Testimonials are important for all businesses. Now more than ever before, customers use testimonials to decide between doing business with you or your competition.If you are not taking advantage of the power of testimonials, you may be leaving money on the table. Here are some of the best ways to use testimonials to build your brand reputation.
Best Ways to Use Testimonials to Build Your Brand Reputation
1. Create a Testimonial Strategy
When selecting the best way to use testimonials for your brand, it is important to first map out a testimonial strategy for your brand.
It is important that you use testimonials that are authentic, and that accurately represent you and what your product or services have to offer to potential customers.
2. Locate Conversations About Your Brand
Your customers may be talking about you online, even if you haven’t solicited their opinions. Conduct social listening and monitor your digital brand to find testimonials online and on various social networks.
You can find positive endorsements and comments about your brand on blogs, review sites, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, forums and even dating websites.
SEE ALSO: 5 Steps to Targeting Your Social Buyer
3. Obtain Permission to Use Testimonials
The next time one of your customers updates their social status to say how much they love you, you have an opportunity to capture a testimonial.
Try replying in the following ways:
- Thank the person for positive comments, then ask more specific questions related to their comment.
- After you strike up a dialogue ask the customer for permission to publish the comments with the person’s name. Try to get a photo of the person (preferably with the product) in addition to their names.
- Thank the customer for providing their testimonial. Let them know where the testimonial’s posted and how it’s being used. People will likely want to share the link with friends and family.
Never use testimonials without permission. This is shady and once your customers discover you’ve been using their names and comments for profit, they’ll feel slighted that you never bothered to ask their permission. They could even take legal action.
4. Create a Blog and Social Media Presence
People will always make comments about you and your brand. By creating your own blog, a Facebook business page and leveraging other social networks, you make it easy for customers and prospects to find you and to be part of your brand community.
This also allows you to provide a dedicated place for testimonials and positive feedback.
5. Position Your Testimonials Strategically
Your consumers are looking for reviews. To aid in the buyer journey, you should include your best testimonials on your homepage.
Here are some key statistics:
- More than 70 percent of Americans say they look at product reviews.
- Over 60 percent say they would be more likely to buy from a site that has product ratings and reviews.
- A Zendesk survey found that over 90 percent of participants were influenced by positive reviews.
Consider placing testimonials in the center of your page, in the sidebars, or above the headline.
Personally, I think it looks best when people use testimonials in the sidebars. It looks good and it keeps people focused on your credibility as well as your sales copy.
It’s important to set up a separate page to house your best testimonials. Though you might pull some of the same testimonials into the right sidebar of your homepage, you’ll still want to showcase all of your positive customer testimonials on their own page. You don’t want to distract from your endorsements.
Don’t be afraid to use testimonials on different pages of your site. At all times, you’re trying to convert website visitors into customers. You do this with your sales copy and with customer testimonials.
6. Vary the Medium
In the past, many testimonials appeared as text, but we’re seeing a lot more testimonials filmed and recorded. This adds to the credibility of the customer’s testimonial. For your website visitors, videos are a fun part of the user experience, whereas text is just more for them to read.
I would always try to get a video testimonial first, followed by a voice recording. If the customer is not agreeable to being filmed or recorded, I would then try to use their short written testimonial, name and a picture.
7. Don’t Edit Testimonial Content
Do not edit customer testimonials to exclude a comment or to add self-serving information. As a rule, if you can’t post a comment as is, that comment should not be posted. You can edit for grammar and spelling, but leave the essence of the comment alone.
Customers could end up resenting you for censoring their posts. If something is really offensive and is scaring off prospects, then delete it, but never edit any of your customer’s testimonials to fit your standard.
8. Don’t Invent Testimonials
This is fraud and people can tell. Once your fabrication is discovered, you and your brand could find yourselves in the middle of a public relations crisis.
Does anyone remember the Amazon fake review scandal of 2015? They bought reviews, which isn’t the same as “inventing” them, but is still fraud.
People would rather act on a referral from a friend than make a purchase from a dreary salesperson. Testimonials are the customers’ way of trying your product or service before making a purchase.
Your prospects want to know your product or service works. Testimonials provide peace of mind that the purchase will be worth their money.
If you’re not using testimonials on your website, you’re missing out on a cheap, effective and easy to use marketing tool.
Do you have any other tips for the best ways to use testimonials? Please let me know in the comments section.