When launching a new product into the market or promoting an existing one, brands now have a multitude of ways to gain visibility online. Alongside traditional media and influencer marketing, one strategy that hasn't had much airtime up until recently is user reviews and the power they hold over consumer purchase decisions.
This week, a handful of articles have been published that observe the effectiveness of user reviews but also, hit upon how you can ensure longevity and success from this marketing method.
For example, B&T and Allure both reported earlier this week that up to 77 per cent of consumers turn to user reviews for more than half of the products they purchase.
Whether you're dipping your toe into world of user generated content or it's an established part of your strategy, here are some additional tips to keep in mind when embarking on a product review plan of action.
1. Consumers are eagar to educate themselves
Shoppers understand that there is constant innovation in beauty and are hungry for insights about products. One way to keep up with this is by listening to the masses, says Allure.
2. They are also savvy
In a world of prolific promotion, consumers are aware of how one-sided the opinions of paid social media influencers, models and sports people are when talking about products. Human interaction feels more trustworthy reads B&T's article.
3. The emotional factor
Reports suggest that a product review will pique a consumer's interest not only because they want to know if the product will work, but also how it will make them feel. We all know the right shade of red lipstick can change your world.
4. Numbers count
Having three stellar, five star reviews is no longer enough. Consumers want copious amounts of feedback. A study published in Psychological Science found that people routinely trust rated products that have a high number of reviews, even if the rating is low (below, say three stars).
Also, star ratings have more significance than you may think. One expert told Allure: "If you go on someone’s website and they have 500 five-star reviews, you’re going to be like, ‘That’s fake.’" On the other hand: "If it’s 500 and it’s 4.5, you’re going to be like, ‘Huh, that means people really like it and maybe for one or two people it just didn’t work out."
3.5 and above is considered the sweet spot.
5. Remaining current is important
The instantaneous nature of the internet means that reviews can quickly seem irrelevant. Multiple sources revealed this week that most people believe a review loses credibility if it's over three months old.
Finally, it's worth pointing out that many of the articles we read this week do tackle the authenticity issue of many online reviews. Most experts believe however, that the repercussions of fabricating this type of content isn't worth the risk in today's 'cancel culture'. We refer you to the hot water Sunday Riley found itself in.