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Testimonials attest to a business’ quality and character. The goal of using testimonials is simple—to build trust with consumers and inspire them to take the next step and make a purchase. And while today’s customers are savvy to marketing claims and lingo, they are generally more receptive to content sourced from other consumers. In fact, a study by Ivesp showed that 90 percent of consumers read online reviews as part of the shopping process.
While testimonials can have a tremendous effect on your business, owners need to take steps to ensure they’re using them correctly. Here are some tips regarding how and where to use testimonials to your best advantage:
Choose the Most Relevant Ones
As a business owner, it’s important to choose the most relevant testimonials to feature on your website and in your marketing materials. To start, ensure that the testimonials you select are written by members of your target audience. For example, if your women’s clothing store targets hip millennials, you don’t want to include too many testimonials from women in their 40s and 50s. The theory is that people respond better to customers to whom they can relate. Hence, the goal is to show your customers that their peers are happy with your products and services, and they will likely be pleased as well.
RELATED: Why Online Reviews Are Important for Your Business
You can also increase your sales numbers by including testimonials from prominent local figures, including minor celebrities, politicians, sports figures, and other industry leaders. For best results, ask for testimonials from companies that provide different services within the same field.
Boost authenticity by including the testimonial writer’s full name, job title, company, and photo, with permission of course. Research shows that testimonials featuring pictures yield better results than those without. Additionally, small business owners should seek out short, easy-to-read testimonials that elicit emotions. Video testimonials can be particularly effective at showcasing the speaker’s enthusiasm for a company’s products or services. Be sure to post them on your website and social media pages.
Posting Testimonials on Your Website
If you aren’t using testimonials on your website, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to convert leads. Once you’ve amassed a collection of testimonials, set up a page on your website devoted to showcasing them. However, you shouldn’t stop there. Take time to sprinkle testimonials throughout your website, making sure to include them on the homepage, all key product pages, and at points where customers are making buying decisions. For example, you might want to use testimonials near signup forms and on shopping cart pages. You can also place them in sidebars and even above headlines. The goal is to ensure your web visitors encounter positive customer feedback no matter where on your site they click.
Include Testimonials in Your Sales Pitch
Although posting testimonials on your website is essential, you should be sure to use them in other aspects of your marketing as well. Testimonials can be invaluable additions to your sales pitch in that they offer prospects a form of social proof. When you send members of your sales team out to speak to customers and businesses, arm them with relevant testimonials. These marketing tools are also valuable additions to media and press kits as well as other sales and PR documents.
Share in Other Marketing Materials
Testimonials also add authenticity to your social media pages and marketing materials. This customer feedback makes great Facebook posts and Tweets to share with followers. Additionally, you can use testimonials on flyers, mailers, postcards, and brochures and even include them in your monthly newsletter. Along with showing how much current customers appreciate you, testimonials help get your company name into the public perception. This form of marketing is also useful for increasing click through rates for your email marketing campaign.
Place Testimonials for Optimal Effect
It’s not enough to include testimonials on your website and in your marketing materials—you also need to position them for optimal effect. Testimonials are great for breaking up larger blocks of text on product and service pages. Posting a quote—and better yet, a picture of the writer—helps draw the reader’s eye and keep him or her engaged. Additionally, testimonials help convince hesitant or uncertain buyers to give your products a try. The idea is to predict and answer buyer’s question as they encounter your products, so they will ultimately be able to purchase with confidence.
B2C, or business to customer, companies aren’t the only ones to see their sales skyrocket as a result of testimonials. In fact, a study by TechValidate shows that 94 percent of B2B marketers said content from actual clients was “very effective” or “extremely effective” in generating sales. If you’re not using testimonials to boost your marketing efforts, you might be missing out on a valuable opportunity to grow your business.
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