The Importance of Custom and Local Reporting for Franchisees

Franchisee Reporting

If there’s any one single key to franchise growth, it’s data. Having access to customized, local reporting of data is crucial for franchisees to expand their customer base and make day-to-day decisions. While franchisors typically work with raw data, it’s less common for franchisees to have a chance to view data that is applicable to their situation in an accessible, easy-to-visualize manner. 

With relevant data that’s been fully tailored to their specific situation, franchise owners can be more proactive about taking advantage of otherwise overlooked opportunities and gain valuable insights into consumer behaviors.

How Franchisees can Benefit from Custom and Local Reporting

Franchisees typically pay into a marketing budget as part of their fees to the franchise brand. It’s often the understanding that this budget will not only be used to promote the brand as a whole, but also ensure individual franchisees have the marketing support they need.

While brands may use this budget to collect and analyze big data, they don’t always share their finds with franchisees in a way that has a direct impact on their daily operations. This leaves franchise owners unable to benefit from the proceeds of a large chunk of their fees.

Much of the time, this disconnect happens when franchisors are uninformed about the advantages of arming franchisees with data specifically tailored to their locations. Here are just a few of the insights franchisees miss out on without access to custom and local reporting.

Understanding Potential Customers 

Basic demographic data is often used to assess the number of potential customers in an area. However, providing franchisees with this kind of static data isn’t enough. For territory-based businesses that lack brick-and-mortar storefronts, it’s especially important to collect and analyze psychographic data.

Psychographic data refers to consumer habits and buying behaviors. Because of the changing nature of this data, it’s far more dynamic than demographic data and a more accurate representation of who is likely to purchase a product or service. With this information at hand, franchisees will have a better idea of which potential customers to target. In addition, this type of data can be used to redefine territories more evenly and accurately.

Understanding the Latest Trends

Market conditions are constantly changing, and the only way to remain relevant is to stay on top of the latest changes in consumer purchasing patterns and marketing techniques. The right data allows franchisees to conduct market checks and make proactive decisions when planning and budgeting.

Understanding Where Improvements can be Made

Real-time data is necessary for franchise owners to make changes that enable them to operate their businesses efficiently and effectively. When a franchisee has the ability to do a quick data audit, they can both improve their performance and avoid making costly mistakes or investing in areas that won’t offer a significant ROI.

Data can also be used to rank franchisees based on performance. This helps franchisors understand which locations could use a little more support and why they may be falling behind. 

In turn, rankings are a great motivational tool for franchisees. This system can not only be implemented to acknowledge the hard work of top performers, but also to inspire those who still have room for improvement.

Making Data Accessible for Franchisees

Franchisees already have enough on their plate as it is, and most won’t have the time to sit down and analyze a bunch of stats on a regular basis. It’s better to ensure they can get the specific takeaways they need through a customized reporting solution. A dashboard that offers plenty of control over how franchisee reports are displayed is what franchisors should be on the lookout for.

It’s also beneficial to maintain a degree of flexibility here, as everyone has different preferences for how they interact with data. Franchisees wear a lot of hats, but Data Analyst typically isn’t one of them. Choosing a reporting program that offers ample visualizations and predictability functions is the best way to ensure franchisees are able to take in data in a practical way.

Finally, franchisors and franchisees alike will benefit from keeping the data collection side of things automated. Being a business owner is demanding, and simply taking care of business is often more than a one-man job. Franchisees shouldn’t have to sacrifice time spent with customers in order to input data. Instead, it’s best to use an automated system that gathers data from a range of relevant sources (such as Google My Business and Yelp) and curates regular, easy-to-digest marketing insights for individual franchisees.

Qiigo Named To INC. 5000 List For 6th Year In A Row

We did it again! Inc. magazine revealed last week that Qiigo has officially ranked on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.

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The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

This is the 6th consecutive year that Qiigo has been named to the Inc. 5000 list. You can view our page on the Inc. 5000 here.

Don’t forget to follow along with us on Facebook and Twitter!

The Real Benefits of a Paid Search Engine Marketing Strategy

With such a wide array of digital advertising options out there to try, you may not know where to begin when it comes to formulating a digital marketing strategy that makes sense for your business and budget. Paid search engine marketing is one often-overlooked route that can help you reach your target audience and boost your marketing ROI.

Read on to learn about some of the benefits that come along with this dynamic marketing technique.

Why Try Paid Search?

One of the biggest players in paid search, and the one you’ve surely heard of, is Google with their easy-to-use Google Ads platform. However, there are plenty of others to look into, including Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, and LinkedIn Ads. YouTube, Yahoo, and Bing also offer their own paid search channels.

If you’re not already using paid search advertising, also known as pay-per-click (PPC), you may be missing out on both traffic and revenue. Here are just a few of the benefits of giving PPC a go:

You’ll Reach the Right Customers

With paid search, improving your market saturation is simple. These ads increase brand recognition, as they place your business in front of high-quality leads in a natural manner. Most importantly, you get to decide who sees your ads and when this exposure occurs. 

It’s also possible to target a specific geographic area so that your ads are most relevant. While many traditional marketing strategies waste time struggling to capture the attention of a large audience in hopes of landing a handful of leads, paid search eliminates wasted effort by ensuring you only reach out to a specific group of people.

You’ll Bolster Your Image

Some of the biggest companies in the world make use of paid search, meaning viewers recognize these ads as being used by credible brands. This type of advertising can help underscore your brand’s credibility and convey the right message to potential customers.

You’ll Take Advantage of a Great ROI

Of the full spectrum of digital marketing methods, paid search has one of the strongest ROI when implemented correctly. Of course, in order to take advantage of this benefit, you’ll need to spend some time optimizing your campaign for keyword relevancy, engaging copy, and precise demographic targeting.

You Can Combine It with Other Marketing Channels

PPC works especially well with SEO, meaning you’ll find that your SEO efforts are reinforced by your decision to invest in paid search. After all, the two digital marketing strategies both target people who are using a search engine to discover products and services. Plus, data from PPC regarding conversions, clicks, and impressions can provide you with valuable insight on what keywords to prioritize through SEO.

You’ll Have Access to a Range of Targeting Options

PPC enables you to take a multifaceted approach to digital marketing. You can try a mix of text ads, remarketing, and pinpointing specific audience demographics to ensure you’re getting the full benefit of this tool and the optimal number of impressions for your efforts.

How to Manage Your Paid Search Campaign

While setting up a paid search campaign is easy, it does require a little maintenance in order to run effectively. It’s important to take stock of the results of the campaign on a regular basis and to make adjustments to your marketing tactics based on these measurements. Without these check-ins, you simply can’t expect to realize the full potential of your paid search strategy.

Cost per conversion (CPC) is an especially significant number that you’ll want to pay attention to as you find the sweet spot for your digital marketing campaign. This number signifies how much it costs to convert a viewer through PPC. By comparing the conversion rate of a few different ads, you can make educated decisions to reduce the CPC and ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

It’s also crucial to remember that click-through rates aren’t the only signifiers of the success of your ads. If people arrive on your homepage but don’t stick around, then you have some work to do. Establishing a solid landing page with engaging content and a compelling call-to-action is just as important for boosting conversion rates.

The Social Media Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

These days, social media is an essential part of digital marketing. However, there are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid in order to build your brand’s social media presence and ensure it doesn’t fizzle out.

So what makes some social media marketing campaigns really take off, while others dwindle?

Read on to find out.

Pitfalls to Avoid When Creating Your Social Media Presence

As a business owner, you know what it means to have expertise in a certain area. Unless you’re an expert in social media, you may be approaching this part of your marketing strategy with a certain level of trepidation—and for good reason. Many brands find that their social media strategies are less than successful. Some even manage to hurt their brand image by reacting to negative feedback in a way they later regret.

Nonetheless, social media is too good of a tool to forgo altogether. And when wielded responsibly, it can generate massive results for your marketing efforts. All you need to do is educate yourself ahead of time so that you can avoid some of the most common pitfalls along the way. Here are some social media mistakes to watch out for:

Failing to formulate a cohesive approach

Social media can feel like a casual thing, leading many brands to believe they can “just wing it” and survive. However, this part of your marketing plan should be taken just as seriously as other advertising channels, especially in the area of planning.

Like other marketing strategies, you’ll want to start by outlining measurable goals and consistently track your progress. In addition, you’ll need to figure out what your target audience is and what tactics are needed to reach them on these platforms. While social media is certainly an effective way to connect with large numbers of people, you won’t be able to gain the attention of your intended audience without some in-depth research and precise targeting tactics.

Finally, understand the time investment required to see your plan through and assign a team to the task. Ensure that they have a deadline set for achieving their goals so time isn’t wasted on efforts that simply aren’t working.

Reacting poorly to negative feedback

Negative feedback should always be seen as an opportunity to start an important conversation—not a threat to run away from. Choosing to establish a social media presence does open up the door to criticism from people on these platforms. But by being prepared to handle it and using it to make your brand stronger, you’ll show that you take your customers and their opinions seriously. In return, they’ll be more likely to listen to what you have to say in the future.   

Make sure you download our ‘Guide to Managing Online Reviews’.

Minimizing the importance of a personal touch

Social media is all about connecting with others on a personal level. If you leave out that “human touch” when crafting your brand message, users are sure to notice and put their guard up. We naturally gravitate to both people and brands we feel we can relate to and engage with over time. If your social media presence gives off the air of a faceless corporation, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb on social media and risk being completely ignored.

Overpromoting your brand

This is a tricky one, as you’re on social media in order to promote your brand. Since the world of social media revolves around communication and connection, there are still plenty of ways to get your message across without being read as strictly “promotional.” Aim for the majority of your content to focus on engagement and interaction, rather than sales, and you’ll have a better chance of growing an audience that can be converted at a later time.

Thinking you can automate your social media presence

Unfortunately, you can’t put social media on autopilot and expect it to work. Again, the key point here is user engagement, which is a two-way street. If you’re not doing your part to continue the conversation and investing the time needed to maintain a relationship with your customers online, you’ll see your hard-earned follower numbers dry up at an alarming rate. Of course, you can set content to be posted in advance and automate your accounts to some degree. However, things, like replying to comments and answering questions, need to be completed in real time.

Posting low-value content

Yes, posting content often and consistently is crucial. However, so is the value of that content. If users begin to associate your brand with posts that do nothing but clutter their news feed, they will not only unfollow you, but they will also be much less likely to pay attention when you appear in other advertising channels.

Start Doing Social Media The Right Way

With more than 3.7 Billion active users on Social Media, brands can’t afford to miss out on developing the right social media strategy for their brand. Whether you have 50 locations or 5,000 locations, Qiigo has a customized approach to ensure you’re getting the most out of your Social Media Marketing. Contact us today to learn more and get started!

3 Things Every Marketer Should Know About Hyperlocal Programmatic

If you operate a multi-location brand, programmatic advertising makes it much easier and cost-effective to operate hyperlocal campaigns. Advances in programmatic technology have given rise to the adoption of this form of advertising by multi-location marketers, but some are still in the dark about how to build the right strategy for their brand.

Looking for tips on how to run hyperlocal programmatic campaigns for your multi-location business? Here are three important tips that will help you target users accurately and improve conversion rates.

1. Know Your Target Audience

Any successful programmatic campaign depends on in-depth knowledge of your target audience. You need rock-solid data about who your customers are, what kinds of ads they respond to, and the touchpoints at which they’re most receptive to targeted ads.

There are a number of ways to build and/or acquire this data. Analytics from your website can give you significant data about consumer demographics, behavior, and preferences. Tracking technologies are another great way to build out detailed information about your customer base. Both of these methods will give you the ability to segment your audience into various micro-audiences — an important part of programmatic advertising.

The most effective programmatic campaigns are typically built on a mixture of first-hand data and data from third-party sources. Unfortunately, the quality of third-party programmatic data can be inconsistent at best. So, when purchasing third-party data, it’s often a good idea to lean on a digital marketing agency with deep experience in this field.

2. Leverage Hyperlocal Targeting & Customization

Hyperlocal programmatic marketing delivers extraordinary value to multi-location brands. The reason for this is simple: programmatic marketing succeeds through personalization, and a person’s location is a critical factor in his or her purchasing decisions.

Imagine you’re searching for restaurants that deliver to your workplace. As you browse online reviews, you see a pair of ads for two chains of Thai restaurants. One ad tells you the address of the nearest location, shows you reviews for that location, and includes how long it will take them to deliver to your address. Meanwhile, the other ad contains generic copy for the brand, with no information about their nearest restaurant.

Which ad are you more likely to click?

Countless case studies have shown that users are much more likely to click on the localized ad instead of the generic one. This underscores the importance of not only targeting customers on a hyperlocal level, but also of customizing your ads to reflect location data.

3. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

While hyperlocal targeting is incredibly effective, brands sometimes make the mistake of focusing too heavily on geographic targeting. No matter how precisely you target customers on a geographic level, your ads will fall flat if users are not targeted along other vectors.

Personalization is the key to successful programmatic campaigns. The more accurately an ad reflects a specific user’s needs, the more relevant that ad will be to the user and the more likely that the user will click it. While a user’s location is one of their most important data points for certain types of purchases, there are a number of other data points that will be relevant to their purchasing decision.

Multi-location brands must be careful not to lose sight of this when they develop hyperlocal programmatic campaigns. While geo-targeting is a crucial element for multi-location programmatic campaigns, a successful campaign will use multiple targeting methods, drawing on several different types of user data.

Learn more about Qiigo’s Programmatic solution by clicking here.

Google Ads Retires Average Position: What This Means for PPC

Earlier this year, Google announced that it would retire the “average position” metric from Google Ads. The news was both surprising and unsurprising for PPC marketers. On the one hand, this metric has been used for 15+ years, and it feels like a part of Google Ads’ DNA. On the other hand, it has become steadily less reliable and useful in recent years, both as a measurement of where ads appear on page and as a tool for bidding on ad slots.

Despite average position’s shortcomings, it remained popular with brands and marketers. With Google’s announcement, many wondered how they would manage without this metric.

Thankfully, Google introduced new metrics in late 2018 that can be used in place of average position. In most cases, these metrics will offer a more accurate sense of where ads appear in search results.

Wondering how this change will affect your business? Let’s find out…

Why Is Google Getting Rid of Average Position?

In the early days of Google AdWords, average position was one of its most important metrics and tools. But over time, its accuracy and utility have steadily decreased.

Originally, average position was a reliable measure of where your ad was located on the page. Based on the average position metric, you had a strong sense of where your ads appeared in search results. But as Google made changes to ad layouts and ad formats, that started to change.

Today, a #1 position can have you at the top of the page for certain search results. On others, it will appear near the bottom. But that change in ad location isn’t reflected by the average position metric.

What’s more, there’s a much bigger gap today between top-of-page and bottom-of-page ads. When Google removed ads from the right column of search results, it eliminated valuable real estate for mid-ranked ads.

Now, the question isn’t: “What’s your ad position?”

Instead, it’s: “Does your ad appear at the top of the page?”

What’s Replacing the Average Position Metric?

Google didn’t want to get rid of average position without replacing it. So in late 2018, it introduced a set of new metrics, including:

  • Absolute Top Position Rate: The percentage of your ads that appear at the absolute top of a given page.
  • Top Position Rate: The percentage of your ads that appear within the top section of ads on a given page.
  • Absolute Top Impression Share: The number of impressions you’ve received in the absolute top position divided by the estimated number of top position impressions that you were eligible to receive.
  • Top Impression Share: The number of impressions you’ve received in top-of-page positions divided by the estimated number of absolute top position impressions that you were eligible to receive.

These metrics give you a much more accurate sense of where your ads are actually appearing in search results. So if your goal is to measure the placement of your ads or maximize the number of impressions your ads receive, these new metrics will be a welcome change from average position.

How Will Brands & Marketers Adapt?

In the vast majority of cases, the retirement of average position will have a neutral or positive effect on Google Ads campaigns. Brands and marketers will have a more accurate sense of ad placement, and it will be easier to target top-of-page positions.

The important thing is that you’re proactive. If rely on average position until it disappears, you’ll have a rocky transition to the new metrics. But if you familiarize yourself with the new metrics ahead of time, you’ll make the switch much more easily.

Digital Marketing Basics for Healthcare Brands

Healthcare is a constantly evolving field, one that’s often miles ahead of the curve. But when it comes to digital marketing, healthcare brands tend to lag behind those in other industries.

There’s a good reason for this. In marketing their products and services, healthcare brands are bound by strict rules and regulations, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

These rules and regulations limit some of the marketing tools available to healthcare brands. As a result, popular digital marketing strategies, such as remarketing lists, are unavailable to healthcare providers.

At the same time, healthcare marketers need to be cautious when adopting new marketing strategies and channels. They simply can’t afford the risk of an accidental HIPAA violation.

Despite these concerns, digital marketing is crucial for healthcare providers. Today, most consumers pick up their smartphone the instant they have questions about healthcare products or services. To reach these consumers, healthcare brands need a robust, comprehensive, and effective digital strategy.

So let’s take a look at how today’s most successful healthcare brands approach digital marketing basics, including PPC, SEO, and social media.

PPC Marketing for Healthcare Brands

Healthcare is one of the toughest verticals in the world of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. According to one report, healthcare advertisers pay roughly 37% more per click compared to the average advertiser. What’s more, healthcare PPC ads have a lower-than-average click-through rate compared to other industries.

Yet PPC remains an indispensable tool for healthcare marketers. While healthcare leads might cost more, they’re also more valuable than leads in other industries. And even with click-through rates on the low side, roughly 1 billion searchers click on healthcare ads through Google each year.

PPC Tips for Healthcare Providers

Here are some of the ways that healthcare marketers can optimize their PPC efforts:

  • Advertise in the right places. For healthcare providers, this means advertising on Google Ads. Roughly 90% of users turn to Google for healthcare queries.
  • Create a dedicated strategy for mobile devices. According to Google, mobile searchers are much more likely to convert on healthcare-related searches.
  • Take advantage of location targeting. Roughly two-thirds of searchers choose healthcare providers based on the provider’s proximity to their home or workplace.
  • Develop protocols to avoid penalties. Google Ads enforces strict rules on healthcare advertisers, so you’ll need to be careful to avoid getting penalized.

SEO Marketing for Healthcare Brands

Healthcare brands face a unique situation when it comes to search engine optimization. In other industries, brands can generate awareness by targeting broad, informational search terms. But in the medical fields, these search results are more-or-less monopolized by WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, and a handful of other major websites.

Because of this, healthcare brands are better off targeting down-funnel search terms. Don’t optimize content for broad search terms, or informational terms about medical conditions. Instead, focus on specific queries about treatments, services, and providers. If your brand is location based, you should invest heavily in local SEO.

SEO Tips for Healthcare Providers

The following tips and strategies can help healthcare providers make the most of SEO:

  • Create information-rich content. On healthcare searches, users expect clear and detailed answers to their queries, so Google rewards information-rich pages with higher rankings.
  • Tailor content to your local market. Local SEO requires tailoring your content to include geographic keywords and making sure that these terms occur prominently on each page.
  • Invest in local listings management. To make sure that Google displays the right information about your business, you’ll need to make sure this information is consistent across the web.
  • Manage your online reviews. Local search results are largely determined by the volume and quality of your online reviews, so take a proactive approach to review management.

Social Media for Healthcare Brands

Social media’s a bit of an obstacle course for healthcare providers. While users are eager to share content from certain types of businesses, they’re less likely to get excited about content from healthcare brands.

At the same time, healthcare brands face tricky situations in areas like HIPAA compliance and public relations. A social media misstep from a well-meaning intern can have costly consequences, so it’s important that these risks are mitigated.

Despite these challenges, social media can be a gamechanger healthcare providers. Social media’s core strength lies in its ability to showcase the human side of brands and businesses. That’s an especially valuable asset in a field like healthcare, where brands often struggle to build trust and personal relationships with patients.

Social Media Tips for Healthcare Providers

When it comes to social media, healthcare brands can find success with these strategies:

  • Use rigorous social media protocols. Develop rigorous posting protocols with input from legal, PR, and social media experts to minimize the risk of HIPAA violations.
  • Respond promptly to feedback. Take advantage of social media to ensure that users receive timely, accurate responses to any questions, comments, complaints, and feedback.
  • Share advice and raise awareness. Leaning too heavily on promotional content will turn off social media users, so use your platform to promote awareness about topics related to health and well-being.
  • Showcase the people behind your brand. Humanize your brand by using your social media feed to showcase the faces that make up your organization.

6 Facebook Metrics You Can’t Ignore

One of the perks of marketing on Facebook is the sheer amount of data. On other platforms, key metrics are impossible to track or require third-party analytics. Meanwhile, Facebook gives you all kinds of data about your page, your posts, your audience, and your ads.

All of this data is invaluable for marketers. But with all of the different charts and figures on Facebook Insights, important data can get lost in the noise.

Unsure which Facebook metrics your business can’t afford to ignore? Here are 6 that you need to be tracking.

1. Cost Per Click/Impressions

What it is: These are the two most popular pricing options on Facebook Ads. With cost per click (CPC), you’re charged every time a user clicks on one of your ads. With cost per impressions (CPM), you’re charged for every 1,000 impressions.

Why it matters: Whether you opt for CPC or CPM on a given ad campaign, you’ll want to track the figure carefully to avoid overspending on ads.

2. Post Impressions & Reach

What it is: Impressions count how many views your posts receive, while reach measures how many users see your posts. If an individual user views one of your posts twice, that counts as two views for impressions, but only one view for reach.

Why it matters: These metrics allow you to track the visibility of individual posts. By measuring the engagement count for each post against its reach count, you can measure the rate of engagement.

3. Page Engagement, Impressions & Reach

What it is: Facebook also tracks your engagement, impression, and reach metrics in aggregate for your entire page, which can be viewed in line chart form over time.  

Why it matters: Page-level engagement, impression, and reach metrics allow you to track the impact of your Facebook marketing efforts and identify macro-level trends.

4. Page Likes

What it is: On the Likes tab, you can view the number of new likes and unlikes for your page charted over time. This tab also includes net likes (calculated by subtracting unlikes from likes).

Why it matters: Tracking your likes will allow you measure the growth of your Facebook fanbase. It can also help you pinpoint negative actions that cause your net likes to drop.

5. Referral Traffic

What it is: Facebook referral traffic tracks user activity on your brand’s website that originated from Facebook. Unlike the other metrics on this list, it’s found in Google Analytics, not Facebook Insights.

Why it matters: If you rely on Facebook as a source of traffic for your website, this will allow you to track and measure how successful your page is at funneling traffic to your website.

6. Post Engagement

What it is: Every time a user takes action on one of your posts, that action counts as an engagement. Facebook tracks engagements on each post in two categories, “Post Clicks” and “Reactions, Comments & Shares.”

Why it matters: Engagement shows you which posts on your page are resonating with Facebook users. This can help you choose which posts to promote and which types of content to create in the future.

Best Practices for Managing Online Reviews

Most shoppers now trust online reviews as much or more than recommendations from close friends. Meanwhile, roughly 8 in 10 users will check online reviews before making a significant purchase. Needless to say, businesses can no longer take a laissez faire approach to their online reviews. Without a proactive review management strategy, you’ll be leaving your reputation up for grabs.

It’s never a bad time to brush up on review management best practices. Below, we’ve compiled a quick set of guidelines to help you:

  • Manage bad reviews
  • Preempt negative feedback
  • Encourage customer reviews
  • Leverage online influencers
  • Engage with positive reviews
  • Avoid dishonest practices

Manage Bad Reviews

Best practices for review management tend to focus on negative reviews — and with good reason! Negative reviews attract far more attention than positive feedback, and many businesses make things worse by responding unprofessionally.

If your business receives a negative review, adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Respond as promptly as possible. The longer you wait, the lower your chances of resolving the issue in a positive manner.
  • Be professional and empathetic. Avoid treating the review as a personal attack. Instead, acknowledge and apologize for the customer’s poor experience.
  • Offer to fix the problem. Many businesses make the mistake of trying to explain the poor experience. Rather than make excuses, offer to resolve or remedy the problem.
  • Continue the conversation offline. At the end of your response, invite the customer to contact you directly by phone or email to resolve the situation. This way, you can handle any further complaints out of public view, and you’ll be able to better address the customer’s concerns.

Preempt Negative Feedback

The best way to mitigate negative reviews is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. This can often be done by giving customers a better way to have their complaints addressed. Provide customers with clear instructions on how to contact your business if they’re unsatisfied with your product or service. Often, you can resolve the issue to the customer’s satisfaction before they review your business, reducing the risk of one-star feedback.

Encourage Customer Reviews

Many businesses fear bad reviews so much that they avoid encouraging their customers to leave reviews at all. But this actually makes you more vulnerable to negative reviews. A one-star review will hit you much harder if you have only a handful of reviews. A high review count will also boost your rankings in local search results, and it signals to customers that your business is popular.

Leverage Online Influencers

One of the best strategies for generating new business and higher volumes of reviews is to seek out online influencers. Creating positive relationships with influencers can help you get seen by more users in your target demographic. Influencers also play a key role in shaping the narrative around a given business. When influencers highlight what they love about a business, your customers will pay more attention to these features and highlight them in their own reviews.

Engage with Positive Reviews

Many businesses prefer to let positive reviews speak for themselves, responding only to negative feedback. But this can be a missed opportunity. Engaging with positive reviews can build loyalty with satisfied customers, showing them that you value both their business and their feedback. It also gives you the chance to show off your customer service bona fides. For example, if a reviewer is raving about the TV they bought from your store, let them know where to turn if they need anything or want help finding accessories in the future.

Avoid Dishonest Practices

These days, shoppers overwhelmingly trust online reviews. That trust is hard won. In the past, it was easy to spam review sites to boost your business’s reviews and tank the ratings of competitors. Since then, sites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook have put systems in place to prevent these kinds of dishonest practices. So if somebody tells you they can buy good reviews for your business, or if you’re tempted to have your employees post a wave of five-star reviews, think again. Doing so could actually tank your average rating or result in your being suspended from major platforms.

Learn more about Qiigo’s Review Management Services and Download our Free Guide.