Customer Reviews Are The New Content Marketing

 

Content marketing and customer reviews have historically been thought of as very different. Content marketing is largely pre-purchase and focuses on education and persuasion (sometimes, entertainment). Customer reviews are, by definition, post-purchase and focus on customer experience.

But as Mark Schaefer points out in Marketing Rebellion, large swaths of potential customers aren’t reachable by companies in any meaningful way — with content or by any other means — but they most definitely are reachable by each other.

We trust each other more than we trust businesses. This is a known fact. Which is why the balance of power in marketing is shifting away from companies tooting their own horn, and toward customers doing the tooting, via user-generated content (UGC), online reviews, and influencer marketing.

We trust each other more than we trust businesses. Click To Tweet

And that’s why an announcement this week from Promo.com and Trustpilot underscores one of the biggest trends we’ll see in marketing in the next three years: Customer Reviews Are the New Content Marketing.

Promo.com is a tool for making quality marketing videos with less effort. Trustpilot is a platform for companies to solicit and display consumer feedback. Trustpilot also maintains a website that collects and displays all of those reviews.

In this new integration, Promo.com customers will be able to identify and incorporate specific consumer reviews into their marketing videos with just a click or two.

Want to create a cool Instagram story about your new product and feature opinions from actual customers who have already bought and used it? This new API makes it a very simple process, and combines social proof (customer reviews) with video (the most engaging mode of content marketing).

This is a very smart move, as one of the shortcomings of most consumer ratings/reviews content is that it isn’t video. You have to read Yelp. You have to read TripAdvisor. You have to read G2 Crowd. And heretofore, you had to read Trustpilot.

But now, smart companies can cherry-pick their most adoring customer reviews and swiftly turn them into organic or paid social video — or longer form content marketing on their websites or Youtube. Wham, bam, thank you Sam (assuming the reviewer’s name is Sam, which is totally possible).

According to Pew Research, more than half of all adults now consult customer reviews before making a purchase. But with this Promo.com integration, Trustpilot is wisely providing the option to turn persuasive reviews into content marketing, and doing so in a format than can be targeted and “pushed” instead of relying on consumers to go visit a website.

More than half of all adults now consult customer reviews before making a purchase. Click To Tweet

This can fundamentally change the funnel stage where customer reviews are digested; from mid to low funnel, to much earlier in the consideration process, where content marketing typically lives.

Where customer reviews live in the funnel before/after they become content marketing assets

Where customer reviews live in the funnel before/after they become content marketing assets

Already, companies like CrowdRiff and others will find user-generated content (mostly on Instagram) and ask the consumer/photographer for permission to reuse, turning UGC into content marketing.

But this Promo.com and Trustpilot integration takes the idea a step farther, as explicit customer reviews are more trusted and persuasive than any one photograph.

This is just the first move in what will become increasingly commonplace. Might a company like Linkedin buy G2 Crowd or TrustRadius (home to tons of B2B reviews) to help power Linkedin video ads?

Customer reviews and content marketing is just getting started, but watch the momentum pick up swiftly. Companies are desperate to add relevancy (and frankly, effectiveness) to their content marketing. If they can do so by embedded actual customer feedback, they absolutely will do so. And being able to make it work in video is a huge bonus.

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