are slowly realizing without investing in online review management they will not be able to compete with those that do. Positive online presence and reviews help in trust-building and can bring in more customers and revenue.

What people say about your business matters, customers are using online websites like Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor to determine where they will take their business. In today’s market, online reviews are affecting traditional businesses. People use online reviews to find a place to eat dinner, to hire a plumber, and even to find their next dentist. Positive customer reviews can build your business and attract new customers, and if handled properly, so can a negative review. Online reviews and comments should be used as a place to connect with your customers, this can improve your business internally – which can lead to better experiences and reviews. They want to be heard, so respond to the good, the bad, and ugly.

These are various statistics to persuade you to take online reviews seriously: 77% of people read online reviews before buying or paying for a service, 87% of women post online reviews often, 71% of all consumers say online reviews are important and impact where they take their business, and only 1% of consumers believe that online reviews are not important at all. Typically, consumers like something new and exciting, but tend to stick with old favorites because they are used to it. Due to online reviews, 88% of consumers now have the confidence to purchase an unfamiliar brand.

Online reviews are vital to a business in this society, they help bring in new customers and can improve your current business strategies. Again, don’t panic when you receive a bad review it is a part of running a business – just remember that communicating with the customer and letting them be right can turn it positive.

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How to Remove Negative Google Reviews

google review

A negative review: a business owner’s worst nightmare. Don’t fret, don’t lose sleep, stay calm, and stay on top of the problem. You cannot remove a Google review but it can be fixed!

First, flag it for removal if it’s fake. On Google reviews, it is known that there are many bots and fake accounts that aim to lower a company’s ratings, therefore, you should examine your reviews and check them with your records, see if they lack details that relate to your business, and if there is a lot of misspellings and foul language, Google may take the review down. Then, respond immediately to all negative reviews. The longer the problem is left unsolved on the internet, the more people will tend to believe the fake and/or negative review. Put your ego in your desk drawer, and make sure to tell your side of the story with compassionate language, acknowledge the issue, and educate the public that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make that customer satisfied. The best policy a business owner can have is, your customer is always right. If the customer is pleased with your response, they could edit or even delete that negative statement. An abundance of positive reviews will overrule the bad; one way to receive more positive reviews is to ask your customer in person or over the phone if they were happy with the service that you provided, and if so, politely ask for a positive review. (or use ReviewPoint)

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