Do you have a “review site”? It really doesn’t matter all that much what’s being reviews (mostly doesn’t matter anyhow) but it does matter how those various products are reviewed. What we’ll discuss today is the process that potential buyers go through when searching for reviews and information on something they’re thinking about buying. We’ll then talk about the important points and how it relates to your reviews and your site in general.
It’s important to understand that just throwing up some general details about your chosen products isn’t necessarily a bad thing, nor is it the “wrong way to do things” but it’s certainly not going to give you optimal results. That being said, let’s get this show on the road.
Here is a quick “buyer check list” to consider
When people are thinking of making a purchase they’ll either know right away what they want and so they’ll pay just about any price for it, though if they can get it at the best possible price- all the better.
On the other hand you’ve got those who are more just “in the market” for something and they’ve got a few options to consider. It’s these types that you’ll probably be catering to the most so we’ll keep these folks in mind. The process that one goes through to find something online usually goes like this:
Open up Google and perform a search for something like “product name” + review.
What you may find next is something I’m sure many who are reading this have gotten well familiar with. Lots of websites with titles that read something like “is (product name here) a scam? Don’t buy it before reading this!” and it could on for the entire first page of the search results or more depending on the product you’re looking for or which niche it’s in.
At this stage you’re going to probably look for something that DOESN’T seem like obvious click-bait and check that out.
Upon landing on this site you’ll most likely notice that the “review” is an obvious soft-sell to the product and is just trying to soften you up so you make that purchase through their affiliate link. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, I mean… we are all marketers after all right. But there is a certain finesse that should come with this.
After this point you would probably get frustrated, come to the conclusion that every single review out there is just part of this drone army of affiliates and you can’t possibly find an honest, unbiased review no matter how hard you looked.
Here’s the thing about the “old model” of review sites
It still works! There is no denying that fact, but what we are talking about here is how to take something that is already a proven success and make it into something even bigger!
The simple fact is that your average product consumer is one smart cookie these days, and they have some very handy tools at their disposal to boot. If they want to hunt for a deal, they’re going to find one and your goal is to be in a position to help these people out with a slick blend of actual valuable information and something I like to call “soft serve selling”. If you get the blend right it’ll help build trust and that person will choose to buy through your link instead of someone else’s, which is just what we want!
I hear you asking the question already… “but just how do I do this?” and it’s so simple it’ll make you second guess all the other stuff you’ve probably heard about up to this point.
Just make reviews that:
- Garner trust between the author of the blog/post and its readers
- Build a bridge between features & benefits they can cross over using real life example
That is literally it! Granted there are finder details to go about doing this, but we’re going to go over those details now so keep reading.
A spiffy summary box
The purpose behind having a summary box for your review near the top of your page is for two things.
- It helps to catch the more motivated buyers
- It of course summarizes your review
- A third benefit is that it’ll act as an extra call to action for those who scroll back up
The elements you’d typically want in a summary box are as follows.
- Short blurb which identifies the product and it’s intended use or purpose.
- Some sort of rating system that will give values to various elements such as “price”, “effectiveness”, “ease of use”, maybe even if the product has decent support as some find that important.
- A nice summary of the products “pros” and it’s “cons” but keep it short and punchy.
- Put a call to action but make sure it’s actionable and obvious without being too “pushy”.
- You want a small section dedicated to the price of the product as this is one of the key elements people look for in any product review.
Show a little relatability through empathy
It isn’t enough to just rattle off a bunch of features for the product as that information can be obtained from the product’s sales page. Instead, those who decide to check out your review are doing so in hopes to discover if that particular product is going to benefit them in the way they hope it would.
To get the message across to your readers that the product you’re reviewing is the right (or possibly wrong) one, you’ll need to put yourself in their shows for a moment. By identifying with their needs and how that specific product is going to help alleviate their pains or boost their progress you will become more “likable” in their minds. It just so happens that demonstrating empathy is linked to your likability with most people- so show them you actually give a darn and put that bit of extra effort in.
Some ways you can use empathy in your reviews.
- Carry a friendly tone in your writing. A first person, casual chat tends to work in a lot of markets much better than others. But this would be best researched further to suit your specific niche.
- Talk about your own problem and how it relates to the product. Walk the reader through a scenario, tell a short story about how your dog would always pee on the carpet and how it would embarrass your wife every time guests would come over to the apartment smelling like urine.
- Apply pressure to the pain. By asking rhetorical questions that you know would get a “pained response” you’re helping to really drive the point home. It might even help the reader begin to empathize with you!
- Come off in your text as a real person. People relate far better to other people and not some faceless entity they don’t know, nor care anything about. Make them care; help them relate by demonstrating you’re real. Again, this tip may not be best suited for every niche or purpose so it’s best left up to further research on your part.
A few more helpful tips
Here are a number of other tips you might find useful when constructing reviews for your own sites. These are pretty general ideas but the aim is to keep things at a core level so anyone who’s checking your reviews out can spend their mental-focus on a buying decision instead of getting “snagged in the details.”
- Identify just who the product is meant for
- I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “one size fits all”. Well, that may be true for sweat-pants, but it’s certainly not true for most products or services you might wind up reviewing.
- Be sure to let your readers know that this product is for them because of (x,y,z) and on the same token, let them know it may not be for them for similar reasons. In which case you’d want to perhaps offer up an alternative- you might still make a sale elsewhere.
- Tell them about the solution
- This part is effectively your pre-sell. By this time the reader has already identified the problem and knows they want the solution so it’s time to give them an overview of the product. Show them just how it could work for them by either illustrating it in a clean description or you could even make a video for this purpose. They want to know what this thing is capable of and what results it will yield for them.
- By doing this step right you’ll effectively be demonstrating value, not only of the product but of yourself by showing your competency and ability to guide them. It’ll also help to educate your reader by answering questions they may have to help resolve any sticking points holding them back from making the purchase.
- If social proof is possible then offer it
- This one is important because nobody wants to be the test-dummy for something they may not even be sure of to begin with. Many times the things we review will already have things like a social media presence, product reviews by customers, there might even be other reviews in different formats from yours that you could perhaps find satisfied customers from and pull snippets of their praise from, borrowing a bit of that review-juice as it were.
- Make your review look pretty
- This one might be obvious for some, but for those who it may not be so obvious for it’s a good idea to make your review look good.
- Doing things like dividing your review up into sub-sections, using plenty of related images that correspond to what’s being discussed in any specific section of your review (screenshots work wonders if you got’em) using lots of neat symbols which make sense, formatting for things like headers, bullet points and the like… you get the idea. Make it all look easily digestible and like something that might actually be fun to read instead of a stiff and boring old blog post.
And now for the conclusion
The product review business model does take work but holy moly does it pay off if you stick with it and do it the right way. Have you ever heard of a little company called Amazon? What do you think the majority of their business is based off of? Yeah.. product reviews!
It’s very possible to take something as small and simple as a niche review site and spin it into gold. The fun part is that there’s way more to be done than just a review site, you have practically endless options, this is just one of the bunch.
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