Having someone tell your brand’s story for you just sounds better, right?

When “this brand is awesome” comes out of someone else’s mouth it is taken more seriously. When “my brand is awesome” comes out of your mouth, you look kind of look desperate…

With that said, there are many techniques that you can implement to harness the voice of your customers/brand fans/advocates/influencers to tell your brand’s story and talk about different products or brand aspects that you’re promoting.

My favorite and focus of this post is product reviews.

Check out this snippet from an infographic that Social Media Link put together after conducting a survey of over 10,000 consumers asking them about how they make purchase decisions and what type of product recommendations are most effective.

product review infographic snippet

This shows what most of us would suspect, that when someone tells of their personal experience with a brand, it’s a more effective way to cause brand action.

So how do you do this? Reach out to bloggers for a product review of course!

Uncover the Right People at the Right Time

Effective outreach marketing strategies when it comes to scoring awesome brand recommendations involves reaching out to the right people at the right time.

You don’t want to start giving out free things from your brand to everyone and anyone. You want to make sure the affinity is there and that they have at least a little bit of reach right?

And most importantly you don’t want them to talk about your brand or review your product just for the sake of it. You want there to be an authentic and genuine brand connection for the review to be taken seriously.

  • Have a social media monitoring strategy in place so you can uncover people who are already talking about your brand. Foster these relationships by thanking them for their mentions, sending them free product and simply keeping in touch.
  • Search for new influencers by niche not genre. Your new brand mentions need to be a snug contextual fit.
  • Have an opt-in option on your site where people can sign up to be part of your influencer or advocacy program.
  • Send out free product without any strings attached. If they like it they will write a sincere post and organically weave your brand in to their existing content (the goal!).

Proceed With Caution When Paying for Product Reviews

Now I’m not going to say “never pay for a post” because bloggers are awesome and need to make money somehow to keep producing their awesome content and keep up with their own networks.

BUT! You need to proceed with caution when paying bloggers for mentions. First of all, they legally have to disclose that they took money for posts or mentions which takes away from the authenticity of the mention.

Second, you don’t want people talking about you “Just because.” The goal with outreach marketing is to gather those sincere and organic mentions. Those are the ones that cause action as opposed to simple brand awareness.

So, I’m not saying don’t do it, I’m saying financially compensate the people who genuinely dig your brand.

Extract the Best Review Possible

Again you want the blogger to incorporate their product review in to their content their own way. So I’d advise straying away from deadlines and strict posting regulations.

But you still want a fantastic product review or a product review in the first place for that matter!

So, there are a few things you can do to help scoot the blogger along without seeming controlling or stressing them out to post.

  • Equip your bloggers with interesting brand information and high res visual aids such as photos and logos.
  • Suggest that they post on Instagram—especially for food and fashion brands.
  • Tell them that you’ll share their posts and social content with your own channels. Bloggers are trying to build a name just like you are!
  • Think outside the box and send them products that go along with yours. For example, Daily’s Cocktails sent red carpets along with free drinks so bloggers could host a red carpet party and serve their beverages.
  • Create a network of influencers instead of running a traditional campaign. Ongoing mentions are always valued more by consumers.

Do you have any good advice to add when reaching out to influencers for product reviews? Do share!