Influencer Review: The Guide to Skyrocketing Trust & Sales (2022)

Social proof and influencer marketing and are essential for success and sales, especially in e-commerce. Influencer reviews combine the two, creating a powerful marketing tool!

Done right, they’re a great way to showcase your products, reach new members of your audience and boost trust and credibility for your brand.

Influencer reviews are also great for increasing brand awareness and building a strong brand identity.

So, how do influencer reviews work?

What are the benefits? How do you choose the best influencers to review your products? How do you make the most of your reviews to get the most out of them?

Today, we’re covering just that!

In this guide, we’ll cover what influencer reviews are and how they work, what the benefits are, how to choose the right influencers to review your products, and four ways to maximize influencer reviews.

Let’s jump right in!  

    How Influencer Reviews Work

    How influencer reviews work is fairly straightforward: You give them a product and in exchange, they review it and share the review on their social media channels.

    Many influencers will review a product or service in exchange for the product or service alone. They get to keep the product and the review they do is valuable content for their platform.

    However, some influencers may require monetary payment. Generally, these are those with exceptionally large audiences or high authority in the niche.  

    The purpose of an influencer review is to provide an honest opinion of your product and how they experienced using it, along with their endorsement of the product. 

    Image text says "87% of buying decisions begin with online research" ~CXL (2021)

    Product reviews are critical for sales and an influencer review combines the power of social proof with the massive value of influencer marketing.   

    Influencers who regularly review products in your niche are seen as authoritative and trusted sources of information. Their reach allows you to reach large numbers of people in your target audience.

    Consumers check out your reviews before they buy and 87% of buying decisions begin with research conducted online before a purchase is made.

    Having an influencer review gives you the edge here, as they will find a detailed, honest and authoritative review of your product.

    Influencers review products and services in every industry, down to the smallest and most specific niches. No matter what industry you’re in, there is an influencer to review your product!  

    So, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of getting real reviews from influencers: 

    The Benefits of Getting Real Reviews from Influencers

    There are many benefits to getting real reviews from influencers. Let’s take a look at five of the most important ones:

    Increased Brand Awareness, Reputation, Trust, and Credibility

    Reviews and social proof are essential for building a good brand reputation and improved trust and credibility.

    All reviews are important, but reviews from trusted and respected influencers are even more beneficial:

    • Increased Reach and Brand Awareness: The influencer’s reach allows you to get your brand and your product in front of more people in your niche.
    • Greater Trust from External Reviews: 70% of consumers trust recommendations and reviews from other people, even if they don’t know them personally, more than from companies or brands. When that person is a highly regarded influencer, they trust them even more, especially if the influencer is seen as an authority in your niche.
    • Improved Credibility: Brands that are featured and reviewed by well-regarded and trusted influencers are seen as being more ‘legitimate’ and trustworthy by consumers.  

    Influencer reviews carry a lot of weight, especially from authoritative influencers who are highly regarded as a source of reliable and unbiased information.

    Their opinions and endorsements are taken as an ‘expert opinion’ from someone the consumer looks up to and admires.   

    All in all, an honest influencer review will go a long way to establishing or building your brand reputation in that niche.

    2. Strengthened Niche Authority

    Many influencers, particularly nan- and micro-influencers, focus on one particular niche for the products they review.

    Influencers that specialize in a specific niche have greater authority in that space than influencers who review a variety of products in different niches.

    Choosing an influencer who is seen as something of an expert in your niche positions your brand and your product alongside them. You’re seen as worthy of being considered by an expert, which improves your perceived authority in the niche.

    Even big brands that are well established can benefit from this if their specific product is favorably reviewed and compared to other highly-regarded products in their niche.

    3. Starting and Strengthening a Broader Influencer Marketing Campaign  

    Influencer marketing is a hugely impactful marketing method that many brands are using to achieve a variety of marketing objectives.

    From increased brand awareness to higher conversion rates, influencer marketing has become a go-to method for many brands.

    Influencer reviews make great content, which can be used in a variety of ways as part of a larger influencer marketing campaign.

    In fact, giving the influencer a product to review is often the first step in building that relationship!

    Influencer Reviews - Screenshot of a #charlottetilburygiftedme post showing make up gifted to a micro influencer by Charlotte Tilbury

    The makeup brand Charlotte Tilbury does this really well. They gift their products to various influencers to try out and post with the #charlottetilburygifted me. Influencers often post when they first receive the gift, and then follow up with a full review of the products.

    From there, the possibilities are endless and if the relationship is valuable to both parties, it can lead to an ongoing collaboration.

    4. Great for Your Social Media Marketing

    An influencer review is great content for the influencer, but it is also great content for your own social media channels.

    To use their review for your social media content and presence you can:   

    • Interact with their posts, especially if they have tagged you, making your presence on that platform known to their followers.
    • Share and promote their original post across all your channels, tagging them each time, which gives you great content to use and a nice way to generate some buzz for your social media accounts.
    • You can also share your own content that refers to their review or includes quotes or snippets of their review, to give you even more mileage from the review.
    • Use Facebook Ads to promote the review on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger to reach even more people.

    Influencer posts and reviews can also be used on your website, as social proof and user-generated content, which you can make sharable so that customers can share them on their own social media accounts.

    5. Higher Sales Conversions  

    Influencer reviews have a direct impact on sales conversion rates by combining the power of social proof and UGC with the persuasive influence of a trusted and highly regarded influencer’s endorsement.  

    For 87% of consumers, the sales journey begins with online research, looking into the brand and product before they even consider purchasing.   

    The information customers find online determines if they continue to consider your product, or favor a competitor’s product.  

    Product reviews play a critical role in this process, with 95% of customers saying they read reviews before completing a purchase and 70% saying that trust a review from another person, even if they don’t know them personally, more than they trust a brand or company.

    Influencer Reviews - Image text says "People influence people... A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising" (Mark Zuckerberg)

    Websites that display user-generated content (UGC), like ratings, reviews, and content from influencers, increase conversion by 115%.  

    When it comes to influencer reviews,  82% of consumers say they are highly likely to accept the recommendation of a micro-influencer.

    As you can see, influencer reviews are a high-impact method of increasing sales from your website, while also improving brand recognition, trust, and credibility.

    Choosing the Best Influencers to Review Your Products

    Choosing the right influencer to represent or endorse your brand with a review is an important step. The right influencer will be a good fit for your brand identity, for your target audience, and your product.

    Here’s how to choose the right influencers to review your products:

    1. Select the Type of Influencer Best Suited to Your Goals  

    Select the type of influencer you want to work with first. Generally, influencers are grouped into five types, based on their occupation and the size of their following:

    • Mega-influencers or Celebrities: 1 million or more followers
    • Macro-influencers: 100 000 to 1 million followers
    • Professional Influencers: 20 000 followers or more
    • Micro-influencers: 1000 to 100 000 followers
    • Nano-influencers: less than 1000 followers

    Each type offers different advantages when it comes to a product review.

    Mega and Macro influencers are celebrities and have the biggest audience. However, they’re not always the best for a product review and they’re by far the most expensive.

    Their reach is huge, but their authority and engagement rates are generally lower. These types of influencers are best suited to campaigns aimed at reach and awareness.

    Generally, engagement rates go up as audience size goes down:

    Professional, Micro and Nano influencers have smaller audiences but they have the advantage of higher engagement rates, which are better for prompting action from the audience.

    A smaller audience allows them to have a more personal relationship with their followers, which translates into higher trust and credibility – two things that are very important when it comes to product reviews!

    They’re also more likely to be an authority in their niche, which gives their opinion even more weight.

    2. Choose the Platforms and Formats Best Suited to Your Product   

    It is important to consider the platforms or channels that an influencer uses. Here are some things to consider:

    • Are they active on multiple platforms? If so, how big is their following on each, and which ones are best suited to reviews of your product?
    • Do they work with video or only still images? Generally, the more complex the review, the better it is to use video rather than just pictures and a caption.
    • Can they use multiple platforms to share the same review, in terms of content type? For example, a Facebook image and caption do not translate easily into video content for YouTube or TikTok.

    Choose influencers that work predominantly on the platforms that your audience is active on and that make great content in the format audience is consuming.

    3. Find Influencers and Do Your Due Diligence

    There are many ways to find influencers to work with. You can do it yourself by searching on different platforms to see who is talking about your niche and your competitors’ products or you can use influencer marketplaces or influencer marketing research tools.

    Check out this short video by Influencer Marketing Hub for a snapshot of some of the tools you can use to find influencers to review your products:

    Once you have a selection of influencers to choose from, here’s what to look for and what to consider when you’re deciding which ones to reach out to:  

    Relevance to Your Brand and Product Niche

    Choose an influencer that is active in your space and has an established audience that is right for your product.

    It really just comes down to them ‘making sense’ as someone who would use and review your product. Ideally, they’re seen as something of an authority on the topic and their review will be seen as an informed and valuable opinion.

    Reach and Engagement Rate

    Reach refers to the size of their audience and the number of unique individuals that will see you’re the influencer review of your product.

    Engagement refers to the number of viewers who are actively engaging with the influencer’s content, usually in the form of comments, likes, and shares.

    High engagement rates mean the audience is actively interacting with the content and is more likely to take action based on their interaction. This is especially important for product reviews and increased sales.

    Influencer Reviews - Graphic depicting the relationship between follower size, reach and engagement. The most followers have the most reach, but the least engagement and vice versa. Engagement and conversion rates correlate.
    Image Source

    Influencer’s Legitimacy and Trustworthiness

    It is important to make sure that the influencer you use is legitimate and trustworthy. Fraudulent influencers with fake followers and engagement can be tricky to spot but there are a few things to look out for and tools to use that will help you identify how valuable the influencer will be to your brand. 

    Content Quality, Authenticity, and Core Values

    Any influencer review needs to be sincere and authentic. Look for an influencer that produces high-quality content that is consistently good, has a cohesive aesthetic, and has a unique and authentic style.

    Their style and presence should be aligned with your brand to avoid the association coming off as insincere.

    You will also continue to be associated with that influencer in the future, so choose carefully and make sure you do your influencer research to find someone who is credible, consistent, and shares the same core values as your brand.

    Consistency, Credibility, and Quality of Reviews

    Take a look at past reviews and how they come across. Look for influencer reviews that are consistently thoughtful, insightful and useful to the viewer.

    Try to avoid influencers who just show the product and say something generic, as they’re not providing any real value for their audience.

    4 Ways to Maximize Influencer Reviews

    Ok, so you have found the right influencer to review your products but how do you make the most of that review?

    Here are four easy tips to get the most from your influencer review:

    1. Share the Review on Your Website

    Sharing an influencer of your product on your website is a great way to include social proof on your landing page and/ product pages!

    When people visit a site and see reviews from other influencers and other customers, they’re more likely to trust your brand and your products, and they’re more likely to buy from you.

    Reviews from real people are more trusted than advertising material put out by a company or brand.

    Even if they don’t know them personally, 70% of people trust a recommendation from another person more than they trust a recommendation from a brand or company.

    This means that reviews are your most important marketing material and essential for effective online sales.

    2. Share the Review on Social Media and Tag the Influencer

    Influencer reviews of your products make great content for your social media channels!

    When you share an influencer review of your product on your official social channels, your brand image, as a whole, benefits from the association with a well-known and admired influencer.    

    Your brand will come across as desirable, with the added endorsement of a popular, trusted, and authoritative figure.

    Make sure you share it across all your platforms and tag the influencer in every post. Tagging them strengthens the association between your brand and the influencer. It also allows you to ‘piggyback’ on their reach, when their audience looks at their tagged photos or posts.

    This video post by Ayr Skincare features a snippet from an influencer’s review and they tagged the influencer in the post so it appears in her ‘tagged’ images, as well as on their Instagram account.

    Influencer Reviews - Tagged image of an influencer review that was posted by the brand

    Tagging is a win-win for you and the influencer because if you have chosen the right one, you share a target audience and they will benefit from exposure to your followers too.

    You can share it directly or post about it without sharing the original post itself. For example, you can do a ‘shout out’ post thanking the influencer for their honest review and tagging them.

    3. Use Facebook Ads to Promote the Review

    Promoting the review with Facebook ads is a great way to reach even more people with the review.

    Facebook ads include the option to advertise on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network.

    Of these, Facebook ads have the highest click-through rate (CTR) and of the various types of ad you can place, the type with the highest CTR (6.65%) is status ads.

    Luckily, status ads work really well with influencer reviews because you can share the review as a status, and boost it as an ad!

    Using Facebook ads to promote the review also benefits the influencer, which is an added incentive for them to create high-quality content that makes you both look good. 

    4. Make Sure the Influencer Does All They Can Promote Your Product

    Make sure that the influencer does everything they can to promote your product and your brand. 

    In addition to the review, you should:

    • Get them to follow your social media accounts
    • Ask the influencer to do a shout-out to your brand and tag you. They can ask their followers to follow you or just post something about you and the products they have received before they do the review.
    • Give them a list of the social media account handles you would like them to tag
    • Provide a list of hashtags to use and remember to include any unique or branded hashtags you use
    • Give them all the information they need to know about your product ahead of time. Make that it is easy to understand and easy for them to convey in a natural way
    • Encourage them to share a genuine, honest, and authentic review. Don’t use scripts or prompts, honest and authentic reviews are much more valuable – even if they’re not as glowing as you would like.  

    Working with influencers is not as cut and dried as most business relationships. It is important to develop a relationship with them and offer to help them meet their own goals too.

    Things like promoting their review with Facebook ads and ensuring that they get as much mileage out of the review will go a long way to making the relationship mutually beneficial.

    This is especially true for smaller influencers who are growing their channels, as they will benefit the most from this kind of relationship.  

    Final Thoughts

    Done right, influencer reviews will help you gain new customers and make more sales, increase your social media following, boost your credibility and improve your brand image.  

    Today, we have covered everything you need to know about influencer reviews and how to make the most of them for your brand!

    Ready? Check out our guide to influencer outreach and get started today!

    References

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do influencer reviews work?

    Influencer reviews involve a company providing their product/service to an influencer in exchange for influencer's review of their product/service, which is shared on various social media and other online platforms. Some reviews are paid for but many are a simple barter between the company and the influencer - the company gets the review and content to use for their marketing, and the influencer gets the free product/service, and content to use on their platforms. Check out the full guide for more on how influencer reviews work.

    How to choose influencers to review your products?

    Finding the right influencer to review your product comes down to finding one who is an authority in your niche and produces relevant content, checking that they're a good fit for your brand and that they're legitimate and trustworthy. Check out the full article for a step by step guide to choosing the best influencer to review your products

    How do I make the most of an influencer review for my marketing?

    There are many ways to make the most of influencer reviews to increase brand awareness, recognition, trust and credibility. These include using the review on your own social media channels, displaying the review on the landing and product pages of your website, using Facebook Ads to promote the review and making sure that the influencer is doing everything they can to promote your product. Check out the full guide for more info on each of these tips.

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