Here is part 2 of my friendly rant about hot sauce reviewers. Much to my surprise and satisfaction, there was a general concurrence with the content of part 1. It also included a giant list of Spicy Food Reviewers. I talked about what the typical hot sauce enthusiast expects from blogs, videos or social media reviews about spicy foods. Now, instead of talking about the reviewer to customer relationship, I am going to speak up about the Business Owner to Reviewer relationship. Dun dun dun…. Let’s do this!
We’ll cover it all and leave no stone unturned here. Do all reviewers get free sauce? Are they getting paid behind the scenes? What do companies hate that reviewers do? All great questions! Let’s dive in.
No. Here’s the deal guys… I can comfortably speak for most companies when I say we get A LOT of requests for free product in exchange for reviews. There are a few reasons why a lot of us won’t give out free sauce to everyone that asks. I’ll go ahead and list them below.
Reason #1- There are SOOO MANY requests!
Think of our inventory as a bank account. Since most of our money is spent on new product. Yes, we have a lot of hot sauce, but that is our livelihood and our “money”. What would you think if you received multiple messages a day from people, asking you to send them some dollar bills from your bank account? I know what you’re thinking and we’ll cover that it Reason #2 😉
Click the images to find SoCal Hot Sauce and Guac Sauce at Amazon.com!
Reason # 2- ROI. Aka Return on Investment.
The whole reason to have people review our products is to get the word out so those sales start rolling in. I’ll let you guys in on a secret, EVERYONE that asks for free sauce to review, promises to generate sales! If you decide to approach a company asking for free product, make sure you have something to present to them that shows you can generate ROI. Send a link to your review website or YouTube Channel, provide other information so we know you’re not just someone trying to come up on free stuff.
Reason #3- We want you to BUY our products.
Not because we are ungenerous, stingy or cheap. It’s because paying customers are more likely to give honest reviews. There is definitely a set of circumstances that can be met that would warrant free sauce. But listen carefully… if the product was given to you for free, make sure to mention that in your video. Just a simple “this product was given to me by so and so” would suffice. On the flip side of that coin, mentioning that you are a paying customer would add more validity to your review and it may hold more weight with your followers.
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ARE THERE REVIEWERS THAT GET PAID BEHIND THE SCENES?
The only thing that I know of, and have used, is a brand spokesperson; That’s a video with someone presenting the product and describing its features. Not giving a personal opinion. Paying someone to give a “personal opinion” is wrong and I won’t do it. But we all know that when money is involved, people can do some wacky things. Reviewers, please for the sake of the industry, do not accept bribes and keep your integrity. Thanks.
WHAT DO REVIEWERS DO THAT COMPANIES HATE?
- Bad lighting. My God, can you please turn on a lamp?!
- Low audio. Holy Sh$# speak up!
- Throwing up. Do I really need to say this? C’mon man!
- Totally bashing a product. If you don’t like it that’s fine. Either don’t post a review at all or do it in a respectful and tactful way. People put their heart, soul and hard-earned money into those products.
- Biased reviews. With all the FB groups and other social media outlets, the hot sauce community can seem very small. If you think you’re doing a favor for your good friend who owns Company “A” by slamming Company “B”, you’re wrong. Most of the active people in the community will be able to tell, and at the end of the day it will reflect poorly on your friend’s business.
- Did I mention you shouldn’t throw up in your review? Nasty.
- Only focusing on heat. That’s fine if that’s what the sauce is all about, but often times the flavor is meant to be the star. But HOW DOES IT TASTE?!
- Not knowing the brand or backstory. There are so many brands out there that make similar flavors. Tell us a little bit about the person who made it, it’s more fun that way.
- Not trying the sauce on food. I totally understand tasting a spoonful on camera to describe what you are tasting. Try it out on some food as well, it changes the flavor and experience completely when you pair the sauce with the right meal.
Ok, that about covers it. If there is anyone that takes this the wrong way, please know that I am here to help, so please reach out anytime.
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