How To Use Online Reviews To Improve Your Earned Media Efforts
The State of PR 2023 survey of 1000 PR professionals by Muck Rack found that 70% anticipate challenges in finding earned media placements over the next five years.
Any seasoned Publice Relations professional will tell you your digital efforts are only worthwhile if people engage with your brand. Leveraging earned media, like online reviews, is essential for any PR strategy.
Online reviews provide great content for any PR digital strategy by giving people a platform to voice their opinions and help shape public sentiment around your brand. Read on to learn how to use reviews to improve your earned media efforts.
Earned media is any form of media coverage that you don’t pay for, such as reviews, word-of-mouth marketing, and press releases. It is also called “free media” because it does not require monetary payment.
In the past, consumers relied on print and broadcast media to hear about your products. This placed journalists and influencers much higher in importance than other audiences. While this is still a vital part of PR campaigns, modern-day earned media has changed priorities for businesses.
It makes employees, consumers, and investors a top priority for your brand, as they are the primary driver of reputation. A simple tweet about the “best clothing store ever” that gets a few retweets can be just as valuable as an article in a magazine.
Your brand’s reputation is directly linked to its success. Today, most customers research brands online before they make a purchase. Online reviews help build trust with consumers and provide valuable insights into what people think of your products or services. Reviews also inform other potential customers about the quality of your products or service.
Here are some top ways to leverage online reviews to improve your digital PR efforts:
If you have not included online reviews in your PR strategy, you may miss out on valuable opportunities to build brand loyalty and gain traction with potential customers.
Create clear structures for online reviews, such as making sure you engage with and respond to customers who speak up for your brand.
Respond to negative feedback quickly and efficiently, and gather data on customer sentiment to understand customer needs and expectations better.
There are general review platforms like Facebook, Google, and Trustpilot, and industry-specific ones like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Yelp.
Register your brand on the most relevant media and ensure the information is current, including a link to your website.
Improving the process of leaving online reviews begins with understanding your customers. Who are they? Which mode of communication do they prefer to use? Is it email or text?
Don’t expect consumers to go looking for avenues to leave reviews. Provide links on their preferred mode of communication to encourage reviews. Ensure the link leaves them one click away from sharing their experience.
Create a strategy for responding to all online reviews. Take it as an opportunity for your business to shine, even if the feedback is negative. Immediately following up on reviews with a response lets you express gratitude to customers. It also offers a perfect opportunity to respond to negative feedback before it drags on.
Being active on social media is critical for your business because most consumers spend their time there. Most customers will research your business on Facebook and other social media platforms before doing business with you.
Sharing positive reviews on these platforms helps move them along the buying journey. Positive reviews increase your business’s trustworthiness and tell potential customers what to look forward to when they buy your products.
Reviews offer insights into the things that matter the most to your audience. Look for what your positive customer reviews have in common and utilize them in your brand story. Use phrases like “this is why our customers love us” to show customers what sets you apart from the competition. You can also use reviews for other content initiatives like video testimonials.
You can gain insights into customer sentiment and satisfaction by analyzing reviews and identifying improvement areas. Evaluate what customers say in the reviews and use those insights to benchmark your performance and further improve your business.
Online reviews are an often overlooked yet powerful earned media. They tell your brand’s story, how customers perceive it, and what areas can be improved.
Do you need help leveraging online reviews and improving your earned media efforts? Our experts at The Hoyt Organization will help you create a winning strategy to position your brand for success. Contact us today to get started.