How to Turn Product Reviews Into a Full Business

How to Turn Product Reviews Into a Full Business

Product reviews on their own are not a smart business strategy. The burst in revenue from the sponsorship is nice, free products are normally fun, and the easy commissions with affiliate links are very appealing. But you likely won’t survive in the long run if you always rely on doing reviews.

Once Google, YouTube, Pinterest, etc… wipe the review or reviews that drive your traffic, and they will, your business will sink because you only focused on these types of short term wins.

If you’re a current product reviewer or you are thinking about creating a review platform, here is how you can take a successful product review and turn it into a long term business strategy.

Here’s the process and then I go into more detail:

  1. Do keyword and topic research (this is the must read section)
  2. Create the review
  3. Make sure to optimize it and not just for the brand terms
  4. Create a follow up post that tries to display as recommended reading
  5. Bring the person to a place or platform you control
  6. Monetize!

Do Keyword And Topic Research

If the product or brand you are reviewing has a lot of search volume, this is good news for you! But only if you rank for Product + Reviews on YouTube or Google.  If the product or brand doesn’t have a ton of search volume, then you need to do keyword and topic research to help an audience find you.

Keyword and topic research are not the same thing!

  • Keyword research is looking for specific phrases with an estimated monthly search volume on a platform like Google, YouTube and Pinterest.
  • Topic research is finding the questions people are asking like if the product is compatible with another product, how much the product weighs, or if the product really works.

(Before we get into the meat of this post, some of the links below are affiliate links and I’ll earn a commission if you shop through them.)

Here’s a three step process to do keyword and topic research:

 

  1. Log into a keyword research tool and type the product name, brand name, and a couple of related keywords in to find the search volume.
  2. Now type the relevant phrase into a topic tool like Answer The Public or the same one from the affiliate link above to find questions and answers. As a bonus, many of these phrases have featured snippets in Google and rich content which are easier to get than top ten rankings.
  3. Last type the keyword phrase into Google and write down the auto suggest results before you click enter. Now click to search and write down the questions inside the “people also ask” and “searches related” versions inside the search results.

Now you have the estimated search volumes and the questions people are asking to bring more people to your product reviews.

Create the Review

This is the easy part. You unbox the product, talk about the benefits and encourage the person to take an action like shopping for the product. I highly recommend doing a few things if you want to build trust and provide a good user experience.

  • Time stamp the video to let people know what they’ll learn at each section of your review.
  • Provide a list of the sections towards the top of your blog post or web page with anchor links to bring people to the relevant section.
  • Make sure your featured images and thumbnails have proper labels including alt tags that matches the theme of your review.

Bonus Tip – With your email list sign up you can tag the product and review the person came from. This way you can market similar products, brands or products with the same audience demographics, and competing products to that list. Make sure to set up a subscribe list named “meat” or “coffee” or something so you know the niche the person is interested in. 

Optimize the Review Not Just for Brand/Product + Review

If the brand or product does not have a search volume, at least right now, you’re not going to see any activity unless you already have an engaged audience. By using the topic research above you can optimize for the questions people are asking or that Google is recommending. This may also help you to show up as recommended content on YouTube, or for keyword mixes on other platforms.

If you use this strategy you’ll be attracting a new audience and you are building awareness for the brand. This awareness will likely get you on the brand’s radar that you aren’t just a reviewer. You are a content creator that provides solutions to an audience’s problems. This builds trust with the person using your content and presents you as a trusted solution provider. This type of trust is what you want for long term success.

As the person finds more of your videos and you help them over and over, they may subscribe and you can become their go to resource.

Create a Follow Up Content Piece

Now that you have a review done, why not create a content piece that is likely to optimize for “recommended reading”? This is another opportunity to become the recommended videos on YouTube or on Facebook after a person watches the first video. This content can also be the recommended post in content sites that offer similar topics like an aggregator.  It’s a great way to piggyback off of someone who already has a lot of volume and viewership.

Bonus tip – You could also try doing a comparison post between two or three popular and competitive products. This provides even more solutions for your visitor and builds you as more knowledgeable and an authority if the person trusts it.

Bring Your Viewer to a Platform You Control

As I mentioned above, someone else will replace you in Google, YouTube or Pinterest as they create a newer review that meets the platform’s algorithm criteria better. When this happens your traffic dries up. That is why you ideally want a website but more importantly an email list.

With every review, make sure you tell the person to subscribe or follow you, but also encourage them to go to your website and join your newsletter. Your newsletter is your most reliable way to bring the person back to your new content and on your own terms. You can email to it, upload it to social media or Google, and make money from it across multiple channels.

Give the person a reason to sign up like telling them they’ll get a custom discount for a specific brand, unique content only available through the list, not to mention new product reviews as they go live. Think about what someone would want by signing up for your list and create the offer for them.

Monetize

Monetizing is the ultimate goal. You have tons of options as a reviewer. Here are a few.

  • Affiliate links in the review
  • Ads showing on the page via CPM and CPC
  • Lead generation (CPL and CPA)
  • Sponsorship fees
  • CPV video ads

If you’re looking to become a professional reviewer, this is what I recommend you keep in mind. There will always be someone else doing a review of the same product that will eventually replace you and get the traffic. If you cannot get the people that watch to subscribe while you have the top space and the traffic, you will not survive in the long run.

How Online Reviews Help with Branding and SEO, According to Neil Patel

How Online Reviews Help with Branding and SEO, According to Neil Patel

Online reviews are one of the most effective and powerful ways to influence sales, conversions, and customer confidence in your brand or product. With millions of people now heading to Google to search for reviews and customer feedback before purchasing pretty much anything, your business will likely be heavily influenced by what your potential customers see in the search rankings even before they get to your site.

When looking at the internet as a whole, this affects businesses of all sizes – whether you are in the travel industry, sales, customer service, ecommerce or even a person brand.

With sites like Yelp, Google Local, and Trip Advisor often ranking at the top of Google for most review related search results, it’s not just about making sure your site ranks at the top of Google, it’s also about making sure you have positive reviews and a trusted reputation across all of the mediums as well.

To help with this process, today we are going to highlight some of the best tips from Neil Patel on how to boost your business with reviews. Whether you’re after the SEO benefits or the trust-building conversion optimization benefits of customer reviews, there’s a lot that you can do to proactively improve your brand’s digital footprint with proactive management of reviews, and Patel has a lot of killer advice on the subject.

Let’s get started.

Get Creative with Your Customer Recommendations and Testimonials

When it comes to gaining the trust and business from a new customer, recommendations and testimonials go a long way – even if the audience doesn’t know that person recommending the product or service directly.

With this in mind, you will want to get as many testimonials for your brand and business as possible. If you are going to wait around for random positive emails and comments to come in, they’re likely going to be far and few between.

Instead, you are going to need to get creative with not only how you collect feedback from your customers, but also how you showcase them as well.

Here are a few recommended tips from Neil on how to best accomplish this.

  1. Facebook Reviews
  2. LinkedIn Recommendations
  3. YouTube Video Reviews
  4. Local Search Directories
  5. Niche Review Sites
  6. Rewarding Customers Who Review
  7. Google Alerts and Social Mentions

Each of these recommendations can be used differently, but the most important thing is to try and make it as easy, quick, and fun as possible for your audience to leave feedback. Social media platforms like Facebook make this extremely simple, as users can visit your Facebook Page and click a star rating, and also leave their own feedback.

He also wisely recommends that you set up alerts for new social posts or web pages that include mentions of your brand name, so that you can be notified when a new review goes live. This way, you can jump in on the conversation, thank the reviewer for his or her feedback, and perform some “damage control” if there’s anything negative in the content.

And finally, Neil advises his audience to consider incentivizing customers to leave reviews for your business with some kind of reward program. This can help steer the conversation towards vibes of delight and positivity, while simultaneously maximizing the volume of reviews that your business has amassed.

If you would like to learn more about each of these methods, you can read his full resource guide on this process here.

Connect with Other Industry Experts You’ve Worked With

We’ve already stressed the importance of getting reviews out there for people to see when they start searching for your brand or business. But there are many other ways to make a great first impression and gain new customers as well.

One such way is to connect with any influencers or industry experts that you may already be working with. For example, check out this Neil Patel review that was written up and posted on the blog from one of his previous customers. They found so much value in his courses and consulting, that they took the time to let their audience know about it and share it with others.

The benefit here to a business or brand is HUGE — and not just in the aspect of getting another testimonial.

When someone writes about your business or brand in a positive way, it works wonders across the board. It can help with social media exposure, search rankings, and also be used as yet another testimonial.

Even better, if that person is an influencer or has a following online, their recommendation or feedback is likely to go even further and could result in an immediate impact to your business and brand.

Use Social Profiles to Rank in Google

As previously mentioned, one of the most immediate first impressions that someone is going to find when they search for your name or brand online, is through the many different premium rating sites in Google. In most cases, you aren’t going to be able to controlled the feedback or ratings left on these sites, but what you can do is try to rank above them with your own websites and social profiles.

Since Google loves sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, it’s in your best interest to try and rank these pages for your name and brand. If you were to visit Google and type in “Neil Patel”, you would see something like this… with his main websites and social profiles ranking for his personal name and brand. This is what all businesses and brands should be striving for.

Not only will this help with getting people directly to your own sites and brands, it can also help improve your reputation and customer loyalty in the process.

By making it easy for your audience to find your main websites and brand online, they will be more likely to shop or purchase right away. At the same time, by having potential customers hit your websites, blog, or social profiles first, it’s another great way to showcase your best customer feedback, reviews and rating, and also any awards to top achievements you might want to be known for.

To learn more about how to start ranking your social profiles higher in Google, you can do so by reading this social media SEO expert guide.

How to Grow Your Business and Brand with Online Reviews

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to using online reviews, ratings, and customer testimonials to grow your brand and business.

At the same time, you shouldn’t just be focusing your efforts on sites like Google Local and Yelp.

The more ownership you have over your own sites and where your reviews and customer feedback is posted, the better control over the first impression that will be delivered to your audience.

Follow these steps and start putting more emphasis on the power of online reviews and customer feedback to increase ROI and new business for your brand.

 

15 Ways to Respond to Negative Social Media Reviews of Your Brand

15 Ways to Respond to Negative Social Media Reviews of Your Brand

Social media can be fickle at times. With more than 3 billion users now spread across social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, it’s more important than ever to know not only what’s being said about your brand, but also where and how you should address it. This is something the business and branding world refers to as ‘reputation management‘.

While social media is a great place to share brand love, followers can also bash your company with a single comment, leaving you vulnerable to their harmful posts and tweets. It means nothing for a customer or user to make a quick statement online — but it means everything to the individual or brand they might be talking about.

How you decide to handle the negative comments can mean the difference between going down in flames and moving forward graciously. You may even turn some of those negative voices into new brand advocates if you play your cards right.

Below, 15 entrepreneurs from YEC give advice on the best ways to respond to negative reviews on social media, so your brand doesn’t get tarnished as a result.

How Top Experts and Brands Respond to Negative Social Media Reviews

1. Acknowledge and Log for Future Reference

If we receive negative reviews on social media, we reach out to the individual in a direct message, thank them for their feedback and ask them if there is anything that can be done immediately to improve the situation. Once communication has concluded, we log all feedback and review it when it’s time to make updates and improvements to our product. – Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

2. Look at the Positives

A negative comment is a perfect opportunity to highlight the values of your business in a positive light. Emphasize your business values and offer a solution that reinforces positivity. Don’t forget to take it easy. No hard feelings; there’s authenticity in being able to laugh at yourself. Give your customer value through a quick and personalized response. Be considerate and stay sincere.

David Tomas, Cyberclick

3. Be Transparent and Reach Out

It’s important to keep a public conversation public so that whoever runs across a negative review in the future can see the complete context of the situation, however it ends up getting resolved. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also personally reach out to your customer via email or phone and find out how to make things right.

Tim Chaves, ZipBooks

4. Address It With Passive Honesty

You want to address concerns in a frank and forward manner, but you also want to pull the complainer out of that channel as quickly as possible. Move them to an email or a phone call — anything that gets them off their soapbox. Be professional, address their concerns and offer to help through another medium. “The customer is always right” exists for a reason.

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

5. Create, Create, Create

In our business, any negative feedback is an open invitation for creative solutions. Maybe it will be a piece of content that targets an experience or something we missed. Life is about edits, so use this as an excuse to edit. It is an investment of someone’s energy to write a negative review, so channel that into creatively solving the problem, if it exists, with content. Taking it personally solves little.

Matthew Capala, Search Decoder

6. Acknowledge and Investigate ASAP

The best way to address negative reviews on social media is to acknowledge the concern, probe further, offer a solution and promise to address it in a timely manner. I think it is important to acknowledge the negative review, but you also need to investigate beforehand to find out how they came to that judgment. It can be very subjective so it might be an isolated case.

Daisy Jing, Banish

7. Be Positive and Respectful

No matter how personal or derogatory the review, it’s important to stay professional, positive and respectful when you reach out to the unhappy customer. Let them know you are concerned and are there to listen. Even if it becomes unreasonable, turn the discussion back to anything positive you can do for them.

Zach Binder, Ipseity Inc

8. Listen First

You have to respect a customer’s negative review. You may not agree with it, but the best option is to try to understand why they are experiencing what they are complaining about. Simply listening will allow them to get their frustration off their chest. You can learn from this and it will give you an opportunity to find a solution to their problem.

Abhilash Patel, Abhilash.co

9. Focus on the Issue

We’re all human, and it can be difficult to keep a level head when dealing with negative criticism. Rather than focusing on the person, try to understand and address their issue as calmly as possible. Once you’ve addressed the issue to the best of your ability, that’s the end of the conversation. Don’t be drawn into a long and public debate — you have more to lose than the customer!

Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.

10. Respond Quickly and Honestly

Time is critical when managing negative reviews online. Keep in mind that customers will be engaging with the review during the time prior to your response and they will not come back to read your comments. Act quickly and be honest about the comment. Don’t sound derogatory and don’t be partial. Apologize and speak honestly about the situation. Respond quickly and do not engage in back and forth.

Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

11. Don’t Be Defensive

If you made a mistake and failed to offer the quality of service you aspire to, take responsibility and try to put things right. If that doesn’t work, give the customer a refund and send them on their way. Some customers simply aren’t a good fit for your company. Whatever you do, don’t get defensive and lose your cool.

Vik Patel, Future Hosting

12. Keep It Short

Show that you are empathetic and responsive to customer concerns. The best way to handle negative social media publicity is to have your support team respond (just once) publicly offering to fix the situation and urging the user to contact your company. Other people on the forum will see that your company is responsive and willing to fix the situation. Never argue back and forth on a public forum!

Arian Radmand, TurnGram

13. Take Responsibility

Most of the bad reviews are posted out of anger and hate. I personally don’t know one person who has written a completely honest negative review. They will exaggerate to try to get their point across. If your company made a mistake, try to fix it before it gets online. If it got posted online, just suck it up and answer whatever reason you had to not solve the problem beforehand.

Adrian Ghila, Luxe RV, Inc.

14. Convert Them to Evangelists

Go into total emergency customer service mode. In multiple businesses I’ve worked with, some of our most enthusiastic fans have come in first as what can best be described as haters. Unless they are jerks, people often just want to be listened to and taken care of. If they are passionate enough to complain, they likely are passionate enough to brag about superior resolution of their problems.

Benjamin Berman, Optimize For Growth

15. Accept Constructive Criticism

First and foremost, I think it’s important for any business owner to acknowledge that no company is perfect, and that pleasing everyone isn’t a realistic goal. Accepting negative reviews as constructive criticism is healthy practice, and openly communicating with your audience about brand improvement lets them know that you’re not only listening, but that you value their opinions.

Kelly Woo, Profectus Financial

Don’t Let Social Media Ruin Your Personal or Business Brand

Online reputation management is something every individual and brand needs to deal with. While many people think Google and social media just happens, there are ways to monitor and control what is being said about your services, products or brands online. Take action today and gain more control over your brand’s first impression today.

If you enjoyed this expert roundup, I recommend you also take a look at our previous ones on expert SEO tips and best tips for making money online.