How to use Google reviews in your marketing
By now you’ve probably heard the buzz about using your reviews as reputation marketing. Reviews are super important when it comes to solidifying your local and online reputation and are a key tool to bringing in more sales.
If you’re reading this, I imagine that you have some shiny reviews to put to good use in your marketing.
And if you don’t have many reviews, that’s a-ok! You can try NiceJob for free for 14 days and pull in some more reviews in a snap.
Here we’re going to discuss why your reviews make for effective marketing material. Then we’ll go over how to use the reviews you’ve collected and put them to work in your marketing in the following ways:
- Strategically using your customer reviews on your website
- How to share your reviews on social media, including Facebook and Instagram
- Creating ads using your reviews
- Using your reviews in email communication and newsletters
Two reasons why your reviews make for some of the most effective marketing material
1. Use your customer reviews to build trust
Marketing can get a bad wrap because most people don’t like to be sold to.
Fortunately, that’s where reviews come in.
Since reviews are written by someone outside of your company, reviews are considered honest, unbiased pieces of information to those reading them.
This has to do with trust. Consumers will look to what others have to say about a business before trusting marketing copy or anything said by a salesperson.
In fact, customers find product and service reviews 12 times more credible than a company’s own marketing copy.
The average person, in fact, will go to the trouble of reading ten reviews before trusting a business.
The more reviews a potential customer reads, the more likely they are to make a purchase. Individuals are 63% more likely to purchase from a website that has reviews.
2. Online reviews are direct feedback from customers
Any positive, neutral, or negative review you collect from a customer is a goldmine for understanding what drives people to your business, what’s important to your customers and what they value about the product or service you offer. (Fake reviews on the other hand? You can remove those.)
This may be best explained with an example.
This is a review NiceJob received.
What we have learned from Daniel’s review of NiceJob is that standing out from the competition is something he achieved using the NiceJob software and is important to him.
If we can determine a pattern amongst our reviews that tell us NiceJob is valued for helping small businesses distinguish themselves from the competition, this is a benefit NiceJob can highlight in future marketing.
Since we know this is something our target audience values, it should persuade more people to purchase NiceJob if they’re looking to stand out from the competition.
Reviews provide a deep understanding of your customers' motivations and values and you can use this to attract others in your target market.
Now that we understand why reviews are dynamite marketing material, let’s look at how you can use your reviews to market your business.
4 ways to strategically use reviews in your marketing
1. Add Google reviews to your website to increase trust and bookings
There are a couple of tactics you can use to highlight reviews on your website:
- Via feature reviews on your homepage
- A dedicated reviews page or segment of your site
The first tactic is to add feature reviews to your homepage. Feature reviews can be sprinkled throughout the homepage and usually speak to certain aspects of your business that you want new customers to know about.
Occasionally you’ll see websites where the reviews or testimonials have been clustered near the bottom of the site. Keep in mind, there’s a good chance a website visitor doesn’t make it to the bottom of your homepage, in which case you lose the opportunity to highlight your reviews and build trust with the potential customer.
Here’s an example of a review on a home service website that would be classified as a feature review. This review spans the width of the homepage and is highlighted using certain colors and fonts to make it eye-catching. You’ll notice that this feature review also suggests that the visitor “Read more reviews” with a button to a distinct page.
This leads nicely to my next point.
The second tactic to use your reviews on your website is by adding a distinct reviews page, or a segment of your homepage dedicated to reviews.
To keep the examples flowing, here’s how the same home service business we spoke about above added a reviews page to their site.
You’ll notice in the menu there is an option to click to a dedicated reviews page, which pulls up something that looks like this. This is where a potential customer can dig through all of this company’s reviews and see what other customers have to say.
Here’s another example. In this case, the business has spotlighted their reviews in a specific section of the homepage in a rotating carousel display. In this example, the website visitor can see three rotating reviews, plus has the option to click to read more.
We absolutely suggest highlighting reviews on your website to help build trust among potential customers. This will increase the likelihood of converting them from an onlooker to a paying customer. Not to mention most of your marketing efforts will push people to your website, so it’s best to have your reviews front and center when they arrive.
(It's sad to say, but sometimes customers — rightly or wrongly — and even competitors will post fake Google reviews. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to remove them! And if your Google reviews just aren't showing, here's what you need to do.)
2. Share your reviews on social media, including Facebook and Instagram
Engaging with your customers on social media should include sharing a hard-earned review or two! Sharing reviews on social media will help validate the purchasing decisions of new customers.
First let’s look at Facebook first.
You can collect Facebook reviews to boost the reputation of your company and Facebook Business Page. The reviews will be collected and stored under a tab on your Facebook page that anyone can scroll through. They won’t, however, make it to your timeline, unless you share them.
To share a review to your Facebook timeline, you can do so automatically using the NiceJob app, or manually by hitting the “share” button on any Facebook review.
Here’s an example of what it looks like to share a review from the NiceJob app to your Facebook timeline:
Instagram, on the other hand, is not as review-friendly (yet).
As of right now, there is no way to collect reviews on this platform. This means anytime you share a review, it must be done manually.
If you’re interested in sharing reviews on this platform to impress your ‘gram fam, you’ll want to take a peek at this blog where we share the best ways to share reviews on Instagram (that will make you look like a pro).
As an example, we take our reviews and add them to a colorful background to create an Instagram-worthy graphic. This is how we share our reviews to Instagram:
3. Creating ads using your reviews
The reason using reviews in your advertising is so effective goes back to the idea that reviews provide a deep understanding of the motivations and values of your customers.
Therefore, by using reviews in your advertising, you’re shining a light on the things that your customers want to hear or know about—AND—as a bonus, you’re conveying it through the words of someone validating your business on your behalf.
It’s compelling stuff!
You can use your reviews as advertising material in many ways, including but not limited to:
- Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms
- Google ads
- In printed material, like flyers and print ads in the local paper
- On promotional material, from the back of your business cards to the side of your trailer, to your pop-up canopy tents.
For inspiration, here are some examples from small businesses that lean into their reputation in their advertising:
4. Using your reviews in email communication and newsletters
Including reviews in email communication is powerful stuff.
Part of the reason I say this is because the people who you’re communicating with have given you permission for 1:1 communication, so if you can get them to open your email, you have their undivided attention. This is an opportune moment to increase trust and credibility by including a review or testimonial and hopefully landing the sale.
Some people also use an SPF record checker to ensure email security and add an extra layer of reliability to your email communication efforts.
There are a couple of ways you can include reviews in your newsletter or email communication:
- Include a short review or link to your reviews page in your email signature
- Include testimonials in email communication to leads or potential customers
Here’s an example of how to use reviews in your email communication.
This email is loaded with reviews because this business was looking to get readers to sign up for a course. In this instance they use reviews as social proof to show the reader that others have had great success after participating in the course.
Here’s another example from an email we sent out to get leads to sign up for a 14-day trial. I included a review from a NiceJob customer who specifically spoke to their results after using NiceJob for just 14 days.
Use your reviews in your marketing to start pulling in more sales
Collecting reviews is important for your local and online reputation, and if you did nothing else with your reviews (besides collect, distribute and respond) you will pull in more sales.
If you really want to win new business, however, take the reviews you have collected and start strategically using them in your marketing.
As we’ve discussed here, there are many ways to put your reviews to good use, like on social media, in your email communication and showcasing reviews on your website.
I hope you gained some fresh ideas to market your business and that you start putting those reviews front and center. Let ‘em shine!