Image source: Photospin.com
Testimonials do a lot more than let businesses know that customers appreciate their hard work. Along with stroking egos, these messages serve as crucial marketing tools that help companies get the word out about how amazing their products and services are. In fact, 72 percent of consumers note that good testimonials help boost their trust in a business. If you aren’t stockpiling testimonials – and using them throughout your website and marketing materials – you are likely missing out on a great opportunity to grow your business.
What Constitutes a Good Testimonial?
As a business owner, it’s your job to separate the useful testimonials from the ones that are unlikely to generate new sales. While there’s no template for the perfect testimonial, studies show that customers respond to specific messaging that focuses on results. Although it might be exciting for you to hear that Joe Customer finds your personal training services to be “super awesome,” this type of testimonial is unlikely to attract new clients to the business. Instead, opt to post testimonials that discuss how clients lost weight or built muscle mass on your program. The goal is for the reader to be able to put himself in the writer’s position and imagine using the product or service.
These days, customers have wised up to the fact that some testimonials are written by marketing representatives rather than customers. Along with posting specific, results-oriented testimonials, businesses should include evidence that the writers are real people. If the individual is willing, include his or her full name and photo along with the message. Social handles and links to personal blogs also add authenticity to your testimonials and make them seem more credible in the eyes or readers.
Surveys and Interviews
Of course, you can’t pick and choose testimonials to feature on your website if you don’t first collect a wide range of testimonials from your client base. Along with inviting clients to submit testimonials in your store or online, consider sending out surveys to those on your email list. You can send out surveys on your own or use a service like SurveyMonkey, which offers multiple question types and easy-to-use, attractive templates.
For best results, aim to solicit feedback immediately after completing a job for a client; for example, a house painter should ask for a testimonial right after a customer sees his or her beautiful, newly painted walls.
YouTube Video Testimonials
Text testimonials aren’t the only options for soliciting client feedback. In fact, video testimonials leave a strong impression, as viewers can watch the emotion on customers’ faces as they discuss your products and services. Encourage your devoted clients to create videos on their smartphones and upload them to your website as well as their own YouTube accounts. You can also record clients yourself while they’re in your shop.
Eighty-seven percent of online marketers currently use video content, and you don’t want your business to be left behind.
Rewarding Customers Who Provide Testimonials
While some clients might opt to provide text or video testimonials out of the goodness of their hearts, others need to be incentivized to leave feedback. To boost the odds of clients sharing their thoughts, offer benefits like coupons, special offers, and even prizes. Sites like Facebook allow businesses to share offers that are exclusively for fans, so you can reward those individuals who take the time to leave testimonials.
RELATED: 20 Ways to Get Word of Mouth Marketing for Your Business
Staying on the Right Side of the Law
Testimonials are only effective if prospective customers believe your current ones posted them willingly. Before publishing any testimonials on your website, make sure that clients are onboard. For best results, ask for consent to post both the testimonial and the client’s name. And, of course, you should ask before including a photo of a customer or a link to his or her website.
Additionally, businesses have a legal responsibility to disclose any relationships they might have with the testimonial writer. While it’s fine to solicit feedback from your friend or third cousin once removed, make sure this connection is clearly stated in the post.
Finally, companies should refrain from grabbing reviews off review sites like Yelp and then posting them to their own site as a testimonial. Many reputation sites post Terms of Service revealing that all user-generated content belongs to the writer and is only licensed to the site. As a result, copying these reviews and pasting them on your own marketing materials as testimonials is a form of intellectual property infringement.
Follow these tips to benefit from the incredible marketing power of testimonials.
RELATED: How to Use Testimonials to Boost Business
© 2016 Attard Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. May not be reproduced, reprinted or redistributed without written permission from Attard Communications, Inc.