2 Innovative Ways to Generate More Positive Local Reviews Online
As a local business owner, you know that online reviews can make or break your business. Since the majority of customers and clients look at online reviews before making a purchasing decision, you need to continuously generate positive testimonials if you want to attract new business. However, this is easier said than done.
While sometimes asking your customers and clients to leave a kind word online is enough, you’ll often need to get creative about the way you ask for positive reviews. Strategies like giving away freebies, offering coupons, or even just hosting a special event can encourage local customers to say something nice about your company.
Let’s take a look at a few innovative ways to generate more positive local reviews online!
- A freebie can remind customers and clients to get online and leave a review.
- Offering coupons is a simple way to increase positive reviews.
- Hosting a dedicated event can bring in new customers and get you more reviews.
1. Hand Out a Freebie With a Small Reminder
Just about everyone loves to get something for free. Whether it’s a notepad, pen, magnet, or key chain, customers and clients appreciate free goodies (no matter how small). Including a simple reminder on these free handouts to local customers could increase your chances of them hopping online and leaving you a positive review.
The goal of giving a free handout isn’t necessarily to directly incentivize customers to leave a review. Something small and cost effective like a key chain isn’t likely to do that on its own. Instead, these small items act as a reminder for those who might have otherwise forgotten. When handing out your freebie, be sure to have a conversation with the customer or client about the importance of online reviews and how much it would mean to you if they could leave a positive note online. Each time the customer sees that item, they’ll be reminded of your conversation.
You can further increase the chance of your reminder working if you hand out an item people are likely to use when they’re on the computer, such as a zip drive. This makes it even easier for them to jump onto Facebook or another, similar website to leave a review.
To maximize your chances of getting online reviews through handing out freebies, make sure you’re giving them to customers or clients who have had a positive experience with your business. Whether that means handing them out to certain customers at the checkout or providing them to clients who purchase a particular product or service, you don’t want to give your freebies away to just anyone. Being semi-selective about who you ask for reviews can ensure you’re getting high-quality, positive feedback that’s still honest.
2. Offer a Coupon for Leaving a Review
Just as customers and clients love free things, they also love a discount. Offering a coupon to individuals who leave you reviews can increase your chances of local customers or clients logging on to leave you a positive note.
When offering a coupon, it’s important to note that you probably can’t offer them only to people who leave positive reviews. This kind of incentive can encourage users to leave less-than-honest feedback, and it’s against the rules on many review sites. Instead of saying coupons will be given only to those who leave something positive, then, you can offer coupons to anyone who posts a review.
For bonus points, you can even use the coupon to encourage people who had a negative experience to come back in, so you have a chance to change their mind. Fortunately, Clickx makes it easy for you to automate your coupon-sending process. By setting up certain coupon rules depending on whether the customer leaves a positive or negative review, you can ensure that each individual gets the unique attention and message they need.
Finally, it’s important to note that whenever you offer a coupon, you’ll want to review the policies associated with the website you’re looking to increase your reviews on. Since each review site has its own set of rules about what is okay to offer in exchange for a review, you don’t want to get in trouble by going against those guidelines. Always check out the specific rules for each site, and look out for any policy changes that may call for a new strategy.
Bonus: Host a Special Reviewing Event
Whether you’re a new company or just haven’t done much to foster online reviews yet, getting started on review sites can be a challenge. Since you want to have enough online reviews that local customers and clients can trust your business, you’ll need to acquire as many online reviews as possible (and soon). One of the ways you can do this is through a special reviewing event.
Some review websites, will allow you to host a special event to gain more attention and encourage online reviews. You can invite members of your local audience to attend these events, browse your space, try out your products and services, and get to know you on a professional level. You can then strategically locate ‘stations’ nearby, where attendees can get online to leave you a review.
These kinds of events are great for attracting new customers and clients. Since you’ll typically offer free items, goodies, or entertainment, it’s a perfect opportunity for getting new people in the door. Once they’re interested, you can show them what you have to offer and turn them into loyal customers.
When creating your event, you want to consider what visitors may be looking for when they come through your doors. While free items and entertainment are incentives to draw them in, you also want to ensure they’re getting an accurate representation of your business and brand. This means you need to come up with ways to show off what you’re capable of and what you do. Whether through samples or even a presentation, you want each visitor to feel connected to your brand and confident enough in your capabilities to leave you a positive review.
Often, your customers don’t fully understand how much an online review can help your business. This means you may need to get creative about the way you encourage them to leave feedback. With the right approach, you can easily keep a constant stream of positive reviews coming to your business
Let’s recap the three innovative but simple ways you can increase your number of positive local reviews:
- Offer freebies with a small reminder.
- Provide a coupon to customers who leave you a review.
- Host a special reviewing event for your target audience.
Which of these strategies do you think will work best for your business? Let me know in the comments section below!
Solomon Thimothy is the Co-founder of Clickx, a Chicago-based white label digital marketing platform. He has been in the agency space for over a decade and has helped 100s of entrepreneurs build 7 and 8 figure agencies. He helps agency owners on a 1:1 basis to scale sales and fulfillment. Follow him on twitter @sthimothy