How To Write An Effective Must-Read Product Review – Part 2
In the previous article, we looked at the first 4 steps in the process of crafting great product reviews which are as follows:
Step #1: Create a Product Summary
Step #2: Empathize with Readers
Step #3: Who Is the Product for?
Step #4: Introduce the Solution
And now to continue, with the 5th step, let's take a look at the concept of pre-selling.
Step #5: The Concept of Pre-Selling
Pre-selling refers to the process whereby you create an environment which helps customers to choose a specific product.
You do this by simply demonstrating the value of the product and answering questions that the potential buyers have. By leaving a favorable impression, you make it more likely that people will purchase your product without you even having to pitch to them.
Simply put, pre-selling is selling without the selling!
Pre-selling tactics are extremely effective when used in product introductions. You can use a pre-sales tactic that lowers your readers’ guards and demonstrates the usefulness of the product without adding any pressure to make a purchasing decision.
Two simple ways of pre-selling your products are:
By demonstrating the value of the product. To do this just show your readers how the product works to solve their problems. The quickest way is by showing them your own results.
By educating readers. Simply answer all the questions and doubts that potential customers might have concerning the product.
Introducing the Product
One of the best ways of introducing the product involves showing off the results achieved from its use through the use of videos and screenshots. This is a very effective way of clearing away any doubts people might have about that product.
A short product walk-through video will go a long way in helping you accomplish the issue of telling readers about the product, what it does, and how it will help them solve their problems. It will help you to demonstrate the value of the product while reeling your audience in to read the rest of your review.
Moreover, a video walk-through shows them that you actually own that product, which helps to push trust even further.
Step #6: Use Case Studies to Explain Features vs Benefits
The relationship between your product’s benefits and its features is something that you need to carefully explain when writing product reviews. A lot of reviewers online lazily list a product’s features one by one, and this results in a less-than-inspiring product review.
But you are going to do things differently so that you get better results.
The right way of explaining products and features involves actually showing how each feature helps to solve a specific problem. A simple way of doing this is by including a case study within the review. This will help you to clearly show how the product performs in real life while giving value to readers and building trust.
When you can achieve these emotions in your audience, they often begin to feel compelled to reciprocate by buying from your link. This is yet another psychological principle that a lot of successful marketers use, and it's known as the principle of reciprocity.
In a nutshell, our ancestors shared food and skills in a network of obligation, and we have learned to do the same. That is to say, when you do something for somebody, they usually feel obliged to return the favor.
As marketers, we often get to see this principle at play when we give away a lot of valuable content to such an extent that readers feel like they actually owe us a sale. When used right, this is an extremely powerful concept that will cause your product review conversion rates to skyrocket.
Step #7: Provide Social Proof
When it comes to persuading your audience to buy your product, social proof is one of the most invaluable elements you can add to your product review. This is a great way of setting yourself apart from all the other review websites that use spun user-generated content.
It has long been proven that the vast majority of people will follow something if it's already popular. So if you want to make it more likely that your readers will buy your product, take advantage of this fact during your review writing process and show them how popular your product is.
Here's how you can use social proof within your product reviews:
Include reviews from power-users. In your review, use quotes from reviewers, bloggers, YouTubers, social media influencers, or other recognizable online personalities that may have already reviewed your product. This is a great way of giving your audience a nice balance between what both experts and lay users think of your product.
Generate more social shares. The most social shares you have, the more popular your post and product will be. To achieve this, you can buy ads on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to help pump up your product review share count. By subtly showing readers that your review is already immensely popular, you make it more likely that they, too, will want to read, share, and buy.
Incentivize comments. As with social shares, a large number of user comments on products helps to show how popular they are. Offer incentives such as running a contest with enticing prizes to get readers to comment on your review post.
Use giveaways. This is yet another effective way of getting more social shares. Simply run a giveaway on your review page, and your social activity will be pumped up with followers jumping to claim the rewards.
Step #8: List the Alternatives
This is without a doubt one of the most effective tactics you can use in affiliate marketing, and it’s particularly true for any product review where you accomplish these two objectives by listing alternatives to that product:
First, it shows impartiality. When you offer readers more than one alternative, you're telling them in a very subtle way that you are not partial to one particular product.
Secondly, it helps to increase your sales. This is because even if people aren't interested in the product you reviewed, they could still be interested in any of the other alternatives. Furthermore, it alters the question in your prospects’ minds from ‘Should I buy this product?’ to ‘Which one should I buy?’
This powerful change in their mindset has a profound effect on your bottom line.
When listing alternatives in your review article, just include a section at the bottom titled ‘Competitors’ or ‘Alternatives’ and then list out the different candidates.
If you want to take this a step further, you can even include a 'Do Not Buy' list of the products that your reader should avoid, together with alternative solutions for each of those products.
A lot of marketers tend to shy away from that tactic because they're scared that they'll end up not making any sales at all.
However, it's important to keep in mind that a lot of the alternatives typically also have affiliate programs, which means that if you play it smart, you will end up making more while doing this, not less.
Step #9: Choose the Right Format
At this point, you now have a persuasive, powerful review which offers tons of value and is extremely useful to your readers. Before you publish, the last step is to format your product review to ensure that it has maximum impact. If you've been keeping up with my blog, you know all about the power of great formatting.
1. Use Lots of Screenshots, Pictures, and User-Generated Images
This is crucial if you want to create amazing reviews. The philosophy you should be operating under here is ‘show them, don't tell them'. Use images generously within your article, but never use stock pictures taken from the website of the product creator.
Use your own, and try to stick with the 4-1 ratio. That is, add one image for every four paragraphs you write. This will give your product review a nice visual flow. And it's been shown that you can greatly improve conversions by using user-generated images.
2. Break the Review into Sub-sections
It's not enough to simply write an awesome review, you also have to ensure that it's easy to navigate. A simple way of doing this is by breaking the review down and dividing it into different subsections. In fact, this is a good thing to do for any of your long blog posts.
You can use both pictures and headings to mark sub-sections.
3. Use Icons and Symbols
Use plenty of icons and symbols to help add some visual flair to your product page when listing out product features, benefits, ratings, and so on. This is something that will only serve to enhance our review if it's already well-written. It'll make it a lot easier on your readers' eyes, but it won't make a badly written review great.
By using icons and symbols strategically throughout your review, you will make it easier for those people who love to scan. There’s a handy little plug-in called Thrive Content Builder which helps to make this process a breeze.
4. Offer Star Ratings
Almost every review you see online these days includes scores or star ratings out of five or 10 and your audience has an implicit understanding of what they mean. It's clear to everyone that four out of five stars means it’s a really good product, while they universally recognize 1/5 as another way of saying ‘Don't buy that product’.
Both star ratings and scores work equally well. You can also use the all-in-one WordPress plug-in, Schema.org to add star ratings to search results.
5. Use Columns for Your Comparisons
If you offer a’ pros and cons’ list, a feature list detailing two different products, or something like that, it's a good idea to divide them into two or more separate columns. This is a very simple but effective way of making it easier for your readers to visually make the comparison.
When they can juxtapose the two different features or benefits side-by-side, readers are better able to understand the product you are reviewing. This is a classic visual code that's been used by magazines since forever and it's particularly effective when used for online reviews.
6. Employ Multiple Calls to Action
You need to have multiple CTAs scattered throughout your review.
At the very least, you should have one at the top, another in the middle of your post, and one located right at the bottom. Instead of writing something generic like order now, you want to use text that's a bit more value-driven for your CTA, such as 'Get a Free Trial of [Product Name]' or 'Discover more about [Product Name]'.
Just don't go overboard with your CTAs, otherwise, your readers will think you are trying too hard. Simply make sure that your calls to action stand out on the review page. Choose a bright bold color that you haven't used heavily elsewhere.
Make sure it's big enough in size to attract your readers’ attention. Something you can try is to animate your CTA. This alone has been proven to increase the number of clicks on affiliate links.
Animating a CTA is easy if you use Thrive Content Builder or a similar tool.
We now have come to the end of our monster guide on how to write amazing reviews that people love to read.
I hope it's evident to you at this point that putting together high-quality, effective reviews that bring real results isn't as easy as copying specs from the product creator’s website and stringing together a few thoughts.
If you want to create reviews that not only sell products but rank high as well, it takes a bit of legwork.
Use this article as your resource to help you leave the spammers who write fake reviews behind so you can come out on top in the SERPs offering real value to people who will thank you by purchasing from your link.
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Updated: Originally published June 18th 2019