Social proof has always been a powerful digital marketing tool in the eCommerce arsenal. Product reviews; positive reviews (and sometimes even negative) boost your brand’s authenticity and improve sales.
Despite what some may think, product reviews led by influencers shouldn't be treated as an afterthought. You should be treating them as a central pillar of your content marketing strategy. Influencer marketing encompasses a swathe of different tactics to improve your brand's engagement, as well as the sales and conversion rates of your products. Product reviews are the fastest way to convey a product’s quality while improving conversion, SEO, and brand trust. When these two powerhouses work together, your brand is poised for success. In the next five steps, you'll soon realize how much sway the power the written word can have on the overall performance of your brand, especially when it comes from a trusted community source.
1. Helps you build brand trust
A brand to be trusted is a brand that makes money. Around 81% of consumers consider trust as a deal-breaker in leading to purchase from a brand. Improving your brand’s trustworthiness is a top priority if you want to drive eCommerce conversions through increased social proof.
95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase, and 72% won’t even take any buying actions until they’ve skimmed a product’s reviews. This shows that reviews are highly intertwined with brand and product trust.
Some reviews carry far greater sway than others; an endorsement of one of your products by a leading influencer can have a greater impact than a review by an average customer. Followers are more likely to see themselves purchasing and enjoying products that their favorite influencers (rather than a stranger) recommend, so leveraging this can help with your marketing campaigns.
One of the key reasons is that influencers have followers who trust their opinions — they have an air of authenticity that is hard to match, and have skillfully built a following of individuals whose values and interests they share. An honest, positive review by an influencer about one of your products can increase sales to that audience.
NAVY Hair Care uses Pixlee TurnTo [Emplifi] to collect and publish Checkout Comments, customers’ answers to why they purchased a product. An overwhelming amount of these comments show that recommendations from influencers like Darylann Denner played a massive role in boosting sales.
2. Helps you build niche authority
Most influencers, especially micro-influencers, stick to a particular niche in terms of the products they promote and the reviews that they write. Make sure that the influencer you choose is relevant to your brand. You want to work with influencers who have authority among potential customers in your niche.
Micro-influencers and brand ambassadors often start as customers who are massive fans of your brand. These people are passionate about your brand, and may already be posting content related to your products or industry on social media. Once you can identify influencers who are genuinely interested in and familiar with your product, incentivize and encourage them to share their glowing reviews of your brand.
Youtuber Saffron Ellis focuses her videos around health, beauty, and apparel. In this video, she shares with her engaged audiences how a Dove product impacted her life positively.
You can utilize your review service provider to call out your influencer review(s) on-site, or they can share their sentiment through video testimonials and general social media posts. One of the best things about product reviews and influencer content are their flexibility; once you’ve got an influencer testimonial, share it on all of the marketing channels that your target audience may be exposed to.
3. Useful in influencer marketing campaigns
An influencer marketing campaign is a proven way of giving your brand and products the exposure they need. One of the most common influencer marketing campaigns involves a brand offering their product or service to the influencer for free in exchange for a product or service review (among other forms of compensation).
One of the benefits of influencer-led content is that the parameters for these campaigns are endless; you can compensate influencers for a one-off social media post, or you can maintain a longer relationship with them and collaborate over time. The latter approach is more conducive to obtaining authentic and valuable product reviews from these influencers. Look for influencers in your industry whose values and style align with your brand. You can also use an influencer marketing platform like Pixlee to discover and manage relationships with new influencers.
You should seek to nurture relationships with relevant influencers in your niche. You can send these influencers a product or service to promote when you have a new offering. Such reviews are a hugely accessible and shareable way of promoting your products online.
4. Boosts your social media presence
Influencers love to post their latest blogs, vlogs, and product reviews on social media platforms, so working your brand into that narrative can drastically increase brand awareness within their audiences. 93% of marketers report seeing improved brand exposure through influencer engagement.
In addition to compensating influencers of your choice in exchange for their valuable product reviews, look for organic opportunities like micro-influencers or even just super loyal customers who regularly post about your brand and have the potential to become an advocate. Reviews from both influencers and everyday customers are a form of user-generated content, a content type that is highly advantageous in improving your brand’s social media KPIs. The engagement shouldn’t end with the influencer taking action by sharing their review on social media. As a company, you can interact with the influencer's post, liking and commenting yourself, which will lead to even more positive activity surrounding the product in mention.
Maui Jim reshares content from its top influencers on Instagram, quoting their testimonials in the post's caption. This approach lets the influencer’s voice shine through the post despite being shared by the brand, and opens the door to conversation about how Maui Jim sunglasses impact the lives of other followers.
You can do the same with your brand, maximizing the ripple effect that influencer product reviews can generate.
5. Boosts conversions
According to one study, around 81% of consumers are influenced by product reviews as part of their buying behavior. Additionally, 82% of consumers say they are highly likely to follow a recommendation made by a micro-influencer.
This means that influencer-led product reviews can have a directly positive outcome on your conversions. Micro-influencers can generate 22.2 times as many conversions as other types of influencers because of their niche, focused audiences that often tend to be more engaged. This is good for your eCommerce strategy; the best individuals to reach out to for product reviews may not be the highest-in-demand or most expensive to partner with on a campaign! More product reviews lead to more purchases, giving you yet another reason to tap into the world of influencer product reviews. There’s no arguing with conversions either — if your business is making sales, then you’re putting yourself in a very healthy financial position.
Influencer product reviews are one of several marketing strategies that you can utilize to get the very best out of your business.
Rather than an afterthought, product reviews can lead to greater brand awareness, better social media presence, higher sales, and conversions, as well as promote a general positive buzz around your products. Once you harness the benefits that reviews can bring to your brand, you’ll be well on your way to taking your business to the next level.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on pixlee.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.