Utilizing Customer Reviews In Your Marketing Strategy

Content Marketing 1 min read

User-generated content is among the most useful materials your marketing team has at its disposal. For one, it’s pretty cost-effective, requiring little more than the capital it takes to find and utilize content. Customer reviews also have a certain cache among other consumers for their independence. People tend to consider such materials to be more trustworthy than those produced by the business itself.

Perhaps the most important thing to understand about user-generated content is it doesn’t have to be anything as complex or visually engaging as an unboxing video. Customer reviews are powerful in their simplicity and — in a communicative society — relatively plentiful. By establishing some key methods to adopt reviews into your marketing strategy, you can reach more consumers, improve relationships with current customers, and better tell the story of the impact your business has.

The keys to using reviews aren’t especially complex, but they do require some planning and careful execution. We’re going to break down a handful of the useful steps you can take.

Collecting and reusing customer reviews

The most direct way you can make use of customer reviews in your marketing is by repurposing them for your online materials. There are a few places you place them, including:

  • On your website’s landing page: This ensures that positive testimonials are among the first things consumers see when they get to your site. These reviews can be great trust signals.
  • On product pages: Reviews related to specific products or services are often best reposted on the product pages for those items. Reviews in these spaces give customers the most relevant independent insights when making purchasing decisions.
  • In marketing emails: You can include sections in your marketing emails that showcase positive reviews. For instance, if you’re introducing exciting new products or special deals on older ones, these emails could be accompanied by “this is what customers say” segments related to the products.

So, how can you gather items for this purpose? The simplest method is to head to sites, like Google Reviews or TrustPilot, and look for examples that fit your marketing campaign aims. You can usually get embed codes so you can integrate them into your website and other materials.

That said, just because a review exists online, this doesn’t automatically give you a license to use it for marketing purposes. Technically speaking, the text of the review belongs to the reviewer. If you’re planning to use it for commercial purposes, you need to seek permission. This isn’t just a legal and ethical imperative, but it is also a chance to show respect and appreciation to your customers. Most review platforms allow you to reply to a comment on a review, which you can use to seek permission.

Alternatively — particularly for business-to-business (B2B) enterprises — reaching out directly to your clients is a good option, too. You can ask for testimonials when sending invoices for products. Also consider contacting past clients, which doubles up as an opportunity to refresh your relationships with them.

Leveraging Customer Reviews on Social Media

Social media continues to be one of the most powerful tools for any marketing campaign. It’s a forum to interact with a truly global potential consumer base. Not to mention that it can provide you with opportunities to engage in great conversations and exchanges that enable you to build relationships.

The good news is that you can utilize your reviews to enhance these benefits. Some key steps in leveraging reviews on social media include the following.

Search for reviews

Your first step is to regularly search for reviews on all your key social platforms. These tend to come in a couple of forms. They can be from the comments sections of your posts about certain products, services, or topics. Consumers may also have posted reviews independently on their own accounts, in their social media content, or when replying to others’ posts.

The best approach is to search for mentions of your brand and specific products on each social network you use. In many instances, customers may have tagged your brand account in their posts, but simply searching your name can also help find those who didn’t use your handle. If you’re using a social media management platform to take care of your accounts, many platforms amalgamate comments from all your channels, so you can easily filter and assess these.

Repost reviews

Once you’ve searched and found positive reviews, you can then start to repost these on your own channels. This may involve a direct sharing of customers' posts from your account. It might also involve screen grabs of comments that you then post on your account. In either case, as with sharing reviews, seek permission from customers first.

In the social media world, there can be something of a gray area, as sharing posts is expected and even encouraged. Nevertheless, it doesn’t take long to ask permission and it shows a common courtesy that bolsters your relationships.

Engage in dialog

Simply reposting consumer reviews isn’t quite leveraging social media to its full value. The aim shouldn’t just be to show other consumers that someone likes your services, potentially leading them to also make a purchase. As with all social media marketing, it’s also wise to encourage engagement on the platform.

Therefore, utilize your review-sharing posts to start conversations. Ask questions of your followers based on the information given in the review. For instance, if the review highlights how your products helped a customer solve a problem, use it as an opportunity to ask your followers what experiences they’ve had with similar challenges. You’re demonstrating to potential customers that you care about their feedback and forming stronger connections to your business.

Improving Products and Services

It’s not just the glowing reviews that are valuable in your marketing strategy. There will be times when consumers aren’t entirely satisfied with their experience. This is a perfectly natural part of the lifecycle of any business. The key is in how you use such information to your brand’s advantage.

When searching for and assessing reviews, keep an eye out for those that raise issues. General gripes aren’t especially helpful here, but be vigilant for customers who are specific in their critiques. This gives you actionable information to move forward with.

From here, you can take reviews into development meetings with management. In particular, it’s part of the product owner’s role to better understand the needs of customers in order to develop solutions that meet these. Indeed, reviews can help product owners see how to make immediate changes and anticipate future needs, empowering them to adapt the product vision for the most relevant and positive outcomes for customers.

After making changes, the marketing goal should be to do more than just present a new version to consumers. Instead, it's better to actively use the reviews to promote the improvements. There's no need to display the negative reviews themselves. Instead, focus on the aspects consumers found challenging. Use this feedback to highlight how the changes can enhance customers' experiences in the marketing of the new version. Essentially, you're addressing their negative comments without directly responding to them.

Responding Directly to Customer Reviews

It’s easy to become focused on how you can repurpose reviews as a part of your marketing plan. We’re operating in a system in which content is king, after all. Your approach to responding directly to reviews can help your marketing efforts, too. In particular, your responses to negative reviews are essential when establishing solid reputation management for your brand.

As we stated in the previous section, poor reviews are perfectly natural. Yet, you certainly need to keep on top of these. Make it a part of your ongoing marketing process to search for and address bad testimonials. In some instances, as with Google Reviews, you can arrange for alerts whenever a person reviews your company, which can take some of the workload off your team.

When responding, it tends to be best to avoid taking an overly defensive or aggressive stance. It’s difficult, but don’t take such comments personally. Instead, aim to approach the matter from a place of empathy and be solutions-oriented. Let customers know that you recognize how frustrating their experience was and offer a way to move forward together.

Be transparent, too. Don’t offer to take discussions into a private space unless it’s absolutely necessary. Firstly, this is a sign of authenticity and that you’re not trying to hide errors. Importantly, from a marketing perspective, it's a clear indication to other customers that, while mistakes were made, your brand is active in addressing these positively.


Customer reviews are relatively cheap and plentiful resources that can have a powerful impact on your marketing strategy. The key is to use them mindfully, leveraging their value on social media and boosting reputation management, among other elements.

It’s important to ensure you always use fresh reviews, too. By regularly seeking reviews, you not only ensure the content is relevant to your consumers, you also get up-to-date information to make changes to your products, services, and wider brand.