Blog Reviews, Giveaways & Your Ideal Customer

Guest post submitted by Tamara Earnest

Mommy Perks logoThere are a lot of different, specific and individual reasons for a small business to participate in a blog review & giveaway.  It can be a relatively cheap form of advertising, there’s an opportunity to connect with people and it can be fun.

But is it worth it?  Does it work?

Compare two different scenarios based on my own experiences.

Scenario #1 – Large Review / Giveaway Blog

•    You’re contacted by the blogger, asked to provide a product and promised lots of traffic, promotion, brand awareness, etc.  Oh and giveaways generate a lot more buzz, so you’re asked to offer up another product to giveaway.

•    You send out your product and hear nothing.  No “Hey thanks – product arrived safely, can’t wait to try it out.”

•    You might get an email letting you know the review has gone live.

•    You share the review and giveaway with your social network.

•    You see that the blogger is requiring a visit to your website to answer a question for an entry to the giveaway.  Good… right?

•    You see that additional entries are given for following the blogger on facebook, for tweeting the giveaway with the blogger’s twitter ID (but not yours), for adding the blogger’s button to a website, etc.  Wait… did you give away product for your business to be promoted?  Or for the blogger to promote herself?

•    You notice that a few entrants actually did visit your site to answer the question, but other entrants are just copying or re-wording previous entrants’ answers.

•    You send out product to the giveaway winner and hear nothing.  No “Thank you! I love it!” or even a “Thank you.. it’s not something I will use, but I will pass it on to someone else.”

•    You notice another review and giveaway of a competitor’s product goes up practically right after yours.

•    You never see any traffic from that blog post again. Ever.

Scenario #2 – Your Ideal Customer Happens To Have a Blog

•    You happen to notice someone posting (or tweeting) about a problem that your product is the perfect solution for.

•    You contact the blogger and tell her that you saw her mention a problem and that your product can help.  Would she be interested in trying it out, no charge?

•    The blogger receives your product and sends a quick “Thank You.”

•    The blogger uses your product and sends you an email about how it was exactly what she needed to fix her problem and that she wants to post about it.  She doesn’t usually do product reviews, but thinks her readers would like to know about it.

•    You get an email when the post goes live.

•    You share the review with your social network.

•    The blogger’s community believes the review and is interested in your product.

•    Your website gets quality traffic.

•    Some of the blogger’s audience also needed your product and have now become customers.

•    You notice over time occasional traffic when the post shows up in someone’s search results.

•    You are happy because you were able to help someone and you know your product was actually put to use.

Authority and Authenticity

The difference in the above two scenarios is that the authority of the review blogger is diluted by doing review after review after review.  The review blogger’s community is there for the giveaway, for the free stuff, because think about it…. do you find blogs that review everything from refrigerators to disposable wipes interesting?  When you see a post on a review blog do you really believe it?  Or does your brain just automatically go to the place of thinking the blogger has to give a good review?  It doesn’t come across as authentic.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the blogger that blogs for whatever reason other than being a review blog automatically projects authority.  She only does reviews when she comes across something that she thinks will be worthwhile or interesting to her readers.  This type of blog has an actual invested community.  They read her blog because they are interested in what she has to say.  THIS is the kind of blogger that has the authority, authenticity and influence the review blogger claims to have in her pitch to you.

Who Is Your Ideal Customer?

As small businesses, the dollars and product we use for marketing, advertising, branding, etc, need to be stretched as far as possible and we can do that by focusing on finding and getting in front of our ideal customer.

Not just any customer – the ideal customer.  The ideal customer is one that will share, write, tweet, pin and tell her friends about your product because she believes in it.  It worked for her.  It got her excited, it helped her and in turn she wants to pass that information on to help others.  She’s authentic.

The review blog has become a lot of noise.  It’s a living ad magazine and the products of small businesses are drowned out in all that noise.  Spending precious advertising budgets require products reaching a quality audience vs a quantity audience.

Find Your Audience

For the best bang for your buck search out the blogger that either is your ideal customer and/or is talking to your ideal customer. Find the authentic blogger that is building a community and it’s a win win for everyone!

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Author Bio:

Tamara Earnest is the founder and owner of Pea Wee Baby – a collection of baby swaddles. She is the mother of three and claims that her husband is the best guy in the world. {She may be wrong, though, because I think my husband already has that title.}


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