I read this article today (How to Grow Your Business with Inbound Marketing) and totally agree with the writer about how a transition from the traditional outbound marketing is becoming less popular to inbound marketing. This is a fundamental premise of Smarter Commerce! It puts the knowledgeable customer at the focal point of the business and marketing machine. Having my friends recommend products or product reviews in general are much more powerful than an advertisement on television (outbound marketing).
I often, very often actually, get asked to review products and books on this blog. I generally say no unless I am personally interested in the product or book. The reason I get asked is because the companies know a blog article or a review on Amazon.com is a very powerful element on the internet, regardless of how popular the blog is (or as unpopular like mine). When people search for that product, a blog post, tweet, or any kind of review, it will most definitely show up in the results.
Companies know the value of referrer sites and most likely even track where their sales are being generated from. Below you can see a screen shot from Coremetrics where you can quickly see how much revenue is generated on that commerce site based on the referrer:
So if you are a very popular site you might want to ask for a bit of that money back or even charge for a product review – but then the value of your review declines. My motto is to really only review things I am truly interested in and I almost only review things I would write positive about. Keeps me out of trouble…