Potential customers trust the authentic testimonials of other customers more than marketing strategies.
Reading customer testimonials and reviews is now part of the buying journey. It’s easy to understand why. With so many products and services to choose from and so much information available online, consumers want an honest, personal assessment by someone who has purchased and used the product.
The numbers tell the story. Most online shoppers (79 per cent) trust reviews as much as they trust recommendations from people they know. Ninety-four percent of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a business they’ve read positive reviews about. On the flip side, 92 per cent say they are less likely to use a business that has negative reviews.
The impact of reviews is that much greater when you consider that 55 per cent of consumers no longer trust the businesses they buy from as much as they used to. Sixty-five per cent don’t trust advertisements and 71 per cent don’t trust sponsored media ads.
This lack of trust makes it more difficult and expensive to acquire new customers. In this environment, leveraging positive customer testimonials can help brands build credibility, draw interest and, ultimately, generate leads with a high purchase intent.
How to use customer testimonials in your marketing strategy
- Document and share the experiences of your happy clients
- Use customer testimonial videos to build engagement
- Use different social media to build awareness
- Focus on credibility and authenticity
- Use testimonials for different stages of the buyer’s journey
- Capture attention by highlighting what influencers are saying about you
The benefits of customer recommendations and testimonials
- Positive reviews are an acquisition tool that can help you generate leads at almost no cost.
- Asking customers for a testimonial can strengthen your relationship.
Tip: Only reach out to customers with whom you have a strong history – those who you regularly engage and who have shown interest in your business.
The different types of testimonials
Social media testimonials
These are the organic, authentic statements from happy customers on your social channels. They are typically short, to the point and relay a specific positive experience. It’s become a best practice to showcase these as they appear, without any editing or visual enhancements.
Industry “expert” testimonials
These testimonials/opinions come from the thought leaders in your market space and work well for B2B companies.
Happy customer testimonials
These typically follow a similar format: a sentence or two from a satisfied customer explaining how a product/service helped them. To maximize the impact of this type of testimonial, include a photo of the customer. This builds engagement and increases trust in what they’re saying.
The popularity and impact of videos in marketing continues to grow. When it comes to testimonials, video offers brands an opportunity to get creative and build greater engagement with potential customers.
The best ways to use testimonials for lead generation
1. Document and share the experiences of your happiest clients
Do a deep dive into your long-term customers and find how your products/services are helping them. Ask for permission to share these real-world stories across your website (on your landing, product and pricing pages, for example). This is a great way to build trust and credibility.
2. Use video to build engagement
Don’t just rely on text. Film the testimonials of your satisfied customers. Seventy-two per cent of people prefer to receive marketing information in a video versus text and 84 per cent say a brand video convinced them to make a purchase. People are also twice as likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content, including social media posts, blog posts/articles and product pages.
3. Be specific
Make sure testimonials keep it real and spell out exactly how your product or service made a difference. This is particularly important in the B2B space where tangible impact is key.
4. Use different media to build awareness
Include links to testimonials on your YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts, as well as in your digital marketing campaigns. Sharing compelling customer testimonials across a range of media can help expand reach and encourage people to learn more about you.
5. Keep the focus on credibility
Trust is top of mind for consumers. To confirm authenticity, create a backlink to the reviewer’s social channel or website.
6. Create different testimonials for different target audiences
There is no one-size fits all testimonial. As with all aspects of marketing, being specific and targeted is important. Have your target buyer personas in mind when developing testimonials. This will ensure the potential customers you’re trying to attract see themselves and their needs reflected in the success stories you’re sharing.
7. Capture attention by highlighting what influencers are saying about you
Influencers are influencers for a reason. Their followers trust them and are inclined to act on their reviews, recommendations and opinions. If you have influencers among your satisfied customers, be sure to turn the spotlight on their testimonials.
It is easier to sell to potential customers who read and engage with testimonials about your company and products. Even people who are unsure can be persuaded by compelling success stories from happy customers.