During times of economic recession, it's natural for businesses to look for cost-effective ways to drive sales and attract new customers.
One of the most powerful solutions is to focus on increasing online reviews. Not only are customer reviews free to create and post, they're also highly trusted by consumers. In fact, studies have shown that 90% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision.
The ROI of online reviews vs traditional advertising
Traditional advertising methods such as TV, radio, or print ads can be prohibitively expensive for businesses being challenged to make ends meet during a recession.
For example, the average cost of a 15-second TV ad during primetime can be close to $100,000, while a full-page print ad in a national newspaper can easily run into the same ballpark. By contrast, investing in online reviews is relatively low, with the main costs being around the time and resources required to request and manage them.
But, what is the return on investment for businesses investing in online reviews?
A study by Harvard Business School found that a one-star increase in a business’s Yelp rating led to a 5-9% increase in revenue, while another study found that businesses with more than 82 total reviews earn 54% more in annual revenue.
That's a significant ROI for a marketing strategy during a recession!
The trust factor of online reviews
Consumers are bombarded with advertising messages on a daily basis, making it increasingly difficult for businesses to cut through the noise.
Online reviews, on the other hand, are highly trusted by consumers. In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to a study by BrightLocal. This level of trust is simply not attainable through traditional advertising methods.
The long-term benefits of online reviews
One of the most significant benefits of online reviews is their long-term impact.
Traditional advertising methods such as TV or print ads have a limited shelf life. They come, they go. In contrast, online reviews are available for anyone to read - at any time.
That means that positive reviews can continue to drive sales for businesses long after they have been posted.
The importance of a standout product and service
But, let's not forget! You must still provide quality products and services in order to successfully attain those positive reviews.
By focusing on improving their online reputation, businesses can attract more customers and increase their revenue, all without breaking the bank.