Testimonials can be a powerful force for marketing a business.
According to a Nielsen survey with 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries, 92% of consumers said they trust earned media (like testimonials) above all other forms of advertising.
With reviews, you don’t have much say in how the review text turns out. With testimonials, on the other hand, you can take an active hand in helping the customer address key points you want covered.
On a monthly basis we post a number of our customer’s websites. These posts are another great resource for viewing how businesses are using testimonials to promote their brand and business. Check out the latest post now.
Let’s get started.
Blog post reviews are among the most thorough and influential types of testimonials you can receive.
These types of testimonials are usually coupled with “how to” guides, or information that makes them valuable to the reader. For example, this longform review by Adam Connell, a popular blogger about successful blogging, takes a comprehensive look at Instapage, a landing page builder.
Anyone interested in using Instapage can read through this almost 2500 word blog post, review the screenshots, and get a pretty solid understanding of how Instapage works.
Creating an affiliate program is one of the best ways to encourage blog post reviews like this, as it gives bloggers with niche audiences the incentive to review your product and cash in on any traffic they send your way.
Another example of a blog post review driving growth comes from Chris Singleton, who wrote this blog post review for GetResponse email marketing software.
He discusses features, pricing tiers, user experience, how the service stacks up against competitors, and provides a very in depth look at what users can expect when they join the service.
And like we mentioned before, he makes the important decision to provide both pros and cons in reviewing GetResponse. If you are seeking to get bloggers to review your product, it can be tempting to think that a purely positive review will be most valuable, but in reality, consumers are often skeptical of purely positive reviews.
Testimonials are just as much about who is saying them as they are about what is being said. Influencer testimonials – testimonials by well known figures in a niche – are one of the most powerful forms of credibility and authority for any product or service.
SEO for Growth focused on this strategy in marketing its guide to industry professionals, pulling in numerous testimonials from high-profile influencers in the industry.
By pulling in these types of individuals, SEO for Growth instantly establishes credibility with any new visitor to the website.
Another example of influencer testimonials in action comes from Brian Dean of Backlinko. Brian went straight to the top of the food chain and helped Neil Patel, founder of Quicksprout and one of the best known names in marketing, create an entire library of marketing video content.
Brian then leveraged that partnership to provide SEO services for Neil and receive a testimonial from one of the biggest names in marketing – a testimonial that Brian displays prominently at every opportunity.
A testimonial like this instantly transfers industry trust in Neil straight to Brian, and while he has since become one of the most prominent figures in marketing on his own merit, Neil’s testimonial undoubtedly helped him get there.
While celebrities certainly qualify as influencers, they are typically in a class of their own and should be used for different purposes.
When you want to sell an advanced service or a specialized product to a specific audience, you should use niche influencers. The more specific your audience, the less likely they are to care about celebrity.
When you want to sell something more broadly applicable to a general audience, a national or even international celebrity can have a huge impact. This is why Nespresso has made George Clooney the face of it’s advertising campaigns. He embodies the brand message they are hoping to convey, and his celebrity makes him influential with a wide audience.
You can also check an interesting article on Nespresso here
Becoming the face of a brand is fairly extreme. Endorsements can be as simple as a brief testimonial. Intraceuticals drove growth for their facial and skin treatments by getting an endorsement from Paris Hilton.
Keep in mind that while Hilton’s celebrity following is fairly large, the demographics have a lot of crossover with Intraceuticals’ target audience: young women. The testimonial itself is also optimal, as Hilton describes the product as her savior in two relatable situations, where young women are often concerned about not looking good: long flights and late nights.
Even though celebrities are chosen for their broad appeal, it’s important to make sure there is still crossover with the target audience and that the testimonial itself is relevant to that audience.
It’s well known that your potential customers trust what your current customers are saying about you more than they will trust you. In fact, they trust their peers 92% more than they trust brands.
But there’s another reason peer testimonials are so powerful: people inherently trust other people who are similar to them or look like them in some way. When they seem someone similar to them talking about how great your business is, it registers at a much deeper level.
The Art of Charm, a coaching program for men, uses this approach very effectively. The Art of Charm uses testimonials from men who personify their target audience, so that potential customers can relate to what they say.
Sometimes peer testimonials and influencer testimonials have some crossover, as in this example from Optinmonster. For someone heavily involved in social media marketing, Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner, is a big name. For someone heavily involved in SEO, Joost de Valk, founder of Yoast, is a big name.
For everyone else, these guys are essentially peers – online entrepreneurs using Optinmonster to help them succeed. Since the app has a target market much bigger than these influencers niches, their testimonials serve as both influencer and peer testimonials at the same time.
Social media has also become a great new source of powerful testimonials. Not only can Facebook ratings provide encouragement for prospective customers, but by maintaining an active presence, your social pages provide easy access for happy customers wanting to sing your praises.
A great example can be found on Crazy Egg’s Facebook page, as a happy customer raves about the service of her own accord.
Twitter testimonials & social proofs are short, sweet and powerful. Due to the nature of Twitter, they often come up over the course of organic conversations, which increases their credibility. When people tweet their love about a service or product, it tends to send a small amount of hyper-targeted, qualified traffic to the business in question.
A great example can be seen in the image below, as one user and potential influencer talks about her love for the Forks Over Knives app, stating how she recommends almost every recipe in the app. This type of organic testimonial highlights why it’s important to have social profiles setup on any platform where your target audience spends times. Having a profile made it super easy for Heather to link straight to Forks Over Knives and provided a low-friction way for interested participants to lean more about the brand.
Search Engine Land reports that the average landing page converts at 2.35%, which is why this next example is particularly effective.
In his testimonial, Unbounce customer Colin Sandeman-Allen provides specific percentages on how Unbounce Convertables helped hist team increase conversions across their marketing campaigns, citing a 9% increase in conversions.
Adding numbers to testimonials makes them concrete and authoritative, and you should try to get hard numbers whenever possible.
The next website testimonial is relatable to freelancers or solopreneurs because it was written by Chris Dunst, a freelance web designer.
Like any freelancer, Chris pinpoints the number one issue they all worry about: the need to spend time working for clients and on the core business instead of waffling around with things like invoicing and finance.
His testimonial for FreeAgent speaks to those paint points, discussing how the service frees up his time by being easy to use and helping him streamline the financial side of running a freelance business.
Chris also mentions that he likes to use free software but is happy to pay for FreeAgent. This speaks specifically to users who, like him, user a lot of free apps and might be skeptical of shelling out cash for something like FreeAgent.
We discussed Neil Patel‘s influence earlier, and it probably won’t surprise you to know that Neil leveraged his customers’ influence to become the widely known marketer he is today. Neil worked with some widely known brands back when internet marketing was still an emerging field, and he leveraged the success he was able to generate for each and every client.
It’s hard to ignore 500 million page-views per month, and back when Neil was getting popular, I Can Has Cheezburger was one of the most popular websites on the web.
Towards the bottom of their homepage, WPZoom features short testimonials from customers who have bought their WordPress themes. Notice how the testimonials that WPZoom chooses to feature focus on the company’s three main selling points:
Too often, businesses aren’t intentional about the testimonials they choose to highlight. It’s important that the testimonials highlight the message on your landing page as opposed to simply saying something positive about the business.
Video takes testimonials to the next level. Not only is video incredibly popular with internet users, but it also allows the reviewer to connect with the viewer in a far more multifaceted way. Video brings facial expressions, hand gestures, voice tone, and many other important facets of communication to the table that written testimonials simply can’t offer.
The following example comes from Swipely, who opted to create a professionally produced video around one of their customer’s experience. We weren’t able to embed the video, so click here and scroll down to watch it.
Another great example of a video testimonial in action comes from Aweber. Like Swipely, Aweber profiles successful businesses using its services and publishes “success stories” that are really just well-produced testimonials.
This particular video shows how Vault Brewing was able to drive grow their business via email marketing with Aweber.
Professionally produced videos have their place, but consumers are very aware that these types of testimonials are heavily influenced my the business’ marketing agenda. They lack the credibility of organic user feedback.
Fortunately, there is a way to merge organic feedback with the power of video. A great example of this in action can be seen below. In this testimonial, Samuel Leon, CEO of Online Magazine, talks about his positive experience using the BombBomb video email service. His commentary takes place on a normal, unprofessional camera, that carries with it the feeling of an organic review.
This mashup video testimonial features a few clients talking about the benefits of their alliance with Mike Albert Fleet Solutions. The main benefits that stand out are “saving costs and long partnerships”. To the viewers, this indicates long, beneficial and satisfied partnerships from not one, but multiple clients.
This lends credibility and authority to the service Mike Albert provides.
Another location where reviews can make a big difference are 3rd party review platforms. For example Jenn Reviews is a site dedicated to reviewing products of all sorts. They have reviewed all types of consumer products like coffee machines.
In a review on Trustpilot for Birchbox subscription boxes, a customer writes about how happy she is with her decision.
What makes the review valuable to other readers, is that she mentions:
It’s been found that 50% of consumers first check online reviews before making a purchase, and the majority look for reviews via search engines.
The following testimonial by a customer of the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Transformation Diet was found on the first page of Google search, listed on a review site.
What makes it authentic is that the customer was honest enough to throw a negative into the mix – that once your 12 weeks is over, you lose access to the site – but even so, she still recommended the program. She also did not make any outrageous claims, but instead mentions that the success of the transformation requires consistent exercise.
The honesty of the review makes the program believable, and does a great job at convincing interested people.
We hope you’ve been able to glean some insights from these testimonial examples. We are always on the lookout for good content which will help those who are looking to build traffic and their online reputation. Every so often we will be updating the following list with some great finds. We hope you enjoy:
With these as your target, you can effectively acquire and utilize high-performing testimonials within your online and offline marketing efforts.
And if you’d like to begin collecting video testimonials for your business, check out how VocalReferences can make that process easy.
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