Picture this: You are shopping on Amazon for a product and encounter two virtually identical options. How do you decide? If you are like 67 percent of consumers, online reviews would likely impact your final purchasing decision.
Similarly, although word-of-mouth is still a powerful form of marketing, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
And if this isn’t enough to prove their importance, customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89 percent.
Benefits of Customer Testimonials
Here are a few other reasons why customer testimonials are so valuable:
- Social proof: Social proof is the concept that people will conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior. It is arguably the most effective form of marketing.
- Lets others sell for you: Sales is hard work. Customer reviews allow others to sell for you in their own words. Letting your customers do the talking reduces the chance you’ll sound overly “salesy.”
- Raises credibility: People who are not involved in your business are automatically more trustworthy in the eye of the consumer since they have no stake in what you are selling.
- Helps prospect picture themselves as your client: Real life stories are more tangible and relatable for customers than just facts and statistics.
- Another chance to tell prospect what you can do for them: Why not drive this point home one more time when given the chance?
Elements of a Strong Customer Testimonial
Now that you know why your site needs customer testimonials, it important to understand the elements which make them impactful. The first thing to remember is to promptly reach out to your customers after a project is completed (or even during the project if it is long). This will keep your services fresh in the customer’s mind and allow them to provide you with more detailed examples.
Any positive testimonial is a useful marketing tool, but we’ve found that the very best include specific details which have the client describe exactly what results you gave them (not just deliverables, but results).
Whenever possible use:
- Real names
- Photos (makes the reviewer more real)
- Organization names
Displaying Testimonials on your Website
Once you’ve collected at least a handful of testimonials, it’s time to display them on your website. Depending on your site, reviews could be valuable on the home page, on a page where a customer is making a purchasing decision or on their own separate page.
If you have some testimonials that are stronger than others, place those at the top of your list or in a prominent spot on your page. Customers often only read a few, so make sure that the first ones they read are your best.
It is also useful to highlight the best parts of the testimonials. This can be done by bolding and/or coloring certain words. Those who choose to skim the testimonials will find this helpful.
If your business doesn’t already have testimonials on its website, the time is now to start collecting them. There is no better form of free marketing available to you.
Would you like to add a testimonials page to your website? We would love to help you make this essential improvement. Contact us today!