Okay, maybe YouTuber is a bad word... It makes me think of tubers, as in potatoes. Inner tubers, even. Shall we agree to call them "YouTube product review queens? A bit cumbersome, maybe, but crystal clear.
I came across this fantastic product review video recently when writing up a new business proposal. I was looking to understand a product's digital presence and reputation, and fill in the proposal with some creative ideas on how to amplify and improve it. Check it out.
When I watched the video, I thought, "How fantastic would it be if product manufacturers actually PARTICIPATED in the reviews? Not in the actual review, since that would negate the value of an unbiased third-party review - but on social media. Why not thank them? Send them a hand-written note of appreciation for the good reviews, and pick up the phone and call them if it ISN'T good. Wouldn't that make an epic impression on consumers? It might even transform those product review queens into unshakable, unstoppable brand ambassadors.
And seriously, it would take virtually NO effort.
If it were me, I would post a comment on the YouTube video, then share it everywhere. Then, I'd start sharing that person's other reviews that are relevant to my audience, chiming in and building a relationship. Wouldn't it be fun? Beauty brands have such an incredible opportunity to engage, and it's shocking how few actually do it.
Instead of burning up their budgets on advertising, it would be fantastic to see them invest in building their communities. Some are doing it, but quite a few are not.
Learn more about building a brand ambassador program by reading this fantastic blog post by Mack Collier, author of Think Like A Rock Star: Ten Things to Remember When Creating a Brand Ambassador Program. It's not an area of expertise for me, but I can tell you that it is something everyone talks about yet few are able to do successfully. It sounds easy, but the reality is extremely difficult.
Five Product Review Brand Ambassador Do's & Don'ts
1. Don't offer money. They love your product and want that brand to "love them back." How can you make them feel special and valued while harnessing their passion for your product?
2. Understand their goals - is it a product review professional looking for advertising revenue, so viewership and traffic are their most important goals? Then help them gain visibility. Is it simply a consumer sharing love for the product? Recognize them. Thinking about what you would want if you were in their shoes helps.
3. Become a part of their social community. When you love a product, it's a thrill when its manufacturer or your favorite retailer engages with you. It costs nothing but time, but can have a powerful loyalty impact. How can you engage them?
4. Never sell. Your goal isn't to sell them more product, your goal is to harness their passion and help it be more visible to potential buyers. Also understand that if you decide to make giving away free product to your ambassadors, it then becomes your responsibility to make sure they disclose it correctly. Instead of thinking of it as some sort of referral or commision-based program, think of it as another facet of your social media presence. Communicate with them but don't USE them - you want to be completely genuine and authentic, helping to humanize the brand. Not promotional.
5. Realize you don't have control. If you want to encourage and grow product reviews, don't try to dictate what they do or say, where they post their reviews and other facets of your new program. Do create goals and structure around it, but remember execution completely belongs to them, not you.
Have you tried to wrap your arms around a product review or brand ambassador program? If so, share the dets!