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Would you visit a restaurant without checking Yelp?
Would you book a hotel without checking Trip Advisor?
Would you buy a book without checking Amazon reviews?

For many of us, online reviews have become a significant part of our buying behavior when it comes to products and services. Whether it’s hiring a home cleaning service or booking an Airbnb – we rely on reviews to guide our decision making. Over the last few years, I’ve seen the trend of reviews shift from our personal lives into our professional lives. It’s the Yelpification of business. 

The Yelpification of business the adoption of peer to peer review sites amongst B2B decision makers and the rise of reviews for everything from SaaS and agencies to corporate culture and CEOs.

In the future:

People will look at reviews for a CEO before taking a job.
Buyers will look at reviews for a marketing agency before hiring them.
IT Professionals will look at reviews for before installing a new software.

The key factors driving the Yelpification of B2B brands include:

  • People Trust People: Online reviews have been a staple of the web for years. People trust other people more than they trust a brand telling them how great they are. (84% of people trust online reviews as much as friends)
  • People Want To Be Heard: Consumers want to be heard whether they’re buying a Tuna Melt or a subscription for your SaaS. Review sites give people the power to be heard and share both their praise & concerns. 
  • Businesses Want Praise: The same way a restaurant will promote the fact that they’re a Michelin Star rated restaurant, a CEO will promote the fact that they’re a top rated executive on Glassdoor
  • The Desire To Self Analyze: Buyers don’t always want to jump on a call with 4-5 different sales reps. They’d rather self analyze and self determine which product or service provider is going to be the right fit for them. 

The implications this has on businesses:

  • More Transparency: People can now get a better look at your pricing before you send a pitch deck and culture before joining the team. Reviews should push brands to serve their clients better and businesses to treat their employees better. 
  • Rewards Positive Reviews: If you’re generating positive reviews on some of the top sites, it will be quite rewarding. A lot of these sites rank on the first page of Google when it comes to highly relevant keywords and phrases. 
  • Quality Referral Traffic: People reading reviews about your corporate culture are more likely to be a potential candidate and people reading reviews about your SaaS service are more likely to be potential customers. That means a better chance for quality traffic. 

Here are some examples of businesses that are built on the back of Yelpification:

  • G2Crowd: Reviews for business software based on user ratings and social data.
  • CapterraSoftware solution reviews for different industries.
  • ClutchReviews for B2B service companies (agencies, firms, etc).
  • AgencySpotterReviews for B2B service companies (agencies, firms, etc).
  • GlassdoorReviews for organizations and CEOs.

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Ross Simmonds

Ross Simmonds is a digital marketing strategist who has worked with everything from Fortune 500 companies to startups to drive results using digital marketing and technology.

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