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How to Get Peer Validation from a Community: Syndication Part 2

Khoros Staff

People are used to seeing product reviews and Questions/Answers when shopping online these days.  And the reason is that peer validation drives 1.6 to 3x higher conversion rates – perhaps the single biggest difference in conversion that a retailer can make. This kind of increase doesn't come free or even cheap. There are significant challenges to creating and managing programs to gather, manage, and showcase peer validation content. 

 

  • Getting enough real, good reviews - People don’t trust just a few reviews, and they also want a variety of reviews for credibility and detail, so you need to furnish both quality and quantify. If you play a simple numbers game where a small portion of customers leave feedback and an even smaller portion of that give good detailed reviews - then it takes a long time to get an impactful number of reviews.
  • Cost: The main way to get more reviews is to pay for them via incentives like gift cards or coupons. This is a direct investment in increasing your conversion rate, and many brands will pay their technology vendors to help source reviews or run their own programs. 
  • Verification: The next step is verification and moderation. Having too many bad reviews, short reviews, or reviews that just seem fishy can have a negative effect on conversion. Verifying this can be somewhat automated, but it also requires a human element to confirm everything. 

 

Gathering product feedback from your community

 

The good news is there is a secret weapon that any brand can use to make better customer validation on their sites quickly, cheaply, and credibly. Brands with their own online communities probably have a ton of feedback content to tap into today.  As a bonus, community reviews and comments are usually from experienced customers/users who are also motivated to help their peers - not by discounts or to rant about a single bad experience.

 

Formalizing a review program in a community is a great idea because it addresses all three concerns listed above.  

 

  1. Quantity and Quality: Reviews happen naturally as product feedback in a community - you can see this behavior in one of my favorite sites, Allrecipes.com.  Sites like Sephora, Dr. Pierre Ricaud, Leroy Merlin, GoDaddy, and others all use Product Mentions and Associations today to help serve similar community content when people are browsing articles. The same feature exact content and feature is all that is needed to do the same thing on any other digital property.

  2. Cost: Community members don’t need to be paid because the community is already set up to incentivize and recognize their contributions through Khoros’ sophisticated gamification.

  3. Credibility: Removing the need for incentives already eliminates the need for the majority of questionable reviews. The other need is to verify the user. In a community, this is not an issue because the person was validated before they could post a comment as part of joining the community. Finally, product feedback in communities are moderated just like every other piece of content.

 

BONUS - Interactive content: Not only are community reviews easier and better for all the reasons above, they also get the added bonus of being interactive.  This means any other community member can add to their feedback to a post to add details, provide their perspective, or confirm the information in the same review.  This engagement helps keep reviews fresh and adds valuable detail. It also makes it easier for future customers to engage. 

 

Now for the How

Now, most communities were built for purposes other than generating product reviews. The good news is that you can still use them for this purpose thanks to the new Community Syndication combined with Product Associations.

How to use Product Mentions and Product Associations.

Product Associations are a way to tag posts with a product ID that can later be used to create syndication code snippets to automatically grab those tagged posts to syndicate to any page you want. And this can be done by generating one snippet that can be used for thousands of products using a variable product ID.

 

How to Add Community SyndicationHow to Add Community Syndication

 

 

It’s that easy!

About Message List Syndication 

Whether you're serving 10 or 10,000 or 100,000 products, with Community Syndication you can set a single, simple snippet of code to pull the right UGC about a specific product onto the right page so that you're always providing the correct window into your Community. 

 

The challenging part is doing this across a community where you didn’t have associations set up before deciding to syndicate. This requires some manual effort to find and tag. One idea is to enlist the community to help with this by creating a contest around who can tag the most posts with good product content! 

 

The ROI of Community Syndication for eCommerce 

 

ROI can be tricky to measure in the best of times, and crossing between communities that usually focus on support to the domain of shopping cart or website conversion deep inside marketing departments makes it even harder. 

However, the general idea is that it falls into 3 buckets:

  1. Savings on gathering content. This is time savings if you are going to be creating campaigns to solicit feedback content from your customers, or it is direct savings from not having to send out coupons or discounts to your customers to encourage feedback.

  2. Savings on a content platform. This is savings from not paying a vendor specifically for review or Q&A capabilities. This can sometimes also involve focus group activities as well. 

  3. Savings on moderating content. These are perhaps less impressive because moderation must still occur, but Khoros’ community moderation tools are more sophisticated and effective than others. 

 

Conclusion and Discussion Question 

The best part of this - Syndication is now live for EVERY KHOROS CUSTOMER. Contact us for a demo or reach out to your Customer Success team for an update. 

 

QUESTION: It would actually be very interesting to get a better understanding of how much these programs cost?  Many times, they are run as part of Loyalty or Customer Research departments, so they likely never even interact with brand community programs.  Have you ever talked to someone at your company about broader customer feedback and research to help get product feedback?