If you have vowed that 2019 is the year to prioritize your review strategy, but don’t know where to start or whether to go it alone, we can help. We’ve curated 5 concrete tips from experts at Influitive, QuickBase, and our own team here at TrustRadius to help you get started and avoid getting bogged down in “shiny new object syndrome.”
Tip 1: Have a minimum viable presence on all sites
One of the things our Customer Success team has learned is that it’s important to have a minimum viable presence of your brand on all the review sites. Getting your name out there is basically table stakes for you as a marketer. After all, your buyers aren’t going to look in just one place for the information they seek, so having coverage on multiple sites makes sense.
So, what does a minimum viable presence look like? At the very least, you’ll want to make sure that your product is listed on the site, that the details about your company and product are up-to-date, and that there are a handful of reviews relevant to your buyers.
If this has been your approach up to this point, you aren’t thinking strategically enough. While this is a good starting point, you need to pick a platform to invest in if you want to really reach your buyers.
Tip 2: Be strategic and pick one site to go deep with
After you have that minimum viable presence established, the next step is to pick one partner to go deep with. Partnering with a site can help you optimize that customer-created content. For example, at TrustRadius we create custom questions for our customers. We do this to ensure that the review content they are getting is telling a brand-specific story, instead of creating a generic review that could apply to any application. We also walk reviewers through the process in a way that is designed to get that depth, length, and breadth of content that creates stellar customer voice content.
Victoria LaPlante, an Advocate Marketing & Demand Generation Leader at Influitive, also echoes our suggestion to be strategic when choosing a review partner. “You should pick one, maybe two top sites, based on where your audience is most likely doing their research, and go after those websites first in order to move the needle, build a presence, and then use that strategically in the sales process.” At Influitive, they picked TrustRadius as their top site due to the user experience when someone leaves a review. “It’s extremely easy to do and gets deep into the product questions that your potential buyers want to know about and hear from your current customers.”
Tip 3: Work with a customer advocacy program
Of course, another way to keep your queue of review-ready customers filled is to work with a customer advocacy program. Victoria says that partnerships like these are focused on automation and scalability. “The advocate hub lets you drive product reviews at scale because you’re constantly feeding new customers into your hub, and asking them at the right point in their lifecycle to leave reviews. The data shows us that the average customer using an advocate hub has four times the amount of product reviews within their category than peers who don’t leverage an advocate community.”
Integrations between review sites and customer advocacy platforms can also make a big difference. For example, the TrustRadius integration with Influitive automatically marks a product review challenge in the advocate hub as completed once that review is posted to a vendor’s profile. “The challenge is completed, and your customers get awarded the points you’ve allocated via the hub. It saves advocate marketers and managers like me so much time, so we can spend that time building relationships with our advocates instead of getting into the manual administration of that part of our platform,” says Victoria.
QuickBase is currently using Influitive and TrustRadius together and has seen a lot of benefits from doing so. Davin Wilfrid, who runs the content and customer advocacy team at QuickBase, echoes Victoria’s comments about the integration — “It’s the cherry on top” — but he does stress that you shouldn’t wait to find the perfect advocate app to start your customer advocacy efforts. The important thing with customer advocacy is getting the ball rolling, even if you’re doing it through email or phone calls. Once you are ready to scale, you can streamline that process. “You’ll need a platform for organizing, engaging, and mobilizing those advocates, and we use Influitive for that.”
Tip 4: Think beyond acquiring reviews and consider the quality
Davin does stress the importance of quality in reviews, noting that if you’re just asking people to leave reviews, you’ll often get lackluster results. The quality of the prompts matters. “If you ask a couple of standard questions, you’ll get really thin reviews that aren’t as useful to sales and marketing folks as reviews that are in-depth,” he says. Being able to customize the question set and drill down into the problems that Blackbaud solves for their customers in a specific way was key to creating sales and marketing opportunities with their reviews.
He also notes that working with a third-party review platform can add some legitimacy to your review program, which can, in turn, result in higher-level users leaving reviews. In particular, he noticed that after working with TrustRadius, they had many more VP and C-level users leaving reviews. “I think, psychologically, it has to do with them feeling like they’re contributing to the development of your product.”
Tip 5: Use your reviews in your own materials
Reviews are a source of valuable, detailed, and trusted content that you should be actively sharing with your prospective buyers. Some portion of your target list will stumble across (or go searching for) reviews of your product, but if you rely solely on that scenario, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Instead, consider how you can use your reviews in other channels.
Some review sites, like TrustRadius, will allow you to organize and tag quotes from the reviews and then pull those onto your landing pages and into sales and marketing emails as proof points to boost conversions. We also suggest syndicating reviews internally so you can funnel feedback to your Customer Success and Product teams.
Ideally, whichever review partner you pick will be able to:
- Serve as a trusted and unbiased source of information for your buyers
- Allow you to build and scale a robust review program
- Provide tools and methods for packaging review content and bring it into your own channels
Looking for a review partner that believes wholeheartedly in trust, quality, and making your job easier? TrustRadius gives you everything you need to influence buyers, scale in-depth content, boost conversions, and accelerate sales — all in one place. Demand more from your reviews and request a demo to learn more.