Way before online review sites, there were customer testimonials — and marketing with testimonials can still be an effective marketing tool for your small business. Why are testimonials so valuable?
- If prospective customers relate to the people in the testimonials, they may see how your business could be useful to them, too. When they see someone with a similar problem or challenge explaining how your business solved it for them, they’ll be interested in learning more.
- Marketing with testimonials is more believable than traditional marketing or advertising. Prospects trust real people more than they trust ads — even when they don’t know the real people.
- Detailed, specific testimonials can provide additional information about your product or service in a more interesting way than marketing copy or spec sheets. By adding the personal element, you help capture customer attention.
How can you use testimonials to market your business?
- Start by contacting people who send you positive emails, praise your business on social media or post stellar online reviews. Ask if you can use their testimonial in your marketing materials.
- But don’t just sit around and wait for good testimonials to come rolling in — go out and get them. For example, if you own a B2B company, ask some of your longtime customers if they’d be willing to provide a testimonial. You can ask them to write a short testimonial or record it on video to use on your website.
- To get a good testimonial, ask your customer to provide concrete details and specifics as to why they like your product, service or company. It’s important to use the person’s own words — a testimonial shouldn’t sound like marketing copy. However, some people are intimidated by the idea of writing a testimonial. To get around this, you can just talk to the customer and record it, then write up their words into a testimonial and have them approve it.
- To prove the testimonial is authentic, include as many details as you can, such as the person’s name, title, company, URL for their website, social media handle, photo. When you put this information in testimonials on your website, readers can easily click through or do a search to know that the testimonial came from a real person.
- Be sure to get permission from your customers to use their testimonials, photos and contact information. Update your testimonials every year or whenever new products and services have been around long enough to earn customers’ loyalty.
- Once you’ve got testimonials, post them in relevant spots on your website — your homepage and any pages listing services, products or clients. You can also share testimonial videos on social media and use written testimonials in your print marketing materials.
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Maria Valdez Haubrich
Maria Valdez Haubrich is Chief Liaison Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.