How to get companies to send you products to review
Have you ever seen someone reviewing a product online and wondered how to get companies to send you products to review?
Well, this post is for you then.
If you follow our blog, you might be wondering why an advertising agency is writing about this subject…
It’s a good question, and I will double-back to that later in the post.
Over the past several years, I’ve reached out and had the following items/services provided for free:
- Dyson Humidifier ($500)
- Lasik Eye Surgery (~ $4,000)
- Casper California King Size Mattress ($950)
- Shower head ($99)
- Paint Kit ($40)
This isn’t a full time hobby.
I just toss a line in the water once in a while to see if I get any bites.
It comes down to three things in order to review more expensive items:
- Have something to offer
- Find ways to reach out
- Deliver on your promise
Seth Godin talks about the “Connection Economy,” which is the idea that the internet allows us to connect with other people unlike ever before.
Let’s use the free shower head as an example.
I’ve installed a whopping three shower heads in my life.
The image above shows the views from the top 10 countries on my video on how to install a rainfall shower head.
Some guy from Buffalo, NY with no formal training in construction or plumbing has helped over 3,000 Australians install a rainfall shower head.
That’s the Connection Economy.
In this case, I created this video because I didn’t like the other ones I watched.
They were too long and they didn’t address all of my questions.
A year later, I wanted a new shower head for an apartment and I decided to contact Waterpik… since I did already put their product in front of 87,000 people.
In this instance, it was pretty easy to get a free shower head of my choosing.
I provided good value to people searching for shower head installation advice and showed how well the product worked. This value led to lots of views which, in turn, provided free value to Waterpik.
But how do I get a bigwig to listen?
It’s just a matter of finding a contact and making an ask.
For larger companies, I’ve found the footer of the website is the place to find contact details.
That’s where you can find contact forms, media submissions, review requests, and press inquiries.
I found the Waterpik product contact form and wrote a quick email, and their marketing director emailed me back and said to pick any showerhead I’d like and they would send it for free.
So, now you’re probably thinking… that’s great for you.
But I don’t have YouTube videos with thousands of views.
Neither did I for the free lasik surgery.
This one took a little effort but it was well worth it.
Services like laser eye surgery are unique because there are not tons of options to choose from.
If you Google restaurants in your area, there will be tons of competition. If you Google “laser eye surgery (insert your location),” there will be very few options.
So, here’s what I did…
I created a video talking about my lasik eye surgery.
I made sure the video title, description, and tags all included terms such as “laser eye surgery Buffalo, NY”
(If this sounds confusing, I created a post called Video SEO Marketing Tutorial so you can check out how to make videos that rank highly on Google.)
I then created a call to action in the video description with a phone number that you could call.
I made that number a trackable phone number via callfire.com that forwarded callers to local lasik providers.
Suddenly, I started getting several calls a month to these local providers.
I scraped up information on LinkedIn for the marketing directors of local lasik providers and sent them an email telling them that I’ve been sending them leads.
It’s much easier to get a reply when you’re already providing value instead of telling them what you will provide.
I ended up getting a free lasik surgery for my then-girlfriend-now-wife.
In exchange, I shot a before/after video of her experience with proper video titles to increase the company’s online exposure.
This worked because of the product delivered.
I wouldn’t recommend this strategy for a car dealership because cars cost a lot of money.
One more lasik surgery really isn’t costing the business that much money if they have good margins.
Services with low costs and high margins are good trade partners.
I should note… I’ve since pulled down the original lasik video at the request of the marketing director. I think my video skills from three years ago might have been a little too rough.
I’ll add quickly how I stumbled on the humidifier and mattress.
I ended up doing a lot of home improvement videos. Some of them were rather random.
One on how to clean a humidifier ended up getting 45,000 plus views.
Again, we live in a really strange but awesome connection economy.
I noticed one month that my ad revenue (yes, YouTube will pay you to run ads on your videos) jumped substantially on this video.
I checked out the video and saw that Dyson was advertising their humidifier on my video.
Again, this ask was pretty simple because I’ve proven that I can get a relative audience for their product and they’re already advertising with me.
I went on their website and found “Press” in the footer and then found the USA email.
It took a few emails and I had a new humidifier on my doorstep in a few weeks.
Lastly, the Casper mattress.
I hadn’t planned to reach out for a free mattress.
In that case, I was on their website looking to purchase.
I then got a retargeting ad on Facebook, noticed how they were responding to comments, and figured why not ask.
I commented on their ad and, again, had value to offer.
Because of the videos that I’ve created, I have over 1,000 subscribers interested in DIY home improvement projects and products. With proven success, it’s easier to say “I’d like to review your product.” Here’s what I did for Dyson:
That video above has 1,784 views, which isn’t a ton.
However, those views are extremely targeted for people interested in this product which benefits Dyson.
It doesn’t cost much for a huge company like Dyson or Casper to send a product to review.
They just need to see the value in your offer.
For me, I’ve done this by creating YouTube videos that provide value to people and advertisers alike.
The number one ranking factor for a video is retention watch time.
This means you need to create content that is engaging/helpful enough that people will want to watch the entire video.
So, if you have a smartphone and you’re comfortable being on camera…
Start creating content about things your passionate about.
Provide value and build an audience.
Then make an ask.
That’s how to get companies to send you products to review.