Product reviews are much sought after. Whether by the manufacturer who hopes to get an advertising boost, or by a potential buyer who hopes to have his questions answered before he takes the plunge, product reviews fulfill a need, that for information.
So what does it take then to write a product review? Some good sense, a fair and ethical approach, a balanced and unbiased mindset, and a few essential questions. These are:
* What does the product promise?
* Does it deliver upon this promise?
* Is the product worth it? And for whom?
All these can be addressed in a document formatting that covers an introduction, the review body, and a conclusion.
The introduction is basically an overview of the product and what it brings to the table. Generally, to set the tone of the review, the introduction ends with a one-liner about whether the reviewer liked the product or not.
The review body then goes deeper into the product's features and functioning. The reviewer is expected to paint the portray of what it is like to use the product. Readers tend to expect the good to come before the bad, so the reviewer should know that he should feature pros before getting to the cons in the body.
The ending then is a strong conclusion which substantiates the one-liner in the introduction, based on the recounting in the review body.
There are a few things to note when writing a review.
- Know your reader
Always know who you will be addressing in your review. It also pays to bear in mind that as a reviewer, you are not writing a paper on your own like and dislike of the product, though this is expected to come into play. Your review is intended for the readers.
- Your target audience
This follows upon knowing your reader. Depending on who you will be addressing, the tone and overall information of the review will vary.
For example, if you are addressing technical crowds, your review will be more technical in nature, maybe with jargon and other such codes. Strive to use wording and tone appropriate for your audience, and link your review to the appropriate context and setting while using relevant language.
- Point to whom it may be useful
In your review, always make it a point to suggest to whom the product might be useful. This will help your reader in evaluating whether the product is for him or not.
- How is it different? And why choose this one?
Add to the uniqueness of the product. In a way, your review will recommend or shoot down a product. Point out how this product is different from any other on the market. Address what the product does and doesn't do, and if you can, state whether these are useful or not.
- Know what you're talking about/ product
An essential aspect of every reviewing venture. You need to really know what you are talking about. Make sure you actually use the product if you are going to provide personal opinions. In case the product doesn't apply to you but you still need to provide a review, search for reviews and testimonials by people who have actually used the product.
- Know the product in and out
Make sure you have all your bases covered, especially when you will deliver a negative tidbit in your review. Be prepared to substantiate every claim/point you make with fact and information.
- Standalone v/s comparative review
In a standalone review, your focus is only on the product you are reviewing. In a comparative review, you will need to focus on the product/s and pitch them against each other.
- Substantiate your opinion
Always make sure your opinion doesn't simply veer to good or bad. Provide a reason for your statement. A review should be informative but it should first and foremost be helpful.
- Avoid unnecessary details
When writing your review, assume the reader knows the background of the product/area of use. At most, provide one or two lines about background. Don't feel the need to explain every little thing. Assume the reader knows what you're talking about.
- About Features
Don't be lengthy and blocky with the features list. Put in the basics/ most relevant. If you want or need to have a full list, use an 'easier' visual display such as a table or a chart.
- Strive for SEO optimization when possible
This will help in the placement of your review in search pages. An effective tip here is to make extensive use of the product's name in the review document.
Ensuring that the review has a catchy/unusual title, especially with the word 'review' in it, will help for better showing in search pages.
- Be professional
Always keep a respectful tone and professional approach in a review. While you need not be detached, keeping anecdotes and personal examples to a relevant minimum helps, as people are looking more for information in a review, not life stories.
Two cases where the anecdote rule may vary:
The more expensive the product, the more you should provide substantial facts and statistics. Keep personal references to a minimum here. The less expensive the product, strive to provide a bit more personal experiences.
On the whole, it is not difficult to write a product review. Just approach it as you would if you were referring the product to a friend. Following the intro-body-conclusion format, you then fill in the blanks as to the pertinent information regarding the product.
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