Are you ready to introduce your incredible product to the world? A great way to get the word out is via product reviews. While similar to an influencer strategy, there are few added audience tactics as well as a bit of a different approach in some cases.

Product reviews help you generate brand awareness, but they also help with SEO through the link back to your site included within the review. Links back to your site also help with general website traffic, as well as rankings. Effectively, one link back to your site counts as one ‘vote’ for it. If someone is interested in what they see, they will investigate more. Here are six steps to a great product review strategy:

Step 1: Set a realistic timeline

It is unrealistic to throw together an outreach strategy like this in a day or two. It takes preparation and research. If you are launching a new business entirely, you will want to include this in your planning a few months in advance. If you get product reviews pre-launch, it can even drive interest for the official launch.

Step 2: Identify your target audience

If you are in business, whether you sell to other businesses (B2B) or consumers (B2C), you should know who your target audience is. You should be able to articulate who your ideal customer is according to purchase behaviour and demographics (age, gender, income, etc).

Step 3: Build your list of product reviewers

Once you know who will buy your product, you can start creating a list of product reviewers. While you could find general product review sites, these might not reach your intended target audience. To get the most return on your efforts, find niche review blogs and other businesses who might be interested in promoting your product.

You can either use a specific database to point you in the right direction or you can do your own research. In many cases, great blogs aren’t listed on databases because it can be hard for them to keep up with new bloggers. To search on Google, you would enter terms like [Product X] review, [Product X] blog, product reviews, etc. You will have to do research for either option because you should get to know each product reviewer on your list before asking them for a review. You need to make sure it’s a good fit for your audience.

Step 4: Develop your pitch

Keep it short and to the point. In most cases, one short paragraph is all you need. You should identify yourself, identify your product, and ask if you can send them one to try out and review. Keep it personable – remember you are speaking to another person, and brush up on essential communication skills. So many people I talk to never get any replies due to the emails they send. Pushy, over the top or even downright rude are all likely to get you ignored.

Step 5: Execute

You are ready to reach out! Make sure you have product in stock! When contacting each individual on your list, be sure to tailor the pitch to them. Don’t just insert their name and send the same thing to everyone. Mention a review of a similar product, or one that you really liked. Something to show you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.

Once a reviewer has agreed to do a review, make sure you provide the information they will need:

– Relevant links – social, website, product page, etc
– Pricing info
– Information on where to get the product
– Hashtags

Track and share each product review on your social and other digital channels (ie. Set up an ‘in the media page on your website).

Step 6: Involve your customers

The last aspect of your product review strategy is your customers! Start a loyalty program or run a contest that allows them to be your brand ambassadors. A happy customer will gladly talk about your product for you. It takes a little bit of elbow grease, but with work you can make a product review strategy work for you.

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