Four Ways to Harness the Content within Your Reviews

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Four Ways to Harness the Content within Your Reviews

By Rob Gonzalez - 03/13/2017

You already know that reviews are a critical part of a customer's decision to hit the buy button, but they also provide another extremely valuable role: free market research!

Studying reviews of your products can improve your brand’s understanding of your customers. Reviews reveal how your customers use your products. They also provide insight into the real language used when customers discuss your brand. Research from Salsify found that 82 percent of consumers want to see at least three product reviews whenever they're shopping. Shopper demand is just one reason to incorporate reviews in your product page. Here are four ways to take greater advantage of your customer reviews:

1.Collect real-life examples of your product in use. Reviews are the ultimate user-generated content. Ask your top reviewers and brand fans to use lifestyle images they've created on your product detail pages and in your advertising. By speaking directly to the best reviewers, you can better understand how your products are meeting their needs on a daily basis and leverage their content to reach new audiences.

2. Improve products based on your customer base. Reviews provide a direct look inside your customer’s head. This makes reviews a solid market research tool that can be used to learn more about your audience. For example, long-term Salsify customer 3M uses reviews for new product development and product iteration. Customer feedback is part of their internal product development cycle and they use it to fine-tune products in specific markets. You may not be ready to revamp how you bring products to market, but it's likely you are keeping a close eye on your product's star rating.

3. Don't ignore negative feedback. Ratings of all kinds can help shed light on a bigger picture. If product reviews are negative, ask yourself: are we marketing to the wrong audience and getting poor product reviews as a result? Or is there a segment of our review-writing customers that don’t line up with our anticipated demographics? Check out who is saying what and share those insights with your sales team to better position your products.

4. Steal this language: Customer reviews come from real people and often use terms or spelling your marketing team does not. Mine your product reviews for keyword insights. Take the exact phrases customers use in order to improve your product descriptions and enhance the performance of your product content over time. Incorporate your customers' language into your product content. This boost to SEO has proven incredibly successful for one Fortune 100 consumer products manufacturer, and has resulted in double-digit conversion increases when experimenting with this technique.
 
Don't underestimate the many ways your company can benefit from reviews. Today, many brands are leaving the full value of customer product reviews on the table. Reviews are free, honest market research that, when used correctly, can go beyond simply improving your product page conversion rates. Review your reviewers, listen to their feedback and put their words and their content to work for your product development, marketing strategy and sales success.

 -Rob Gonzalez, co-founder and vice president, Salsify