Product reviews: an open goal in B2B marketing

The number of searches for product reviews must be massive. Can we take advantage of this in engineering and scientific marketing though? I don’t see why not.

What is a product review? Most B2B marketers run a mile from the term, because the instinctive response is to associate the words ‘product review’ with idiots writing one-star entries in crayon on Amazon. But for the sort of customer we deal with, when they’re looking for a ‘review’ I’d contend they’re looking for something quite different, and that’s a demonstration. Most suppliers are missing an open goal here.

Let’s say you have a product demonstration video like this. Sure, it’s not going to win production or presentation awards, but we really don’t want that. Someone who looks and sounds knowledgeable, sitting at a desk, demonstrating the product, is exactly what we need, and what we’ve got.

Now, could a video like that legitimately be titled as a ‘review’? Of course it could …and should. If you’re a distributor of the BlueWidgetCo Model X1 blue widget, your 5-minute technical video demo of the product could be titled ‘BlueWidgetCo Model X1 blue widget review’ and would rank for searches on ‘bluewidgetco x1 blue widget review’, ‘bluewidgetco x1 review’, ‘x1 blue widget review’ and perhaps even ‘blue widget review’. The video may also pop up in natural search for ‘bluewidgetco x1’ and attract people not specifically searching for a review but who would be interested in one.

Taking the example above, when I search for ‘festo exct’, the video appears front and centre in the Google results. If it had been titled ‘Festo EXCT Linear Gantry Review’ (and had that in big letters on the thumbnail) it would be a compelling result too. I made a demo video of a home breadmaking machine ten years ago which has now had 37,000 views, mainly based on it appearing at the top of Google searches for ‘panasonic sd257 wxc breadmaker review’. It’s not hard.

In summary then, the sort of customers we deal with probably search for product or model ‘reviews’ just like consumers do, but what they’re really after is a demonstration. We may already have suitable content (especially video) which could be presented slightly differently to target that. If we don’t, then perhaps we should have.