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Hiding negative reviews does not breed respect. Instead, a mix and match of positive and negative reviews help build trust and credibility for your brand.

Negative reviews are frowned upon by businesses, so much so that 87% of them don’t take any pains to address negative reviews, not even for their most popular products. Businesses might even protest that they are not in the wrong for ignoring negative reviews, that negative reviews showcase the company in a bad light. But for all the notoriety associated with negative reviews, it’s worth keeping in mind that 5x more buyers seek out negative reviews over positive ones for the purchase of goods and services. On top of this, addressing negative reviews might miraculously change an upset customer into a happy one. [si_guide_block id="79186" title="Download our Free Resource – 12 common e-commerce marketing mistakes" description="Find out what e-commerce marketing mistakes you need to avoid./] Further,…

Even in a world where business reviews no longer contribute to aggregate star ratings in SERPs, there are plenty of reasons to include them on your website. 

In mid-September, Google made a significant change to the way it displays business websites in SERPs. Prior to the update, first and third-party reviews on a business website could have structured markup applied to them that would result in the average review rating appearing alongside the web page in Google SERPs, like so: Since Google’s update, which …

91% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

When employed correctly, user-generated content (UGC) provides a win-win situation for businesses and consumers alike. The more content real customers create, the less content marketers are responsible for planning. Additionally, UGC is highly trusted by consumers because it comes from people who aren’t associated with the business. Roughly 91% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Considering that we’re currently in the midst of a "consumer trust crisis," according to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, gaining customers’ faith with UGC is more important than ever. [si_guide_block id="35932" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Smarter Instagram marketing guide" description="Our Smarter Instagram marketing guide will help you tap into the consumer activity on Instagram to use it to grow…

Chart of the Day: Understanding word of mouth in the digital age

Word of mouth has always been a powerful method of marketing. Yet, marketers often struggle to make the most of this avenue. As with other areas of marketing, word of mouth, too, is becoming increasingly digital. According to AdWeek, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other consumers, through reviews, influencers etc., over ads or content coming directly from the brand. Modern-day consumers, especially millennials, make choices based on what their friends or role models endorse. As ad-blocking becomes more and more frequent, brands that spend big budgets on advertising, are finding it hard to reach out to their audiences. BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey (2017) reaffirms the importance of digital word of mouth through its findings. More people are looking for reviews online and use them to decide if a local business is good or not. 93% of consumers read reviews to…

Referrals are the most trusted marketing format. You need to harness them.

Every other year, Nielsen publishes its Global Survey of Trust in Advertising report, compiling latest trends in consumer sentiment towards various marketing and advertising channels. Its latest report highlighted a growing trend in the industry; that consumer trust in traditional advertising channels has markedly decreased, whilst ‘personal recommendations’ among customers is by far and away the most trusted advertising format. The fact that customer-to-customer referrals was ranked number one for trustworthiness, was of little surprise. But what did cause a stir was the emphatic extent to which it led the way in consumers’ opinions. Personal recommendations didn’t just edge out all other options — it blew them out of the water, with an 81% vote of confidence, compared to its nearest rival - consumer online opinions - which trailed with just 58%. For most modern marketers, reports such as these merely confirm…

Examples of how customer reviews can be used for both B2C and B2B companies. Are you using them to your full advantage?

The vast majority of people, including you and I, read customer reviews before buying a product. We place a lot of importance on what others are saying about a product or website based on their previous experiences. So it’s a given that product ratings, reviews, comments and feedback given on social media sites can affect your business massively.

Customer Reviews are a Powerful Sales Tool in B2B Marketing

Considering the influence such user-generated content has on your buyers, it is no surprise that customer reviews are considered as the “new frontier in word-of-mouth marketing,” and perhaps suprisingly this also includes customer reviews for B2B companies. According to TechValidate research, 94 percent of marketing and sales professionals from B2B industry consider customer reviews and ratings ‘as very effective or extremely effective’. Still not…

Customer reviews and social content are powerful decision-making tools so why make consumers search for them elsewhere?

The rise in holiday and hotel research conducted online, and the popularity of social media, presents an opportunity for the hotel industry. Word-of-mouth communication has a positive influence on brand awareness, brand attitude change, purchase intentions, product evaluations and consumer expectations. TripAdvisor’s 2015 TripBarometer report found that 90% of consumers rely on ratings of accommodation on a review site. This was the second most important factor impacting booking decisions behind price. Also 85% of consumers also rely on photos and videos online. To take advantage of this trend, hotels should use electronic word-of-mouth and user-generated content to supplement their primary marketing communication messages. Many of the large travel and tourism brands have adopted user generated content. Taking a quick look at the big three UK online travel agents, Booking.com, Expedia and Hotel.com, all of them…

5 ways to use the service integrating with Amazon

You will know that reviews and social proof are an essential strategy to maximise the appeal of an online retailers proposition in order to incentivise a would-be customer to make that purchase and turn prospects into customers. Furthermore, online reviews are more trusted with consumers than bland, manufacturers product descriptions. It's also recognised that to get customers to review a product or service requires a reason or purpose to make the effort.

Enter Hugdug - a product review site with a mission to get millions of us to write reviews of our favourite books, music or whatever takes our fancy. The incentive is to drive people to write reviews through the site where 50% of revenues generated will be going straight to selected charities.

So how does Hugdug work?

Hugdug is part…

Research shows purchase uplift from social sharing and reviews

What is the value of social sharing online? How does it impact sales? Can I charge more if my product has a highly perceived value?  Sharethis and Paley Centre for Media conducted a research stud research sharing behaviour amongst 6,000 consumers, that helps answer these questions. It's a piece of companion research to the infographic we shared recently, asking what prompts online sales? It gives more evidence of the impact of social proof where social sharing and reviews of products or of a brand as a whole give reassurance to purchasers about buying a product or service. This new research shows that the impact of social proof on retail buys is significant, it concludes that: 'Content sharing can influence consumers more than price and brand, and motivate people to spend 9.5% more', according to the research.' In this…

Research showing how social media influences retail purchases

Shopping prompted by social media is on the rise, as we know from research on increasing use of  mobile devices - research and the use of social media. But this research reminds us that there are many other more important communications that first influence purchase. Bizrate's trend tracker survey demonstrates how shoppers are using social media, when buying products or services, researching online or engaging with retailers. Findings show that Facebook still ranks high for 'shopping related activities' for consumers and Pinterest follows for inspirational ideas.

In terms of purchase, Shopzilla's trend tracker shows on average 78% of consumers 'did not look at the product in a store before buying' and females…