According to Inc., 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as friends—so for this reason alone, it makes sense to share as many positive reviews and testimonials with your target audience as possible.
Of course, there’s a big difference between collecting testimonials and using them to boost your business. Here are five ways you can use these to your benefit:
1. On-site as social proof
When a prospective buyer visits your website, you want to give them all the information they need to make an informed and confident decision. You don’t want them to walk away wondering why they didn’t have access to more information. Customer testimonials should be a big part of your engagement strategy.
Social proof is exactly what it sounds like. When someone reads a testimonial from a peer, they feel better about making a purchase.
A study by Nielsen notes the following: “92 percent of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know.”
StartupBros does a nice job with this:
Not only do they share multiple customer testimonials, but using big names—such as Daymond John—provides instant credibility.
People want to know that they aren’t the only one using your product or service. Social proof is powerful, so use it to your advantage by way of testimonials.
2. Video testimonials for more power
Written testimonials carry a lot of weight, especially when you can share feedback from industry influencers. However, if you want to take things to the next level, secure video testimonials from some of your top customers.
On average, 65 percent of your audience is comprised of visual learners. While these people may get something out of written testimonials, video content is what will really pull them in. This is what they respond best to.
If you’re seeking inspiration, Codecademy is a great place to start. Its “Stories” page shares a variety of video testimonials, spanning every type of customer imaginable.
Visitors have the opportunity to watch one video after the next. There’s also a good chance they’ll come across a testimonial that personally resonates with them (such as one from a competitor).
Yes, it’s more difficult to collect video testimonials, as your customers have to put in more work, but there are things you can to do make it worth their time (such as providing their brand with exposure to your audience).
3. Email marketing
According to HubSpot, “54 percent of marketers say increasing engagement rate is their top email marketing priority.”
If this sounds familiar, you should stop at nothing to find a strategy to boost engagement. One of the best ways of doing so is by sharing customer testimonials. Consider the following:
- Include at least one testimonial at the end of every email you send
- Send an email dedicated to your customers, showing your audience what others think of your brand
- Spice up testimonials by adding graphics and or working them into a video
Email marketing is one of the best ways to directly connect with your audience. Since you don’t have much time to capture their attention, you want every email to hit hard and fast. Using testimonials allows each message to do just that.
4. Expand to a case study
It goes without saying that any type of testimonial is better than none at all. However, this doesn’t mean you should settle for a few lines of text—take things to the next level by expanding your basic testimonials into full-blown case studies.
Some readers will pass these over altogether. Others will skim the case study for information that pertains to them. And of course, there will be people who read the entire case study to better understand what you offer and how you’re helping someone in their shoes.
Zendesk sets a great example with its use of case studies. Each case study includes the following:
- An overview of the company, including its industry, size, and how long they’ve been a customer
- Quotes from both the company and the customer
- Images to attract and engage
- A breakdown of how Zendesk has helped the customer achieve greater success in its industry
Your case studies don’t have to be as long as the ones shared by Zendesk. As long as you touch on the points above, with a strong focus on providing your audience with quality content, you’ll be happy with the results.
Just the same as video testimonials, you’ll have to work harder to find customers who have the time to assist with the creation of a case study. But again, if you offer something in return, it’s much easier to find a handful who are willing to help.
5. Print marketing materials
Did you know that 79 percent of households say they read or scan direct mail ads? Or how about the fact that 39 percent of customers say they try a business for the first time because of direct mail advertising?
In other words, print marketing and advertising are not dead. In fact, with so many companies spending all their money and resources on digital marketing, there’s an opportunity to more easily connect via a traditional strategy.
To get the most bang for your buck, include testimonials on some (or all) of your marketing materials. For example, if you’re sending postcards, use one side to share a testimonial from a local client. Or maybe you’re sending a sales letter. Once again, you can include a handful of testimonials to give the recipient a clear idea of your customer base and how you’re assisting them.
Just as testimonials are extremely powerful with all forms of digital marketing, the same holds true with print materials.
With so many ways of using customer testimonials to boost business, you should never find yourself lost and looking for answers.
The first thing you have to do is collect a handful of testimonials. With these at your disposal, you can use them in one or more of the ways detailed above.
What process do you follow to collect customer testimonials? How have you used these in the past? Have they helped boost your business?