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The three roads to sales growth through trusted reviews. Which ones end up in cul-de-sacs

Reviews now drive sales volumes for every business. Winning the attention of independent journalists is the best way to ensure the reviews for your business are trusted and believed. Here's the analysis from JournoLink.

It’s not rocket science, although too many businesses think it is.

The trend towards ‘reviews’ was quite established before the pandemic, but with most of us having to ‘buy on line’ the tendency now is to check out the customer reviews before even looking at product features.

In fact 19 out of 20 of us now make our buying decisions based on trusted third-party reviews and recommendations.

But the big question is what do we mean by ‘trusted’, and which third-parties will give us the best value from their reviews and recommendations.

 

What about Social Media?

Do we rely on what we see and read on Facebook, Instagram, TickTock and the like? Do we believe what people say and do we use their opinions when we place our orders?

Well, that depends on who posted it.

The last time YouGov questioned how sceptical the public is about information they read on social media,  9 out of 10 of us responded either ‘somewhat sceptical’, or ‘very sceptical’. 

But that’s not the whole story. Women are less ‘very’ sceptical than men, but slightly more ‘somewhat’ sceptical. The real indicator though is age. Nearly double the number of over 50’s than under 24’s are ‘very sceptical about ‘social comment’.

Although, when all the numbers are added up, it actually makes no difference to the overall picture. It doesn’t matter whether you are male or female, young or old, or even where you live, 9 out of 10 of any sample does not trust ‘social’.

 

So what about Traditional Media?

Well there’s good news and less good news. The good news is that ‘trust’ overall in what journalists write is about five times better than what’s posted in social media. Latest data from Statista shows an interesting range though, depending on where in the world you live. The Nordic countries are the most trusting, with around two thirds of consumers happy to take what their papers say as factual. On the other hand, of those living in the US, more than seven out of ten see their traditional media as fake.

UK readers sit in the middle of the pack…not at the most trusting, nor the most cynical.

 

Then there’s advertising

And the story there is much the same as we see across traditional means and social channels.

The Statista data on advertising ranges from where the adverts are posted and mirror the other trust levels.  Adverts placed on TV and radio are believed by over half the viewers and listeners. Whilst trust in adverts placed on social media are seen as truthful by just one in ten again.

 

So, in the ‘trusted reviewers’ stakes, social comment comes firmly at the end on the cul-de-sac.

The choice then is between spending on advertising or using PR and relying on the journalists to say the right thing.

In which case it depends on budget.

Advertising in the most trusted broadcast and print slots doesn’t come cheap but carries the best chance of authenticity and belief.

For those with much smaller budgets, PR is the road to take.

It's not rocket science. Platforms like JournoLink take the bumps out of the road at a remarkably affordable price.

For more help with your PR, contact the JournoLink team on sales@journolink.com