Skip to main content

If this is you, it’s time to put those thoughts into a product review video.

Ever bought a fantastic new gadget and got so excited you wanted to tell all your friends about it? Or, maybe you had a so-so experience and have a lot of thoughts on what you love about your gear, and what could be improved.

If this is you, it’s time to put those thoughts into a product review video, because believe it or not, your opinions and experiences could help others decide whether to spend their hard-earned money on the product in your hands.

But there’s more to creating an amazing product review video than simply plopping down in front of your camera and pressing the record button. Like all your other videos, this takes preparation, skill, and even a little creativity to keep things fresh.

Plan for background and lighting needs
This tip comes from YouTuber Skallagrim, who takes a fresh perspective on how to make a product review video by telling us what *not* to do.

Choose a well-textured, clean background to highlight the product you’re reviewing, such as a wood table.

If you want to show details, you’ll need to crank up your lighting with video lights. “Ideally soft lights with the white sheet in front,” he advises in the video. “Also avoid other distractions in the background,” such as a television or pet.

Record the unboxing
Did your parents ever record home movies of the family opening presents on Christmas morning? Remember the excitement of seeing all those boxes wrapped under the tree, and diving in? Well, thanks to social media, when you first get your product delivered, you can now share that Christmas morning joy with the world, and capture the unboxing moment.

Unboxing videos are big on YouTube and  Instagram these days. Just type “unboxing” into the search box on each site and you’ll see dozens of videos of various products being revealed in their full glory.

Technology blog Make Use Of suggests you can either create a dedicated unboxing video and release it as a teaser to your main review, or include the footage in the final edit of your video review.

Disclose how you received the product
Reviewers depend on their audience to trust them. Because your viewers are putting their trust in you to be as impartial as possible and disclose any conflicts of interest, it’s important to tell them any time you receive a product through any means other than purchasing it yourself.

It’s just an ethical standard viewers now (rightfully) expect of any legitimate reviewer, no matter the medium they use. It takes less than a minute, and goes a long way to maintaining your credibility.

Speak clearly and concisely
No mumbling! Speak clearly and enunciate your words so your viewers can hear you. It’s also worth it to plan talking points, so you won’t lose your train of thought or forget anything important. One disjointed, rambling video can lose you viewers forever.

Use your new product
Make Use Of also suggests taking time to use the product extensively before you make your video. This might seem obvious, but people watch product review videos for insights and advice from average users about whether the product is worth investing in.

Got a new laptop? Plug it in, boot it up and use it for a week or two. Pick up a bottle of that new skin cream from your favorite makeup line? Go ahead, open ‘er up, test for a few days and share your thoughts. Bought that book you’ve had on your wish list for months? Read up to the halfway point to see if it’s for you (but don’t spoil any plot twists for your viewers!)

One of the most frustrating things about bad review videos is when you can tell the reviewer based their review on pre-conceived notions about the product, and didn’t use it enough to provide an unbiased rundown (for example, when a Mac or Windows loyalist reviews an operating system and pans it, mostly based on personal subjective opinion or false information, with no performance data to support their points).

Make solid arguments
Product review videos are about your opinion of the product when it’s put to the test by an average user. They’re subjective, which is part of why product review videos are so fun to make and watch!

This is one of Skallagrim’s most important points. For example, if you’re reviewing a knife, “Don’t say I don’t like the blade. Why don’t you like it? Is it the wrong blade shape or cross-section for the kind of purpose that this item is advertised for? That’s a perfectly good argument”

Also, “be aware of what you know for sure. Don’t jump to conclusions and make assertions, and thereby spread misinformation. Do your research beforehand and if you can’t figure it out, just say you don’t know, or don’t say anything about it.”Ú

Summarize your points at the end of your video
Any good product review is full of specific, helpful details about your experience with the product, and what the pros and cons are of using it for its advertised purpose. Since we have such short memories and attention spans, it’s best to summarize these major points in text at the end of your video.

Do a followup video
Want to create an incredibly useful product review video? Mark your calendar and follow up on your initial review six months to a year after you’ve bought the product. Did it hold up to your original expectations for a product in that price range? Fail miserably? Somewhere in between?

Most review videos focus on initial impressions after a week or two of use, but people who place high value on a product’s longevity and performance will appreciate a long-term user’s perspective.

Use the right equipment
Camera shake, a dead battery, bad audio or other issues can derail a great video. You want the focus to be on your content, not on pesky technical issues.

Set yourself up for success by purchasing the following equipment:

– Tripod
– Camera or DSLR with live recording capability
– Good quality microphone
– Battery charger
– Additional battery

Zoom in on the items you’ll be featuring so your viewers can see them up close. YouTuber guerillabill suggests zooming to the area you’ll be recording first and applying masking tape around the area you’ll be using, so you’ll know where to put your hands when you’re showing things on-screen, so your hands show on the video.

Reviewing electronics? Do a rundown of the major features, turning the item so your viewers can see them.