As discussed earlier, online reviews are a form of referral marketing which is a much warmer approach than traditional lead generation activities. Referral marketing builds trust and converts at higher rates.

Online Reviews Psychological Buying Triggers

Online reviews actually include several psychological buying triggers which make them so effective at influencing buying decisions. Though numerous buying triggers exist, some of the most powerful are regularly found in online reviews including:

Authority - Buyers learn about your expertise, how much experience you have, and your background by reading reviews. • Likeability - Online reviews can provide consumers with insights as to how likeable you are. They’re more likely to buy from people described as “caring, kind, and easy-going” than from those described as “rude, irritable, rushed, or arrogant.”

Specificity - Online reviews can also provide specific details about a product or service that may not be mentioned elsewhere such as “They have a secret menu. Ask for the Yeti burger and they’ll put on extra bacon and blue cheese.” More importantly, specificity is much more descriptive than vague phrases. For example, “She’s a great tutor” is certainly positive, but it’s vague. In contrast, “She’s a great calculus tutor who makes learning fun” tells us exactly where she shines.

Proof - Online reviews serve as social proof that you are delivering on your promises. Social proof is the most important form of proof available as social proof is all about what others say about you.

While you can hire an ad agency to make a beautiful company brochure, consumers trust the experiences of other consumers over other advertising. As you go about developing your reputation, it’s important to understand these buying triggers.

While you would never write your own reviews, you can certainly ask your customers to be specific about what they liked about your product or service. In addition, knowing these buying triggers can help you to select the most effective reviews to feature on your own websites and marketing materials. There are many ways to start getting reviews. Let’s start with the third party sites such as Google, Facebook and Yelp.