The purpose of an effective testimonial is to leverage your existing customers as social proof to convince prospective customers to pick you.
Not only can you add a good testimonial to the testimonial page on your website, but you can also use them within your content marketing strategy.
Adding testimonials to a blog post or social media post can boost your marketing campaign by showing off the great experience that a potential client can expect to receive by choosing you.
Why are client testimonials so important?
If you want to convince a prospective client to pick you over the competition, you need to show them exactly how you’ll solve their problems.
While product demos can show your product in action, a top-notch customer testimonial shows your solution in action.
Prospective customers will often look for testimonials during the research phase of buying a product or service. In fact, 79% of people have watched a video testimonial to find out more about a company, product, or service.
47% of buyers say testimonial videos are effective in these early stages because they help them visualize how a product or service actually works.
One of the main reasons testimonials are more useful than a product video is because your target audience wants to see how well you might solve their problems by looking at how you've solved similar issues.
This is why 2 out of 3 people say they’d be more likely to make a purchase after watching a testimonial video demonstrating how a solution had helped another person like them.
A lot of this comes down to trust.
9 out of 10 buyers say they trust what a real person says about a company over what that company says about themselves.
This is because a satisfied client is giving a personal recommendation, whereas a company’s positive review of itself is merely part of its marketing material.
What’s more, client testimonials are great sales tools. 36% of sales enablement teams are using customer testimonials to help their sales teams build cases.
And they work. Testimonials can have a serious impact on conversions.
Just look at Wikijobs. By putting testimonials above the fold of their new website design, they boosted conversions by 34%.
Need B2B video testimonials that close deals faster?
An effective testimonial can help push your conversion rates and net new customers. However, not every testimonial makes the grade.
First, your testimonial should be brief and to the point. Customer feedback should explain exactly how you helped them and how this impacted the company.
Whether you’re creating a written testimonial or a testimonial video, it should outline the customer’s problem and explain how you solved that specific issue. Numerical data is helpful here as it shows quantifiable results.
Make sure that your testimonials come from real customers that are verifiable. If a potential customer can’t trace the source of the testimonial, they may think it’s a fake.
Try to get a prominent decision-maker to present the testimonial.
An authoritative role, such as a senior manager, is far more convincing than an intern. Make sure you include the names and roles to boost credibility and to help similar clients find testimonials that align with their professional roles.
Lastly, make sure you have a diverse customer range on your testimonial page.
Pick happy clients that represent all facets of your target audience. Choose existing customers that illustrate how your solution solves problems for different industries, company types, and roles.
Look at this excellent example of a written testimonial for Work The System.
It includes the name of the happy customer and their role, along with their business’ name. This makes it easy to look up the establishment to check it's not a fake testimonial. The photo also adds an extra dimension of credibility.
Notice how the customer feedback explains the problem they were having and how Work the System solved it. There’s also numerical data showing the quantifiable impact of the service.
Now, check out this B2B video testimonial for Content Allies.
The testimonial is given by the founder of the company, which boosts its credibility.
The testimonial runs through the issue, solution, and impact of the solution in under two minutes.
How to create effective client testimonials to win over prospects: Best practices
When done right, a testimonial can convince prospective clients that your services are a cut above the rest.
To create effective testimonials that lead to more conversions, follow these best practices:
1. Reach out to all your recent clients
Start by reaching out to your existing customers to ask them for a testimonial.
While it’s easiest to ask a client directly after you’ve worked with them, there’s no harm in sending an email out to your list of past customers.
To make this process easier, you can always send it out as a quick survey, where you ask customers to comment on particular aspects of your product or service. You can use these responses as short quote testimonials to add to your website.
2. Pick your best customers
If you get a lot of response from your existing customers, you're in a position to choose your best clients to represent your brand.
For the most effective testimonials, you want to select customers that show off your greatest achievements.
Try to pick happy clients that seem overly satisfied with your work. These clients will be eager to write a glowing personal recommendation.
You should also look to include customers who had the most interesting and unique problems.
By showing your target audience that you can solve out-the-box problems, you demonstrate that you’re more experienced than your competition. This also helps you net other clients who may be having the same unusual problems.
3. Cover all your buyer personas
Select an array of clients that represent all the buyer personas in your target audience.
Look at the buyer personas you’ve created for your marketing campaign and choose a satisfied customer that can provide a use case for each of these personas.
Make sure you select for each different role, industry, and company type.
4. Provide your clients with a testimonial outline
There’s nothing worse than a vague testimonial that just alludes to you delivering a great experience.
You want testimonials that specifically outline what you did and how it helped solve a problem.
Don’t be afraid to give your customer a script or outline to work from — something like this:
Give a brief overview of your company and its purpose
Outline your business problem
Explain the solution
List the positive impacts of that solution
Give a clear recommendation for the brand
Not only does this help clients to structure written testimonials, but it also helps them feel more confident when filming a customer testimonial video.
5. Keep testimonials solutions-focused
Customers are looking to employ your product or service to solve a problem. Make sure your testimonials are solutions-focused to show the kinds of issues you’re good at solving and how you go about it.
Try to avoid vague language like you see in this example:
This is an especially effective tactic for B2B buyers since 54% of B2B buyers say they looked at case studies when making their last purchase, and 29% say that case studies are their most important buying resource.
9. Choose to make video testimonials
42% of people say video testimonials work because they help viewers understand the story behind a real person. Not only that, but 77% of consumers who have watched a brand's video testimonial say it had a part in persuading them to buy.
This is why 43% of companies now produce social proof videos.
But it’s not just that videos are more authentic and engaging — they’re also highly shareable.
This makes a video testimonial the ideal marketing material for social media marketing and paid advertising campaigns.
If you’re planning to add a video testimonial to your marketing campaign, keep it brief.
Look at this testimonial example for Robin.
By keeping it as short as 30 seconds, it’s ideal to use as a YouTube ad or to put up as a post on Twitter or Facebook.
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