Online reviews are one of the biggest factors in whether or not people will buy your product
If you have a digital presence and you're using it to promote your brand and product, you're already a step ahead of a lot of people. But a huge part of marketing your product online doesn't have anything to do with your website. Reviews of your product on other websites can make or break your marketing efforts.
Why are online product reviews important?
Online product reviews have gained the status of a service.
There are now professional reviewers associated with each niche having an army of followers and subscribers who closely watch their reviews. These reviewers are trusted by a number of followers. And audiences listen. A study by Spiegel Research Center found 95% of consumer read online reviews before they make a purchase.
Types of online product reviews
There are two categories in the domain of online product reviews. These include:
There are two subcategories in this category.
First are reviews written by consumers who buy products write about their experiences after using them. They are usually posted in the review section under the description of a product on a website. According to BrightLocal, 80% of consumers aged 18–34 have left an online review, and 41% of consumers over 55 have left a review.
Next are the reviews written by professional reviews. They don’t post their reviews on ecommerce websites. Rather, they have their own blogs and websites where they write and post their reviews. There are also dedicated websites that host reviews written by professional reviewers. The purpose is to provide the public with expert opinions about the quality of a product.
These reviews are also posted by professional reviewers on either their own or public video streaming websites like YouTube or any other social media platform. The purpose is the same as written reviews: to provide the public with feedback on that product.
Benefits of an online product review
Getting your product reviewed on a professional review site gets you in front of more consumers. It makes people aware of your product, and gives some context about its features and functions. Moreover, considering the statistics we've shared on how seriously customers take reviews, if your product doesn't have any online reviews, it might not even make it in a customer's consideration set.
Of course, the fear in offering your product up for scrutiny is that you may end up with some negative reviews. This may sound strange, but both positive and negative reviews can help your product. In fact, Revoo found that 95% of consumers get suspicious if a product has no negative reviews. And, Spiegel Research Center found that the likelihood of a purchase peaks when the average star rating is between 4.0 and 4.7, and then declines from 4.8 to 5.
How do you get your product reviewed?
So, how can you get a professional reviewer to review your product? If you don’t have any strong leads, how do you actually get your product in the hands of a reviewer? There are a number of avenues you can take.
Find a reviewer in your niche
First, find a reviewer/Influencer in your niche. The best way to do this is to research review sites and find the ones that review similar products. Once you find a site, have a look at the authors and see if they have specific product niches they work in. This will help you build a list of likely reviewer candidates.
Next, have a look at the site's submission guidelines. Most sites will ask you to submit your review proposal via email. Make sure you submit to the right editor for your product niche.
The next step is to wait for a response. It may take a while for the reviewers to get back to you. It’s OK to send reminders, but don’t pester. Also if you have to, take rejection calmly and politely. This will put you in a better position for the next time you approach them for a review.
Offer an incentive
Some reviewers may want something in return. Offer them free samples, or a discount promo code just for their subscribers. Provide them with a few samples of your product to give out as free giveaways. But make sure they know you understand this won't influence their review.
Build a relationship
Build a reputable online presence. Having a strong digital presence makes it easier to convince an reviewer to have a look at your product or service. Start with creating better content
than your competitors, because strong content can convince an influencer to participate in your campaigns. Comment on the reviewer's other reviews and share them if you can. Interact with influencers and try engaging them in a conversation online, write a tweet or status and tag them. Mention their name and highlight them in your content. Also creating content that link-builders target can increase your chances of getting linked by other influencers, thus making it easy for you to reach out to them. Give them coverage in your work and ask them to contribute to your content. Follow them on social media and like, share and comment on their recent work.
Review websites to try
Finally, let’s have a look at some of the top review websites you could target.
Test Freaks: A very unique platform that aggregates and summarizes reviews.
Good Housekeeping: Good Housekeeping has a robust list of review categories ranging from household appliances, beauty products, kid’s toys, electronic gadgets and many more.
Consumer Reports: Consumer Report is a non-profit organization dedicated to reviewing and providing the readers with a detailed in-depth review of every product. They also host the comprehensive rating and review system available online. They also happen to own the world’s largest nonprofit educational and product testing centre in the world.
Wirecutter: Wirecutter is quickly becoming one of the world's most respected review sites. It offers reviews for a range of product categories, from electronics and appliances to home and garden products.
CNET: If you've developed any kind of electronic product, CNET should be one of your first ports of call. They offer reviews on just about any kind of hardware, software and electronic gadget imaginable.
Getting your product reviewed can be scary. After all, you've put a lot of hard work and effort into developing it, and there's always the chance a reviewer won't like it. But it's one of the best ways to get your product in front of potential buyers. Moreover, many buyers won't even consider your product until they've read reviews. So put aside your fear, start building a list of reviewers and get your product in their hands.