Turn Your Customers into Your Multimedia Team with User Reviews, Product Photos, and Videos
User reviews are paramount in the world of eCommerce, both on-site and off-site. Just consider the statistics: 95% of shoppers read product reviews while they’re browsing your store, and 72% of your customers won’t make a purchase if they can’t find any reviews of a product you offer.
And that’s only considering the brand lift and product authority that user reviews bring to your site. There are also a myriad of additional benefits that come along with a robust user review platform, from search engine optimization improvements, to free on-site multimedia content. In this blog we’ll show you how to turn customers into your own personal multimedia team and how to optimize their content.
User-Generated Reviews Equal Free SEO
Every user review posted on your site is essentially a miniature blog post or product article in the eyes of Google. While public reviews aren’t generally featured high in SERPs with as much authority as an actual, professionally-written product blog or article, they do bring some additional SEO benefits to table.
If you do a bit of keyword research, you’re bound to find that some of the most popular search phrases for the majority of your products are from users searching for reviews directly on Google. I.e. a large subset of shoppers are searching for your product keywords with included long-tail phrases like “user reviews”, “product rating” or “comparison”.
A well-populated user review platform on your site functions as a self-sustaining SEO tactic for targeting such traffic organically.
The More Photos and Videos, the Better
Beyond what your customers want to see on-site, product images and videos should be an integral part of your off-site content strategy. What’s the first thing a huge percentage of your shoppers do when they come across a product they like? They swipe over to Google Images and go browsing for additional product media. When that happens, you want your product pages to be the click-through for as many of the top Images results as possible.
Ideally, you’d be able to publish a multimedia showcase for every one of your products with unique, high-quality photos and videos. Unfortunately that’s not practical unless your store only offers a handful of boutique products.
So instead, you can utilize your customers and turn them into your guerilla multimedia team. Offer them deals and incentives for posting reviews with pictures and videos, hold “photo of the day” contests on social media for some of your most popular products. If you are going to go down this route, we recommend working with a marketing firm that has experience handling interactive engagements. The web isn’t the wild west anymore. There are legal restrictions around what you can ask of and reward your customers with. Please consult an experienced team to prevent potential public legal nightmares.
How to Generate More Reviews
Follow up After Your Customers Make a Purchase
Obviously your store should be sending follow-up emails to paying customers, asking if they are satisfied with their purchase and offering customer service. That’s one of the first steps to customer retention. Those follow-up emails should also include a way for customers to leave a review as easily as possible.
Include a custom form in your post-purchase auto-responder emails that allows users to write and submit a review straight from their email apps. You want to eliminate as many pain points as possible between the user sharing their thoughts and submitting them in the form of a review.
Your review form should also include a built-in file uploader for product photos and videos. The photos and videos they upload, combined with the generally keyword-rich written content of their reviews, will amp up your on-page SEO every time a user hits “submit”.
Offer Deals and Incentives
Streamlining the product review process is great and all, but you’ll still find that most of your customers simply can’t be bothered to spend the time. That’s why you have to sweeten the pot by offering discount codes and coupons. You can even make your customers feel like they’re getting paid directly for their reviews by offering a small gift card.
As an added bonus, slipping small discounts and gift cards into your customers’ inboxes is a strategy that can more than pay for itself via increased customer retention. With the free SEO content you receive out of the deal, it’s also essentially the cheapest content creation strategy that your marketing money can buy.
Respond Publicly and Productively to User Reviews
Finally, give your store a trustworthy voice by responding to your customers’ reviews. Never leave a negative review unattended. Respond professionally to every negative review and address all of the user’s concerns.
Offer to resolve the issue as generously as possible. Remember – you’re not just writing to one customer, you’re writing to every future customer who browses your store. You want those customers to know they can rely on your products and your customer service.
Additionally, respond to positive reviews periodically. Congratulate customers on their purchases, say you’re happy to hear they’re enjoying their products, and always offer an easy way for them to get in contact. It’s another easy way to increase the likelihood of customer retention while publicly exemplifying your store’s proactive customer service department.
User Reviews Are a Major Rung on the Ladder to On-Site Authority
Building a robust user review platform is a long-term strategy that will help establish your eCommerce store as an authority in your niche. If you’re looking for additional ways to grow your on-site review platform organically, or you’re looking for some more advanced tools to manage and streamline the whole process, get in touch with the experts at InteractOne.