Advertising and marketing is a challenge for most businesses. It doesn’t matter whether you’re big or small. The bigger businesses work on a larger scale but their challenges remain the same i.e. maximise their funding. Smaller businesses have the same problem but the highlight of their struggles is that they don’t have substantial budgets. This reduces the avenues available to them.
For example, while bigger businesses can consider television spots as a component of their advertising and marketing strategy, it is an absolute non-starter for smaller businesses. It is from this mind-set that smaller businesses stumble into a marketing element that has a huge potential – testimonials.
Unfortunately, despite stumbling onto this pot of gold, smaller businesses don’t realise its potency. It is because they lack the basics, of course. We’re here to remedy that. The following are testimonial basics that will help you get more out of them.
Why Bother With Testimonials? What Are The Benefits Of Using Testimonials?
70 percent of your target audience will completely or considerably trust an opinion of another customer on the internet.
This means that 7 of 10 people visiting your website or product page will buy into (all puns intended) the positive testimonials from other customers, provided you have them there.
Get ready for another brick. 92 percent of your target audience will believe an opinion posted online by someone they know. So, a public review from a customer can convince 70 percent of readers while the same review can convince 92 percent of the individuals’ friends. Therefore, if customers share their public reviews on social media, the impact can be staggering.
Even though you can use numbers to quantify certain benefits of testimonials, there are benefits that are so subjective that they’re immeasurable. Therefore, before we go deeper into this testimonial basics post by listing what good testimonials should look like, we want to list their immeasurable benefits.
Virtually, every business in the world can claim that it is the best at what it does. The same is true for people, of course. Because it is so common for people and businesses to blow their own trumpets, it becomes a big deal when someone else does it.
Basically, you need to pay attention to these testimonial basics because they’ll help you get the right testimonials and the right testimonials build trust. They tell the reader that you impressed someone else like him so much that he was compelled to write a positive review for you.
You want to use testimonials because they boost sales figures and bottom lines. However, the irony is that testimonials may be the most “non-salesy” content on your pages. They may praise your product or service and use loads of salesy terms such as “buy”, “amazing”, and “order” but they will still be non-salesy simply because they’re written by impartial third-parties.
Needless to say, this little detail matters to potential customers. They will trust your product, service, and business more because someone else like them does so.
The Final Nudge
While converting interested customers into paying customers has turned into an art these days, getting people to make that final decision is still a big challenge. Testimonials are especially accomplished in making that happen. They have the ability to influence even the toughest and most exacting of people so long as they’re considering your product or service.
All these are genuine benefits of testimonials that you can transform into a quantifiable financial impetus for your business provided you learn how to utilise them. For this, we’ve collated a very small list of testimonial basics that revolve around what testimonials should contain. Consider the following.
Testimonial Basics #1: An Effective Testimonial Needs to Be Credible and Genuine
Credibility is the biggest thing with testimonials, regardless of how or where you plan to use them. Testimonials need to be genuine or your business’s reputation is going to take a hit that will last for a long time. Putting up false testimonials automatically leads to distrust, especially since consumers are much savvier these days.
For example, most consumers can recognise fake reviews or, at the very least, don’t give them the same weight that they do to genuine testimonials. The best you can hope for with fake or incomplete testimonials is that potential consumers ignore them. The worst that can happen is longstanding distrust.
This is why credibility has to be the foundation of your testimonial strategy. The obvious way of ensuring genuineness is to get them from actual customers. In order to exhibit their genuineness, you should provide the source of the testimonial i.e. name and business. The more information you can provide the better it will be.
Testimonial Basics #2: It Should Cite the Benefits Directly
While testimonials like “it’s an awesome product” do fine as well, the real benefits of testimonials manifest when the testimonials are more specific. A testimonial that mentions one or more specific benefits will be much more effective.
For example, a marketing agency would benefit more from a testimonial that says “they doubled my enquiries” than a testimonial that just says “best experience ever”. It is also important to note that it would be better if the benefit being cited is directly associated with the product or service being offered.
A testimonial touting the professionalism of a real estate business will be less useful than a testimonial that explains how the business got the homeowner a good price on his property.
Testimonial Basics #3: It Should Affirm Marketing Claims
A testimonial that conforms to the on-going marketing efforts will also be more beneficial than one that goes on a different tangent. If you have a digital marketing agency that specialises in conversion but your testimonials sing songs about your design work, then the discordant tone will affect outcomes.
It would be better if the testimonials affirm your marketing claims. This would create a streamlined experience for your audience. An individual will visit your website or go through your marketing pitch with certain claims before coming across testimonials that back those claims.
This way the testimonials take up a key role in the sales funnel down which you’re trying to persuade your potential customer.
Testimonial Basics #4: It should come from within the Targeted Audience
Would you listen to a housewife about the qualities of a digital marketing agency, regardless of how perfectly she extols them? You wouldn’t because you would think that she doesn’t know much about digital marketing to offer up a qualified opinion. Instead, you would be more prone to listen to a business owner.
It’s the same as an English student appreciating a science teacher. You would assume that the testimonial is peculiar or even false because the chances of an English student learning from a science teacher would be low.
This is why a good testimonial needs to come from an individual or business that falls in the target audience.
Testimonial Basics #5: Comparisons Add to Value
This is very much common sense. A testimonial that compares two products will have an instant impact. Any potential buyer is most likely considering multiple products or services of the same type. Therefore, the testimonial resonates with him when he comes across one that compares two or more genuinely,
Unfortunately, this is very difficult to achieve. Comparison based testimonials often look forced and scripted rather than genuine. Even when they’re genuine, they can look scripted. This is where the problem is.
Good comparison testimonials tread a very thin line between genuinely comparing competing products and still looking authentic. This is why it is better to let them appear naturally with minimal nudging or hinting from the business in question.