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July 1, 2021

Power Your Inbound Marketing Strategy with Review Management

Learn how to take your inbound marketing strategy to the next level by adding a review generation and review response strategy into the mix.

Before HubSpot came onto the scene, the traditional methods of marketing were mainly company-focused. Businesses heavily pushed their products and services in an effort to get in front of their audience and sell – regardless of whether the consumer was ready to convert or not.

While businesses today still work towards the end goal of converting prospects into customers, there's a stark difference in the way companies achieve this outcome today versus twenty years ago.

The traditional means of marketing are no longer seen as the most effective approach to developing genuine, lasting relationships with customers. In their place now stands inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing is consumer-centric, designed to provide your target audience with an experience centered around educating them and suggesting solutions to their problems. The first step is establishing trust and credibility with consumers, laying the groundwork for when you eventually pitch your services or products.

An effective way to power your inbound marketing strategy is to implement review management processes that result in more positive online reviews being left on a more frequent basis.

Before we take a look at some review management strategies that can help improve your approach to inbound marketing, let’s first refresh ourselves on the basics of inbound marketing.

First Off, What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing was a concept developed in 2005 by HubSpot's co-founder and CEO, Brian Halligan. It wasn’t until 2012 that inbound marketing really began to gain traction, as companies started to realize the long-term benefits of embracing this customer-focused methodology.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is designed to attract customers through blogs, videos, podcasts, ebooks, and experiences that are personalized to their particular needs, tangentially or directly related to the product your business sells.

At its core, the concept is built on the foundation of growing your organization through meaningful, lasting relationships with consumers, prospects, and customers.

An early indication of how impactful inbound marketing could become came in 2008 when then-senator Barack Obama was named AdAge's Marketer of the Year for his successful presidential campaign. President Obama embraced the latest web collateral, such as social media marketing, strong website copy, and heartfelt videos, to resonate with voters and, in turn, generated hundreds of millions of dollars from individual supporters for his campaign.

President Obama's grassroots appeal and focus on small donations from individuals as opposed to massive donations from corporations was an early example of how prioritizing inbound marketing efforts could pay off at scale.

While HubSpot technically coined the term "inbound marketing" in 2005, the concept wasn't truly embraced and utilized broadly until 2012, putting President Obama ahead of the curve.

The idea behind inbound marketing is closely tied to HubSpot's flywheel model. The flywheel concept advocates that when your customers are happy with your business, they’ll want to share their satisfaction with others. This, in turn, brings in new customers to your business and creates a self-sustaining loop.

Next, let's look at the importance of the flywheel and its ability to establish trust and credibility with your customers which will lead us into how review management can bolster your inbound marketing strategies.

Embrace the Flywheel

The Hubspot Flywheel Concept

The flywheel is a concept HubSpot developed to highlight the growth momentum a business can achieve by prioritizing the customer experience.

When utilized properly, the flywheel will work to simultaneously attract, engage, and delight your customers. In short, the flywheel believes that when your customers succeed, your business succeeds as well.

If you’ve been relying on a traditional marketing funnel to bring in more business, you might want to consider changing things up. While a funnel offers a framework to transform consumers from prospects into paying customers, the direction provided does not inform or embrace the customer experience post-sale.

Comparatively, the flywheel embraces your satisfied existing customers and views them as advocates for your business. Brand advocates inevitably catch the attention of prospective customers, who then might go on to become brand advocates themselves. To put it in flywheel terms, by engaging with prospective customers and attracting them via helpful, informative content, they'll be delighted with your brand experience and work to attract other consumers on your behalf.

Ready to embrace the flywheel? A good place to start is by reaching out to existing customers and asking them to leave a review of your business. Zendesk recently reported that 88% of customers read an online review that influenced their buying decision, so ensure your prospective customers have plenty of food for thought when considering your business.

If you take the time to ask your customers for feedback, odds are they’ll provide it. And when they provide it, that will increase the likelihood of prospective customers doing business with you.

Powering Inbound Marketing with Automated Review Invitations

To give your business every opportunity to collect a review, we recommend you reach out to every customer with a request for a review. On average, we find that for every 100 requests your business should receive around 20 reviews.

Unfortunately, manual outreach to all of your customers takes significant time and effort. Luckily, there are tools you can implement to ensure every customer gets a review invitation sent their way after they’ve made a purchase or closed a deal. 

By prioritizing customer outreach for review generation, you’re supplying prospective customers with a wealth of material that will help inform their purchasing decisions.

Inbound marketing is all about providing prospective customers with the information they are looking for when they are looking for it. Online reviews are a surefire way to give prospects information about your business as they decide whether or not to shop with you. Your reviews also help improve the customer experience and demonstrate that 1) you value your customers’ feedback and 2) you want your prospective customers to have plenty of feedback to help build trust.

Level Up with Proper Review Response

According to a study from Review42, 63% of consumers have never heard back from a business after leaving a review. When you also consider that businesses that reply to their reviews at least 25% of the time average 35% more revenue, it makes the importance of review response abundantly apparent.

Taking time to address your customers’ reviews, whether positive or negative, demonstrates to prospective customers that you value the feedback of those who shop with you. On top of that, responding to online reviews also helps boost your local search rankings. So really, review response allows you to get two birds with one stone: you build consumer trust and boost your local search rankings by simply responding to customer feedback online.

Widewail Recommendation

A quick word to the wise: while it's easier to craft thoughtful responses to your glowing reviews, it’s just as important, if not more so, to address negative feedback as well. 45% of consumers say that they’re more likely to visit a business if it responds to negative reviews. No one likes addressing poor reviews about their business, but providing thoughtful responses that genuinely address the customers’ concerns will encourage prospective customers to trust you.

Widewail Helps You Connect with Your Customers 

Widewail enables you to deliver the very best customer experience to your audience through automated tools backed by people-powered processes. Our integration with HubSpot streamlines the review invitation process, resulting in increased review volume, frequency, and quality. Through Engage, we also give your business access to a team of experienced writers that will take the time to provide thoughtful, appropriate responses to all of your online reviews.

To take your inbound marketing strategy to the next level, partner up with Widewail and see how our approach to review management can improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue for your business. To learn more about our integration with HubSpot or inquire about our range of review management services, contact us today!

 

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Jake Hughes

I’m Marketing Manager here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. In Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0-100k 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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