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June 13, 2022

How Connecting with Consumer Preferences Links to Reputation Management and Trust Marketing

Insights from Google's 2022 Retail Marketing Guide

Achieving any set of business and marketing objectives requires an understanding of how buyers shop. Consumers have changed from traditional one-lane shopping to combine both online and in-person experiences to fulfill their needs. The journey a consumer takes is non-linear and diverse with a propensity toward an omnichannel shopping experience for convenience purposes. In general we can see that consumers are turning to their peers and Google to guide their purchasing journey and build trust in a company – hence the importance of trust marketing.

Google’s 2022 Retail Marketing Guide digs into ways to better connect with customers. It sheds light on consumer trends to consider in your reputation management strategy. Couple Google’s guide with the tools to leverage review generation, video testimonials, and review response and you’ll optimize your existing marketing strategy in no time. 

Google is a Consumer’s Map to Purchase but Video is the Delivery

Customers turn to Google to browse, research, and buy, making positive online reviews a must to establish brand trust with any prospective customers. Not only are positive reviews critical, but leveraging the voice of your consumers with honest video testimonials is gold – truly a marketer's best friend. According to Google’s Retail Marketing Guide, “89% of consumers agree YouTube creators give the best information about products and brands.” Why? Because a creator is a peer with a fancy camera. 

Trust flows amongst peers. In the world of local business, creator’s are akin to customer reviews. Capturing the story of your customers is key because people trust what others have to say. Consumers want to know that what they buy is going to suit their unique lifestyle, and the most trustworthy voices are those of other consumers that can be perceived as relatable by your prospects (à la the self-reference effect).

Building Your Brand = Building Trust

From the start of the buying journey, consumers are looking for reasons to trust. As they continue browsing, they will likely turn to reviews from a specific product or service. The information-heavy world we live in allows customers to gather feedback from multiple sources to make a proper assessment. 

Customer feedback in the form of text reviews or video testimonials can provide transparency amongst prospective customers and help align brand messaging. Guiding customers to review content using specific questions can create better brand messaging and allows your company to be seen through the narrative of the consumer, an effective trust marketing strategy. Making this process of reviewing and providing video testimonials simple and as streamlined as possible is how you can leverage the most reviews from your consumers. Convenience and ease are imperative to successful review generation. 

Want to learn more about building that strategy? Read “The Complete Guide to Video Testimonials for Businesses” here.

Creating a Clear and Accurate Google Business Profile 

Google Business Profiles (GBP), formerly Google My Business (GMB), can help your company excel by ranking your business higher on Google and in turn generate more sales. Before customers shop with you in-store, many of them briefly browse online, making your GBPs important to not only be clear but also accurate and up-to-date. According to Google’s 2022 Retail Marketing Guide, “48% of consumers in surveyed countries around the world say they get inspiration for purchases when they are online.” Learning how to audit your GBP is a great start, if you haven’t created a GBP yet, now is the time! 

When creating or auditing your GBP, you want to highlight what makes your business unique. People want to shop where their values align. If your company is woman-led or LGBTQ+ friendly, you can select attributes that reflect your business. The more often you can differentiate your business, the better you can stand out and impress your prospects. If you don’t know where to start in setting up or conducting an audit of your GBP, our free GBP Performance Analysis Tool can help. Choose from a free GBP crash course or level up to the (also free) Google My Business 201 class to dive deeper into advanced strategies for turning your GBP into an effective marketing tool.

SEO and Reviews Go Hand-in-Hand

Shoppers turn to Google Search to seek info, compare products, and narrow down choices, so much so that “over 40% of shoppers go to Google when researching a purchase they plan to make in-store or online,” according to Google’s Retail Marketing Guide. Ensuring your SEO strategy ranks properly is crucial and reviews can also elevate this approach. The more reviews your business has on Google, the more people will discover your business. And, there are scalable ways to get more reviews. By generating a high volume of Google business reviews, curious searchers can find your business easier and understand exactly what you offer better.


In the same vein as SEO, maps and search can also help your business rank better on Google, especially if you fall within the Map Pack or Local Finder. Shoppers explore maps to buy online products and to see what stores have in stock. Google’s 2022 Retail Marketing Guide explains that searching “shopping near me” has “grown globally by over 100% year over year.” It’s an easy and quick way for consumers to find what they need when they need it and to see who has it in stock closest to their location.

Prospective customers will check Business Profiles on Google Maps to see if a local store is open and has the available product they want in stock or available for pickup. With inventory shortages and shipping challenges “thirty-one percent of consumers in surveyed countries say they are researching online more before purchasing.” Updating your GBP as much as possible to align with your hours and location is the way that consumers can find and hopefully shop with you. To get inside the map pack, you must prove your worthiness to Google’s algorithm. Not only are positive reviews critical, but recency and volume are also important factors, so constantly generating reviews is a key strategy to indicate to search engines that your company deserves to be featured at the top of the pack. 

Keep it Streamlined 

Integrating new ways to keep consumers engaged and educated on products is the difference between a purchase and a bounce. A few tips to meet consumers where they are by utilizing Widewail reputation management and review generation systems include:

  • Promote your products to the right consumer at the right time by adding text review/video testimonial placements throughout your site.  
  • Automatically send review requests through text  and make the review process and submission easy and convenient. 
  • Distribute a high volume of customer feedback everywhere prospects could learn more about you.
  • Keep your GBP up to date with as much detail as possible.

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Jake Hughes

I’m the Director of Marketing here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. I'm in Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0 to 100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!

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