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3 Keys To Getting A Product Review
By Marc Prosser, Fit Small Business
Since the majority of shoppers begin their purchase process online, product reviews are a critical component to the overall success of a small business. The following tips will guide you through the process of getting your product reviewed.
- Know The Editorial Cycle
- Create A Relationship Before Asking For The Product Review
- Give Me A Reason To Talk With My Audience About Your Product
I am the publisher of Fit Small Business, a site which helps small businesses make better decisions. Every week we try to publish a product review for a different product or service category. As we are recognized for our product reviews, we get pitched on a regular basis by businesses to review their products. Very few of these pitches, maybe one in twenty, actually result in a product review. Here’s why we (and other publications) turn down most product review pitches, and how to be successful in getting reviews for your product or service.
When we do a category product review, we can only cover a limited number of products. Our magic number happens to be 4. Many other publications tend to keep the number limited as well. We keep the number small for several reasons:
- It takes lots of reporter / analyst time to do each review.
- Too many different product reviews leads to reader confusion rather than clarity.
- The article has a tendency to become a (boring) list of features, rather than an informative review, when lots of products are included.
Of our four spots, two to three go to the market leaders. Market leaders get the lion’s share of the spots, because our readers want to know about them and would consider the review less useful without them. This leaves only one or two spots for the many, many companies that want us to give them a product review.
Don’t ask me to for a product review right after I just published one!
The exception to this rule is very narrowly focused niche sites, or sites that are completely focused on product reviews. However, broadly focused sites, like ones that cover small business topics, aren’t likely to do another product review after they have just published an article comparing / reviewing several products or services in your category!
Recently, I got bombarded with requests by CRM companies after our article published on April 16th, Best CRM For Small Business, started showing on the top of the Google search results for several important terms. They all want me to add their product to the article, or do an article reviewing their product. Not a single company has asked me when is the next time that I plan to do a review of a CRM system? Many publishers have an editorial calendar which they establish in advance the topics they will be covering. In the cast of Fit Small Business, while we don’t have a long-term editorial calendar, we intend to revisit and update our reviews once per year. So asking for a CRM review anytime before January is going to be a waste.
Give Me A Reason Why I Should Review Your Product Other Than “It’s Great”
Don’t you think everyone that pitches me doing a product review tells me that their product is great? How am I going to chose between reviewing all these “great products”?
One big reason that I might review your product versus your competitors, is that you have already established a relationship with me. If you regularly provide me with interesting story ideas, interact with me on social media, and in general establish a “rapport” with me, I am much more likely to review the product or service with which you are associated.
Get My Audience To Care About Your Product
When I am doing a review of PoS software, I know that a large number of my readers are considering using AccuPOS (because they have tens of thousands of clients). However, most companies that want reviews are small businesses with only a few thousands clients. They need to cultivate interest with my audience in their product. If my audience is talking about your product, the chances of me doing a product review greatly increase.
Here are three ways to get my audience talking about or aware of your product:
- Get some of your happy customers to leave comments on the article where I talk about your product category.
- Offer to do a product giveaway! Tell the publisher that you would be interested in giving away 5 or 10 of your service to their audience completely free of charge. That way the publisher has a reason to promote you to their audience.
- Buy some advertising! Is this a bribe to get a review? No, never ask for the review to be included in the advertising package. However, this is effective for two reasons. One, if you advertise, I (the publisher) know that my audience has at least has heard of your product, and two, I won’t want to disappoint my advertisers by excluding them when review time comes.
Bottom Line: Doing a Google search and looking for publications that have done product reviews for your category is only the first step of many towards getting a product review. You may have to invest 3 - 6 months of effort in cultivating a relationship to get the coveted product reviews.
About The Author - Marc Prosser has many years of experience in the field of press relations, from both sides of the table. Currently, he serves as the publisher of Fit Small Business and frequently interviews leading figures in the small business space. Previously, he served as the Chief Marketing Officer of a company that provided currency brokerage services.
For more information on how creating a business blog can help you reach potential customers and present yourself as an authority in your field, check out our article, “Create a Company Blog Series.”
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