This marketing strategy is absolutely essential for millennial marketing.
And, it’s simple! You never want to sell any product or service without it.
Sell with reviews
A profound trend within the digital age is the reliance consumers have on reviews of a product or service before purchasing. It’s defined millennial marketing. Whether it’s a workout class, a tutoring service, an app (even if the app is free!), an e-course, or just about anything else you could think of, we (millennials) want to hear our peers’ perspective on the product.
According to Adweek, 93% of millennials rely on consumer reviews to sway their purchase decisions.
Think about it. Not only do we immediately search for reviews on a sales page or website (I know I do!), but we have huge and successful platforms exclusively dedicated to reviewing. These include Yelp, Foursquare, Rotten Tomatoes, and so on.
I also have noticed that lately, if I see an article of clothing or pair of shoes in a clothing store I like, I’ll try them on in person for fit. But then, I’ll go home and look at the website for reviews of quality, comfort, and practicality before even actually purchasing something. Millennial marketing has taken me over!
We’re simply so used to hearing opinions from our peers that we’ve come to feel like it’s a central part of our purchasing. Businesses have hopped onto the social media train with how they advertise, so reviews have logically come with that movement.
Largely because of social media and the online world, millennials have had the opportunity to connect with each other like never before. This is why personal websites, blogs, and e-mail lists have become so powerful for businesses of all kinds (and why I encourage your first step of side hustling to be building your personal website (link!)). Through these communities and this engagement, transparency has increased between businesses and consumers. Consumers want to know what they’re buying!
Millennials are a young generation. This means we often haven’t been independent consumers for long enough to have loyalty to any particular brand. When purchasing, we don’t have that trust to rely on (yet!), so reviews have allowed us to purchase confidently in a new way.
As a side note, I personally do not believe that reviews are killing the concept of brand loyalty (as some others do (link!)). For instance, about 8 months ago I took an E-course from my friend Melyssa Griffin. It was so excellent and so high quality that I would purchase anything of interest from her without reviews because I trust that she produces high-quality content and I trust that if I were ever unsatisfied, she would help.
How do reviews work in the purchasing process?
As a millennial myself, I spend tons of times on these websites and reviews in general. The purchases in which reviews matter the most to me are products on Amazon, E-courses, shopping at a new online store, and Yelping before I go to a new bar or restaurant.
If a product or service has mediocre reviews, there’s almost no chance I’ll purchase it. Why would I when I can find other options with much higher reviews? It’s unfortunate how much damage a couple bad reviews can be when a product might be quite valuable but have a couple flukes, which we all do! But, it’s simply the reality.
If places/products don’t have reviews, I’m skeptical. I do try to give new businesses a chance, but I still don’t see an excuse for a product or service to have no reviews. This brings us to our next point…
How do we get reviews for a new product or service?
You may be frustrated with the reliance on reviews if you’re creating a new product or preparing to launch a new service. Here’s how you can start on that.
Prior to your launch, it’s wise to find consumers, hopefully, that line up with your ideal customer, and give them your product or service for free. Not only does this get you reviews, but it can immensely help improve your product before launching it publically!
Don’t be afraid that you’re losing sales. Rather, you’re raising your possibilities of sales in the future because you can get the bad reviews and critical feedback now, and change it accordingly.
How to find beta testers?
Sadly, finding your ideal customers isn’t always as easy as you think it’s going to be. But, this is great practice for figuring out where your ideal audience is located for when you do launch. Here are some ideas on how to find them.
Don’t forget to sign up below for my side hustler resource library! In it, you’ll find the anatomy for the perfect e-mail to reach out to your reviewers.
The biggest social network of them all, there’s almost positively a way to reach your ideal audience via Facebook.
Your personal network
Perhaps the simplest way to use Facebook is by posting on your own Facebook page that you have a product or service you’d love feedback on, and receiving feedback from friends. You can reach out to friends via direct message and explain to them what you’re doing. People are more willing to help out than we think!
Create a page for your business
No matter how big or how new your business is, you can always create a page for it so that you separate your activity on Facebook between your personal and side hustle life. You can connect with other business Facebook pages in your niche, and network from that platform. If you find other businesses or individuals that express interest in your work, reach out to them and ask if they’d like to be a beta tester for your product.
Whether using your personal account or your business page, I encourage you to join like-minded Facebook groups. It’s an excellent way to connect with those interested in the hustles as you and can either become or lead you to customers. People in Facebook groups can be insanely helpful, but be sure to help others with your knowledge too!
One thing that’s crucial here is that YOU REACH OUT TO YOUR REVIEWS. So often in Facebook groups I see people post that they want beta testers and then leave their e-mail just hoping someone reaches out. You need to reach out to your reviewers and e-mail them yourself!
Simply e-mail five or so people that you’d hope to one day sell to and explain to them that you’d like to give them a free trial of your product in exchange for a testimonial. Or, simply e-mail them the product off the bat and see what they say. The latter is more of a risk, but you also take away the step of them having to reply and agree, and just give them the product.
For instance, your side hustle might be graphic designing for yoga studios and blogs. You can reach out to five or so businesses, explain what you’re hoping to do, and make sample graphics for them in exchange for their feedback. Alternatively, you could simply go ahead and make the graphics yourself and send them as is, hoping they’re willing to give you a testimonial. This makes it easier for them to simply reply once.
Related: The guide to killer cold e-mails
Friends + Family
Don’t be afraid to reach out to those you know personally who might benefit from your service. You can e-mail them directly or, you can reach out to someone who might be more connected with your clientele than you are. For instance, You might want to start consulting college students into choosing what to do next and how to decide that. Just by reaching out to one friend, or perhaps the younger sister of a friend in college, and asking her to reach out to her peers, you can open up your network much further.
No matter who you get your testimonial from, be sure to ask them if they’d be willing to be directly contacted by a potential client who has questions. This shows transparency and honesty!
Unlock millennial marketing
With your reviews under your belt, you’re already several steps ahead of the game for when you launch your product or service. Further, you’ll get valuable feedback from those who can really help.