How to Improve Influencer Marketing Using Influencer Product Reviews

January 06, 2023

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6 January 2023 — Zac Faelnar
10 minute read

Once while at a local Apple distributor, I was asked to write a review after a purchase. Seeing no harm, I gamely did so as a satisfied customer. Prior to that purchase, I spent a good afternoon on product research. Brands know that they can improve influencer marketing using customer reviews. And you can read all about the “How”. But first, let’s figure out the “Why”.

Why do customers read reviews before purchasing a product or patronizing a brand? Isn’t it enough to be able to watch a commercial, see an advertisement, read the product description on a packaging label, or rely on the senses before buying into an experience? Why do after-purchase customer reviews matter and why do brands read them? 

3 REASONS WHY

An article in Industry Leaders Magazine online reads: “Any business that solicits feedback from customers is in the business of keeping customers happy.” The article also points out that customer motivation is sparked by reviews and that explains the average 10 reviews that a customer reads prior to making  a purchase for assurance of a good buy. Simply put, reviews are good for business.  And what about customer behavior? According to The Copenhagen Post, the online shopping market relies on online product reviews in Denmark for the following reasons: 

1.    Social Proof

Online shopping is a whole different experience whereby customers will not know the actual quality of goods and services until they receive it. And for many Danish shoppers, the hassle of returns for unwanted products is not worth the time and effort. This is most probably the frustration not only for Danish shoppers but shoppers worldwide. And so, people now often turn to customer reviews. For the reliability of a product or service, it was found that people who used to rely on good recommendations by word of mouth from friends and family can now enjoy many more recommendations that they find online. These recommendations as well as feedback enjoy many returns, maybe not always happy, but at least there’s now a basis for others to make their purchasing decisions, as well as a basis for companies to know more about customer satisfaction. Customers do tend to provide good feedback even when a product fails but customer service, for example, excels.  

2.    Business Advantage

There’s a bit of a win-win scenario for both your brand and your customers. That’s because customer reviews serve as a window to their thoughts and their perceptions of goods and services. It’s a way of gaining product knowledge about your own product from a customer’s point of view. Valuable feedback helps you make improvements and changes to what your company has to offer. Your brand can also use these reviews as a point of comparison to other brands. This could certainly help boost your competitive edge. This is very important data to you and you can do well to monitor your feedback for future references especially on your loyal customers.

3.    Habit Formation

According to the article, 85% of Danish shoppers scan for reviews online prior to making their online purchases. Both good and bad reviews will determine a customer’s decision to buy, which basically helps shape their spending habits . The information that companies get from customer feedback is essential to improving products and services so that they become favorable to shoppers and so that shopping habits can be formed out of feedback. For a business, it’s all about understanding their customers and knowing what would make their products fly off the shelf. Reviews are also a way of communicating with customers, providing a platform for dialogue between them and you.

Now, let’s look at the “How”.

7 WAYS TO IMPROVE INFLUENCER MARKETING

Numbers show that influencer marketing is fast becoming the definitive industry for the digital economy. You’ve built your business and you’ve built your products.  Presumably, you’ve also built your circle of social media influencers. Now it’s time to trust that relationship and put it to work on influencer marketing.

1.    Brand Ambassadors

Your social media influencers are your brand ambassadors. And so who better to write reviews than your diplomatic circle? If you’ve been building your relationships with Micro and Nano influencers, then you can depend on them to be as engaging with their reviews for the benefit of your brand and products. They will happily and honestly communicate with the online shopping market and give the product reviews your brand deserves. This makes them reliable sources for feedback. So go ahead and ask your social media influencers for their valuable and rave reviews.

Recommended Read: How to Build a Community of Brand Ambassadors

2.    Gift-Giving is Receiving

Social media marketing means that your company is constantly in touch and engaged with your social media influencers. And since you already know that your relationship with them is mutually beneficial, then show them some more love with some gifts. Influencers will greatly appreciate branded gift products from your company. That is not only a perfect way for them to try your products but also for them to give out good vibes with their reviews and online ratings. You could gift items which you feel need a little boost with your online shoppers. This way, your circle of influencers can start the ball rolling for you and influence the decisions you would want your shoppers to make.

3.    After-Purchase Reviews

Customers usually write after-purchase reviews but sometimes they do need a little nudge. So how does influencer marketing work its way around that? Social media influencers are a natural at that arena because they can use their power of persuasion over customers to leave after-purchase reviews. You create a platform for customer engagement where they can recognize your influencers’ name and photo, and tap a call-to-action (CTA) button asking for a customer review. You can also write a letter of appreciation to a customer who has purchased a product because of an influencer’s review. That’s putting influencer marketing to good use.

Now, whether reviews are positive or negative should be equally welcomed. Nothin and nobody’s perfect. Positive reviews seal your brand’s credibility and show you the strength and effectiveness of your products and services. Naturally, positive feedback helps your company’s profit. Negative feedback, on the other hand, an article points to a study revealing customer behavior after a negative review, stating that “a single negative review can drive away 22% of business while three negative reviews affect almost 59%”, thereby damaging credibility. But then, how credible would your business be if you don’t show balanced reviews? The same article revealed that 85% of customers read the negative feedback leading them to informed decisions.

4.    Easy Does It

Your influencers and your customers are putting on the extra mile to write reviews for your products. So it would be nice to keep things simple and easy for them. For example, you can make sure that your reviews page is mobile-friendly. Or you can also provide links between product pages and reviews. As it goes these days, technology is best when it’s user-friendly. Same goes for social media marketing. These may be modern times, but the old practice still applies of always keeping the end-user in mind.

5.    Loyalty Rewards

Social media influencers and loyal customers are built over time. This loyal following proves that your brand is loved. This is the perfect market for influencer marketing because you and would-be customers can be assured of the authenticity and truthfulness to the customer and influencer reviews out there for all to read. The reward is in knowing that good recommendations will keep flowing organically because of your established customer and influencer relationships. Give them a bonus reward for it. 

6.   Briefing Points

Influencer Marketing requires your brand ambassadors to know your products like the back of their hands. So the best way to keep your social media influencers in-the-know is to provide them with a product campaign brief containing talking points about certain features on your products, and specify the length of each review you will request. You can also suggest them to provide visually stimulating reviews containing photos and videos. This should guide them when they promote as well as write reviews for your brand and products.

The Federal Trade Commission of the US provides strict guidelines for FTC disclosures and the basic rule for compliance on online media is that influencers are required to reveal their relationship with the brands that they are promoting for transparency towards customers. This helps to reveal whether posts are organically and influencer-driven or if it is a paid advertisement. A violation of these rules can lead to penalties and unwanted fees. 

7.   Match-Making

Brand ambassadors help build your brand’s reputation. Consider them both a good friend and a potential customer. You would certainly want to be very discerning. Take some time then to decide on the social media influencers for your reviews and pick the best picks. Choose influencers who fit your product line to a tee. The right kind of influencers will also surely leave the right kind of reviews because you just know they will love your products. For that matter, the influencers you choose should also fit right into your market. You’ll certainly receive reliable feedback from them in that case.  Think about it like finding the perfect and authentic match for your brand.

MANAGING INFLUENCER REVIEWS

There are certain additional guidelines your company might like to follow in influencer marketing depending on where your brand will be posting your reviews. Let’s break it down to these three:

1.    Personalized Messages

One of the more prudent ways to get a review is to get personal. Traditional emails and even text messaging are a good way to get this done. Most companies request their customers to write them an email for further inquiries on their products. They also suggest the same for complaints. But how can your influencers be engaged here? There’s an interesting development in digital marketing that might be worth a watch. A company called Omni.us puts hinges on the fact that emails are “one of the oldest and most effective ways of reaching the target audience” and is sending out cold emails as a sales tool for better engagement. Social media influencers, particularly the Nano and Micro, are all about engagement. Finding a creative way to use emails just might work.

2.    Social Media Reviews

The reason social media platforms are so attractive is that there’s a lot of engagement and interaction going round which allows companies to enjoy “real-time insights into how their products are perceived”. Social media began as an entertainment platform which quickly found its way into the advertising and marketing industries. Thus, reviews that are posted on social media can give your product a good chance of being discovered by a very wide market. However, the disadvantage is that not all creators would welcome a pro bono on this one and so expect to pay-up for their extra service for social media marketing. 

3.    E-commerce Reviews

Reviews can be posted on your company’s own site or on an e-commerce site such as the most popular Amazon. One great thing about taking to Amazon is that it has a solid footing on e-commerce grounds. In fact, even if social media giants are trying to compete on the e-commerce platform, Amazon is still the top e-commerce site, and with a new social commerce platform called “Inspire”, is pretty hard to beat

Several other reviews can be found here that can be re-used for advertisements and the reliability of your products can have a boost because creators don’t require fees in exchange for their reviews. You may want to be generous with some free products I exchange. Take note though that customers here don’t pay too much attention to the personalities or the social media influencers writing the reviews. Between direct-to-customer (DTC) reviews and e-commerce reviews, your brand would benefit a lot more from the latter. That’s because research shows that the heaviest traffic equivalent to 95% of users on mass merchant or standard e-commerce sites is on the user reviews page.   

A Final PopStar Tip for you!

2023 really is the Year of Micro influencers, just as we forecasted right before the new year. So, focus on that niche to get niche product reviews as well. 

You can also message or contact our Team at contact@pop-star.me for more information on how PopStar can help you with your influencer marketing this year.

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