Insights

How to get great reviews for tech products in Southeast Asia

These days, almost anything you could want to buy, experience, or visit has been reviewed by somebody – from household and beauty products, to restaurants at all levels, to travel destinations and activities. But in the electronics market, reviews are especially essential to sales. 

For that reason, Vero has created a system for coordinating tech reviews between brands and reviewers.

This is important because modern consumers have a habit of checking the wisdom and experience of others before spending their hard-earned money, and social media is full of pages to review everything under the sun.

As much as people enjoy reading reviews, Tech journalists tend to love conducting them, since reviews are both useful and fun to make and watch – meaning they’re often some of a site’s most-viewed articles or videos. Reviewers strive to be among the first to review a new product, which can gain them an early advantage in terms of readership. After all, at some point a given consumer reads enough reviews and decides whether to make a purchase. As a result, many tech sites gladly conduct their reviews for free when it comes to large brands that are guaranteed to get them a lot of hits. Smaller brands may have to pay, unless the product in question has enough buzz that it demands to be tackled.

That said, many of today’s hottest reviewers are independent bloggers, Youtubers, and other aspiring influencers. These individuals tend to build dedicated followings of enthusiasts who trust their word on products – and likely enjoy their personalities as well. In recent years, audiences in Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam have moved towards trusting influencers more than other outlets, so it can be wise to center your reviewer search around them.

So how do we do it? Well, we’re not about to reveal all of our secrets, but here are a few tips:

1.  Build relationships with reviewers.

Get in touch with reviewers to touch base before you need them and keep their profiles and rate cards on hand in an internal database. It’s best to have an outreach team for this purpose, since clients often don’t know how to find or get in touch with good reviewers and will rely on you to do it. And when you know your reviewers well, you can select products that they’re uniquely suited to handle. It feels great to tell a client “I know just the person for that,” followed by contacting a reviewer to say “I have just the right product for you.”

2. Clarify the conditions of the review.

“Make sure everything is clear from the start, to reduce the potential for misunderstandings later,” says Piyachat Nambundid, who coordinates reviews at Vero’s Thailand office. “What form should the review take, and what key points, features, and messaging should the reviewer highlight? Get guidelines from the client and brief the reviewer well to make sure they’re followed. A decent product factsheet is mandatory, as tech customers, more than most others, are interested in a product’s detailed specifications and performance benchmarks.”

Payment should also be clear from the start, including taxation. Account for any pricing changes that may come up regarding either party, and communicate those early. As with any relationship, it’s hard for things to stay positive when there’s a disagreement over money.

3. Design a contract for the reviewer to sign.

A legally binding contract is especially important if you’re handing reviewers a valuable tech product that must be returned in good condition. Without a contract, there is a risk that products could disappear or come back damaged,, so use a contract to make very sure that reviewers know what is expected of them. The contract also ties into tip 2, as it provides a reference to ensure both the reviewers and the clients are (literally) on the same page.

4. As always, know your audience.

Depending on the product and industry, several bloggers with average followings or one blogger with a large following may be more effective. If it’s a niche market that is only served by a few big-name reviewers, you’ll want to get your product to at least one of them. But if the field is more evenly spread out, then several well-trusted reviewers may be a better use of your budget. That’s especially true if a reviewer’s followers are highly engaged, and some of the most engaged followers are those who feel the reviewer is talking specifically to them.

For that reason, it can be wise to select several reviewers who each appeal to different market segments. For instance, reviews of a digital camera may be designed for hobbyists, professional photographers, or vloggers. Separate reviews for a single laptop may target designers, gamers, business-people, or casual audiences, with each focusing on different features and usage scenarios to varying degrees of depth and insight.

5. Trust the reviewers to design their own content.

Reviewers have their followings for a reason, so it’s best not to interfere with their usual formats. Respect their tone, narrative style, and honest expression of their opinions, including both strengths of the product and any criticisms or limitations. Reviewers know that if everything is sunshine and roses, they risk coming across as mere shills and losing the trust of their followers. The most important thing is that they get the facts straight and present a fair picture of the product, since even a less-than-glowing review can lead people to decide that a product is just right for them.

ALL OUR LATEST INSIGHTS ON EVERYTHING SOCIAL, DIGITAL, PR AND TECH