In this “fake news” era, entrepreneurs are facing a growing problem among consumers: credibility. Edelman’s 2017 Trust Barometer reported a global drop in trust across businesses and media. And millennials surveyed are especially skeptical. The McCarthy Group’s Engaging Millennials: Trust and Attention survey found that only around 10 percent of those surveyed said they would consider traditional marketing trustworthy.
With consumer confidence and trust at an all-time low, then, how can entrepreneurs find marketing success? As it turns out, they can turn to their pre-existing customers. Consumers are leaning on one other to figure out where to buy and whom to trust: As consumer trust decreases reliance on peer-to-peer recommendations increases.
Here are a few ways entrepreneurs can leverage their own customer base to hack their way into some serious growth.
Leverage reviews for traffic.
Reviews and ratings have become incredibly important to consumers. BrightLocal found that 84 percent of people surveyed trusted online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and 74 percent said that positive reviews will make them trust a business more.
Equally as important, reviews have been proven to increase website traffic and conversions. Some third-party tools have licensing partnerships with Google, making them Google Review Partners. Reviews collected with these platforms can help brands gain Google Seller Ratings. On average, ads with Seller Ratings get a 17 percent higher CTR than the same ads without ratings.
Up your SEO game.
It’s imperative to partner with a customer review platform that offers widgets, which in turn provide a great way to obtain rich snippets, meaning structured data markup that site operators can add to their existing HTML. Rich snippets allow search engines to better understand what information is contained on each web page. Translation: More SEO bang for your buck.
The additional markup can help your website stand out in SERPs (search engine result pages).
Fabletics, a Trustpilot customer, excels at this. The company has an entire section of its site dedicated to reviews where it displays feedback and its aggregate customer rating. The Pearl Source, another customer, also uses review widgets to increase search traffic.