Use Buyer Reviews For Better Marketing
Shopify Growth Specialist
When you’re marketing a product, how do you know what matters to your buyers?
- Which images will appeal to them?
- What to talk about in your product descriptions?
- What matters enough to use as a headline for your ads?
Wouldn’t it be great if there was some place where the people who buy your stuff just pour their hearts out and talk (in their own words) about everything they love and hate about the things you sell.
Good news everyone! There is such a place.
Reviews written by buyers will tell you exactly what they want from you and how you can focus your marketing.
Why should you research reviews?
You’ll gain insight into the minds of your buyers. You can use the information you find to optimize your marketing and conversion strategies.
This isn’t just a mental exercise for you. I’m going to show you how to apply this to your own business in a way that will let you grow your sales.
What can you learn from reviews?
Reviews are a great place to get insider information from the people who give you money. They are telling you the things that are most important to them about your product or service. They are essentially letting you in on the secret of how to market to them and telling you how to increase sales.
You can find out a lot about your buyers from the reviews they write:
- What’s important to them when they shop for the things you sell
- What features and benefits they care most about
- How they view themselves and what appeals to them
- What words they’ll use
- In searches
- When they’re scanning ads, product listings, and product descriptions
- When they think about their problems and how to solve them
- How they use what you sell (or at least how they think about it, which may not be exactly the way you think)
A lot of this might seem obvious, but the things that are obvious to us could be glaringly wrong to buyers. They’re the people with the money to spend, so we should probably do things their way.
How can you use what you find?
Just reading reviews and taking notes would be a valuable peek into the mindset of your customers. If you really want to make it useful, you can put this insight into use when optimizing your marketing and conversion materials.
Your ads have to catch the attention of your target audience. You aren’t really advertising your product, you’re advertising the difference it makes in the life of a buyer.
The images, headlines, copy, and value proposition of your ads should be focused on what buyers care about most. They should also use language and images that buyers will relate to.
On-page text and headlines
Buyers should feel like you’re talking to them directly with the words on your site. Headings, copy sections, calls-to-action will feel more genuine and get better results if you address the right concerns and use the right words.
Buyers know exactly what they want and how they think about their problems. That’s what’s in their mind when they look to make a purchase.
Example: As I’m writing this, I’m currently looking for a good ergonomic keyboard. Descriptions focused on multimedia features of these keyboards aren’t catching my attention. I’m looking for an ergonomic keyboard. If a seller wants to get my attention, they should play up comfort, basic functionality, and ease-of-use. Judging by all the reviews I’m reading, that’s what matters more to everyone else, too.
If your product photos match the mental image that potential buyers have in their head when they’re looking to make a purchase, you win. You’re showing them the exact thing they want to buy. This is really useful with contextual photos. If you find out how or where people use the thing you sell, favorite features, etc, emphasize those things in product images.
You should be iterating and improving your product over time. The more buyers that use it, the more flaws and opportunities for improvement come up. You might even find entirely new product opportunities through your research.
Actively look for ways to make the product better when you read reviews. Be open and honest with yourself and don’t take it too harshly when you read negative things. This is a chance to improve and grow.
Here's a great example of how Magic Flight Launch Box uses language and selling points lifted right from their buyers:
As you can see, they didn't just list words and phrases. They fully address the priority concerns of their buyers.
What kind of reviews will work?
Reviews of your own product
This one is kind of obvious, but still, you should be collecting these and displaying them on-site so that buyers can get a better idea of whether or not they should buy from you. AND you should be collecting information for your own use as well. If you sell through Amazon or other marketplaces, or through third-party distributors, collect those insights as well.
Reviews of competitors
Find out what makes you better than your competition or the other way ‘round. You might be losing sales to a competitor even though you do something better, just because they communicate it better in their marketing. You could gain sales just by emphasizing a certain feature better in your descriptions.
Reviews of related products
If buyers often use your product alongside something else (even if you’re not the one selling it), you can use those reviews. This is an insight into the mindset, priorities, and language of your target market, and that’s never bad.
Reviews of related books
If there are books or info products that are related to what you offer, check out the reviews for those as well. Mo’ insight, mo’ dollars.
Interest groups (Reddit, message boards and forums, hobbyist sites, etc)
People who share common hobbies and interests like to talk about them. They tend to buy the same things, be in the same places, have the same concerns. They also speak openly and honestly about the things they buy and use. You’ll never find a more honest review than Reddit users tearing a product down.
NOT paid or professional reviewers
These reviews might be good to check out before buying something. But they aren’t great for our purposes. You want reviews from people who actually use the product daily. People who spent their money on it and aren’t getting paid when someone buys it.
What should you look for?
Strong, detailed opinions
Look for people who feel really strongly one way or the other and want to tell others about. They may tell you:
- What made the difference between okay/good/great
- What they expected that they didn’t get
- What they were pleasantly surprised by
- What they wish they knew before buying
- What they love or hate
- What they think others should know before making a decision
- Any phrases that stand out and stick with you
Especially look for indicator words like:
If you reviewers talk about the same issues over and over again, write it down. Good or bad, it matters.
Some reviewers will do you a big favor and make lists of what they love or hate. Look for these and they’ll make life easier.
Find out what caused someone to make a final purchase decision. If there is some aspect or feature that you aren’t currently emphasizing, it might be important to buyers. By bringing that to light, you can increase sales. You know the product you sell, but probably not as well as the people who use it regularly.
If someone is using, thinking about, or talking about your product in a different way than your used to, that matters. You should note these things and look around to see if others are doing this as well. You may have missed the boat on just how your target market thinks. Meet them where they are, because that’s your job.
Put it together
Once you’ve found reviews and made these notes, you want to put them to use answering the questions you need answered.
- What do people love or hate about us?
- What should we emphasize in our marketing?
- What are the most important features?
- Why caused them to buy from us?
- What could we change to make the product better?
- How are people finding us?
- Who do we get compared to? (The real competition)