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SMX London: Harnessing The Power Of Online Reviews – Ben Roberts

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

Ben Roberts from Constructaquote, is a marketer who believes that customers, and their opinions, are the cornerstone of successful marketing. He spoke to the SMX London audience about how to harness the power of online reviews.

He started by addressing copywriters in the room with this statement:

“Nobody believes you, or the business you’re writing for.”

Brands and businesses have lied far too many times. It doesn’t matter what you say about your brand, it’s what other people say about you.

So, how can businesses prove themselves?

…with a number and a few lines of text; a review – written by your customers.

84% of customers say customer written content on a site influences what they buy. 

We’re much more likely to order a new craft beer if it’s been recommended by our friends, rather than just being inspired by the brand’s marketing.


Customer reviews are nearly 12x more trusted than descriptions that come from manufacturers.

You need to encourage customers to write content on site and

Embrace the REVIEWlution 

(which is trademarked!)


People love recent reviews. Google loves recent reviews. You should love recent reviews.

This content is written in the language of consumers, it’s not business jargon. Reviews are evidence that you’re doing business correctly.

73% of consumers think that reviews older that 3 months are no longer relevant.

Customer written content is wins trust from another customer, the language is natural and the content is highly specific – product name, company name and keywords will be mentioned. These ‘essay’ customer reviews are being crawled by Google.


Feedback is a self-improvement opportunity, you’ll learn the good, the bad and the ugly.

Do you need to review your contact strategy? How could you be making friends with your customers, even in the insurance industry?

Businesses need to show that the customer’s opinion is valued, you could do this through a blog post and create content, too.

There is no such thing as a review problem…

…there is such as thing as a business problem, and this is indicated by 1 or 2-star reviews. 


When shopping online, the consumer is more likely to go with the most number of high reviews

Fake Reviews

  1. Don’t do it. You’ll lose trust and the business will never recover.
  2. It is happening but the industry is clamping down.

In November 2016, the BBC reported that Amazon was imposing on a number of reviews that customers could leave.

There is also the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016.

Ask for reviews

Ben’s last piece of advice was to ask for, don’t bribe, reviews. Don’t bribe a five-star review – this will lose trust – but do ask customers for reviews.

Bribing will lose trust, but there’s no harm in reminding customers to leave a review a couple of times!