Today, anyone can review a product online. Just do a quick Google search of anything plus “review” and you’ll get pages upon pages of reviews from top tech companies, mommy blogs, and of course random people on Amazon. You’ll find many pretentious “experts” in forums, angry reviews in any online store, and funny product reviews that make you wonder how people have so much time on their hands.
Anyone can write a product review and have it be seen by millions. There’s definitely an appeal to make your voice be heard. But sometimes it goes too far. For example, when a product doesn’t meet someone’s expectations, or a company doesn’t give a person great service, some reviewers want to punish them. And reviews are a very effective way to do it. Just look at some of the one star ratings on Amazon or Yelp: people writing in all caps, people writing 5000 word essays.
There’s a sense of power and self-importance many people feel when writing reviews. And sure, one can argue that that’s fine. It’s their review, they can do whatever they want. But if you are trying to have a professional presence online and want to be portrayed as an expert in your field, you must write clear, unbiased, and level-headed reviews, even if the product experience was awful.
Outlined below are some basic tips to include in any review to get people reading, stay hooked, and give you their trust. If your intent is to truly help others, these tips are a must.
1. Actually own the product – Duh!
Gain their Trust.
This is a big one. If you want people to trust your review (and ultimately trust you), you need to own (or have tried) the actual product. It may sound obvious, but if you’re new to the internet review world, you’d be amazed at how many people review products without having ever touched the item. Many people get paid to write good reviews and others just want to hurt a company’s image. Either way, it’s not an honest review. If you’re writing a review for a product you’ve never seen, it’ll be obvious to your reader.
If you do a quick review search for Samsung’s $40,000 television, you might be surprised to see how many people reviewed it. I could be wrong, but I highly doubt most of the people reviewing the TV actually bought it. Fake as they may be, I’m a sucker for these funny product reviews. They do serve a purpose (comedy), but they don’t really convince people to buy this television. Be honest.
Here’s a link from ABC News:
2. Start with a story
I added this tip because it’s great for getting people interested in your opinion right off the bat. Although if people clicked on your link in the first place, they most likely want to read a review, it’s still a great idea to get them hooked right away with an engaging story. People love stories. If they’re interested right away, they’re more likely to read all the way through. If you have some wit and humor in your writing style, add that too. It’s always great to start with a laugh. This approach makes you more relatable, trustworthy, and interesting. It really goes a long way. Spend a paragraph or two making fun of yourself for sleeping on the floor for two months because you wanted to wait for the perfect mattress to go on sale. Be relatable. Be human. Then dive into the full-fledged review.
3. Details, Details, Details.
Tell them everything.
People want to know everything about their potential purchase. Think about it; when you want to learn more about an item you may buy, wouldn’t you rather read a comprehensive review that has pictures, lists, and pros and cons, rather than a single paragraph that basically says, “It was good. I wish it didn’t take 5 days to arrive though. Ugh!”
The more details, the better. What type of person are you? Why did you like it? Why did you not? It’s all about being able to relate to your readers. If you’re reviewing a shirt, tell everyone your size, your height, your build. Did it fit snug around the waist? Were the sleeves too big? Did it go well with a certain type of outfit but not another? Say so! If someone has the same build as you and you say how great the shirt looked and fit, you increase the chances they’ll buy it tremendously. They will love your review. Convince them either way.
Add pictures, show scale, list the pros and cons. Tell them how often you used it before it started showing signs of wear or until you got the hang of it. Think about the things you wish you knew about the product before your bought it and write about them.
Be comprehensive. Be the end-all review. Be the review in which readers say, “That’s it. I’m convinced. This product is/isn’t for me.” The last thing you want is for people to leave your website and look elsewhere to find more information.
4. Call to Action
Do this now!
What should they do? By now you have the reader’s attention and most likely their trust. Do you want to advise them to buy an alternative tech product instead? Do you want them to click your affiliate link to Amazon? Do you want them to read your other blender, shaving cream, food, or funny product reviews? Wrap up your review with your final thoughts. Make them powerful statements and tell them what to do next. Buy it! Don’t buy it! If you’re honest, relatable, and comprehensive, you’ll have quite the influence by the time they finish your review. Use that power wisely.