When it comes to brand, service or product marketing, one of the strongest channels in our increasingly skeptical digital age is that of personal recommendations. In the end, all the perfectly crafted ads, PR campaigns, events and whatever else will never be as powerful as a potential customer hearing a recommendation from a friend, a family member, or someone they truly trust. In recent years, word of mouth has overtaken many traditional advertising channels and become one of the best ways to market a service or product.
But when it comes to word of mouth, something interesting has happened. Face-to-face recommendations have partly migrated to the online world, and online comments and reviews have become a powerful and influential digital currency. From recent studies, it has been shown that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. When it comes to trying out a new product or service, the first thing users will do is look at what other users have to say.
Online reviews and comments are wonderful because they provide users with information about the products and services they are interested in, and provide them with information and opinions regarding news articles, popular stories and current affairs. Reviews and comments can also create trust, and influence the way potential customers perceive brands. If a restaurant or hotel receives too few stars or good reviews it is likely many potential customers will feel that the brand isn’t trustworthy. A basic level of positive reviews brings credibility to businesses in the online age.
According to the numbers, it is clear that the influencing power of reviews and comments has been rising dramatically. Just looking at the statistics from BrightLocal, we can see that each year more and more customers are turning to online reviews to determine whether or not a local business is a good business, and this is a trend that will likely continue to rise dramatically in the coming years.
And while the importance of online reviews and comments is clear, there is still one major issue: text is a limited way of communicating opinions about online businesses and services. The problem is that when you write your opinion in text form, so much can be lost in translation or misinterpreted. When we interact face-to-face, tone of voice is a huge part of the way we communicate and understand. All of this is lost in text based comments and review platforms.
Fortunately, there is a solution, and it is the new wave of voice technology. Word of mouth may have migrated online, but engaging through the medium of voice brings back the personal feeling of face-to-face interactions and recommendations. You might not be able to see the person who is recommending you a restaurant, but you can hear their tone of voice. And while it’s still early days for voice comments and reviews, research has already shown that users rate sites and products more favorably if they feature audio testimonials rather than standard text testimonials.
Heyoya is a unique comment and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
For more information about Heyoya, or to start using Heyoya for free today, click here.