Product reviews on YouTube are a dime a dozen and it sometimes feels like there’s no room to contribute. If you’re looking to kick off a review channel, developing a strong angle is your best chance to stand out.
A Review’s Purpose
Above all, reviews must be useful to audiences, otherwise viewers will look elsewhere. Before you start creating your own reviews it’s important to remember the purpose reviews serve. To that end, there are three key things to keep in mind:
1) Detailed/Accurate Information — The primary reason people watch reviews is to learn more about the product itself. If you’re not providing accurate and specific information within a video review, you’re turning away viewers.
Imagine a tech review for a computer monitor without details on the specific ports needed to connect with a computer. That’s vital information consumers need and leaving it out means they’ll search for other videos with more facts.
2) Personal Insight — Highlighting your hands-on time with a product and sharing anecdotes gives insight into how easy/difficult an item might be to use. If it needs to be assembled, requires lengthy setup or anything of that nature, it’s pertinent for viewers and their purchasing decision.
3) Honesty — Too often reviewers worry about alienating the companies sending them items (or potential sponsors), so they’re overly positive, glossing over problems. It’s an understandable impulse, but one that’s disingenuous to your audience. Eventually, they’ll figure out your enthusiasm isn’t reflective of a product’s reality and turn to more straightforward reviewers.
What establishes you as a reviewer to subscribe to is the perspective you showcase.
Making Your Review Relevant
Conveying accurate information and showcasing your personal experience is only half the battle in producing engaging reviews. The other half is crafting a review format audiences enjoy. Your viewers should want to come back for more.
This is where finding an angle becomes an important factor. Anyone can read specifications, share their thoughts and post a video with decent production values. What establishes you as a reviewer to subscribe to is the perspective you showcase.
Angles don’t have to differ based on individual reviews. Take the Angry Joe Show for example. Joe Vargas’ reviews center around the “Angry Joe” character, while utilizing a sketch comedy format throughout. His angle is built into the core of his channel, but his videos still provides all necessary information. You don’t have to do something that expansive for your channel, but it’s important to consider how the format alone can help distinguish your channel from the crowd.
Lean into your biggest asset: Yourself!
Ryan Toys Review is literally a kid playing with toys to show how other kids of similar age groups may enjoy (or not) a product. You could do toy reviews from the perspective of parents, showing other parents what they’re in for before buying specific toys as gifts.
Another angle might be starting every review with an unboxing and setup of the product, much like how Unbox Therapy handles his reviews. It’s a simple format, but allows his personality and detailed knowledge to shine through.
No matter the approach, your personality and perspective are what turn viewers into subscribers. People can find specifications on a product anywhere, but they turn to reviewers for their thoughts on those specs. Make sure you’re still giving your personality the chance to take the center stage. Whether it’s hyper-enthusiasm, comedy or going the “Grumpy Persona” route, lean into your biggest asset: yourself!
Staying consistent in your schedule and release of content is one thing, but it’s also important to stick with the angle you’ve established for yourself. Nothing turns viewers away faster than a sudden, inexplicable change in format.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t play around with a variety of formats, but once you’ve established an angle, stick to it. Your perspective is what makes people want to subscribe. They trust the information and the way you’re providing it; not to mention any entertainment factor that comes with your chosen angle.
Look at the Angry Video Game Nerd. James’ entire channel was built around this grumpy, foul-mouthed, persona. It’s meant to be humorous while still delivering all the necessary info. Even on games traditionally considered “good” he sticks to the angle — viewers expect it.
Imagine if he radically changed his review format, eschewing the angry personality and turning to straight-man style reviews. Subscribers would, understandably, feel betrayed and turn elsewhere. He’s changed the format for specialty shows or to poke fun at himself, but it’s always with the understanding it’s only for that particular episode.
The sheer number of review channels makes it seem like there’s nothing left for you to cover. Look for a niche you can fill, but if you don’t find something 100% unique and original, that’s okay. Even when utilizing a similar format or angle as others, your personality and experiences bring an entirely different perspective.
Regardless, find the angle that works best for you and allows you to produce regular content on a consistent schedule. Put the work into developing good production values and stick to your perspective, and you’ll find an audience.