It’s a fact, clients want to know someone else’s experience with a product before they jump in for a purchase. For B2B companies, customer or client reviews are essential to a successful marketing strategy.
According to Marketing Land, 90% of consumers say positive reviews influenced their purchasing decision. This “recommendation and review” culture for B2C buyers is the same for B2B buyers. A Corporate Executive Board survey found that B2B buyers complete 60 percent of the purchasing process before they speak with a company representative. It is likely that during this process, customers are taking the time to research reviews.
There is a lot of competition out there for many B2B business, so client reviews are a great way to set distinguish yourself from competitors.
Let’s take a look at five reasons why your B2B marketing strategy should include customer reviews.
Customer Reviews Aren’t Intrusive
According to research by Forrester, 59 percent of B2B buyers prefer to do research online instead of interacting with a sales representative. Research shows this is because they feel the representative is focused on a sales agenda rather than helping solve a problem. It is easy for B2B buyers to tell if a company is genuinely there to serve their needs, or is just trying to close a deal. B2B customer reviews are a great way to showcase what the company has to offer and what it’s like to be a client.
They Are Cost-Effective
The right B2B marketing strategy often requires a budget for hiring graphic designers, creating a time-intensive social media strategy, and purchasing the right software to implement automation technologies. Collecting customer reviews are a cost-effective way to show the value of the products or services offered by a company and how they benefit the end user. According to Regalix, the most substantial obstacle that B2B online advertisers face is a lack of budget. Asking for clients to learn a review about their the experience with the company and the services or products offered utilizes less monetary resources.
Reviews Build Trust
B2B companies should take a page out of the B2C playbook, especially when it comes to building client trust. BrightLocal revealed that 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. We have seen the rise of the “Yelp Review” culture, and while this is still B2C heavy, this is something that B2B marketers can’t ignore. Individuals feel more confident purchasing from someone they know and trust.
Demonstrates B2B Marketers Understand Current Trends
Only 12 percent of the population does not regularly read customer reviews. This means it has become a significant part of the buyer journey. It is now expected that a company will share customer or client reviews to demonstrate what it’s like to do business with them. Unless a company is a start-up or newcomer to the industry, potential customers may question why there aren’t any reviews about the company. Building a strong reputation that supports a company’s brand values is essential, and reliable customer reviews strengthen a company’s reputation and communicate the brand’s value to B2B buyers.
Increase SEO Keyword Usage
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the method of increasing the visibility of a website on search engines. Companies participate in SEO by strategically placing keywords on various sites to rank for specific words. In addition to landing page verbiage and blog posts, customer reviews are an additional way of ensuring product keywords are frequently used on the website for better SEO rankings.
Posting and sharing customer reviews are a great way to build credibility and value to a prospect. Their addition to any marketing strategy shows that marketers understand a prospect’s need to know what it’s like to be a client of their company. This simple addition could spell marketing success and increased sales for savvy B2B companies.
About the Author: Chanell Turner is a digital marketer and writer. She is a regular contributor to TrustRadius, where she shares her knowledge of the latest trends in B2B news and software.