With a good review, you enter into dialogue with your customers and bind them in the long term. The basis for this is the credibility of one’s content. Anyone writing a review should therefore observe certain criteria. But the effort is worth it – with regular product reviews you establish yourself as an expert and valuable source of information for the customer.
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The classic book review is the supreme discipline of journalism – informative, factual, entertaining and up-to-date. Reviews make high demands on the author. Not only does he have to have an excellent knowledge of the subject under discussion, but he also has to be able to talk about it. Moreover, if you only want to inform, you will soon get bored. Well-known critics such as Marcel Reich-Ranicki or Hellmuth Karasek were also so successful because they knew how to entertain and did not mince their words. It doesn’t matter what the subject is. Reviews do not necessarily have to deal with books, movies or music. Because basically every review is a product review. Conceivable are thus also completely different topics such as the detailed discussion of a package tour. Much more important than the subject matter is to adhere to certain criteria when writing a review.
How to write a review?
Every content format is based on certain rules of form and content. The same goes for a review, of course. Anyone who wants to write a review themselves should therefore make sure that their text meets the following criteria:
- Analytical distance
- Context and professional background knowledge
- Objective judgment
Basically, it’s about keeping a distance from the subject matter. A good review analyzes the product in question very carefully in order to derive a verdict only from its consideration. This is the only way to embed one’s own opinion in a framework that is as objective as possible. On the other hand, if you simply claim that you don’t like a product, you quickly appear untrustworthy. You should be able to give a few reasons for this. This is precisely where the difficulty lies: For a review, one must first withdraw one’s own opinion in order to then express it all the more strongly.
Objectivity or not – but what about reviews??
Of course, it is impossible to evaluate absolutely objectively. That is not the point at all. Instead, the text should create an analytical framework through background knowledge and close observation, in which one can express one’s own opinion. For the reader, the review therefore has a double added value: On the one hand, he learns important details about the respective product, which help him to form an opinion himself. On the other hand, it may decide to follow the opinion of the author. A typical review, which comes across as very opinionated and likes to cross boundaries, is therefore still objective – because it is based on a detailed analysis.
Expertise: The dangers of expertise
As important as it is to shine with background knowledge and context, a review should be one thing above all: a living text. Too many facts quickly overwhelm the reader. But how do you write a review without boring the reader?? A good starting point is, for example, a surprising thesis. Is the current Star Wars part really just a "knock-off", as some critics claim? Has Mercedes-Benz in the case of the new C-Class BMW cribbed, as it has been The World is? A strong thesis makes people curious and creates suspense. To captivate the reader, factual knowledge and entertainment should be more or less in balance. The reviewer is free to let off steam – the more bizarre and surprising a thesis or formulation is, the more exciting the text reads.
Why is the review worthwhile as a content format?
For the reader, the advantages of a review are obvious: the product description conveys knowledge, informs and offers a critical opinion. But how does it look for the provider? Is it worth writing a review at all?? From a content marketing perspective, reviews offer some distinct advantages:
- High user confidence
- Establishing a pioneering role in one’s own segment
- Long-term user loyalty
Through regular reviews of its own and other people’s products, the provider establishes itself as a credible source of information for the reader. Trust pays off – as a long-term bond. If the user wants to find out about a new product in the future, he will first consult the source that he knows provides factual, in-depth and entertaining information. The Red Bulletin for example, can retain readers primarily because it reports critically on current movies or music albums, rather than advertising its own product.
No-gos for reviews – the currency of credibility
The capital of a good review is the credibility of the author. A breach of trust is therefore the absolute no-go for any review. This includes affiliate links as well as purchased or simply exaggerated positive and negative reviews. Whenever the user feels that a judgment is dishonest or disproportionate, they will take it as a breach of trust. After all, he wants to be informed objectively. Providers of reviews should therefore also pay attention to a balance between good and bad reviews (of course, only if it is given in terms of content), so as not to be suspected of favoring certain products or brands.
Reviews vs. Reviews
Thanks to the Internet, the classic review is increasingly being replaced by customer ratings, as in the case of Amazon displaced. Although this rating system is constantly criticized and Amazon is now even taking legal action against bought reviews, the ratings offer a whole new perspective on the product, as the comparison shows: