In today's market, online reviews play a vital part in acquiring new clients. According to annual BrightLocal Consumer Review Survey in 2016 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The majority of people will visit the website after they read positive reviews. The most common thing I hear after informing business owners of the importance of reviews is this, "I know they are important but no one ever leaves us a review." The most important thing you can do as a business owner is ask. 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review if they are asked so do not be afraid of asking your patrons for a review. Obviously good reviews of your business are a plus, you do not need me to tell you that, but let's talk about some of the advantages that are less obvious.
Google is, and has been, the way that people search for things online. The more reviews your business accrues over several different review sites the more Google will like your website. The trick to search result visibility is building rapport with Google. They are constantly working on their ability to give consumers relevant and accurate information. Having a healthy amount of reviews will help boost your visibility on searches.
Having your customers leave reviews will also let you know what customers think about your practice. This could potentially turn you on to a problem that you were not aware was occurring. Maybe someone or something fell through the cracks. Tending to these problems will also help your client retention rate.
Putting client testimonials on your website is a good way to check multiple boxes in one swoop. The more content on your site the more relevant and authoritative your website will look to Google. It can also build trust with your future possible clients.
Marketing has changed since social media has risen to prominence. Word of mouth has always been one of the most effective marketing strategies. Since we, as consumers, ask those we trust about buying advice for products. This is how word of mouth has become the superior marketing strategy if you as a business owner can tap into this resource. What if we could use a powerful tool like social media to accomplish the same goals as word of mouth?
Today, large companies use social media influencers to market their products. Getting people with large social media presence to promote their product. Many people build a large social media following and market products to their followers as a living. This is called influencer marketing, and it is a very effective strategy in today’s market that is proven to work. Though as a small business you likely do not have the capital to pay for online celebrities to market your product, that is okay and here’s why.
It is okay for your small business to partner with a person with a much smaller following, this is the micro part of micro-influencer marketing. The reason is, the number of followers has an inverse relationship with the amount of engagement. In simple terms, the more followers someone has the less percentage of their followers interact directly with their content. For example, let’s say an Instagram blogger with one million followers writes blogs about cooking and takes pictures of food. You want them to market your new cooking knife. They do a sponsored ad for you with a link back to your website; less of their total followers will engage with that link than if that same person had one hundred followers. They will also have a more focused target market of followers. Meaning all of their followers would likely be interested in the new knife. What does this mean for your small business?
Finding people with a smaller social media presence that are willing to work with you and genuinely like your product can be a strong and cost-effective marketing tool. This allows you to interact closely with your target market, provided you find a good fit with an influencer. This also increases your reach to customers that you would not have been able to be reached otherwise. Followers on social media take the advice of their favorite people they follow strongly. This kind of modern marketing strategy utilizes the free tools that you have to grow your small business. There is no harm in asking to partner with someone, the worst they can say is no. Likely they will be thrilled for the exposure to possible help grow their following as well.
The Pathways Team