G2 Brings Yelp’s Peer Advice Model to Software Reviews

G2 is a software marketplace that publishes reviews from actual software users, rather than relying on industry analysis. The company recently raised $157 million in Series D funding from investors including Hubspot Ventures, Salesforce Investors, and LinkedIn.

3 Ways Local Content Drives Customer Connections

Social distancing is here for the long haul, but consumers are still craving social connection. Brands can fill in the gaps by maximizing their digital presence on the key search and social platforms, such as Facebook, Google My Business, and Yelp, where consumers are spending increased time online.

Customer Experience is Your Best Marketing Tool

Providing an outstanding customer experience can be your most powerful and cost-efficient marketing strategy. In a business world where dozens of other companies sell the same products and services as you do, creating an environment where customers enjoy dealing with your company will help your brand stand out from the rest. 

Why Your Business Should Start Incorporating Social Proof

When it comes to marketing your business, social proofing is one of the most critical and yet overlooked strategies in the book. Consumers seeing what others buy influences them to make similar buying decisions. As an example, when your website has reviews or testimonials from well-known figures in the same industry, that’s social proof in action because the reviews will compel many visitors to buy from you.

In this article, we’ll dive more deeply into what social proofing is, how to incorporate it into your business, and some of the pitfalls of social proofing that you would be wise to avoid. 

3 Reasons Why Marketers Should Care About False App Reviews

Most apps live on Apple’s App Store — home to nearly two million apps and access to 100 million iPhone users. Once a brand joins these ranks, there’s one goal: Drive positive ratings that entice more users to download and try the app. High ratings are critical for app visibility, as a higher rating has a strong correlation to trial, and Apple ranks those with more positive ratings and reviews higher than apps with negative ones.   

But this ratings system can be manipulated to create false app ratings and skew scores, and that’s a bigger problem for marketers than they may realize. 

How To Get More Positive Google Business Reviews and Improve Your Google Rankings

In this article, we’ll take a look at how Google reviews can make or break your customer acquisition and retention efforts, and secondly, what you can do to encourage more customers to write the sort of reviews that keep the almighty Google algorithm happy.

How Are Brands Preparing for Native Ratings in Apple Maps?

A foundational element of local marketing strategy could be changing. Rumors began circulating last week that Apple would be giving users the ability to add ratings and photos to local business listings on Apple Maps when iOS 14 releases this fall. That could mean big changes are in store for brand marketers who’ve grown accustomed to monitoring reviews and ratings on a core group of third-party platforms.

Apple’s move into the ratings and review space isn’t totally unexpected, but it’s still causing the local marketing community to question how the update will impact local search and discovery.

Local Businesses Face Negative Reviews Due to Coronavirus Safety Requirements

Google has taken several important measures to assist businesses during the pandemic, but none so far can prevent customers angry about coronavirus-related restrictions from lashing out at businesses attempting to follow public health best practices or the letter of the local law. “The review space has never been harder than right now,” wrote GatherUp co-founder and reputation management expert Mike Blumenthal.

But there are also possible strategies for survival.

How Google’s Review Attributes Expansion Impacts Local Businesses

Businesses that understand these changes and find ways to harness review attributes stand to see major gains in search. Google’s new feature could be a big improvement for small and mid-size businesses, in particular, since it provides marketers with both comparative structured feedback and sentiment. But whether businesses benefit from Google’s decision to expand review attributes into new categories depends largely on how they capitalize on the changes.

The State of Reputation Management 2020

Not long before the COVID-19 outbreak was officially deemed a pandemic — it seems like years ago, but it was only March 11 — we planned to commemorate Street Fight’s March theme, Word of Mouth, by surveying a select number of experts in local marketing about the state of reputation management and what to look forward to in 2020. 

Current events got in the way of our plans, and therefore we’re releasing this report in April rather than March. But we were pleased that the experts we asked came through and offered a great deal of valuable insight on the priorities and challenges of reputation management for local businesses. So let’s dig in to the insights provided by local marketing leaders at ThriveHive, Reputation.com, Chatmeter, Brandify, GatherUp, Uberall, and BrightLocal.

Location Leaders Step Up to the Plate

During the Covid-19 outbreak, we’re seeing tech companies step up to the plate in a mixture of altruistic and opportunistic moves. That’s everything from Comcast removing data caps to Amazon removing its paywall for streaming kids shows. But what about local specifically? Again, that’s where businesses are getting hit most.

We’ve seen moves in the local space over the past week from Facebook, Yelp, and Foursquare. Though there are several others, we’ll drill down on this representative sample. We’ll also give a shoutout to Google for its work to free up human and compute resources for local listings updates, covered Monday by Damian Rollison.

Google Disables Reviews and Q&A, Yelp Announces New Features Amid Outbreak

Important announcements were posted Friday by Google and Yelp as part of the effort to contend with coronavirus and its impact on businesses.

Google has published a new help page titled “Limited Google My Business functionality due to COVID-19.” Before diving into the details in the announcement, I’ll mention the most important headline. Due to a rapid reorganization of priorities, Google has determined that at this time, they will disable the ability to leave new reviews, reply to reviews, and post new Question and Answer content.

Street Fight’s March Theme: Word of Mouth

One of the oldest and still most influential drivers of local commerce is word of mouth. Though that’s sustained at a high level, the delivery vessel for local chatter has evolved. Social channels like Facebook and Yelp now shape the reputations of brick-and-mortar businesses, not to mention the kingmaker authority of Google.

This month, we will delve into the latest trends and insights driving reputation management, taking Word of Mouth as our theme.

Privacy Regulations Shift Location-Based Approaches from Push to Pull Marketing

With the regulations and changes that limit marketers’ ability to reliably track users, location marketing must evolve. Push marketing is likely to become less effective as brands continue to lose access to consumer data.

A tried and true alternative is pull marketing. Pull marketing is an approach that attracts in-market customers to your brand or product. Rather than pushing a brand on the audience, pull marketing draws in customers by using less intrusive methods that don’t rely on personal data. One of the most common forms of pull marketing is search advertising (paid and organic).

Retailers Succeed at Listings, Struggle on Rankings, Review Response

Retailers scored best on average on listings, suggesting that management is succeeding at getting multi-location stores to optimize the fundamentals of their online presence. The poorest average category score, rankings, indicates brands are failing to pop up when consumers search for unbranded items. At a time when consumers are increasingly searching for items “near me” instead of brand-name stores where they could find those items, businesses stand to gain if they invest in non-brand-specific keywords.

Report: Reviews for Local Businesses Are Essential. Ratings Below 4 Stars Are Deadly

If it had not already been clear that building up a significant inventory of positive online reviews is key to attracting new customers to a business, let doubt linger no further. 

A whopping 52 percent of consumers ages 18-54 “always” read reviews when searching for local businesses, and only 53 percent will consider a businesses with fewer than four stars, according to survey of 1,005 US-based consumers by marketing platform BrightLocal. Eighty-two percent of consumers overall read online reviews.

With GatherUp Acquisition, ASG Expands Into Reviews Space

Mike Blumenthal says the acquisition by ASG gives GatherUp greater access to organizational value, helping the company build better products and processes faster and more robustly. He expects there to be virtually no change in GatherUp’s day-to-day activities. All of the company’s teams—including sales, customer success, engineering, and management—will remain intact following the acquisition. Aaron Weiche will stay on as CEO. Although GatherUp was founded in San Jose, the company employs a distributed team that is now focused in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

US Businesses Lead on Reputation Management

Loyalty to local businesses may never cease to be an important factor in brick-and-mortar commerce, but the boom of “near me” searches and the emphasis on convenience in the age of mobile search make a prime online presence for the quick-querying passerby more important than it has ever been. This latest Uberall data indicate that responding to reviews can provide the slight 5-star rating bump that guides an unfamiliar customer into a store she may otherwise pass up for a higher-ranked competitor.

To Meet Consumer Demands, Automotive Marketing Goes Vertical

While customer feedback is coming in from every direction, the automotive industry has done a better job of funneling reviews into vertical-specific platforms than some other industries. Large auto retailers like AutoNation are making major data stack investments, while others are working to improve their online ratings and reviews by engaging more frequently on sites like Facebook and Yelp as well as on automotive-specific platforms like Cars.com and Edmunds.

Jump of 0.1 in Five-Star Review Averages Can Make the Difference on Conversion

When customers are looking for a quick fix and do not intimately know the shops around them, star-rating averages are crucial. A new report by location-based marketing firm Uberall indicates they are so influential in consumer decision-making processes that a mere 0.1-point jump in a store’s average rating can increase its conversion rate by 25%.