Review Marketing with Julia McLaughlin from Review Robin

In our podcast’s recent episode of A Little Marketing, we chatted with Julia McLaughlin, Co-Founder of Review Robin, about the benefits of Review Marketing.

For businesses, reputation is everything. While some of your business’s reputation comes down to word of mouth, most have to do with online reviews. For example, 94% of consumers say that a favourable review makes them more likely to choose a business. Because humans innately trust others’ experiences. So as a business owner, you must stay on top of reviews and find ways to generate positive customer reviews.

Managing online reviews benefits any business. Review management means reaching out and asking for reviews, as well as responding to feedback from customers. All of this helps to build social proof – something that is so important for attracting new customers.

And while many business owners may think that good or bad reviews come down to fate, that’s not necessarily true. There are tools available that you can use for review management. Using a review management tool is a part of a review marketing strategy. Incorporating reviews into your marketing strategy can be very impactful – especially for local businesses.

Online reviews help businesses build social proof by increasing trust and credibility. It also has many other excellent benefits, which we’ll get into throughout this article.

Our favourite tool for review marketing is Review Robin. Review Robin helps businesses get online reviews through semi- or fully- automated approaches. Incorporating this software into your strategy can help your business generate more reviews while also managing these reviews simultaneously.

Review Robin’s Julia McLaughlin discusses the importance of online reviews for small businesses.

Benefits of a Review Marketing Service

Here are some of the ways that a review marketing tool, such as Review Robin, can benefit your business, according to our guest expert Julia McLaughlin:

  • Reviews build trust and credibility with potential customers. “People take comfort in knowing that someone else has done it before them, had a positive experience with a business and are happy with that business,” says Julia.
  • Many good reviews will boost your local SEO – the more reviews, the better you’ll rank. Optimizing for local search is crucial for location-based businesses, giving them a competitive advantage.
  • Review Robin automates sending requests for reviews to customers (either through email or text message), which removes the burden off of you and your employees.
  • Review Robin allows unhappy customers to leave internal feedback, enabling you to handle negative reviews privately.
Review Marketing 101 with Julia: Five Takeaways

Here are five things that Julia shared with us about review marketing that we want to share with all of you:

1. Review Marketing Boosts Your Review Rating

“How would your life change if you could become the highest-rated company in your area? First, think of the marketing potential,” says Julia, “If you’re consistent and you keep asking all of your customers for reviews. You do have a chance to become the highest rated in your area potentially.” The more reviews you acquire, the higher your chance of having an excellent rating, giving you a leg up against your competition.

And because the software filters unhappy customers to internal feedback, you significantly decrease your chances of obtaining bad reviews when using review marketing software.

2. Using Reviews as Social Proof

The thing people trust the most is people like them, which is why reviews are so powerful. “One tip is to put reviews on your website on your contact page. It’s a great way to build that trust and add in that social proof element,” Julia says. Consider taking screengrabs of your best reviews to place them on your social media pages too!

3. Who Should Use a Review Marketing Service?

Julia says that anyone with a large number of customers should be using a review marketing service. “Any service-based business… plumbers, roofers…dentists, spas.” Also, any business that has access to their customer’s emails or phone numbers. You could certainly benefit from review marketing software if this sounds like you.

4. Local SEO

We all know how important local SEO is. Suppose you’re in a competitive business area. In that case, Google will suggest the business with the best-optimized listings and the best/most reviews, which is why reviews are so important for local SEO. “If you’re Googling ‘restaurants in my area’ and one has 500 or 1,000 reviews, and the others have 20 or 30, it’s a shoo-in. You’re going to use the business with more reviews,” Julia says.

5. Boost Productivity

“It’s a great way to boost productivity within your business,” says Julia. Why? Rather than having your receptionist (or even you) follow up with each customer and ask for reviews, Review Robin takes care of the nitty-gritty work for you. Because following up with every customer can be highly time-consuming and gruelling. Review marketing software makes this process much more efficient, so you can focus on what’s important – running your business.

Julia’s Top Three Reasons Why Businesses Should Use a Review Marketing Service

Julia’s top three reasons business owners should consider a review marketing service? “[Review Robin] saves time, builds trust and credibility with prospects, and builds social proof to round out your marketing strategy.”

And these are just a few of the many benefits of review marketing.

Incorporate Review Marketing into Your Business’ Marketing Strategy

Generating reviews for your business is essential. Good reviews help build social proof and credibility and bring significant traffic (and ultimately more revenue). And using review marketing software will help you better manage those reviews. With software such as Review Robin, you can generate more reviews and filter out the bad ones (ethically, of course) by dealing with unhappy customers privately.

So, if your business can benefit from review marketing and management software such as Review Robin, we can help. 10|20 Marketing can help you get set up with this specific review marketing software, helping you generate more reviews and taking the burden off of you. Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about what this service can do for your business.

And if you want to learn more about Review Robin and what review marketing entails, check out the recent episode of our podcast with Julia here. And remember to subscribe while you’re listening, so you can catch up on the latest in marketing for small businesses.

How To Use Event Marketing To Market Your Business

Whether you’re a small, medium or large business, finding new ways to market your business will always be a critical piece of the puzzle. Getting innovative with your marketing tactics can help you attract new clients or customers and keep current ones extra engaged. One exciting strategy businesses use to market their business is event marketing – hosting a live event. Whether the event is in-person, virtual or a hybrid, a live event allows you to share your valuable knowledge with a large audience in a more in-depth and engaging setting.

What is Event Marketing?

Event marketing is a strategy that businesses use to promote their brand, products or services through real-time, live engagement. During these events, audiences can interact directly with event representatives.

The truth is that your business has made it as far as it has today because of your expert knowledge in your industry. Your customers turn to your business because they trust you have valuable knowledge and resources to help them. Putting on a live event allows you, as a business owner, to continue to showcase all that your business has to offer.

You could put on an event for a new product or service launch, for presentations with expert speakers from your business, to promote an exciting new business endeavour or for any other reason that brings a large number of potential clientele to hear you speak.

So, if you want to learn more about putting on a live event to market your business, we have the inside scoop on event marketing!

In the latest episode of A Little Marketing, a Podcast with Nikki and Mark, we chatted with Enzo Palermo of Tecnika, event technology specialist in Montreal, Quebec. Our discussion discussed event planning and things to consider for virtual and in-person events. Enzo shares valuable information on how you can launch a live event to market your business.

Event Marketing with Guest Expert Enzo Palermo

Enzo Palermo of Tecnika Productions discusses event marketing on our latest episode of A Little Marketing

So, what exactly is the purpose of putting on a live event? Well, Enzo says that it’s all about making connections, which is crucial for any business, “At the end of the day, we’re trying to connect people to people…We have a message to deliver. So, how do we deliver it?”

Live events. That’s how those connections are delivered.

But there are various formats of live events. Traditionally, these events have mostly been in-person, but in the wake of the pandemic, virtual and hybrid live events are becoming increasingly popular.

“It’s hard to replace face-to-face with virtual, but there’s a place for virtual, I think, for a long, long time. Think of the reach you can get with a virtual event,” Enzo says.

He also mentions that hybrid events are trendy now. Hybrid events allow attendees to attend virtually or in person – an excellent option for businesses with a wide geographic range of clients.

“If the pandemic taught us one thing…it’s that we need to try new things. The pandemic forced us to do that,” Enzo says about hybrid live events.

So which platforms to use for either hybrid or virtual events? Enzo says, “There’s no magic formula… but I sometimes find when you combine different platforms, you get the best results.” For example, he mentions that Zoom is the most popular platform in the industry for live events. Venus software and Zoom make a great combination, as it takes the production quality of the Zoom event to the next level – giving a higher experience for virtual event attendees.

Learn More About Event Marketing

The bottom line is that event marketing is innovative tool businesses have at their disposal for marketing and creating connections. Be sure to check out the episode of our podcast here to learn more. And remember to subscribe so that you get all the episodes!

Websites for Small Businesses And Why You Should Keep Yours Fresh

One essential consideration for your small business is how to grow visibility. How will new customers discover you? With 63.1% of the global population using the internet, the web is one of the best places to promote visibility for your small business. So today, we’re going to dive into websites for small businesses.

If you want to grow your business, having a website is crucial. Yet still, only less than 64% of small businesses have one. As a small business owner, a website is critical to increasing visibility and credibility. Customers will be more likely to do business with you if they can learn about your offer via your website.

But having a business for your website is much more than owning a domain. If you want to attract new customers continuously, it’s super important that you keep your website fresh and updated.

The good news is that this can be a manageable task! Having a fresh, modern website is super obtainable. And we have some tips on how to get started boosting your web presence.

We recently spoke about the importance of websites for small businesses on our podcast, A Little Marketing. Red Dream Studios’ Neal Caminsky joined us to discuss all things websites, the best platforms, the cost to get started, and more.

Neal Caminsky of Red Dream Studios in Montreal discusses websites for small businesses.

Here’s what Neal had to say:

Getting Started

Neal acknowledges that when building a website, many business owners are unsure where to start: “For many people…[websites] are a slightly foreign concept to them…they don’t know where to start.” And that’s okay if you’re not sure where to begin. After all, you’re an expert in your business, not web development! The good news is that getting started with a website for your small business is a rewarding and straightforward task if you know where to look. “If you hire the right people to do it for you, it can be a very pain-free task. The rewards can be enormous.”

The Process of Building a Website

For small business owners starting from scratch, a web developer like Neal can create a website that meets the objective of attracting new customers. Neal explains the process of building a website from scratch, “For them to start executing a site, they need to have some sort of framework in mind…a bulleted list of pages, a rough site map.”

From here, Neal uses this framework to address the “Four Ws and One H.” These include:

  • Who is your audience?
  • Why are you selling?
  • Why is that person coming to your site?
  • Where are you selling this product?
  • Finally, how do you address the concerns of potential clients or customers?

Essentially, the website will have a goal and objective. Then, a good web developer can address customer questions or needs and meet that goal.

Neal explains how simple the process of getting a website up and running is for small business owners on their end, “I’ll speak with a client of what they’re trying to achieve…with a certain guideline, minimal text, we can build that out. Then, with great copywriting, we can fully establish the answers to those questions.”

It can be easy, and it can be inexpensive. You don’t even need to provide images. The people you hire will take care of all of the grunt work. All you need to do is write a brief statement of what your business does and the message you want to convey.

It also can be inexpensive. “In terms of cost and budget, small websites don’t have to cost a lot…I’ve done websites for as low as $1,000.” So it’s undoubtedly an excellent investment, regardless of how much you pay.

And for clients that already have a website, it’s essential to keep it fresh. How so? Make sure it’s easy to navigate, the copy should flow, and it should be able to address the 4 Ws and 1 H listed above.

The Bottom Line

Your small business must have a fresh, updated website that meets an objective. And it can be effortless and cost-effective to make this happen!

If you want to hear more of what Neal says on the topic, tune into Episode 020: You Need a Website, with Guest Expert Neal Caminsky here. And be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss the latest in small business strategies!

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Using Promotional Items to Grow Your Business

There are different approaches that small businesses can take to grow their business. As a small business owner, you’re probably familiar with most traditional marketing tactics. Still, a strategy you may need to be more familiar with is using promotional items.

Promotional items are branded goods or “swag” as a promotion. The idea is to send the right message to the right person at the right time. For example, let’s say you own a ski resort. A promotional item you may give customers or clients could be branded ski hats with your resort’s logo/art – distributed to promote and grow your business.

Promotional items aren’t just apparel, either. This swag could range from cookies with your small business’ logo to custom bobbleheads.

So, how can your small business use these items to raise brand awareness and expand your reach?

Our recent episode of A Little Marketing discusses how small businesses can use promotional items to grow. In the episode, Kristy Carruthers, owner of Proforma Connect Branded Goods in Kelowna, BC, joins us. Kristy gives us the inside scoop on how to use “swag” to build relationships and grow your business.

The Benefits of Branded Goods

Is giving away promotional items worth it for small business owners? Well, according to Kristy, branded items have a ton of benefits. “There are many ways to incorporate branding tools into your business. Whether it’s reaching new clients, creating awareness, growing sales, retaining clients longer – it’s endless,” Kristy says.

It also has a great ROI. Kristy mentions that if you choose the branded item thoughtfully, it’s one of the lowest-costing advertising mediums. “If you chose [the branded item] well and it’s something that they value, use and keep for a long time . . . they’re seeing your logo, they’re being reminded of your company over and over and over again for that one small initial cost.”

So overall, it’s a great way to get your business’s name out there!

Use Promotional Items to Keep in Touch with Your Customers or Clients

Promotional items not only help to promote your business, but they also promote growth in the relationship between your business and your client or customer base. In addition, taking advantage of promotional items as a small business is something unique that’ll set your business apart. As Kristy mentions, “It’s something you can do as a small business that these large companies aren’t going to be able to do at scale.”

Consider gifting items for your client’s birthday, the anniversary of your business-client relationship, or just because!

“They can hold that item, they can keep that item . . . it creates that goodwill,” says Kristy. It’s a thoughtful and kind way to remind your customers or clients that your business is there.

And a great bonus: Your clients may even post the item on social media or show it to their friends, creating buzz about your business.

Aside from the benefits of promotion and relationship building, promotional items are a great way to make your clients – and you – feel good as small business owners. “At the end of the day, if you get nothing out of it — you’ve made someone’s day. You’ve made them feel good about your company,” says Kristy, “It’s feel-good marketing!”


Learn from our other guest experts from our podcast too!

All About Local Listings Management with Devin Thomas of Uberall

Is your business taking advantage of local listings and the power of a platform like Uberall?

Having a proper local listings management strategy is a little thing that can go a very long way for local business owners. And the potential for such a strategy to make a significant impact is real.

Why? Because local listings sit at the core of a small business’s visibility and can genuinely be one of the most powerful marketing tools when used thoughtfully.

So what exactly is a local listing?

A local listing is a directory where your business can appear. Some of these platforms are well-known and popular, such as Google Business Profile (in other words, Google Maps and Search), Bing, Facebook and Apple Maps. Customers can easily access your business name, address, phone number, photos, social links and other important information when your listing appears in search results.

In a recent episode of A Little Marketing, we spoke with Local Listings expert Devin Thomas. Devin shared his insights into all things local listings, including Google Business Profile Manager (formerly Google My Business), and how innovative software tools can help small business owners efficiently manage their listings.

Our chat with Devin revealed how impactful local listing management is for small businesses. Here’s what he had to say:

Devin Thomas of Uberall discusses the importance of using a local listing management platform.  

The Importance of Local Listings Management

“More than half of searches, in general, are local,” says Devin. “This means that when someone is typing something into the search engine on Google or another search platform, they’re looking for something locally. So local listings are your key to ensuring that you appear in those searches.” Devin says your business visibility increases by 60% when registered with local listing directories.

Essentially, it’s all about consistency. “The more you’re there, it builds that psychological familiarity,” says Devin. “Customers trust consistency. You’re present on apps, maps, social media platforms, and many other online directories when you manage your local listings. So not only are you raising your business’ visibility by being present on these local listing platforms, you’re building up a consistent image for your customers.”

Another critical benefit of local listings: “It generates free and organic traffic to your website.”

Lastly, managing your local listings allows you to create an accurate brand image. If you’re not managing your local listing, your business might still be listed online on different directories but not with correct or accurate information. That’s why it’s crucial to verify your profile and manage your listing to control the narrative of how your business appears in searches.

So how can you manage your business’ local listings properly? Devin gives us an answer: Uberall.

Local Listings Management with Uberall

Uberall is a fantastic tool for local listing management. “There’s an importance of being visible across the board unilaterally; that’s where Uberall comes in,” says Devin, “[Uberall] makes sure that you’re present consistently.”

When you manage your local listings with Uberall, Uberall does the work for you. Have your business information changed, such as hours, address and other little details? Enter them into Uberall’s platform, and all changes get syndicated to all of the directories in your plan. That way, when a customer searches for you on 40-plus business directories, your hours are presented consistently across all of them. Because let’s be honest, there is nothing more frustrating than inaccurate business hours online!

Google Business Optimization

Getting the most out of your local listings is about building consistency across the board. If you want to get the most out of your local listings as a marketing tactic, the best thing you can do as a small business owner is to optimize your Google Business Listing. So why is Google Business optimization so important? “It’s important to stay engaged – an effortless but vital way to impact search rankings and build trust with Google positively,” says Devin.

So how can you do this? Devin says that constantly updating your profile on Google is critical. Add photos, update social links, create Google posts –  anything you can do to boost your engagement. Keep adding new content, and keep engaging with your customers via reviews. Your business’ visibility will thank you.

Local Listings Management Resources

Need help setting up and managing your local listings? Optimize your Google Business Listing with a directory strategy that delivers customers, managed and optimized by our experts. Click here for a 2-month free trial!

Already have your listings set up and curious to know how your local listings compare. Get your free local listings health report here!

For more free information on local listing management and all that it can do for your small business, listen to our episode with Devin here on YouTube!

TikTok Marketing: How to Engage Your Audience and Grow Your Brand

Don’t underestimate the power of TikTok marketing!

Regarding social media, TikTok has one of the biggest influences on its users. The impact that TikTok has on culture is so significant that 43% of TikTok users try something new or go someplace new after seeing it at least once on the app. Brands are certainly taking advantage of this impact too. With 1 billion active monthly users, brands use the app to access a massive pool of consumers.

TikTok marketing is an excellent way for businesses – both big and small – to promote brand awareness. In addition, the platform’s massive impact on users can benefit brands that engage with their audience.

But despite TikTok’s colossal impact now, it’s still a relatively new platform for marketing. As a result, not all businesses are familiar with the app and its use for engagement and growth. That’s why we’re here to help. This guide will take you through all things TikTok marketing so that you can succeed at engaging your audience and growing your brand!

What is TikTok Marketing?

If you’re not already familiar with TikTok, it’s a rapidly growing app where users can create 15-second to three-minute videos. These videos either feature original sound, a trending TikTok sound made by another user, or music. According to their algorithm, these videos appear on other users’ For You Page (FYP). Users can choose to follow creators they enjoy engaging with while still enjoying videos by creators they don’t follow via the FYP.

But the app is not just for creators. TikTok is rapidly growing, with marketers looking to promote their brands to a rapidly growing audience. Brands are hopping on TikTok to promote themselves through organic content or paid TikTok advertising. In addition, brands are creating videos to engage with audiences and boost brand awareness.

A Little Marketing, Episode 14: Growing Your Business with TikTok with Guest Expert Steph Goldman

Watch our TikTok episode where Nikki Gillingham and I discuss TikTok Marketing with guest expert Stephanie Goldman. Known on TikTok as @KimmyToyz, Stephanie has 1 million followers and regularly gets over 1 million views on her videos.

How to Succeed on TikTok as a Brand

Curious about how to get in on the action? Here are five tips to help you grow and engage your TikTok audience for brand growth.

1. Finding your voice on TikTok is all about trial and error.

Finding your brand’s voice on TikTok is all about trial and error. You may not get it right in the first 5, 10, 20, or even 100 videos. Instead, it’s all about seeing what type of content connects with audiences. Once you find a groove that works for your business, you’ll be able to engage your audience and see more growth continuously.

TikTok expert Steph Goldman speaks about how she found her voice as a TikTok creator and business owner on A Little Marketing, our podcast. She believes finding your voice on TikTok is all about trial and error.

2. Use the analytics available to you

In our podcast with special guest Steph Goldman, we also discuss how she was able to find out what style of video was performing best among audiences. The answer? Analytics. Analytics is a valuable tool available to marketers and creators on TikTok. And because trends are constantly changing on TikTok, it’s essential to monitor these analytics regularly.

3. Make your contact info accessible

Put your contact info – such as your email – in your TikTok bio. That way, when you start to see growth on TikTok, your audience will be able to engage further with your business.

4. Use popular songs/sounds

Pay attention to what’s trending on TikTok. According to research conducted by TikTok, 68% of users say they remember the brand better when it uses a popular TikTok song. In addition, 58% say they feel a stronger connection to the brand and are more likely to talk about it. And 62% of TikTok users say that popular TikTok songs make them curious to learn about the brand.

5. Embrace your brand’s authenticity

If trends aren’t performing well for your business, don’t be afraid to embrace your brand’s authenticity. 56% of users feel closer to brands that embrace the medium of authenticity on TikTok.

Want to Learn More about How to Grow Your Brand on TikTok?

For more information on this topic, our podcast, A Little Marketing, has an informative episode on how to grow your business with TikTok. You can check it out here! And be sure to subscribe to the podcast to stay up to date on all things marketing for small businesses!

Introducing A Little Marketing, Our New Podcast

10|20 Marketing, in collaboration with Blue Whale Communications in Kelowna, BC, is excited to introduce our new podcast, which we’re calling “A Little Marketing. Small Moves with Big Impact.”

The podcast, hosted by Nikki Gillingham from Blue Whale Communications and Mark Goren at 10|20 Marketing, is designed to provide a little extra marketing support to small businesses. Our passion is using our marketing expertise to make a big difference for small businesses, and that’s what we aim to do with this podcast.

Our Concept For A Little Marketing Is Simple

In each episode, Nikki and Mark introduce simple topics that will help small business owners significantly impact their local market. From tips and tricks to current industry trends, it aims to give marketing insight to small business owners. Because, after all, a little marketing can go a long way!

In our first episode, we discuss Instagram. Instagram has recently made many updates to its app and algorithm. This episode looks at what those changes mean for small business owners.

Episode 1: Instagram Algorithm

Earlier this spring, Instagram reintroduced the chronological feed. When the app was reasonably new, Instagram displayed its feed chronologically. So each time you refreshed the app, you’d first see the most recent posts from people you follow. As the app grew and more users joined, Instagram introduced an algorithm that predicted which content a user might want to see. In addition, the algorithm began introducing users to content they weren’t following. Doing so is similar to other social media algorithms, like Facebook and Twitter.

Recently though, Instagram has reintroduced the option for a chronological feed. They’ve also introduced a “Favorites” feature that allows users to see their favourite accounts. So how does this impact businesses?

In a recent poll by Nikki, she found that only two of her followers who answered used the new chronological/favourites feature. While that may come as a big surprise, it should also be a relief. Instagram is continuously adding updates to its app, but this doesn’t mean how people use it will change overnight. When an update like this comes, you don’t have to worry about changing your business’ social media strategy to work with the app’s update. Like always, however, putting out engaging content will be much more important than rushing to keep up with Instagram’s constant algorithm changes.

For a deeper dive into this topic, be sure to listen to our first episode here.

Subscribe to A Little Marketing on YouTube too. And be sure to check back next week for a brand new episode!