This article was inspired by the Tweet and the article linked below.
— Yuszela (@yuszela) July 1, 2021
One of the stretch goals I had for this channel is to one day use my growing experience and accumulating knowledge about laptops is of course to review newer ones. This is a stretch goal though and not the purpose for Laptop Retrospective to exist. I’m happy with the direction of the channel overall and the exciting opportunities it has given me, especially in the last year. Those have been something really special. So special in fact, that even my original stretch goal is something I could let go of because I’m having too much fun. I consider myself very fortunate to have the freedom to explore so many different avenues.
Long-term viewers will know that I have a full-time job and do not intend for YouTube and content creation to support me in any way shape or form. The channel supports itself.
Now, getting to the article and how that relates with what I’ve said above are some of the interesting statistics it includes. Entering into the world of reviewing is a sticky one that can be difficult to navigate.
“92% of buyers state they are more likely to purchase a product or service after reading a trusted review.”
“How many reviews are people reading before buying: 5, 20, 50?
“…a whopping 95% of us believe reviews are fake if the feedback is only positive.”
There are more statistics included in the article but these three jumped out to me and allow me to outline why.
Trusted reviews are really important. I am not confident there are enough of these out there. With varying disclosure laws about partnerships with ad companies, content creators and influencers, I feel that this is a murky area that can be very challenging for the consumer to navigate. I’m fortunate that I do not require funding from any company to create content but I understand others do it as a source of income to sustain their livelihood. That isn’t a bad thing by itself, but it is something that the viewer should know about to help evaluate your relationship with a brand or company. I’ve tried my best to be upfront and transparent about my relationships with any company I’ve worked with and have avoided and even stopped projects where I wasn’t allowed to be critical or the company demanded a specific outcome. It is for this reason that I have never accept financial compensation for my work as I feel that would impact my content and I know that is not something everyone can do, nor would I expect it. Our goals are simply different.
There is a difference between an ad and a review. This should be obvious, especially to the consumer, but sometimes it is challenging to spot. Most companies know the difference when it comes to working with content creators and influencers but a lot of them do not, especially the ones that work with smaller creators such as myself. They do not have robust or dedicated marketing teams that actually understand these subtle differences and feel that any constructive criticism will harm them. In reality, it will probably do more good than harm as we can see from the third statistic.
One of the reasons I wanted to get into this sort of work was to see what the industry was really like as a content creator. I also feel that if something is too polished or professional-looking, it starts to look more like an ad and less like a review. There is a fine line and some creators do a fantastic job of balancing these audience expectations whereas others seem to go “all in” to the ad side of things. That is perfectly fine, so long as that clear and spelt-out relationship is made clear to the viewer.
Anyway, I just wanted to bash out a couple of thoughts here on this since I do not feel I get the chance to talk about this sort of thing very often. Honestly, reviews are less and less of a focus and as I mentioned earlier, that is really okay with me. I want to have fun and learn, those are the two major objectives.
I hope you have found it entertaining and/or informative.