Best Advertising Channel 2018

In the last five years, ReviewInc conducted several studies of over 15,000 U.S. Consumers asking what they seek out most before selecting a business, service or product. Now, with five years of data, the answer is clear: Review Sites are the most critical to the purchase decision.

The study asked consumers to provide only one answer to the following simple question:
When choosing a service or professional (such as a doctor, mechanic, plumber, attorney, etc.) what is most important?

Each respondent was provided with a multiple choice list from which they could only choose one answer. While multiple answers could have been allowed, ReviewInc wanted a more discerning answer so that it could pinpoint what was most influential to the consumer.  This method has been applied to all the surveys form 2013 through 2018.

The Five Year Trend

In this year’s result, Review Sites again topped the list for the most influential component. This is followed by a company’s website (as in previous years). What was more interesting was the year over year trend. The importance of review sites continued to increase by a factor of over 19% from 2014. The company website‘s influence remained steady within the margin of error which could account for the very slight decline. The influence of the traditional yellow pages continued declined, albeit slower than anticipated. Online advertising also appears to have remained stable compared to last year.  The “Other” category gained the most presumably from the use of personal interactions on social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Females Versus Males

In the last 3 years, females outpaced males in choosing review sites as their most influential source. This is beneficial for businesses engaged in reputation management as global spending by women is estimated to be a whopping $18 Trillion in 20181.  Considering that females tend to spend more than males, businesses should pay closer attention to their reviews. More specifically, Baby Boomer women are undermarketed2 but spend the most time choosing to look at review sites, an undeveloped “gold mine” for businesses maintaining their reputation online.

The Generation Gap

Some age groups displayed a significant increase in preference for Review Sites while other age groups decreased. Of particular interest was the more affluent generations (ages 45 and up) showed a significant increase in the choice of Review Sites.  

The younger age groups exhibit a decline due to a variety of factors that created a different economic environment for a generation fairly recent to adulthood. While the younger portion of the millennial generation is still paying for education, the older part of the generation is still in debt; while spending increases with things like homes and starting family, the baby boom of 1987 placed the crux of Millennials in or just leaving university during the Great Recession (between 2008-2009).

What’s more is the amount and use of income has changed. According to Morgan Stanley3, from 2005 to 2012, the average amount of student debt has near doubled from over $13,000 to over $24,000, leaving the majority of a generation in debt. Previous generations had more disposable income, spending far more on dining and entertainment. Millennials and some of Generation X is still fighting their way through debt; according to Mother Jones6, Millennials spent only 81% of their income, a 10% decrease from the Reagan era.

As the younger generations are in fact more cautious about their spending, and may  turn to social media and friends more than the review sites themselves. Long gone is the need for linear marketing techniques. What newer generations want is a conversation, and review sites built by Generation X and Millennials alike have to find a way to meet this new need for engagement. This is especially the case as the Millennial generation reaches their peak consumption years.  This underscores the importance of Responding to Reviews on popular sites such as Google Maps and Facebook.

The Older Generations

While Millennials and Gen-Xers are in their peak consumption years, According to AARP’s Venture Capital Review4, Baby Boomers (ages 53 and over) by far spend the most across all product categories, and their spending will only increase over the next 20 years due to retirement, health care, and their high discretionary income.

This is reflected in the age groups that choose reviews on review sites like Google Facebook, and Yelp. In great contrast to 2017, 2018 is illustrating that those over the age of 45 are more likely to use review sites than those under the age of 44. As 70 % of the disposable income5 is controlled by Baby Boomers and the older generations are choosing to spend their time on review sites, reputation management becomes an even more integral part of maintaining businesses both on and offline.

Decline of Yellow Pages

Speaking of the traditional yellow pages, we can readily observe the difference between this year’s survey results and those of 2014. Interest and preference in using the traditional yellow pages are down by around 40% from only three years ago. The decline is most apparent, again, in the older generations.   Our only surprise here is that it is taking longer for the traditional paper-based Yellow Pages to decline in usage.

What’s the Takeaway?

  • The importance and influence of Online Reviews is critical to your business (much more than your website)
  • If you’re neglecting the investment in your online reputation, you could be missing out on big revenue growth opportunities.
  • Make sure your reputation management solution integrates and leverages social media.
  • Make sure to respond to reviews and create a “conversation” especially if you serve those under the age of 35.

Interested in a free consultation on how to improve your online reviews and overall reputation management? Give us a call at 877-973-8439 or email us at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

 

References

  1. Source: Forbes “Want A Piece Of The 18 Trillion Dollar Female Economy? Start With Gender Bias”
  2. Source: American Marketing Association “Baby Boomer Women Remain Invisible to Marketers”
  3. Source: Morgan Stanley “Generations Change How Spending is Trending”
  4. Source: AARP Venture Capital Review Issue 29
  5. Source: Nielson: Introducing Boomers, Marketing’s Most Valuable Generation
  6. Source: Mother Jones “What Do Millennials Spend All Their Money On?”

 

QR Codes Are Back! How to Use Them To Improve Your Online Reputation

QRCode ScannerSometimes, the best inventions come in the form of tiny little squares. After a long hiatus, and with some hiding in our favorite mobile apps, QR codes are back and in a big way. Here’s why:

QR Codes are about to go through a major rebirth thanks to Apple. Recently, Apple released iOS 11 that has a native QR code reader built into the Camera app. Apple’s iOS release joins Android’s 6.0 (“Marshmallow”) release to automatically recognize a QR code when the default camera app is pointed at any QR code.

The Sordid Past of QR Codes

While the codes remained extremely popular in Asian markets, things didn’t go so well in the West. In order to scan QR codes, consumers in places like the US had to download an app onto their mobile devices. Unfortunately, it was a hassle downloading the apps, and often times the available apps would break. This frustrated the American consumer, leading to the death of the QR code in the West.

What’s a QR Code?

Also known as a Quick Response Code, a QR code is a square containing tiny codes of black and white. These squares hold a ton of storage and are scanned by mobile devices such as your phone or tablet.

What Can it Do?

Due to its ability to hold a ton of storage, these little squares accomplish several feats. QR codes can: track a product, identify an item, track time, be used for document management and marketing purposes. If you’ve ever wanted free stuff at your local convention, you’ve probably scanned a few QR codes. Social media sites like Snapchat are already using the codes, giving QR the opportunity to re-brand in a more positive light.

Use QR Codes to Get More Reviews

Not everyone creates QR codes or even knows about them. But, at ReviewInc, we have the ability to create and even print out QR codes for your business. We even have a business card creator that will create Vista Print ready images that includes your very own QR code.

Call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave ReviewInc your contact information or email ReviewInc at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Four Ways To Make Your Company Page Stand Out

35041872 - blue strawberry between red ones.It’s good to be unique. That is, if you have a business.

Some companies cobble together their information on various social media and review sites. However, if that’s all they do it doesn’t garner much traffic. To compete with competitors your business should offer something different. So why not start with what’s online? Here are four helpful ways to make your company pages stand up to the competition.

Declutter, Don’t Complicate Things

You’re selling a brand not a product. You don’t have time to go over your products and everything they do; that’s what salespeople and demos are for. Instead, you have to make an impression based on your brand and your belief system. When you keep your brand information short and sweet, you will keep your audience interested. This can lead to a deepened interest in what you do sell and more profit coming your way.

Your Company Should Reflect Your Passions

Make your company organic to your belief system. After all, if you’re passionate, your clients will become passionate, too. One of the best ways to do this are the extra touches you place on your page. If you market apples to business owners, make your logo an apple. If you are a beekeeper, make the background to your pages hives and honey combs. And if you’re an undertaker- well, we’ll leave that up to the undertakers.

Be Unique, But Target Too

Rethink. Rebrand. But don’t be cliché. It’s important to be yourself, but gear your rebranding toward that specific audience. Use verbiage that makes sense for your target audience. If most of your revenue comes from business owners in the auto industry, use key words from that industry. Medical industry? Make an inside yet tasteful pun about tongue depressors that will get them smiling. Do things that will humanize your business to create personal connections necessary to close those sales.

Tell The World What Your Customers Say

Businesses often gain customers via word of mouth, even online. That’s why customer feedback and engagement are so important. Responding to reviews and customer posts makes you look responsive and human. Once they’ve had positive experiences, they become an advocate and influencer for your brand. This can lead to testimonials or a review widget with positive feedback on your page. Reviews on your company page show potential customers positive experiences. Those experiences are analogous to word of mouth, meaning more business for you.  Their feedback also lends credibility to your brand.  Without it, your brand efforts might be in vain.
 
The old adage goes “content is king, but engagement is queen.” In other words, when it comes to reputation, engagement is everything. So why not start on your reputation today? ReviewInc is always available to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation on how to improve your online reviews and reputation management. Schedule today! Call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave ReviewInc your contact information or email ReviewInc at info@reviewinc.com .

 

Choosing a Real Estate Agent? The Rules Have Changed

Real Estate Agents Meme

Looking for a Real Estate Agent?  My how things have changed in the last 2 years. ReviewInc has followed up on its study from 2015 with a new survey about choosing Real Estate agents, and the results are in.

The exact same survey was presented to 1,500 U.S. consumers asking them what they research before they engage the services of a real estate broker. It is clear that online research continues to dominate the landscape. While people continue to ask their friends or neighbors, online mediums including the agent’s website, searching Google/Bing and reading reviews on sites like Zillow, Yelp and Google are still critical for real estate agents.

Real Estate Agents 2015 vs 2017

The two categories that saw the largest change were checking reviews on Zillow and the agent’s website. Of course, even reviews on Yelp and Google saw a higher percentage change, but Zillow saw twice the rate of the change compared to Yelp and Google.Change in Research Methods for Real Estate Agents

When ReviewInc conducted its original survey, Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) had just announced its acquisition of rival Trulia for $2.5B.  It was a gamble, but it appears to have paid off.  Zillow shares have grown by over 20% in the past two years outpacing Yelp (NASDAQ:YELP) whose shares declined by 16% since in that same period.  Of course, Google, aka Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG), the 800 pound gorilla, continues to steam forward.
StockPrices

If you are a real estate agent, make sure that your website is updated and optimized for local search.  Also, make sure that you get lots of reviews on Zillow, Yelp and Google – because they clearly matter.

Most businesses find it difficult to engage every customer in a consistent process. Utilizing a feedback and review management system, such as ReviewInc, is the best way to automate and measure feedback.

Interested in a free consultation on how to improve your online reviews and overall reputation management? Call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave ReviewInc your contact information or email ReviewInc at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Most Effective Advertising in 2017

Bias In ReviewsOver the last four years, ReviewInc conducted several studies of over 10,000 U.S. Consumers asking what they seek out most before selecting a business, service or product. Now, with four years of data, a trend is clearly emerging and once again Review Sites are increasingly more critical to the purchase decision at the expense of some many other traditional medium.

The study asked consumers to provide only one answer to the following simple question:
When choosing a service or professional (such as a doctor, mechanic, plumber, attorney, etc.) what is most important?

Each respondent was provided with a multiple choice list from which they could only choose one answer. While multiple answers could have been allowed, ReviewInc wanted a more discerning answer so that it could pinpoint what was most influential to the consumer.

2017-BusinessInfluencePieChart

In this year’s result,  Review Sites again topped the list for the most influential component followed by a Company’s website (as in previous years). What was more interesting was the year over year trend. The importance of Review Sites continued to increase by a factor of over 19% from 2014. The Company website‘s influence remained steady and within the margin of error which could account for the very slight decline. More importantly, the influence of the traditional yellow pages continued declined. It appears that much of that drop was picked up by the influence of Reviews. Online advertising also appears to have remained stable compared to last year. Most notably, were the differences in gender and age groups.2017-BusinessInfluenceYearOverYearIn previous studies, females outpaced males in the Reviews choice. However, this year, the men have caught up. Females seemed to have made the leap forward last year (2015 study) while males seemed to have made the leap forward this year.2017-BusinessInfluenceByGenderNearly all age groups displayed a significant increase in preference for Review Sites. Of particular interest was the senior citizen generation showed a significant increase in the choice of Review Sites – proving adoption of the digital medium while abandoning the “tried and true” traditional yellow pages.

2017-GenerationDifferences-ReviewSites

Speaking of the traditional yellow pages, we can readily observe the difference between this year’s survey results and those of 2014. Interest and preference in using the traditional yellow pages are down by around 40% from only three years ago. The decline is most apparent, again, in the older generations.2017-GenerationDifferences-YellowPages

So what does this all mean?

It’s Still All About the Reviews

  • The importance and influence of Online Reviews is growing, and it’s critical to your business (much more than your website)
  • If you’re investing in your business website but are ignoring your online business reputation, you are likely missing out on a huge opportunity
  • The traditional paper-based Yellow Pages is a fast declining resource for people middle-aged generations (which tend to be the more affluent groups)
  • Despite the importance of digital advertising, the influence of Reviews continues to dominate and this isn’t likely to change.

Interested in a free consultation on how to improve your online reviews and overall reputation management? Give us a call at 877-973-8439  or email us at info@reviewinc.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.