Think about the last time you were buying a new product online. Odds are you looked to see if there were any reviews so you could take other customers’ feedback and experiences into consideration before completing your purchase. You read their comments, looked at their pictures and maybe even watched a few videos about the product.
Power Your Growth with Customer Reviews
Product reviews have an undeniable impact on the consumer buyer journey in this digital-heavy landscape. Marketers can use these reviews to their advantage by sourcing authentic, positive feedback about their product from their customers and making them readily available for prospective buyers.
Rita Stadler has implemented and managed a successful review program for EarthKind, and she shared her first-hand knowledge in this episode of our Marketing Expert Chat series about:
The benefits of investing in a review program as part of a growth marketing strategy
How to determine the type of user-generated content you need to source that will be most beneficial to your audience
Strategies to ensure your reviews are meeting customers in all the appropriate places
Rita also covers some pretty significant statistics that further demonstrate the value customer review campaigns can bring to the table.
Interested in securing more customers? Check out the video now!
CAROLINE: Hi today, I’m here with Rita Stadler. Rita is a marketing supervisor for EarthKind. And she’s been with EarthKind since almost the beginning of their digital marketing efforts. And Rita thank you so much for being with me today.
RITA: Hi, thanks for having me.
CAROLINE: Yeah, so Rita along the way, you built a lot of different successful marketing campaign, but also you built really successful review campaigns where you got really good reviews from your consumers. So, I’d like you to share with the audience kind of why did you decide to invest in this and why other companies should think about. starting their own marketing review programs?
RITA: Sure. We’re all consumers, right? And so, if you think about your own buying process, how do you decide what you’re gonna buy? A lot of times, people used to rely on word of mouth. You’d ask your friends and your family for recommendations. You’d want to get their opinion. And so that’s what reviews are for, right? And when you’re shopping online, when you can’t feel the product, you can’t get all of your senses, you really need that additional feedback. You wanna hear it from someone who’s been where you are, and they can tell you what they’ve learned. We’re all shopping online now more than ever with COVID and whatnot. And so, it’s really important. There’s actually, some studies have been done just recently, they found that over 75% of US shoppers always read reviews and what makes it even more interesting and a little bit more challenging for us as marketers and as brands, almost 40% of people said that they would not purchase a product if there wasn’t user generated content associated with that product.
And so, the user generated content is the reviews first and foremost, but then that also turns into things like pictures of the product, video testimonials or videos of the product being used. And so, getting that content it’s not always easy but it really makes a big difference in consumer behavior. So that’s one of the reasons that we made it a point to collect reviews really from the beginning. And then there are some challenges connected with that too ’cause you can collect all of the reviews any way that you can. whether you’re just calling back your customers after they make a purchase, or you’re asking them on the street, whatever you can get their opinions, lots of different ways, but then you need to be able to use that content to be able to filter out either onto your own website, or if you are selling using different merchants vendors, online marketplaces you need to make sure that you can syndicate that content across all of those channels.
CAROLINE: Right. Right. So that’s a great point. How do you do this, especially when you manage a lot of different sales points, how do you make sure that your reviews make it everywhere?
RITA: Yeah. You really need to start at the beginning. Like I said, by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes think about what’s most important to them. Is it seeing the product in use or just hearing from other people who are average users or maybe they need to hear them depending on the product or the industry? They might need to hear some expert opinions or see certifications and whatnot from other folks but you wanna have that social proof and then you’ll need to think about, are you putting it just on your own personal website. ‘Cause then there’s a pretty low barrier. So how you’re going to share that content or if you’re syndicating it across different retailers and outlets, there’s different programs. We use something called Bazaarvoice and that does syndicate to different retailers’ websites. And so, it’s really easy for us to just do like a sampling campaign where we collect a bunch of reviews from users and then we can share those reviews across multiple channels.
Sampling campaigns are another thing I didn’t mention earlier, but it’s a really good way to collect those reviews. It allows you to focus on specific demographics or specific regions, whatever your needs are. And then you can get these people who really wanna try a new product, and they’re willing to give you back their feedback as like an exchange for the opportunity to try the product. And then you can kind of make some requests of those people. If you need to have videos, or if you need to have photos or if you want them to share their review on their social network with their friends that really amplifies your efforts.
CAROLINE: Awesome. Awesome. And do you have any pitfalls to avoid when you’re launching these programs? Anything that would make a program unsuccessful in collecting reviews?
RITA: First and foremost, it’s about that syndication for us specifically at EarthKind we’re the manufacturer, and we do sell the product ourselves, but we really want to sell it in stores. We want people to be able to get it wherever they are whenever they need it. And so, to be able to have those reviews go to the merchants websites is something that not everyone can do. So, when you’re starting a review program you wanna make sure that you know what your needs are and your plan will meet those needs.
And then I think the next thing is just like I said, when you’re running, say a sampling campaign or you’re collecting the reviews, have an idea of what it is that you want to get out of it first. Do you want to have pictures? Do you want to just hear people’s text-based reviews or do you need to have them recorded speaking? Are there specific product points that you want to highlight and call out? ‘Cause this is your opportunity to call out those features if you’re prepared to do it in advance.
CAROLINE: Right. Right. Well, awesome. Thank you, Rita. I think it’s really valuable and very applicable for everyone. So, thank you so much for sharing your insights with us today.
RITA: Yeah. Thank you, Caroline.