Some companies spend all their time going after massive clients, hoping to land the whale and focus most of their attention on a single customer. Such a strategy is rarely effective. First, it’s difficult to land massive brands. Second, if they leave for a competitor, your business is sunk.
A much better approach is seeking referrals from small to mid-size businesses or individual clients. If word-of-mouth marketing leads you to the big fish, it’s an added perk that boosts your company’s growth. Testimonials are one of the most effective ways of reaching new leads.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, about 81% of decision-makers conduct online research before choosing vendors. Consumers also look at social proof factors, such as reviews and testimonials. Adding testimonials to your site helps you increase conversions. Here are seven ways you can utilize testimonials and optimize your sales:
1. Meet User Expectations
When people first land on your website, they have no reason to trust you or think you’ll stand behind your product. You must give them a reason to trust you. They will look for trust factors, such as clear contact information, reviews and testimonials. Make sure your testimonials meet your target audience’s expectations. They should be on-point and answer the questions typical users have.
2. Be Open
People may not always trust testimonials. It’s pretty easy to write up some fake reviews or have your family and friends provide you glowing accolades. Make it clear who the praise comes from. If you give a name and the company they run, it’s much less likely you’re just writing your own reviews. You can even allow people to write reviews on your site, showing you aren’t afraid of what others have to say about you.
Oregon City Garage Door highlights some of their customer testimonials, focusing on elements such as fast and courteous service. They also feature a box to the right side of the testimonial page allowing people to add their comments. You have to share the service date and installer name. Verification prevents cutthroat competitors from posting fake nasty reviews on your site.
3. Reach Out on Social Media
Talk to your customers and ask them to give you a shoutout on social media. While not a formal testimonial, there’s a strong impact when someone takes the time to recommend you to their followers. Someone looking for the products or services you offer will likely click on any links and check out your business.
4. Name Drop Other Businesses
If you’ve been in business for a while, you likely have clients who are well known. Utilizing testimonials from them and dropping their recognizable names can add another layer of trust. If a company that can hire anyone chooses you, there must be something you offer that others don’t.
Slack offers services for teams and works with more than 750,000 companies. One way they grew to the level they’re at is by being utilized by well-known brands. On their landing page, they mention the 750,000 businesses working with them and then drop a few names people know, such as Target, Deva Curl and Intuit.
5. Enlist Influencers
Working with influencers and micro-influencers on social media is another way of using testimonials to gain new business. Seek people who have an audience similar to your target consumers. Start by having them work with your product and try it out. You want anyone speaking for you to know what they’re talking about and adore what you offer.
Influencer testimonials tend to be much more in-depth than the short snippets you see posted on most websites. They’ll go into great detail about the product features and things they love about the item. They may even offer tips for getting the most from a particular model.
6. Talk to Emotions
One of the biggest advantages of testimonials is connecting with potential customers on an emotional level. When you tap into what people care about, they’re much more likely to convert into buyers. Seek testimonials that explain a problem the person faced and how you helped them solve it.
Pain points are at the root of why most people look for a specific product or service. An individual is facing something they need a solution for. Testimonials are your opportunity to show how you fix issues for customers and make things better.
Stio taps into the passion its target audience has for the great outdoors and sports such as skiing. They bring in info about Tanner Flanagan, a professional ski guide in Jackson, Wyoming. They use an interview format to add some emotional statements from him about his skiing memories and love of nature.
7. Know Your Objective
You should know why you’re adding testimonials. What is your goal? Do you just want to show you have the best customer service? Highlight reviews stating you have great customer service and the ways you went above and beyond for consumers’ issues. Once you understand the primary purpose of sharing statements from current customers, it’s easier to figure out which ones you should highlight.
Promote Your Testimonials
Gathering testimonials isn’t enough. You have to highlight them for potential leads. Share snippets on social media, add a video highlighting a customer’s statements to your homepage or ask a few top buyers to become brand ambassadors. With a little attention, your testimonials will do much of your marketing work for you.
Lexie is a UX content strategist and web designer. She enjoys copious amounts of coffee (with a dash of milk) and walking her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.