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A New Era of Marketing [Part 1]

Nowadays online reviews and social media are crucial elements to your brand and the success of your business. Some struggle coming to grasp with this as it is largely outside of your control. Or is it?

Audience engagement, business generated content, and customer reviews are more important than ever. Take a restaurant for example. As a potential customer, you’re likely to hear of a new restaurant by word of mouth or on social media. The restaurant catches your interest so what do you do next? Call and book a reservation? No. Most people do a search online and 75% of people won't scroll past the 1st page. In most cases, the links on the 1st page tend to consist of an ad from a third party booking platform like TheFork (or worst - a competitor), 3 review websites (such as TripAdvisor, Zomato and Yelp), your website, maybe 1 or 2 press related links (such as Concrete Playground and Broadsheet), a social media link to your business Facebook page (including your Facebook review rating) and Google maps featuring images, reviews and your Google review rating.

At first glance, a customer will scan over the first page of their online search and see your overall rating across the links of 2 - 4 review websites. This is a crucial stage in retaining a potential customer’s interest. If the rating is 4 or 5 out of 5 stars, most customers would then move on to your Google images or social media pages like Instagram or Facebook to get a sense of the vibe of your restaurant. As a potential customer you’ll want to know what to expect. Is it formal or casual? Is it new and trendy or an oldie but goodie? Does the food and drinks look delicious? Customers do all of this because they want assurance that the experience of dining at your restaurant will be worth their precious time and hard earned money.

If your rating is 3 out of 5 stars, a customer is likely to delve deeper and click on one of the review sites to read what others have said. 70% of people will disregard a poor review if they can see a response from the business. This is why it’s even more important to take the time to reply to all reviews, the good and the bad, across all platforms (TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google Reviews, Zomato, etc). People are three times more likely to write a review after a bad experience rather than a good one, so responding to reviews can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. It can be difficult to not take criticism personally, especially when you own the business but you must respond with a level head and with a dose of the customer is always right mantra. Click here for a free download of my Restaurant Review Response Guide which provides suggestions on how to reply based on the review rating.

If your business has 1 or 2 out of 5 stars, you can count on losing most prospective customers at first glance. When 1 negative review is not countered by positive reviews, you can lose dozens of new customers. Creative by Court can help you drum up new ways to get glowing reviews organically. Contact me for a consultation.

So as a customer, you’ve now done your research. Next you’ll want to view the website to check out the menu and view the gallery of images. You’re looking at the offering and price point. This is the final step before booking and nothing makes this easier than the ability to book online. Click here to enquire about a new website, setting up a booking functionality or integrating a reservation system.

COMING SOON: A New Era of Marketing [Part 2] - discussing the importance of social media and how it is a crucial element to your brand and the success of your business.

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