How Mining Online Reviews Can Dramatically Improve Business Results


How Mining Online Reviews Can Dramatically Improve Business Results

Don’t create new copy when marketing to your customers - steal it ! No I’m not encouraging you to plagiarise it, read on …

In an ideal world, every company would invest in direct customer research - the marketers would interview customers 1-1, send surveys to an engaged email list, and socialise where their prospects talk. But in reality, budgets are tight, pressure to deliver growth is high, and clients rarely know exactly why their best-fit customers buy.

(According to a study by CoSchedule, 65% of marketers seldom conduct audience research despite knowing that those who do are 303% more likely to achieve their goals)  Infact many businesses simply throw caution into the wind and (gasp) guess what their buyers are thinking.

So, how do you spark new marketing ideas without actually talking to customers ….  You use the internet to hunt for what they’ve already said … behind your back! Welcome to the world of 'Review Mining'.  

" You don’t need permission to do customer research - just start digging !"


So what is review mining?

Review mining is when you scour online reviews posted about yours  and your competitors’ products and analyse what has been said for useful intelligence to help guide your marketing.

Reviews are important to all businesses – and one of the easiest ways to listen to your customers. When you analyse this feedback from real buyers you will start to identify information such as WHY they bought from X, WHAT  triggered their buying journey, WHICH other solutions they have tried, and more. Simple snippets from reviews can help identify what you are doing wrong or even not doing to increase sales conversions.

Here’s the best part - You don’t need to rely only on your product’s testimonials for review mining research. Even if you’re a new brand in the market, you can analyse the online reviews of your competitors. Learn what people complain about, which pain points your rival doesn’t solve, and why buyers would want a new product.

For example, browse through G2 reviews of the leading email marketing platform, Mailchimp. You’ll find many missing features from the software, why customers would consider switching to a new product, and what they hate about the service.

Review mining gets you unsolicited buyer opinions—you understand what your buyers love and what your prospects want. So where do you begin online review mining?

How to get review mining data?

Firstly its beneficial to focus on what you are intending to find out from your online review mining research, otherwise you will end up simply reading reams of reviews without really considering what you can do with what you have discovered. 

Determining what you’ll do with the reviews you collect before getting your hands dirty will help you start strong, look at the right resources, and avoid time-consuming mistakes. For example, if you work with a brand with hundreds of products and 15,000+ reviews, you can’t analyse every review. It’s simply not practical.

Gathering the data

Broadly, there are three most common places to find reviews: 

·         - Your own or your competitor’s website:
These are the reviews and case studies on your or your competitor’s site.

·         - Third-party review sites:
Customers leave testimonials on many third-party websites, Google, Amazon, Trustpilot, Capterra, Yell, FourSquare etc. We recommend that the best review resources should be as relevant to your industry and type of business (e.g., service-based or products) as much as possible too. You should know the best review sites that apply here – if not web-aviso can assist you.

·         - Social Reviews:
For some often very frank, honest, and informal reviews, social media and niche online communities are hard to top. People will often reveal what they think, talk, and shop in more open ways.

Do note that gathering data can be time-intensive and tedious. Consider outsourcing this step to a virtual assistant or hiring someone to help.

How to make sense of qualitative data?

Mining reviews for information gives you qualitative data (i.e., actual words from genuine buyers), so this isn’t as straightforward as number crunching.

Firstly you need determine how much information to collect. For example, if you want to create some copy for a social media ad then  analysing a handful of five-star reviews of your product will probably suffice, but if you want data to help you re-strategise your marketing to become more customer-focused, you will need to explore many reviews to spot potential patterns that can inform your strategy.

Next you need to filter the most useful reviews. What qualifies a review as useful is down to you, but might include e.g., emotional language or a surprising experience with your product, or shares valuable details about a buying journey, the background of the customer, and what competitors the buyer has tried, or memorable phrases that you can use directly in your copy or content.

What should you pay attention to?

The ultimate outcome of review mining is to discover patterns and insights that lead to some clarity and unexpected transformative ideas that alter your marketing or business approach. However knowing how  to start converting raw qualitative data into something useful can feel challenging at first.

To begin here’s a checklist of what to look for:

·         - Triggers:
What made your buyers think that they have a problem and then look for potential solutions. Tracking customer triggers can help you identify prospects quickly and convert them into customers.

·        -  Pain points:
Pay attention to reviews highlighting your buyer’s frustrations. E.g., what is stopping your customer from making progress? If you’re a new company, create a product or a feature addressing these problems. Or create product-led content showing how your brand can solve these problems.

·         - Customer goals:
These are the testimonials that say, “I wanted to achieve X…” or “I used X product and saw Y results…” These statements often make great copy and aid in understanding where exactly your product fits in your customers’ lives.

·        - Channels:
Do most of your prospects come from a social media platform or a referral (or influencer)? Understanding where your buyers spend time, seek recommendations, and discover products can help you find the most profitable channels.

·         Other solutions:
Some reviews may mention alternate solutions your buyer has tried, explored, or considered before trying your product. These can be direct competitors (e.g., McDonald’s vs. BurgerKing) or indirect solutions (e.g., a vending machine vs. McDonald’s for a quick-meal-on-the-go-problem). Track these and see what your typical buyer persona would be more likely to go for.

·         Anxiety:
You may find that some reviews will mention why a buyer hesitated to buy a product / service and even share some objections or mention features they dislike. Take note of these to overcome objections from your prospects and barriers to business.

·         Selfish desires:
Does your buyer have personal motivations that drive their purchases (i.e. their WHY)?  Even if you’re a B2B company there’s still a personal motivation behind each customer. Knowing these (selfish) desires will help you understand the customer on a deeper level and also enable you to write some engaging copy.


Is the thought of tracking all these metrics—let alone from qualitative data—making your palms feel a little uneasy? Or not sure where to start ? If you would like to discover more about how web-aviso can help transform your business presence, do contact us :

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📞 01704 834099
📞 07767 343152



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