4 ways to maximise the impact of reviews and other user-generated content

Duncan Jones

From putting them on your website to promoting them across your social media channels, there are many ways to use reviews and testimonials to your advantage

You’ve set up a way of generating reviews and have now got some great reviews and testimonials. But how do you use maximise the return you get from those reviews?

This is the next piece of the puzzle. From putting them on your website to promoting them across your social media channels, there are many ways to use reviews and testimonials to your advantage.

To break it down, here are four methods to consider.

1. Transfer reviews to your website

Let’s assume you’ve sent all your reviews to third party sites to maximise their value as per a best practice review generation process. The next step you need to take to start maximising the value you get from the reviews is to transfer the cream of the crop back onto your website which will help maximise your website conversion rate. You can do this by either copying and pasting them back or through using the review sites embed tools & widgets.

Where should you put these reviews you transfer back? Instead of putting them all on a dedicated “testimonials” page on your website, it’s actually better to pick the most relevant reviews and put them directly on your service/product pages – where potential clients might be thinking about the exact same issues that the review addresses.

Here’s a good example of using the right review on the right page: As you can see on the nbn broadband page they’ve used a specific nbn broadband review:

If you’ve copied and pasted the reviews, for added credibility, use the review site’s logo and a link to the original review. It also helps to use the customer’s real name and if you can, add in a photo to lend further authenticity.

2. Promote the reviews in your marketing

Along with transferring reviews to your websites, it’s equally important to promote them in your marketing.

Potential customers are way more likely to believe people just like them saying why they should use you vs believing you as you talk about your USPs. Thus incorporating the reviews you receive into all of your marketing to maximise the performance each ad generates should be high up your todo list.

Here is a good example of a review in use on a Facebook ad:

The best way to use the reviews in your marketing is to divide up all of your reviews into the USP that they show (cheap, high quality, good service, etc.) to then test on different audiences and segments of your market. You’ll find that different segments react to different reviews so ensure you track the performance of each testimonial and double down on promotion of the ones that get you the best results.

Also read: User generated content is king, and product reviews can bring your e-commerce business to the next level

What channels to promote your reviews with? Well that depends on your budget and marketing strategy, but I have generated great results working reviews into the following channels:

  • Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
  • Email Marketing
  • SEM (Adwords, Bing)
  • Remarketing
  • Offline Marketing

3. Respond to reviewers individually

People love interacting with brands online so a simple way to start turning the people giving you positive reviews into brand advocates is to engage with them which will lead to more repeat sales, future testimonials and more referrals.

Make sure you reply to every positive (and negative) review you get on each of the platforms and keep every reply personalised, non-templated and something that show your customer that you care.

Here is a good example of replying to reviews from a restaurant who paid attention to which dish the person had enjoyed and then recommended a specific one for them to try next time they visited:

You can see from that example that the customer loved it and replied again saying they would definitely be back – well worth the small investment replying to maximise what you get out of the positive reviews you’re already getting.

If you’re getting a lot of reviews you’ll need to keep track of all the platforms you’re customers are leaving you reviews on which can be time-consuming so consider using software like reviewtrackers.com which will aggregate your reviews all into one platform.

4. Turn your reviewers into referrers

If you’ve got happy customers who love your product or services and are happy to give you a public review then they’re most likely also happy to talk to people in their network on your behalf and sell for you – especially if you make it easy + incentivise them.

To get your happy reviewers turned into referrers you should create a 2-way rewards program (like DropBox or Uber) which automatically gives both the referrer and the referee the rewards and which provides the referrer the resources/collateral they need to spread the word online & offline. 

Your incentives for the referral program do not need to be monetary, they could be:

  • Product rewards/access to special features
  • Discounts & coupons (10% off)
  • Gift cards
  • Coupons
  • Physical items like branded merch, t-shirts etc
  • Loyalty points
  • Donation to charitable cause
  • Special event invites (in-store or brick and mortar)
  • Extra entries for sweeps and contests

You should then build promotion of this referral program into your customer marketing – for example you could trigger an email about the referral program to people who you’ve asked a review from who have marked that they’re happy when filling out a review form.

The bottom line? People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend, so by empowering a group of your happiest customers who have already left you reviews with an incentivised referral program you’ll maximise the return you get from people leaving you positive reviews.

Over to you

Once you have enough reviews to work with, there are many ways to maximise the value you get from them by using them on your website and marketing – hopefully the four ways i’ve outlined above are enough to get started. If you have any other ideas, let me know in the comments.

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