Build Your Reputation With Testimonials And User Reviews
Are you stuck doing what you’ve always done to attract new customers, only to get the exact same disappointing results? As most small business owners know, that generating new business can be difficult and time-consuming. Just trying to keep your business afloat takes up a lot of time, money and energy, and sometimes this can feel like it’s just not worth the effort.
In today’s digital, mobile and social media-driven economy, ignoring what users may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
Ignoring what clients may be saying online about your business could be a costly mistake!
By the same token, you may also be doing your business a great disservice if you don’t promote the positive things your clients say about your solutions, user training, support, etc. Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are effective when it comes to helping you market your products and services online and should be included as part of your content marketing strategy.
In this article, you will learn ways to achieve better results online with awesome customer testimonials.
Testimonials And User Reviews
The great American businessman and showman P.T. Barnum is often quoted as having said that “Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd.”
P.T. Barnum obviously understood the power of “social proof”. Social proof-driven content is a powerful way of getting your business promoted effectively. Testimonials and reviews from existing clients are far more persuasive for attracting new clients than anything you have to say about your own products or services.
There is an untapped source of opportunities for generating new business that most small businesses simply do not utilize, or utilize correctly … client testimonials and reviews!
Testimonials and consumer reviews are a powerful way to build credibility for your products or services.
Research conducted by many leading marketing companies all lead to the same conclusion: adding customer testimonials and user reviews to your sales information eliminates doubts potential customers may have about purchasing products or solutions that you are trying to sell, helps with product selection and increases sales conversions.
Below are just some statistics that support this:
- According to research by eVoc Insights, a company that researches and measures user experience, “In general, 63% of users indicate they are more likely to purchase from a web site if it has ratings and consumer reviews.”
- According to Reevoo.com, user reviews can result in an average 18% uplift in sales and 50 or more customer reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Site visitors who interact with both customer reviews and customer questions and answers are 105% more likely to purchase while visiting and spend 11% more than visitors who don’t interact with UGC. (Bazaarvoice, Conversation Index, Q2 2011).
- Customer reviews are significantly more trusted (nearly 12 times more) than descriptions that come from manufacturers, according to a survey of US internet users by online video review site EXPO. (eMarketer, February 2010).
Adding User Reviews And Testimonials – Online Reputation Management
Adding great reviews to your website from clients who are delighted with your products or services is important for helping you grow your business online and creating a solid online reputation.
Reviews and customer testimonials, however, can work both ways and impact your business both negatively and positively.
People may not be saying bad things about your business directly to your face, but they could be posting updates on Facebook, or a discussion group or forum about an unpleasant experience they’ve just had using your products and this could be costing you business.
This is where online reputation management becomes a vital part of your business and content marketing strategy.
Misconceptions about online reputation management, such as the process being too complicated or too time-consuming (or the belief that you just don’t need it) could be seriously causing damage to your business without you even being aware of this.
See this article to learn more about a WordPress plugin that allows you to legally and ethically manage customer feedback:
Tips For Creating Powerful Testimonials
Testimonials, user reviews, and case studies are powerful when it comes to helping you market your products and services online and should be an integral part of your content marketing. When you include your own client responses in your content, you:
- Show potential customers exactly what pains and problems your products and services can help to solve for them and how easily it can do this.
- Help prospects identify and address their objections.
- Help potential customers connect with their motivations and aspirations and this facilitates moving them closer to a buying decision.
Below are some practical tips on how to create effective testimonials:
- Don’t over edit: Try to use your customer’s actual words as much as you can. Leaving grammatical errors and misspelt words in the content helps preserve the authenticity of your testimonials.
- Use photos: Marketing studies show that using images of people’s faces will draw the attention of visitors browsing a web page. Adding client photos next to their testimonials and reviews will help increase visitor engagement with your site’s content.
- Tell a powerful story: Stories are far more powerful and captivating than just providing facts and statistics. Being able to present a customer’s horror story and how your solution came to the rescue will make a more lasting impression on those reading your content than using generalized statements about excellent customer support and giving “two thumbs up” product recommendations that all of us have heard a “million times” before.
- Use it in context: It’s good to add customer testimonials in your web content where it best makes sense to place them, and where they can most effectively help you sell your point. For example, think about the impact you will have on your visitor’s perception by adding a testimonial about what a “bargain” price your solution retails for before posting your pricing information, or testimonials about problems you’ve helped clients solve before presenting the benefits of your products, or testimonials where clients are truly thrilled about your customer service when offering guarantees or providing content designed to help your readers overcome their objections.
- Quantify the information: Which of the following statements do you think your prospects would consider to be more powerful: “As a direct result of using your XYZ services, our sales grew by an additional $50,696 during the previous fiscal year,” or “XYZ software has helped us grow our sales?” If possible, publish testimonials containing quantifiable results, like how much your solution helped to increase their market share or reduce their costs in specific percentages or amounts, how many hours you have helped them save, how many new leads or new clients they were able to generate, what kind of things are they able to do or experience now that they couldn’t do before, etc.
- Avoid using the same customer testimonial throughout your site: Although this can be a little difficult if you are just starting out or don’t have many clients, try to avoid displaying the same testimonial everywhere on your site’s pages. Depending on the nature of your business, you could try to obtain more testimonials by offering limited review copies of your product, or a special discount for existing clients in exchange for an honest review and permission to publish it if you choose to use it.
- Appeal to your target audience: As every infomercial featuring a celebrity endorsement, subject expert or “busy mom” knows, if you know who your target audience is, providing testimonials from people who your prospects aspire to become is a powerful motivator and influencer. People want to see and buy from “better versions” of themselves, so make sure to include testimonials that appeal directly to your best audience demographic.
- Reprint content across different platforms. If you get a great comment on your Facebook wall praising your commitment to customer satisfaction, contact them privately asking for their permission to reprint the comment or post on your site.
- Only use genuine client testimonials. Many people can tell if you are employing copy writers to produce your content. Outsourcing content is fine, but your prospects need to believe that the testimonials published on your site are genuine. Don’t compromise your credibility or reputation with ”made up” testimonials.
How To Get Client Testimonials
Getting a testimonial from a happy customer can be as simple as just asking for it.
Here are some tips for soliciting testimonials:
- Contact customers after a specific period of time, e.g. 90 days with an email reminder for a testimonial if you have not obtained one after performing a service.
- Include a field for testimonials in all client surveys.
- Pull out your phone when you next meet with clients or hand over a completed project and if they are delighted with your services, ask them if they would be happy to record a brief video testimonial/feedback interview. During your video, describe to your viewers what you have done for your client and capture the client’s positive reactions and feedback.
- Make it easy for them. If a client sends you positive written feedback that contains snippets of useful testimonial material interspersed with the rest of their message, grab the best sections (only use what they have given you – never put words into their mouth), and shape these into a testimonial, then contact your client and ask them for permission to quote them on your site. Explain that you have already prepared something to help them save time and let them know they are completely free to modify what you have written however they like before replying with their approval.
Offer To Publish A Link Back To The Source Wherever You Publish Their Testimonial
Offer to add a link to their site in exchange for their testimonial. This is a great incentive to get clients to provide a testimonial. It also makes the implicit statement to visitors that your testimonials are real and can be verified.
Add A Testimonial Request To Your Auto Responder/Newsletter Messages
If you have a subscriber list, include requests for a testimonial in a regularly-spaced auto responder message. Preferably, this should be done after your clients have had a chance to measure the effect of using your product, service or solution. Use words like “I need a quick favor” in the subject of your message and make the point of your email or message specifically about asking users to provide feedback, a testimonial, or a review of your services.
The LinkedIn “Recommendations” feature allows you to solicit testimonials that become part of your profile. The process for requesting and providing recommendations is quite user-friendly and the person who provides the recommendation receives a link to their profile. If you get a positive recommendation on LinkedIn, ask their permission to reprint it on your website (once again, you can offer to publish a link back to their website in exchange).
Create A Client Testimonials Section
Create a new section for customer testimonials and place a “read more customer testimonials …” link to this section throughout your content sections.
Tip: You can measure the effectiveness of your user testimonials by how long visitors stay on the section of your pages or posts where you have added the testimonial content. ”Heatmapping” technology is a great way to observing what visitors are doing on your pages.
We have written an article about a heatmap analytics technology you can add to your site to track visitor behaviour here:
Useful Testimonial Plugins For WordPress
If your website or blog is built using WordPress, you can use a plugin to add, edit and display testimonials. Some plugins also allow you to add forms to your pages inviting users to submit feedback and testimonials.
Once your testimonial plugin is installed and set up (make sure to provide simple instructions for adding testimonials via the submission form – if available), you then send clients to your “Testimonials” section.
Below are a few useful testimonial plugins you can check out:
Easy Testimonials is a free plugin that lets you add user testimonials to your sidebar as a widget, or embed them into posts and pages using a shortcode. The Easy Testimonials plugin also lets you insert a list of all testimonials or output a random testimonial, and include an image with each testimonial, which can be used for adding a photo of the testimonial author, a company logo, etc.
The Easy Testimonials plugin also provides a “pro” version that offers additional features and technical support.
To download and use this plugin, visit this site:
Testimonials Widget is a free WP plugin that lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with images or videos on your pages and posts. You can insert testimonials content via a shortcode, theme functions, or widgets with category and tag selections and have multiple display options such as random or specific ordering.
The Testimonials Widget plugin comes with added features via a premium version, including built-in options SEO functionality and plugin support.
To learn more about using the plugin, visit this site:
This premium plugin provides plenty of great features right out of the box, including:
- Responsive design that resizes for correct display on any device or browser.
- Display options for your testimonials in a widget or as sliders, slideshows, list layout, grid layout, etc. by adding a shortcode
- Styling options (display image at the top, bottom, or side of testimonials, display testimonial in a speech bubble, customize font and background colors, font types and more.
To learn more about this plugin, go here:
To learn how to add testimonials in WordPress, see the tutorial below:
In Summary …
Client testimonials and customer reviews are powerful sources of content that can help your business in terms of adding credibility, building authority, improving online reputation, and growing your sales funnel. Always ask for testimonials, reviews, and feedback from existing clients, and publish positive content about your business on your web site.
For additional information about creating engaging testimonials refer to these articles:
- Ecommerce Consumer Reviews: Why You Need Them And How To Use Them
- How To Create Captivating Customer Testimonials
- 5 Tips For Knockout Testimonials
- Make Customer Testimonials Meaningful
- 7 Simple But Powerful Customer Testimonial Examples You Can Steal
- Your 5-Minute Guide To Writing an Amazing LinkedIn Recommendation
- How To Get Great LinkedIn Recommendations
We also recommend subscribing to our Free Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive a comprehensive series of training emails with easy-to-digest information that will teach you how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating useful content that will add value to your visitors and grow your business online using content marketing. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
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