Product reviews can be one of the most effective tools in any online marketer’s arsenal. They perform a better job in converting visitors to buyers than conventional sales letters since they are written in the pretext of providing balanced information on all the good and not-so-good points of a particular product. By writing an honest product review, the online marketer becomes his readers’ friend. The writer is there to recommend products that can provide solutions to his readers’ problems while keeping them away from products that will not.
Product reviews can be extremely powerful. According to WebProNews.com, 9 out of 10 people in the US read product reviews before buying anything online or offline while 7 out of 10 online shoppers actively search for product reviews before making a purchase. Given these figures, it is safe to say that using product reviews in promoting products can definitely improve an affiliate marketer’s profits.
Types of product reviews
There are several types of product reviews. Online marketers can use a brief overview review to give their readers an idea of how similar products stack up against each other at a single glance or write a comprehensive review to discuss the features and benefits of the product in great detail. Feature list reviews and negative reviews are also discussed below.
Whatever the type of review, you should know both the product and the audience. Purchase or get an evaluation copy of the product whenever possible. Research the audience for the product and know what problems they need it to solve. Most reviews present the problem and how the product solves it.
This type of review usually makes use of star ratings alongside each product so readers can readily see how they compare against each other without really getting into great details. Such reviews are generally one to two paragraphs long and include a link to the merchant site to let readers learn more about the products should they choose to do so.
This type of review is best for those who are merely browsing around and are trying to know what products are currently available at the market. As they are not yet ready to buy anything, providing them with a brief overview can be the wisest thing to do at this stage.
Tip: In using this type of review, don’t fall into the trap of giving all the products a five-star rating since this will look quite unrealistic. Maintain a semblance of honesty by sharing the good and bad points of each product. However, if you just want to recommend products that get your approval, make sure your readers know of your intentions.
As opposed to the brief overview, the comprehensive review goes to great lengths in discussing all the features and benefits that can be derived from a particular product along with its downsides and limitations. While this may be quite effective in securing sales under certain circumstances (such as when used as a landing page for PPC campaigns) and in attracting organic traffic from the search engines, an in-depth review is often less effective than brief reviews. Here are some reasons why:
- It may not be as good as the original merchant’s sales page. In this case, the review may not be able to score a sale.
- It may be written so well that the readers don’t feel the urge to check the merchant’s sales page to know more about the product. The problem here is that they may not use your affiliate link to get to the merchant’s site, even if they decide to buy it. In addition, since the review offered an in-depth look into the product, your readers may instantly decide that the product is not exactly what they are looking for. Either way, you lose your chance of making a sale.
As a general rule, comprehensive reviews should only be used if the merchant has an extremely poor landing page. Remember, it is the affiliate marketers’ job to pre-sell the product and encourage their visitors to visit the original merchant’s site.
Feature list or comparison chart review
The feature list review takes several products side-by-side and compares those using ticks and crosses. Such reviews are most effective when used to gently lead readers into buying a particular product with apparently the best features without giving the impression of being unbiased.
Negative reviews can be quite effective in securing affiliate sales and may even outperform most enthusiastic reviews. They can effectively attract readers’ attention, since people are also interested to know the downsides of a particular product, especially one that is being extensively promoted by other affiliate marketers.
Negative reviews don’t necessarily mean bagging on or openly criticizing a particular product. Rather, this type of review work by initially providing a negative slant to a product and then turning the tables around to show it in a more positive light.
General tips in writing product reviews
Here are some suggestions to enhance the effectiveness of product reviews:
- Include an image and/or video of the product being reviewed: This can help the readers connect the product with the article and make them want to know more about it.
- Describe the product in great detail: People want to know what exactly they will be getting so list the features and benefits as well as the limitations of the product. Include any personal thoughts and experience whenever possible.
- Describe who the product is for: Remember that there is not one product that can cater to everyone’s needs so don’t even try to sell a product using this point of view.
- Provide proof: Most people are becoming wary of product review sites because they believe that such sites are biased and are merely there to make a quick buck from unsuspecting people. To turn things around, provide some solid proof with concrete examples that you are personally using the product, and that it works.
- Point out the negatives: Letting your readers know the apparent and perceived limitations of the product can help enhance your credibility as an online marketer. Remember, your main task is to help readers make an informed decision, whether they should buy a particular product or not. However, you can still turn this around by providing a reason why such limitations shouldn’t keep them from buying the product or by providing solutions to the perceived flaws and limitations of the product.
- Provide a clear and enticing call-to-action: Make it easy for your readers to know what they should do next after reading your review. Keep in mind that the clearer your instructions are, the higher your chances of making a sale.
- Don’t be too formal: Write in a more casual style as anything overly formal will sound dry and too impersonal. However, be careful to use proper grammar.
- Choose the best keyword phrase: A product review may be optimized for the product being promoted or for a particular problem that the product addresses.
- Write reviews on what not to buy: To give readers the impression that you are providing objective reviews, make it a point to write negative reviews about certain products from time to time.
- Don’t make things up: If a product isn’t worth promoting, then don’t. Do not fall into the temptation of promoting products just for making a quick sale or two. Remember that at the end of the day, your credibility is far more important.
Since there is a shortage of good reviews in the internet, learning how to write proper products review can bring impressive results. Try it and see for yourself how it can improve your profits.