Your reviews are currency, spend them wisely

Here is something I can tell you about Spring Insight clients. They really like us. When we finish a project, we have happy customers who have good things to say about us. (Ok, except in one case that we don’t talk about where the client puts pins in a voodoo doll of me. But, that is besides the point.) Anyway, most of our clients are delighted about the work we do and the experience they had working with us. So, what next?

We, of course, create a portfolio page featuring a quote from our clients for each completed project. (Don’t bother looking, the one that hates us isn’t there.) We also add client references to outgoing proposals that ask for them. But, we should be doing more.

In today’s world, many decisions are made based on web searches. Potential clients searching for a web strategy firm read reviews and use them to form their opinions every day. Think about how big a shift that is. Sure, we are used to restaurants getting reviewed, but business-to-business companies? That is new. 

With anything that is new, there are fresh things to think about. Here is the one that is on my mind today: if reviews are currency, where do I want to spend mine? I could ask people to leave reviews on Clutch.co, Upcity.com, Expertise.com, and a myriad of other directories. 

Here is the thing… While posting a review doesn’t seem like a huge ask of a satisfied client, you probably don’t want to ask her to set aside the time it would take to post reviews on six different sites. But there are definitely six (or 76) sites where you might want her to post the reviews. 

Welcome to the world of directory marketing. Here is the idea behind it: a company creates a page focused on one, or many, different verticals. They encourage firms that specialize in those verticals to list their company (and then to sponsor their listing). They spend resources on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) so that when you search a general term such as “best web design firm DC” they are a top listing. So, when you search “best firms,” the ones that sponsor their listings are elevated. That is the gist of the system, although there are complications since multiple firms can be at the same sponsorship level. 

At Spring Insight, we actually dabbled a while back in one of those directories (Upcity) and have a few reviews there. At the time we paid to promote our company and thus elevated our placement on the page. When we decided to stop paying for promotion, of course, we dropped like a stone and haven’t done much with the service since. So now we have a bunch of reviews on a site we don’t really use. 

How do you avoid a similar situation? 

  1. Just like you carefully review where you plan to spend your money, carefully plan where you will start collecting your reviews–before you ask your first client to complete one. If you are like me and don’t want to keep going back to your clients, carefully research the various options before you commit to one.
  2. Set appropriate expectations about your commitment to this process. Just like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), directory marketing is a project for the long haul. You aren’t going to swoop in and make a ton of money right away.
  3. Expect to spend some money. Directories are not cheap. 

Need help deciding how to navigate the world of directory marketing or any other online marketing question? Spring Insight is here to help. Let’s set up a time to review your current marketing strategy.