The internet is the most powerful marketing platform that has ever existed. The emergence of e-commerce as a significant sector of the economy has given businesses of all varieties reason to pause and think. Those of us who still remember the earliest days of the internet cannot help but notice how the arrival of the internet, in particular, broadband, has changed the way that we, and our parents, shopped for everyday products.

In response to this, companies who sell their products online have also had to learn to adapt and to work in this new ecosystem. One of the key aspects of online marketing, which has contributed to the internet becoming such a powerful tool, is that it can be, or at least made to look, organic.

What is Organic Marketing?

Organic marketing is marketing using materials which have been generated ‘naturally’ or using materials which appear to have been generated naturally. An example would be a product review (a positive one, of course). When a potential customer sees the review they will take on board its message – that the product is good – but they will not engage the usual self-defense mechanisms that we automatically put up when faced with marketing materials. Think about it, when you see a product commercial on television you understand that any claims or comments made about the product are coming from someone who wants you to buy it. Compare the experience of watching a commercial with reading one of these reviews from

Product Reviews

As stated above, product reviews are powerful organic marketing tools, so they should be the staple of any organic marketing strategy. However, it is important that you behave ethically regarding the use of product reviews. This means that when people are being paid to review your product, you should make this clear. The easiest solution to this is, rather than paying reviewers for reviews, send free samples of your product to bloggers so they can review them.

By doing this you are giving the reviewer a reason to review your product, but you are not incentivizing them to write a positive review. If you are paying a reviewer, even if you are really just paying them for their opinion and aren’t trying to solicit a positive review, anyone reading the review will only know that you have paid for it.

Full Disclosure

Some businesses do pay for product reviews, and not all of them disclose that they are paying for reviews. As with all business decisions, it is up to you to decide whether paying for reviews is right for you. What you need to remember, however, is that damage to consumer trust in your brand is sometimes irreversible.

You also owe it to yourself to have faith in the product that you are selling. For the cost of having some units shipped to reviewers, you will be able to generate reviews. If you receive negative reviews, then reach out to reviewers and try to find out if there’s a way of addressing their concerns. Negative reviews should be seen as constructive criticism, giving you directions and goals for improving your product.

Product reviews are an excellent, organic, way of promoting your product. Check out this guide for more ways to generate product reviews.