The Internet is currently one of the most powerful advertising tool companies have at their disposal. Banners ads, and backlinks have been around for quite a long time, and so have listings and classifieds. However, the information these tools provide is often partial and sided, and the impact an ad will have is only as good as the advertiser’s ability to present products in an appealing way. The increasing interest in the implementation of online reviews as an advertising technique reveals that they can be more effective than traditional ads.
The reasons why online reviews are so effective are rather obvious. Prospective buyers would rather take the word of an independent source into consideration, be it from an expert or someone who has already used the products they are interested in. Instead of relying on the company’s sales representative, whose interest is to promote the product in a favorable way, customers seek honest and impartial opinions. Online reviews are generally believed to be more objective, although this alleged objectivity has often been the subject of heated debate.
A vast number of companies have already started taking advantage of this advertising technique by allowing customers to share their personal experience with the product they purchased at their business website or blog. After all, a satisfied customer will be more than willing to leave a positive review for future buyers to see. However, it has been pointed out that negative reviews do not pose a threat to a product’s sales rates. Au contraire, mixed reviews give potential customers the feeling that they are forming an opinion based on both the positive and negative aspects of the product. Therefore, they are less likely to be let down by the unrealistic expectations that raving reviews create.
A number of websites also specialize in providing reviews written by experts, whose responsibility is to test products and provide an honest account of their experience. These reviews have a great impact on the opinion people form about the reviewed products, as they are presented by individuals who have specialized knowledge that everyday customers lack. Most prospective customers are prone to consult such online reviews, especially when they are interested in making expensive purchases, such as furniture, electronics, and even insurance policies. Therefore, getting a positive review from an expert will make the product more appealing to customers.
Due to the popularity and effectiveness of online reviews as advertising tools, their objectivity has often been questioned. It is not unlikely for companies to hire individuals to provide a favorable product review in order to increase sales. Some reviewers go as far as to review a product that they have never seen, relying upon the company’s guidelines or information available on the Internet. To avoid being taken in by such techniques, customers should search for reviews provided by various sources before buying a product.
Any attempt to manipulate public opinion can only provide short-lived results and may harm your credibility. Therefore, using original reviews will bring permanent results and build a relationship of trust between your business and customers. However, you should monitor the reviews uploaded to make sure that they contain no offensive material or spam that might drive customers away from your website.