Word-of-mouth marketing may seem like an outdated term, but its digital counterpart, online reviews, is just as important in modern marketing. In fact, 84% of people asked in BrightLocal’s 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey said they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Every day customers and potential customers are inundated with marketing messages via email, social media, and more. In a culture where businesses constantly try to tell customers what to think and feel, it’s not surprising they turn to other customers for feedback they can trust.

“Positive reviews are important to small business growth because they carry more weight with potential customers than company marketing messages,” according to Karen Swim, founder of Words for Hire.

“People see reviews as an unbiased opinion. We have long known that word-of-mouth marketing is powerful, and that concept has only been amplified by the web, where it can be shared wider and further,” she said.

And while positive reviews are essential to drive customers to your small business, it’s just as important to ensure your company has a strategy in place to appropriately respond to bad reviews.

According to a recent study conducted by Vistaprint Digital, 50% of small business consumers “said that bad online reviews were the thing most likely to prevent them from choosing a particular business,” explained Sarah Matista, marketing communications manager for Vistaprint Digital.”

What are customers saying about your business? ARC Creative Group can help you take control of customer reviews and boost your online reputation. Get started now!