Editor’s Note: Make sure your review site also complies with the FTC’s disclosure rules.
This August, Geno posted very useful data on the sources that consumers use in their pre-purchase product research. According to the report, review websites are in the top three online sources trusted by consumers. Whether you are just starting out as an affiliate, or already run successful affiliate campaigns, review websites are a perfect opportunity to increase your income. Having said that, please keep in mind that today’s consumers are discerning, educated and cautious in regards to selecting trustworthy reviews. You will need to put in some effort to make your review website credible in prospective customers’ eyes.
First of all, in order to be successful with reviews, you need to be as familiar with the product as possible. Ask the merchant or provider if you can get a free sample or trial version of their product. Believe me, most vendors will gladly provide you with resources, if they know it will lead to an honest review, additional exposure and a likely increase in sales. In the case of Grammarly, you’d be surprised how few trial account requests from affiliates I actually receive (and this is considering that we have a 7-day free trial offer available to all prospective users) Of course it’s not always possible to try a particular product, but still you can request from the merchant/service provider as much information about a product or service as possible.
Write an honest review! All shiny 5-star reviews could lead the prospective customer to be suspicious, since we all know that a 100% perfect product does not exist. Openly describe the product’s strengths as well as its limitations in order to increase your review’s credibility. For example, you may not want to point out problems a product features, but you could clarify what it does and does not do and who would most benefit from the product.
Use images/screenshots to make your review more attractive and detailed. Visual representation helps consumers to understand exactly how the product works and looks, and what they will be getting as a result of purchase. If you have the time and capability, a short video overview of the product and its features will go a long way in terms of familiarizing the potential customer with the product. Also, videos are much more likely to garner inbound links than simple text reviews.
One more important point—make sure your review is seen by as many prospective customers as possible. Tweet about it and share it on Facebook Google+. Pin any product images you’ve used to Pinterest, and promote video overviews on Youtube. Social media is now more powerful than ever, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to get additional visitors and prospective customers.
Finally, don’t just jump on reviewing any product or service. I’ve said it before and will say it again—find out what your visitors are looking for, choose relevant products and it will increase your conversion rate greatly. If you follow these simple tips, you will be able to write great product and service reviews that build trust and credibility for your affiliate website!