All marketers know that most of the research that goes into a buying decision happens online, long before any interaction with a salesperson. As consumers, we do that research every day, but so do business professionals who make technology decisions for their company.
In addition to visiting your website, prospects will check how your products are rated on peer review sites, such as G2, TrustRadius, and Gartner Peer Insights. Chances are your products are already listed on those sites, and you may already be getting positive reviews for free. But for many tech companies, paying to subscribe to such sites has become a critical part of the B2B channel mix.
Peer review site subscriptions can become a significant source of new leads and referrals. They can provide insight into buyer intent and so shape future product features and functions.
If you decide to make peer review sites part of your paid marketing, be prepared to put in the time, resources, and budget necessary to achieving results. Peer review sites need to be nurtured on a regular basis; and, as with many platforms, the more you engage, the more you'll gain.
Ready to sign up? Here's how to make the most of your subscription:
- Get your peer review account team up to speed on your market segment, differentiators, and competitors. They don't need to have deep expertise, but they should have a general understanding of your business and how it fits into your particular industry.
- Prioritize your subscription and make it part of your ongoing marketing activities. Assign specific team members to manage the relationship to ensure that you stay on top of changes to the site that might affect your profile. Also, make sure your site managers are continuously updating your presence on the site: tweaking product pages, adding content, engaging satisfied customers, identifying potential issues and helping resolve them, and more. View your investment in the site as a marketing process and not a short-term event.
- Maximize your profile. Go beyond the basic product and company information and complete every available profile option so potential customers get to know your business in the simplest way possible. That might mean including how-to videos, demos, easy-to-understand pricing charts, customer profiles, and product feature comparisons among top competitors. Some peer review sites provide analytics to show you which content gets their users' attention, which provides insight you can't get from your own website.
- Integrate. One of the benefits to a paid subscription is the ability to plug in to your CRM and marketing systems. When the peer review site identifies enthusiastic customers, you can make it easy for them to share their experiences and for you to capture their authentic comments and feedback. For example, G2 allows you to funnel demo requests directly into your CRM, providing a lead source for new business. You can also automate the process for your most-satisfied by integrating with your customer success platform, net promoter score tool, or survey system. That insight can lead to stronger products, fresh customer quotes for your website, tighter customer relationships, and case studies, while also improving SEO rankings. Got a chatbot like Drift? That's another perfect place to cultivate new reviews on the heels of helping a site visitor get the information they need.
- Use the reviews to attract future customers by infusing feedback across all of your marketing channels. Once you get reviews flowing, you can curate and syndicate them for your marketing, sales, and customer success teams. All peer review sites I've used let you organize your reviews based on the types of customers you have, and set tags by vertical or industry. Use the feedback and comments for snippets on your website, social channels, webinars, email campaigns, and industry-specific marketing efforts. Of course, it's also phenomenal content for your sales teams.
When to Expect Results
With peer review sites, assuming you've maximized your online profile and you're working closely with your account team, you'll drive results almost immediately.
For most B2B companies, listing updates and martech integration is self-service, so it's worth carving out time before you start a subscription to ensure you get up and running quickly.
Learning from the Experience
Through the peer review site process, you'll get invaluable insight that will shape future product and company direction. But one area that you may want to be careful with is buyer intent. It can be tempting to take insights from who is on the site, how long they spend reading your profile versus a competitor's, and other juicy data and use it to send unsolicited emails, alert sales reps who then make phone calls, or send other unwelcome communications.
Don't use buyer intent to pounce. It could paint you in a bad light, damage your reputation, and risk your being reported—all of which negatively affects your email sender score.
The best use for buyer intent data is to gauge interest and spot trends. When you commit resources to making the most of your presence on the site, you don't need to resort to questionable tactics to acquire new customers. If they want your solution, they will reach out. And the more positive reviews they see about your products, the more likely they will do so.
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Overall, peer review sites are a solid marketing channel that's worth the investment. Though you might want to have a presence on all of them, instead focus on the sites where your customers and prospects are most active.
With a concerted effort by your marketing team and the vendor, a subscription to peer review sites that target your audience can be a cost-effective driver of traffic and conversions.