With the arrival of social media, consumers are engaged with brands now more than ever. Companies now have to contend with a new and influential marketing medium – customer testimonials.
These days, it does not matter what you think about your business. Customers know better about your business than you do. It is for this reason that customer testimonials are so valuable. It appears that customers rely on the opinion of their fellow consumers more than any other source.
Simply put, testimonials sell. The world wide web is so large that it has become an extremely impersonal medium. Humans trust humans. If you can humanize your web site, you will more likely get potential customers to do business with you. Testimonials convey honest and believable messages to potential customers.
In this article, we will take a look at how customer testimonials can carry your brand to new heights.
Paid, earned, and owned media
To further understand the value of customer testimonials, we will discuss the types of media the companies engage in.
Marketing, with the help of digitalization, has evolved over the past several years. Companies now make use of paid, owned, and earned media to promote their brands and each is a platform for testimonials of different types.
1. Paid media
Paid media refers to marketing and advertising promotions that businesses pay for. You need a budget with the belief that you will get a return on what you spend. Examples of paid media are Google Ads, Facebook Ads, television, radio, and print ads.
2. Owned media
Owned media includes websites, Facebook pages, and apps that your business owns and you have total control of. You would not need to pay for posts on these sites.
3. Earned media
Earned media is considered the most valuable of the three, and this is where customer testimonials belong. Consumers, influencers, and other sources begin to recognize and promote your brand because they are happy with your products or services. However, you have little control over this type of media.
Companies value earned media because it gives them the needed boost that they hoped for when they launched their brand. These include services like Google Reviews, the Better Business Bureau, Trip Advisor, and other platforms where consumers can post reviews and comments about your products and services.
Purchasing products on the internet can be daunting
Before buying online, consumers want to know many things.
- Is the site secure?
- Is the business reputable?
- Will the product deliver on its promise?
Since most consumers have never seen the physical product before making the purchase, they often turn to customer testimonials to find reputable answers to their questions.
Importance of testimonials
1. They build trust and credibility
Integrity and reputation are the essential elements of every business. It will effectively ruin a company if these two qualities are damaged. Having positive reviews will quickly gain you more trust and build your integrity.
Don’t get me wrong, a negative review can also raise your trust ratings among consumers when used the right way. If you act immediately on negative reviews, adversity can quickly turn into one of your brightest moments.
2. They offer social proof
When potential customers see that the product is alright with the other consumers, they will most likely try it too. It can be a great sales tactic since it can easily result in the bandwagon effect.
3. Testimonials show how your product solves problems
A well-written testimonial can show others how your brand was able to solve a nagging problem for your customer.
4. Humanize your brand
Testimonials can give you a human interest angle that people can relate to. It helps them understand the brand that is right in front of them.
Aside from reaching out to your customers through effective communication, another important task for your marketers is to develop as much credibility and trust as they can. Due to the several horror stories we all have heard about regarding scammers, customers want to know that you are for real.
- According to a survey, 92% of individuals said they read testimonials when thinking about buying something, especially from a brand they have not used in the past.
- Studies have shown that using customer testimonials regularly can help you generate 62% more sales from customers every time they take a look at your brand.
- Almost 9 out of 10 customers said they trust reviews as if they were personal recommendations.
- 72% of the respondents said that positive testimonials made them trust a business a lot more.
- According to a survey conducted by Nielsen, 70% of consumers trust testimonials given by strangers.
- 88% of the customers say testimonials affect their purchasing decisions when going online.
- As for B2B, customers said peer recommendations and testimonials are to them, the most reliable type of content.
- The quantity of the testimonials also matters. According to Vendasta, 73% of consumers read six reviews before deciding whether to buy or not.
- The same study says 12% of the consumers read at least 10 reviews.
- Before customers consider a star-rating accurate, there should be a minimum of 40 reviews, according to Opt-In Monster.
- Regularly using testimonials can increase your revenue by 62%, according to Strategic Factory.
- When placed beside more expensive products, customer testimonials can increase the conversion rate by 380%.
- Individuals who interact with testimonials spend 3% more per order, according to Big Commerce.
- Customer testimonials improve traffic by 45% compared to sites that do not have testimonials, according to Yotpo.
How to get customer testimonials
Don’t be afraid to just ask. You would be surprised to find out that your customers would be glad to help. And, you will feel great once all the positive feedback starts to trickle in. Offering an incentive via a discount or special offering is also a way to incentivize your customers for reviews and feedback. You can ask them through the following methods:
- Phone call
- Letter (use a self-addressed stamped envelope)
- Social media
2. Organize a free trial with a test group
You can select a group or individuals who can test your product. Ask for their feedback after they have tried your product.
3. Give a sample product to an influencer
Consumers trust influencers, so it is a great strategy to look for one. Or you can ask experts in your field to talk about your product. Recall how 9 out of 10 dermatologists recommending Brand A soap convinced you to buy it?
Always remember to ask permission to use their testimonials.
How to effectively use testimonials
1. Identify the quoted person
To erase any doubts about the testimonial, always use as much personal information as possible, including name, company name, city, and age.
2. It should be a benefit-oriented testimonial
Impactful testimonials should present the key benefits of your goods or services.
3. Use numbers to quantify the benefit
Having numbers in there helps people measure the benefits in their thoughts.
4. Never invent a testimonial
Never take your customers for a fool; they can differentiate fake testimonials from real ones. Instead of building trust, you would damage your reputation by doing this.
The words of delighted consumers are very powerful tools for establishing trust, building your reputation, and increasing profitability. As an entrepreneur, you should tap into this power that is available to you for promoting your business. It will take a lot of work, but it is well worth it.
Sure, you can still make use of paid and owned media for your marketing efforts, but none can be as effective as the ones you have earned. Encourage your loyal customers to review your brand, and remember in the testimonial game, quantity does matter.