A while ago, I spoke about product reviews being the wayward sons businesses need. And while the phrase has a strange ring to it, it rings very true in real life. Today, however, I’ve decided to take you on a short tour and let you in on the big, little secret of how to include product reviews in your content creation strategy properly, and how reviews can add to your value and number of sales, in particular. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, so grab your free ticket and hang on!
A Short Reminder
Before getting further into any topic, I always like to make sure I am on the same page with my readers. So, prior to discussing the steps of creating the perfect product review, let’s first agree on what product reviews are. Product reviews are user-generated pieces of content that center on the performance of a specific product. Needless to say, it is best to have a real user to review your product, but one who is also a website content writer by heart (and profession) is the best of all worlds.
Step 1: Be a Real Person, Empathize with Your Readers
Writing product reviews 101 — understanding that buyers aren’t reading reviews to see the features of products.
Review readers are genuinely not interested in your amazing writing skills or all the cool things a product can do. They want to know how that product performs in real life. They want to know if the product can solve their problems. Ergo, the first step in writing a good product review is empathizing with your readers. How can you do that?
Well, it turns out, empathy is directly linked to likability. If people like you, they are more likely to follow your advice. To do that, you need to get them on your side. You need to come across as their friend who is not commanding them to buy the product, but rather a familiar face sharing their story. Like that time they had a hard time conveying their message through website content until they found our SEO copywriting services that did it for them. See what I did there? Exactly.
Pro tip: Pressure the pain. Place your reader in a situation from which they can’t escape until they have found the ending. Make them silently empathize with that situation, your situation. And remember, people empathize more with people than they do with brands. Your narrative will make people want to know what happens at the end of your story and keep them on your page.
Step 2: Specify Who The Product Is For
It may seem like an obvious one, but you will be surprised just how many reviewers miss this part. They write the review for everyone, even if “everyone” is not the right demographic for the product. Be better than that! A professional website content writer would include a section in the review that specifies the exact target market of the product. Why is this so essentially important?
Pro tip: Identifying who stands to benefit from a product is great; providing alternatives to people who don’t, builds credibility. It tells your readers you are not just after their money, but you actually want them to get the right product for their needs. You earn their trust instantly.
Step 3: Ditch the Rain of Superlatives, Introduce Solutions Instead
By now, the reader is aware they have a problem, they are searching for an answer, and after Step 2, they trust you. This is your cue to step in and offer the solution. There are many ways to deliver the Holy Grail of solutions to your readers, but the best ones include a brief overview of the product, its capabilities, and the results a user might expect from it.
Pro tip: Your job in this step is to pre-sell the product. What does that mean? It means you need to create an environment that helps readers choose a product without pitching it to them. In other words, you encourage sales without selling!
Step 4: Get Real with Real Life Examples
What do I mean by that? Skip the rain of superlatives and focus on bridging the gap between you and your target audience. Explain the relationship between features and benefits through real-life examples. Think about your school years, the things that stuck in your mind the most are usually the ones you experienced firsthand. Same with reviews, people will always lean on the “show, don’t tell” philosophy.
Pro tip: You need to identify the core features of the product and show them in action. These are the key features readers care about the most. In example terms, you can showcase smoothies you have put together when reviewing a blender or demonstrate the new skills you acquired during a course you are reviewing.
Step 5: Provide Social Proof
We are social creatures, and as such, we are more likely to follow something that is already popular in our society. Add reviews and quotes from other product reviews and show readers how others perceive the same product.
Pro tip: You can even add or link to reviews from power users (if any). “Power users” are popular online personalities, bloggers, and other recognizable people who have also reviewed the product in question. This will give readers a nice balance between opinions earning you more trust points for allowing it to happen.
Step 6: List Alternatives
Earlier I mentioned offering alternatives to people who belong to a group outside your target clients. Well, listing alternatives to the customers you are actually targeting is just as good of an idea. Why? If people are not interested in the reviewed product, they might still be interested in its alternatives. This leads to a shift in perception. It changes the question from “Should I buy it?” to “Which one should I buy?” — a powerful change in buying behavior that can have a profound impact on sales.
Pro tip: I stress the importance of this step as it shows impartiality which readers love. By offering alternatives, you subtly tell readers that you aren’t partial to any particular product and truly want what is best for them.
Step 7: Choose the Right Format
Writing a great product review isn’t nearly enough. Choosing the right format is key. Why? You need to make sure your review is easy to navigate. You may have the most powerful, persuasive, and to-the-point text that brings tons of value to your readers, if you fail to format it properly, no one will give it the light of day.
Pro tip: It is always a good idea to break down the review in subsections, as well as to use symbols and icons to add visual flair when listing benefits, ratings, and features. And remember, your goal here is to make highly readable, visually striking reviews.
Writing reviews is not the same as unleashing your content creation talent alone and hoping for the best. You will have to do some legwork. My advice? Be the honest kid on the block, and don’t be afraid to be critical when necessary. Having your ideal reader’s best interest in mind when doing custom writing projects always brings a massive payoff in my experience. And lastly, structuring and organizing your review in a format that is easy to read makes all the difference between a review people will skip and one that gets hundreds of shares and, well, sales.
Care to share your experience with product reviews, or you have unanswered questions? Let’s start a discussion! As a website content writer and a reviewer myself, I’d love to know what you think in the comment section below!