Marketing a business is tough but using these seven types of B2B testimonials will make it easier to close sales.
No matter how you're marketing your business, your messaging and positioning is important. However, it simply can't compete with the validation of your customers telling their story on your behalf.
When customers give a testimonial, it generates what is called "social proof"—a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others because they assume those actions are correct.
Social proof is a powerful thing.
It can influence prospects along your entire funnel. When prospects see someone like them experience success, it can go a long way in convincing them to take the next step.
62% of B2B decision-makers say that peer recommendations are a very strong purchasing trigger, and 89% of B2B marketers consider testimonials the best marketing tool at their disposal.
To demonstrate, we'll provide you with seven different, proven testimonial types:
Which Types of B2B Testimonials Are Best For You?
There are many different ways to showcase customer testimonials.
When deciding which approach is best for you, you'll want to consider the values of your business, market, and the format or medium your audience will respond best to.
Here are seven of the most reliable types of B2B testimonials for your business.
1. Quote Testimonials
The quote testimonial is certainly the oldest and probably the most common type of testimonial.
In the B2B space, quote testimonials are often displayed on your company's website. It's typically accompanied by an image of the customer and the business's name.
This makes the quote more relatable and increases trust. Smart marketers also include a CTA (call to action) after the quote.
Quote testimonials are succinct (a sentence or two typically, lest the reader lose interest) and fairly easy to get.
Simply ask a customer who had a positive experience with your business if they could explain how your products or services were able to help them. Then get their permission to use their quote, name, and picture (if applicable) on your website and marketing materials.
The quote testimonial demonstrates support for your products or services by someone who has firsthand experience with them.
Here's an example from the email marketing platform MailChimp:
As you can see, the quote provides the reader with a very specific example of the benefits of using MailChimp.
In this example from payment gateway provider BlueSnap, the quote features a statistic. This provides the reader with a tangible idea of just how much BlueSnap can help their business:
If you're adding quote testimonials to your marketing mix, try spreading them out over multiple pages of your website. Then the reader is constantly reminded of the value your business provides.
2. Social Media Testimonials
The social testimonial is similar to the quote testimonial in that the customer is saying something good about your business.
However, with social testimonials, the social proof is happening naturally on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks.
Showcasing unsolicited positive sentiment from social media makes you seem authentic and credible.
If a former customer liked your business so much that they are willing to give you a shoutout on their social networks, that's a powerful endorsement.
In order to maximize your business's potential for social media testimonials, encourage your customers to leave feedback on your social channels.
When they do, be sure to respond thoughtfully. Especially if they have questions or concerns (or if they leave a negative comment).
Also, when you get social testimonials, be sure to like and reshare them to get in front of a wider audience.
You can even screenshot it and share it on your website, as the event software platform Bizzabo has done in the following example:
3. Influencer Testimonials
Having customers say good things about your business is helpful. But having the endorsement of a well-known figure within your industry can be a gamechanger for your business.
This type of endorsement is known as the influencer testimonial.
With an influencer testimonial, your business is being validated by a thought-leader who your prospective customers already view as trustworthy.
Keep in mind that the influencer doesn't need to be a celebrity, per se. They simply need to be respected within your industry.
Influencer testimonials aren't easy to obtain. You need to have a product that the influencer actually wants to endorse. They have a reputation to maintain, so they aren't just going to throw their name behind anything.
The format of an influencer testimonial can vary greatly.
Here are a few examples:
These are influencer testimonials for SEO For Growth—an online SEO course. While these names might not mean anything to a random person on the street, they hold clout within the marketing industry.
Search Engine Journal is a leading trade publication, and Rainmaker Digital is a well known marketing agency.
This is an example from the online payment processor Stripe. They leverage their partnership with the popular ridesharing app, Lyft, to generate social proof. From this example, you can see that a highly recognizable brand can also serve as your business's influencer.
4. Press Testimonials
How many times have you been scrolling a business's website and found a section with a bunch of news organizations?
For instance, this example from the website of live chat software provider Intercom:
This is known as the press testimonial.
Press testimonials are quite similar to the influencer testimonial. Your business is leveraging the authority of another brand to raise the profile of your own.
In fact, having a major news organization like the New York Times or CNN cover your business can generate even more social proof than an influencer testimonial. It will potentially be seen and shared by millions.
Of course, getting featured in the news is no small feat (especially for something positive).
One common way to drum up media attention is to send press releases to news outlets. Use these to announce exciting developments within your business: new products, a business milestone, or an event.
You can also leverage your knowledge and experience within your industry to become an expert that reporters will want to talk to about industry news and trends.
Once you compile a couple press clippings, do what Intercom did and share them on your website. This type of validation is a great testament to the work your business does.
5. Consumer Reviews
Similar to social testimonials, consumer reviews create social proof on behalf of your business organically.
But instead of the reviews happening on Facebook and Twitter, they are happening on consumer review websites like Yelp, Angie's List, G2 Crowd, TrustPilot, and Better Business Bureau.
These reviews can be very influential to prospective customers, especially those considering using your business for the first time. In fact, a 2018 study found that 57% of consumers will only buy from a business that has at least a four star rating on a major consumer review website. This is because this feedback is unbiased and unprompted.
However, you can always encourage customer reviews by leaving CTAs on your website.
After gathering a lot of positive reviews, you can share your consumer reviews via social or quote testimonials.
Here's an example from TransferWise, a platform that allows businesses to send and receive money abroad without paying foreign transaction fees:
As you can see, TransferWise shares its top reviews from the customer review platform TrustPilot. Their overall rating is sure to provide customers with confidence.
6. Case Study & Success Story
Case studies and success stories provide a detailed review of a customer's success working with your business.
Both are typically in the format of a blog post, although some of the most high-impact use video.
Firstly, case studies tend to showcase a more analytical approach to how your customer achieved success with your business. They tend to use facts and statistics to showcase the results your business helped achieve.
Here's an example of a case study from Zoho, a software platform that provides business management tools.
In their case study, they explained how their software was able to support BeRepublic, an agency that creates digital businesses for its clients:
A success story, on the other hand, is a more narrative explanation of how your business was able to help a client.
It is often written in a more journalistic style, and features quotes from the customer and other stakeholders. The goal is to take the reader step-by-step through the transformation the business underwent.
Our next example is from Atlassian, a software platform that provides collaboration tools to businesses.
They wrote a success story about how they were able to help the charity Cancer Research UK:
7. Video Testimonials
Lastly, we have the video testimonial. This is arguably the most trustworthy of all the types of B2B testimonials. Unlike written testimonials, it's difficult to fake.
Videos in marketing work.
Just check out these incredible stats on video:
- Adding a product video on your landing page can increase conversions by 80%.
- If your customer hears something, they're likely to retain only about 10% of that information three days later. By contrast, if what they hear is accompanied by relevant imagery, they'll retain an average 65% of that information three days later.
- Cisco found that by 2021, 82% of all consumer internet traffic (globally) will be video-based. As Neil Patel says "if a picture is worth 1,000 words, than video is priceless."
So yeah, video testimonials need to be part of your sales funnel.
What goes into a video testimonial?
Most video testimonials actually combine elements of many different types of testimonials. For example, a video testimonial can take the form of a case study, success story, or influencer testimonial.
And there's quite a bit of wiggle room for creativity. Some video testimonials provide a general breakdown of the product, while others are lighthearted and humorous.
Let's check out some examples created by Testimonial Hero.
In this example, the clothing retailer Lucky Brand provides a success story which details their business's transformation after working with analytics software Celect.
Another example comes from Explainify. In the video, customer Plated details how Explainify's animated explainer videos were able to increase their brand visibility:
If you are going to create a video testimonial, make sure it looks professional, otherwise you'll lose credibility.¬†
Remote video testimonials
Remote video testimonials are growing quickly.
Many businesses are determined to save money on testimonials and opt for the remote capture option. Because they assume they'll be able to use the saved money for marketing or other expenditures.
There are many benefits to filming remotely, including the fact that today's phones can capture video in HD and even 4K.
However, putting filming in the hands of your customer can be a risky endeavor. Will the video be shaky, have framing issues, or bad audio?
If you want the authenticity along with quality, then Check out this high-quality testimonial video from Testimonial Hero. They have a proven process to ensure you'll capture something high quality:
Pick the Type of B2B Testimonial That Is Best For Your Business
In short, customer testimonials generate social proof for your business. And it can play a huge role in the decision making process.
The types of B2B testimonials that maximize social proof are as follows:
- Quote testimonial: A sentence or two explanation of how your business was able to help the customer.
- Social testimonial: Similar to a quote testimonial. Except the validation is coming via a social media network, which makes it more credible.
- Influencer testimonial: Validation of the services your business provides by a well-known and trusted personality within your industry.
- Press testimonial: Validation of your business by an unbiased news outlet.
- Consumer review: A positive review of your business on a consumer review platform. Like social testimonials, consumer reviews are organic and therefore more credible.
- Case Study & Success Story: A longform explanation of the transformation your business provided to a client. Case studies are accompanied by statistics and facts, while success stories are more narrative and journalistic.
- Video testimonial: Combines elements of case studies, success stories, and influencers. Video provides customer evidence on behalf of your business in a highly credible and engaging format.
Now you're familiar with the different types of testimonials. Now it's up to you to decide is which ones best represent your brand and will maximize audience engagement.
Then get started!