For brands of all sizes and tenures, one particular social proof marketing tactic is a must-do: product reviews from influencers. Study after study confirms, as you’ll read in this post,  the overwhelming positive impact of reviews, moving these from the “nice to have” to the “absolutely essential” category of any brand’s online marketing strategy.

Humans are herd animals.

If you’ve ever started an online community from scratch, you know that earning your first engagements are the hardest. It’s as if people only want to participate with your community if they’re joining an existing party, not starting a new one. Why is this the case?

We have evolved to go with the pack. It’s likely, according to Michael E. Price PHD, that herding “is an effort by individuals to obtain resources and minimize risks.” If you doubt the truth in this observation, just ask any of the 22 million people who visit Rotten Tomatoes every month before parting with their hard-earned cash at the movies. Like most shoppers, these moviegoers trust everybody else to help them make the best decisions.

We trust experts.

We place value in experts across multiple factions of society, from judges and juries to academics to consumers pondering the right brand of toothpaste. Experts are the ones to trust and credibility has power. Nielsen conducted a study indicating 85% of consumers regularly or occasionally seek out trusted expert content. Endorsements from sincere and authoritative voices make a difference.

Marketing Tip: After you’ve laid the groundwork for reviews it’s time to find experts in your industry. Whether you’re talking about style bloggers or makeup vloggers, the more credible they are and the bigger their following, the more you will benefit. If you want to get product reviews the inexpensive way you can sift through top search results for trusted experts and compile a list of people to reach out to. Or you can connect with an influencer network like ShopShare Network and we’ll match you with your relevant audience immediately, providing reviewers with everything from brand guidelines to tips for making your product review rank in the search engines.

Influencers inspire action. As a species, we will always strive to Be Like Mike, so to speak. And since that reference undoubtedly has you humming, don’t worry if you can’t afford a globally-known athlete. Rent the Runway experienced conversion rate growth of 200% from influencer campaigns with fashion magazines and bloggers when compared to referrals from just running bottom of funnel paid search.

Blogs reign supreme, especially for the coveted millennial consumer. Sites with a singular and authentic voice attract loyal readers – ones whose attitudes and opinions often sway those of their fanbase. A study by Elite Daily concluded that 33% of millennials rely mostly on blogs before making a purchase (and just 3% rely on TV/magazines/news).  “Millennials trust people over logos,” said Dan Schawbel in Forbes.

Marketing Tip: A lot of marketers and legal teams are tempted to censor and control the voice of their influencers, but this almost always backfires. Campaigns flop because consumers can tell when advertisers try to impose their marketing speak on the audience. A real pro knows how to finesse everything just right so the post is both trustworthy and on brand.

It’ll help your digital marketing footprint

If done right, online reviews can create buzz and boost your search engine rankings. Reviews link the reader to your product, and search engines will read those links as votes, essentially. The more sites link to yours, the higher you’ll be ranked in search results.  And of course, you can track the conversion of those links so you know which sources are contributing most to your revenue growth.

Marketing Tip: If any of this leaves you feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. You can always go the easy route.  At ShopShare Network, we activate our influencer network daily for new and seasoned brands.  We built a 10-step process that we have down to a science and that we execute fully on-behalf of our clients, saving you time and helping you add value to your organization.

For brands looking to build awareness and create demand within vast new audiences, product reviews on blogs can and does provide unparalleled revenue growth.