Customer voice is the most valuable piece of building trust in your brand.
Prospects want to hear from the people who have actually worked with your company.
This is a psychological phenomenon known as social proof. And it's an excellent way to build brand equity, especially among B2B buyers.
Furthermore, prospects who can clearly see how your product benefits businesses like theirs are more likely to make a purchase.
In digital advertising, you have limited space and only a few seconds to illustrate your point and provide social proof.
Looking for inspiration on how to integrate testimonials into your advertising?
To demonstrate how you can take your digital advertising to the next level, let's dive into these five great testimonial advertising examples.¬†
Testimonial Advertising Examples: AdEspresso Uses Customer Quotes
It's best to first consider what's essential when thinking of testimonial advertising examples to follow.
It's essential to acknowledge prospects want to see materials not created by you. As a result, you want to give your prospects access to information outside your own marketing materials in a concise, easy-to-read format.¬†
You need to ensure that you're enticing users to interact with your content and act on your CTAs. Especially when you consider the limited space and restrictions of display ads.
To illustrate this, let's look at a paid social media campaign from AdEspresso.
Social Media Quotes
It's important AdEspresso is willing to drink their own brew as a platform to manage multi-channel digital campaigns.
They need to demonstrate what their product can offer not only in content but also technical execution.
This particular Facebook ad campaign features images and quotes from real customers. It uses a scrolling carousel format, with a CTA to a free trial:
This is a great testimonial advertising example for a few reasons:
- The carousel format. This format allows advertisers to upload anywhere from 2-10 images that users can click or swipe through. This format is often underutilized by B2B brands, despite its unique ability to entice users to engage.
- Impactful graphic design. A graphic treatment like this unifies diverse customer stories, derives impact from the quotes, and lends itself to multiple platforms. While this carousel is on Facebook, it could also easily translate to Instagram, LinkedIn posts, or Pinterest pins. The simple campaign template also scales and can be repeated with new content or testimonials.
It's crucial to be concise when mimicking this type of ad for your own business.
Too many words on a single image will be off-putting for your viewers. Plus it likely violate social media best practices and policies. Facebook, specifically, has a rule that ads must contain less than 20% text within an image.
However, customer quotes is only the beginning of the testimonial advertising examples that can help you.
Testimonial Advertising Examples: Hubspot Uses Multiple-Formats with Social Media Ads
A testimonial advertising examples list is only complete with a brand you've likely heard of in the B2B marketing space.
Marketing automation platform HubSpot works with an extremely wide range of customers. From sole proprietors and startups in need of a CRM to large agencies managing marketing automation streams for multiple clients.
The HubSpot team has to effectively demonstrate its ability to appeal to each target market. They have to cater to any client's set of business needs.
This is where testimonials can be extremely impactful.
Let's look at a recent ad campaign for Hubspot's "Advertising: a Look Behind the Screens" video content marketing initiative:
Hubspot is using their own employees to provide social proof in this campaign. It's people are similar to their target market, but still Hubspot employees.
Employee testimonials may be less valuable than an outside, unbiased testimonial, but there's still value.
Hubspot employees can provide a different level of expertise than an outside user.
One thing to copy about this particular campaign? Don't hesitate to play your all-star lineup.
Thought leaders and influencers can provide more effective social proof than the average customer reviewer. These people carry more social capital.
Think about it.
If you're interested in marketing automation, would you rather hear about what leaders at Google and Facebook are doing? Or get tips from the small business down the street that's bringing in a handful of leads each month?
Start with customers who might carry greater weight in your target industry when you begin your campaign.
Social Platform Strengths
Another thing to aspire to is demonstrating an understanding of each unique social platform's best practices.
On Facebook and Instagram, Hubspot uses a visually-stunning ad that stands out in a feed.
The focus is on two of the eight subjects in the video interview series. They're imposed on a background with lines that force perspective onto the confident, smiling subjects and the ad copy.
It's an image you can't help but look at:
Meanwhile, on LinkedIn, we see more ads featuring downloadable assets and guides, primarily targeted to sales professionals and ad agencies.
The primary object on LinkedIn is to network with other business professionals. Particularly for career growth and mutually beneficial business opportunities. A natural fit for the thought leadership campaign.
Hubspot's ads on Linkedin focus on LinkedIn's Head of Marketing, Justin Schreiber. It's a more minimalist treatment, focused on information delivery rather than visual impact:
You need to understand where prospects are coming from and the type of content they want to see on that platform.
Even if you're directing your prospective customers to the same landing page.
This will maximize your testimonial ad campaign's conversion rate.
Testimonial Advertising Examples: Close Uses Testimonials In Their Email Campaigns
Social ads aren't the only opportunity to include testimonials.
Email marketing is one of the most valuable tactics in your digital advertising arsenal. It typically has the highest ROI in multi-channel campaigns.
Automated CRM platform Close shows us how it's done. They use testimonial quotes directly integrated into an email drip campaign—placing social proof for their product directly in prospect's inboxes:
The nurture campaign was designed to be an email "course" on sales techniques for startup businesses, and was written accordingly.
The "course" offered not only testimonials, but tactics, suggestions, and other genuinely valuable content. Then ultimately pitching Close as a solution to help startup business owners with their sales needs.
All of the emails are styled to look like personal emails from Close CEO Steli Efti rather than branded content. The tone is conversational, personable, and full of emojis and frequent line breaks.
You've probably seen hundreds of similar email drips, but there's a reason we're suggesting this one.
What's really interesting is the decision to write a "behind the scenes" blog post.
Detailing the architecture of the campaign and the decision-making for subject lines and sender names is more unique.
Close is a B2B brand focused on offering marketing and sales technology to startups. The blog post effectively serves as social proof of their attention to strategic detail and the ability to execute for their customers.
Plus, this blog gives you an effective blueprint for creating your own nurture campaign.
Testimonial Advertising Examples: Cisco Uses Live Influencer Endorsements in Twitter Ads
Testimonial advertising examples can include much more than client testimonials. And client testimonials aren't the only way to offer social proof.
Influencers and industry experts who advocate for your brand can also work wonders to generate brand trust.
Influencers and Hashtags
Hashtags are an especially wonderful way to promote and listen in on conversations.
In the hashtag #CiscoChat, B2B software and technology giant Cisco hosts loads of content. Their have experts speak on factors affecting business growth and digitization in podcasts and live Q&As:
Hashtags are a great way to quickly see exactly who is talking about your brand and what they're saying.
Getting a Twitter hashtag going for your brand is all about consistency, outreach, and engagement. It's not enough to tack the hashtag onto your own organic calendar and hope for the best.
Use social listening and social ads to get your hashtag out there and understand what your ideal buyers are saying. It allows you to engage with posts related to your brand.
A social listening tool, helps you track your brand name as well as specific keywords, hashtags, and competitors. You can then respond directly to these posts to engage with your audience, and include the hashtag in your reply.
Within the #CiscoChat tag, Cisco offers pre-recorded podcasts, business case studies, and other testimonials.
Live Events and Social Advertising
Cisco has also placed a large advertising push behind the #CiscoChat Live event.
It promises direct interaction with industry leaders, influencers, and other business owners. All of whom use Cisco products to fuel their growth and development.
The best part about webinars and interviews streamed live?
Live social proof is indisputable.
Even without thousands of attendees or Cisco-sized resources, your B2B brand can copy this tactic on a smaller scale. Host a Q&A with panelists from your most successful clients to share their experiences.
Engage directly with influencers who might be interested in your content to gain endorsements for your live event hashtag.
Tell them a bit about your brand, and encourage them to use it.
Your ideal buyer is likely to click a hashtag used by someone they already trust to see what others are saying.
Testimonial Advertising Examples: BlueTarp Uses Video Testimonial Ads
Our testimonial advertising examples has finally come to the most influential format. Video gets major buzz in the content and digital marketing space. Why?
Probably because of its unique ability to deliver a story in a concise and engaging format that viewers enjoy.
Let's take a look at a winning video testimonial advertising example from BlueTarp.
BlueTarp is a credit management and financing solution for B2B vendors. Meaning they need to speak effectively to other B2B leaders and decision-makers about financial services and their customer lifecycle.
While the BlueTarp solution is incredible for its customers, financial services aren't necessarily the most engaging topic to read about.
That makes them the perfect candidate for video testimonial advertising.
Storytelling in Marketing
Basic storytelling marketing conventions follow the same conventions as novels and movies.
There's a hero, faced with a challenge they must overcome. Then they meet characters that guide them in solving the problem and ultimately living happily ever after.
In B2B marketing, your company should never be the hero of the story.
In order to do storytelling-driven marketing well, you should position your customer as the hero.
Your business is simply the guide that presents a solution to the problem.
BlueTarp does this extremely well in both their LinkedIn ads and testimonial videos.
BlueTarp leverages five-second snippets and full-length testimonial videos for their ad campaigns. This lets their customers tell the story of the issues they faced and how BlueTarp helped to solve the problem.
Testimonial videos have the unique ability to relate a customer success story in an emotionally-driven way.
Written testimonials, reviews, quotes, and case studies offer great opportunities to dive into statistical and detail.
However, only video offers the opportunity to truly hear the subject's voice and understand the emotional impact of the decision.
For example, BlueTarp's full-length customer videos are successful because they each follow storytelling conventions.
The customer clearly discusses the appropriate aspect of the relationship.
- What they do
- The challenge they faced
- How BlueTarp provided a solution
- And the benefits the solution has offered their business
When creating your own testimonial video ads, consider taking a similar approach. Pull a select shot for a quick, impactful snippet on an ad or boosted post.
Start Your Testimonial Advertising
In conclusion, building brand trust is about balancing the art of great marketing and the science of psychology.¬†
Effective use of social proof allows you to do both.
Now it's your turn to build the advertisements you need to deliver social proof to B2B decision-makers. Create effective testimonial videos, written case studies, and reviews with these best-in-class examples.