What TripAdvisor Can Teach Us About Marketing

How to use review sites to win more traffic and gain more customers

I’ve spent many a happy hour laughing over rancid restaurants and soiled sheets on the TripAdvisor travel review website. But the fact is, review sites of all kinds can be a great way to promote your business if you use them properly.

Why? Many of them have massive traffic that you can lock into for free. And they’re becoming more and more relevant with today’s social marketing.

Here’s how to get started using review sites to promote your business:

Review sites …. why bother ?

One attraction of using review sites is that opinions and recommendations from actual product/service users carry much more weight than ads. So good reviews are much better than paid-for advertising …. and they cost zilch.

But review sites are also an effective form of content marketing. They are a way that publicity for your product, service or business can be pushed out all over the Internet by you and others.

How to get started

First identify the review sites that cover your product/service area with a simple Internet search. There are review sites for just about every business type now. Google and Facebook also serve as review sites to some extent.

If your business doesn’t already have an entry there ‘claim it’ as yours – this should allow you to update business details as necessary and add your own content. If it is already listed, check that the listing is correct.

To get the ball rolling encourage your existing and new customers to post reviews. Ask them outright, or offer an incentive such as a discount or free gift. If you can get a critical mass of reviews going there’s more chance people will start to post voluntarily.

Making reviews work for you:

* Be aware that making use of review sites can be a double-edged sword. Bad as well as good reviews can be posted. So always have a simple policy for managing your reviews.

* The trick is to try and make sure the positive reviews are better, more reasoned and in the majority!

* Always respond to reviews where this is permitted – and as soon as possible. Thank those who leave positive reviews. And try and placate any who leave negative reviews.

* Ask for any incorrect/inaccurate, negative reviews to be moderated or removed and/or flag them as ‘unhelpful’.

* Encourage reviewers to post photo and video where permitted and relevant. (Some also allow you to post your own.) These are very effective forms of content marketing.

* Check and update your business details periodically. Ensure there are working links to your site and blog. If the site allows you to post a description of your business and/or offers change this from time to time.

* Lastly, consider adding a reviews function to your own website. There are many platforms that allow you to do this. Although these kinds of reviews aren’t quite as valuable they are still good content marketing …. and the advantage is that you can control what is published there!

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. While you’re here, why not take a look at some of the professional copy and content services I can offer your business.