B2B Product Reviews: A Marketer’s Guide
November 15, 2018
Today, consumers have more control than ever over a brand’s reputation — with online, influencer, peer and colleague feedback all impacting the B2B path to purchase. In fact, 65% of of B2B buyers rely on peer recommendations/review sites and 54% leverage social media to research new vendors and solutions, according to Demand Gen Report’s latest 2018 B2B Buyer’s Survey.
For marketers, the review ecosystem has created a huge opportunity to drive ROI and reach new customers — but, with influence coming from all directions, it can be tricky to understand exactly how to leverage product reviews as part of your marketing strategy.
To lend an expert voice, we’ve partnered with G2 Crowd to develop a marketer’s guide to B2B product reviews.
In The Rise of B2B Product Reviews: How B2B Marketers Can Leverage Customer Voices to Drive Relevance and Revenue, we’ve gathered research, subject matter expertise, thought leadership, and customer stories from today’s B2B review economy — consolidating everything you need to know related to leveraging and engaging with B2B product reviews.
Want a quick snapshot? We’ve covered our guide’s highlights below.
Why B2B Marketers Should Think Like B2C Consumers
In B2B, technology purchases function similar to traditional B2C purchases. According to Northwestern University, over 95% of shoppers use online reviews before making a purchase — and that’s on top of the conventional due diligence that goes on during the sales process. Product reviews can help increase brand reputation, drive new leads and move deals further down the pipeline. In fact, a product with 5+ reviews has a 270% greater likelihood of purchase than a product with zero reviews, increasing marketing-attributable ROI.
Here are five more reasons why B2B product reviews are a great tool for marketers.
- Product reviews move beyond advertising efforts to showcase how actual customers engage with and purchase solutions. With buyers getting as far as two-thirds throughout the purchase process before reaching out to a vendor, unbiased, unfiltered reviews are holding more power over those who research, vet, purchase, and implement technologies.
Buyers appreciate realistic expectations and a candid approach to the challenges a product or solution solves. Customers want to learn how a product can specifically help solve their problems straight from those that have used it before, instead of how it fits into larger use cases.
Reviews are authentic, and new buyers appreciate the transparency. Buyers don’t want perfect. They want the truth, which is why many customers go straight to the reviews in the 3.5-to 4.5-star category. As a marketer, when you talk to customers and work on crowd-sourcing honest product reviews, ask them to be honest and open in their assessment.
Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world – in fact, they’re an opportunity. According to G2 Crowd, reviews with just 1 or 2 stars receive up to 300% more clicks than overwhelmingly positive reviews, bringing new eyes and new audience members with them. And, many times your brand can respond to these reviews or use them as an opportunity for growth and product enhancement.
Product reviews are constantly growing and changing, offering new opportunities for your team and company. Marketers should work directly with customers to ask for feedback and cultivate honest reviews across a variety of customer lifecycle checkpoints. As a marketer, you should pass along both positive or negative reviews to your product and strategy team to enhance your customer experience in the future.
Taking Advantage of B2B Product Reviews
This new eBook from LinkedIn and G2 Crowd provides marketers with best practices on how to harness the power of online product reviews, spin negative reviews into opportunities and work directly with customers to foster loyal relationships.
Other key insights covered:
- The overall ROI opportunity that B2B product reviews can provide marketers
- 2018’s top B2B product review trends and best practices
- How marketers can work directly with customers to foster positive, insightful product reviews
- 6 steps to turn a negative review into an opportunity for success
- The best ways to leverage product reviews in your ongoing marketing campaigns
- Real-world success stories from Kimble and Looker, sharing how they were able to realize the value of product reviews and take action to drive results