Blogs and YouTube channels became an increasingly important advertisement platform for any kind of products in the recent years. Bloggers and YouTubers are the best information source for potential buyers because of their independence. Many blogs are run by a single person that uses his website or channel to share opinions and expressing him- or herself to the world. Or, they’re run by services such as www.hostiserver.com to help that individual control all aspects of their site, as it can become slightly overwhelming at times.
You might think that reviews published by these independent people are always honest and you can totally trust them. Right?
Blog- and YouTube reviews depend almost always on sponsorships and advertising deals. An instrument manufacturer, for example, will treat a review as advertisement and expects the publisher to focus on the good aspects of his product. The blogger however, cannot afford to buy every product in order to even test it. He depends on sponsorships and free gear, in order to do gear reviews. If he publishes a bad review, he will most likely lose future sponsorships.
The same phenomena occurs in the second income source of a blog, the “direct advertisement”. No company will run ads directly on a website that took harsh critics with their products before. The consequence is that both, blog- and YouTube reviews are worth nothing, because most of the reviewers will not risk the loss of a sponsor. You will find them reviewing every product with a good rating, even if it is really bad.
Who loses here?
The reader, the blogger (and you won’t believe it) the manufacturer/sponsor too. Everyone loses in this game. In this way, it is best to look at gear reviews that compare products in the same niche, rather than single blog posts/YouTube videos raving about specific products without comparing them to what is already out there. How would a product stand out If a blog or YouTube channel only consists of positive reviews? How much is it worth to get a review of a person who rates everything with at least 8/10?
Because as soon as the customer received his bad product, he will turn his back to both company and blogger and not count on their opinions and products anymore. The political correctness and the sell-out mentality will turn a review almost always into an advertisement. The purpose of supporting potential customers in their purchasing decision is not fulfilled anymore.
The simple solution:
Companies/sponsors should honestly consider to choose bloggers that publish straight forward, honest reviews, even if it means their product receives a really bad rating. This is the only way to ensure a really good rating is worth its weight in gold on good products. Receiving a good review from a blogger that has the reputation of a “tough nut” is 10 times better than being rated by a yes-man. Furthermore, people who are not bloggers could also make money from paid surveys, which may be used to benefit a company or sponsor to make their product better or keep doing what they are doing well.
What do you think about reviews these days? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!