Before sharing my thoughts, I would like to clear some things beforehand. Those are:
If your Blog or YouTube Channel is pretty new, then there is entirely no point. It doesn’t mean you can’t produce quality content, it merely means that you can start reviewing the products that you already own or your friends’ products before you jump into this. Likewise, obviously, the brands might not be interested at the moment, so let’s not waste the “First Impression is the Best Impression” proverb.
Just because you are getting the products (barter or free) it doesn’t mean that you should be utterly biased with the product or the brand. It’s not just unethical it’s illegal as well. People take your advice way too seriously than you can imagine. So, be unbiased and natural, your review is also feedback to the brand.
How to Get Review Units from Brands?
I’m going to share something which I followed when I was an active tech blogger a few years back, now I’m regaining that with the help of our DeviceBAR Forum, which is not that active yet.
I’m going to divide this into two segments now:
You are going to approach the brand for product review units.
Always remember, the brand you are going to approach, they might be getting plenty of emails, calls, messages, etc. every day for review units if they are famous or even moderately decent. But, don’t get disheartened because of this. Follow these:
1. Make sure your blog got a custom domain name (example.com) and make sure your YouTube Channel got a username or vanity URL (YouTube.com/DeviceBAR). Because this acts a proper address for your brand. This is the first thing that visually appears visible on their mind when they see your email.
2. Invest in G Suite (Google Apps) or use Zoho Mail and get a custom email address. email@example.com is pretty good, you can use it for your hidden Google Analytics or Dropbox preferences, but for communication, it’ll be better if they can see your name + your website. I majorly use firstname.lastname@example.org when I’m communicating with any brand for any PR activities, Event invites or Sponsored/Paid reviews.
3. Before you approach them or before you start to disappoint them, your homepage should be full of active content. There is no point in approaching them if your last article was around 3 months or even 3 weeks. Your blog or channel should be active and full of energy.
4. If you are going to approach a fashion brand, let’s say Maybelline (Lipstick), then make sure your blog or channel is filled with content related to that. You can even review their competitor (no idea about how you’ll get this product) and publish it! It’ll be an additional boost for them to have the same on your platform as well. Last but not least, only natural quality content will help you at the end of the day.
5. Understand what the brands actually need from Bloggers, YouTubers, or maybe Influencers. Do they want:
Facebook/Instagram Live Video.
And so on…
Suppose, if the brands get 20 or 50 emails per day, I’m pretty sure they’ll be opening each and everything because, for some, it matters a lot. The PRs (Public Relations) will analyze all the potential people for their upcoming campaigns and filter the best ones for that. If you ask me to define “best ones,” I won’t be honestly able to answer that, but good followers + good traffic is more than enough to attract them generally.
6. Connect with the PRs and Brands online. You can request the PRs to send you Press Releases, invites to local events and other online stuff. They generally love to have that collaboration. You can also follow specific brands on Twitter, they are highly active. If they remember your name and your brand’s name + logo, then it’s pretty advantageous.
7. This might be annoying or confusing, but review the product anyway. See, at the end of the day, you wanted to get that review unit because you want to review it right? So, skip everything and directly buy the product or go to any local showroom, pitch yourself to the store manager and use the product there for a few days. You can take pictures, screenshots, or whatever required, even a small video explaining the product. After you complete everything, you can publish the article on your blog or upload the video to your channel.
You can share this with the PRs or potential brand contacts and request them a review unit next day to share your thoughts better. It always depends on how win-win it’ll be for both the parties. I can’t share a template for the email pitch, it’s all in your heart and mind.
And here is the second segment now… which usually takes time.
The brand will approach you for product review units.
You might be desperate for this to happen, but, unfortunately, you should stand in queue for this. Not because you are a newbie, or you don’t have a specific set of skills, but because, it’s pretty messed up out there.
So, basically, some Brands and the PRs won’t have a ranking system or lists to do this, they just have a plain random way of picking people to promote their products.
Sometimes, it’s not the Brand’s fault, the PRs will end up giving the review unit to the folks who publish biased or comforting positive reviews, or maybe to the people who are in their friends’ circle.
I dunno if I should blame them, but that’s not our job, we are just here to share what we know to the world.
Meanwhile, some guys will approach you for product reviews, let’s say a mobile phone, after one month… and they’ll be like, please return the device within a week, do whatever you want to do within that time. (._.")
And the hard truth is, it happens to everyone out there.
To conclude “The brand will approach you for product review units.” just be yourself and blog/record whatever you feel like contributing to your audience, either they will approach or over a period of time you won’t even notice their emails in your Inbox filled with requests from other PRs/Brands all over the world. It doesn’t matter if you have a tech blog or a fashion blog, it’s always the same. Best wishes. Let us know if you have any queries.