There are many reason why you should encourage customer reviews in your marketing strategy, even if you’re in a B2B (business-to-business) industry. If you’re a software company, you can often find helpful reviews on software review sites. For other types of B2B companies, using reviews from actual customers provides potential customers with real use cases, which can better help them make a decision whether to use your services or product, as well as improve trust in your company. Consumers today highly value other consumers feedback and opinions, and often rely heavily on reviews for purchase decisions. When you solicit and display B2B customer reviews on your site or in your marketing materials, you create social proof that your business has been valuable to others.
According to a Marketo study, one the main reasons buyers don’t respond to vendors is because they send too much content that isn’t relevant to them. The majority of B2B buyers felt that vendors could should do a better job at aligning their engagement activities with buyers’ preferences, while just a little less than half of B2C buyers thought brand could do a better job. One good way to both build a relationship with buyers and listen to customers is to connect the two with customer reviews. Reviews provide an excellent way of collecting valuable feedback about your products. Responding to customers’ feedback, and letting potential buyers view the entire process, allows them to witness that you actually care about your customers.
Give customers an outlet
In the same study by Marketo, 51% of B2C buyers and 66% of B2B buyers said they would advocate for companies that demonstrate they care about customers. The number that say they would connect with other customers to share feedback or provide feedback directly to companies was significantly lower. Review sites provide a great way to get that valuable feedback from customers, at scale and authentically.
Make it easy for buyers to find what they want
Buyers desire critical feedback before they make a purchase decision. Vendors who make it difficult for them to find the type of information they’re looking for are doing both themselves and buyers a disservice. The one strategy you can use to solve this problem is to gather balanced, honest feedback from customers and make that feedback easy for potential customers to find. Buyers often don’t trust what vendors tell them, they want to validate claims elsewhere, and want to hear directly from other customers. Customer reviews are an excellent way tool for validation, as well as social proof across your marketing.
How to Do It
The best way to use customer reviews in your marketing strategy is a three-step approach.
- If you’re in a software business, invite customers to review your product on software review sites, such as TrustRadius.
- For software or any other B2B industries, when selecting customer reviews to quote on your website or other marketing channels, choose reviews with substance. Look for success stories and specific use cases, rather than generic praise.
- The most powerful customer reviews that you can share with potential buyers are those that are balanced. It’s okay to use a positive review that also contains critical feedback.
When choosing a review site, you’ll want to select one that is trusted by and objectively serves buyers, help you build a base of quality content, and offers methods or tools for bringing that content into your own channels. The right platform authenticates and moderates reviews to ensure their usefulness and authenticity. You’ll also want to make sure the site isn’t “pay-for-play,” and instead is an objective review platform.
Customer reviews can be a source of detailed, trusted, valuable content that you should be actively evaluating and sharing with potential customers. While some buyers will stumble upon these reviews on their own, if you’re not sharing them as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll be missing out on a great opportunity.
Brittany Hall is a digital marketer turned writer. When she’s not planning her next travel adventure, she writes about the latest technology and tools for TrustRadius.