Testimonials act as outstanding social proof and boost trust and credibility in your brand. But they do a lot more than that for your marketing activities.
They help you get your messaging right.
Read on to discover how to get the most out of your testimonials, so the impact lasts longer than the glow of delight when you first set eyes on them.
Getting good testimonials
A great testimonial paints the picture of life before and after using your products or services. They allow future clients to see the transformation you delivered to clients, helping them envision the results they may enjoy.
So, how do you solicit reviews that pack a punch?
- Timing – ask for a review when your client is likely to be happy and high off their recent purchase with you. You want the experience to be fresh in their memory ideally.
- Include questions or prompts to help your client write their review.
- Provide them with a link to where you want the review left – make it easy!
4 places you can gather reviews for your business
- Google My Business
If you’re a local service-based business, such as a dog trainer, walker or groomer, then you want your reviews on Googe My Business. The more positive reviews you have, the greater impact it will have on your visibility.
If a potential client is comparing you with other local businesses, your reviews could be the ticket that pushes you over the line to win the client over.
Google My Business is intended for local businesses serving a specific location, so if that’s not you, then opt for Facebook, Trustpilot or LinkedIn to gather your social proof.
Respond to all of your reviews to show how much you value the support and feedback. That also means responding to any negative reviews. Leaving them unanswered leaves doubts in future customer’s minds.
If you’re collecting reviews on Facebook, then be sure to screenshot and save them, so you don’t lose them when changes or glitches occur.
You can also take screengrabs of emails and comments on social media. Just make sure you get permission before you use them.
Using testimonials in your marketing
Weaving your testimonials and reviews into your marketing is powerful stuff. So let’s look at how you can get the most out of them.
On your website
It’s common for people to have a testimonial page on their website, but do you know what’s even more powerful?
A sprinkling of testimonials throughout your site.
Match your testimonials to the messaging, products or services on each page and showcase them to add social proof right there on the page.
91% of customers read reviews before making an online purchase2021 Qualtrics survey
You can also use widgets or plugins to pull reviews from their source to your website, like this:
On Social Media
Share screenshots of your reviews on your stories and in your feed to regularly highlight your credibility and your client’s experience.
This is a brilliant way to create FOMO, trust and desire to work with you or buy your products.
Social proof works incredibly well. If everyone else is raving about how great something is, we humans get fear of missing out, and we want in too!
63% of consumers need to hear company claims 3-5x before they actually believe it.Edelman Trust Barometer
In your email marketing
Social proof is just as powerful in your inbox as it is on social media. Pepper in snippets of client testimonials in your email marketing, and your readers will see the benefits of working with or buying from you.
Customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.Invesp
To inform your messaging
Review mining is a process that looks at your reviews and testimonials in detail.
- What features and benefits your client’s value
- The pain points or problems you solved for them
- The words and phrases they use
Then use that to guide your marketing.
We often think we know what’s so great about our products or services, but what really matters is the benefits as your customers see them.
Take note of the words and phrases your client uses and ditch industry jargon, and mirror how your target audience refers to things.
If you don’t have any reviews of your own yet, then look at similar products or services and scour theirs for insight into your target market. Learn more about review mining here.
How to showcase your reviews with trust
It’s good practice to share your reviews on your social media profiles to pepper in some social proof amongst your content.
92% of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations than any other type of advertising.Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Report
Screenshots that show the review in its original format are more trustworthy than pretty graphics that you’ve copied and pasted the words into.
Why? Because your audience can see that it’s a genuine review that’s been left by a client. You could write anything you like in a graphic!
If you’re using testimonials that have been shared privately in email, then make sure you get permission before you splash them about everywhere. The last thing you want to do is upset a happy client!
Can you edit testimonials?
Yes! If you are using testimonials on your website, in emails, or on marketing assets then you will probably need to edit them a little.
In fact, if you edit out grammatical and spelling errors, your client’s will probably be grateful to you.
But, edit with caution.
The number one rule when editing testimonials is not to disrupt the intent of the person who wrote it.
You can use snippets if you need a punchier, shorter bit of copy to add credibility to your marketing. And you may need to edit a few words in order for it to make sense without the rest of the copy. But stay true to the intent of the testimonial, and don’t add in adjectives to beef it up!
Power up with Case Studies
Video testimonials and written case studies supercharge your credibility and social proof.
A case study helps eradicate any doubts about whether your product or service is the right fit for your potential new client.
A case study or video testimonial will generally be longer-form content than a traditional review or testimonial. This allows you to really dig into the pain points before you entered their life and the feelings and results your product or service delivered.
You want to take people on a journey they can identify with. As they see the issues and troubles described, they strongly feel ‘me too.’
And so when you transition to the solution you provided and the outcome, your reader/viewer can picture themselves moving towards a brighter future too, if they work with or buy from you.
Powerful stuff, huh?
Guest blogging as social proof
While not exactly a testimonial, if you can feature in other people’s blogs or social media posts then this acts as social proof that you’re every inch wonderful!
If you have a product based business, then you could submit your products to bloggers or influencers with an audience you’d like to reach for review.
This can also work for service based businesses too, if you offer a service that an influencer or blogger can try out and review.
Are you going to be paying more attention to your client’s testimonials now? I’d love to hear if this will change your marketing. Let me know in the comments below.