As a business owner, you've probably considered seeking customer testimonials, if you haven't sought them out already. But are you using the right ones and promoting them in ways that will actually be effective?

Find the right people

It pays to be selective with the testimonials you seek and utilize. It's important to find the right people to offer their feedback about your business so that you can use it to convince other people of the value of your offerings.

"Forget about your sister-in-law or your best friend. Be selective about who you ask for testimonials. Choose situations where you've made a difference or saved the day. These are testimonials that resonate with prospects," explains marketing and sales consultant John Graham.1  "For example, it was during a review of a prospect's business insurance program that a broker discovered several gaps in coverage that could do serious financial damage to the company should a loss occur. When the agent was awarded the account, he asked the owner for a testimonial. Needless to say, the new client readily agreed."

Reach out to people your products or services have helped and see what they have to say about it. You're much more likely to find usable testimonials by doing so.

Make sure the testimonials you use have value

Just as it is important to find the right people for your testimonials, it's also important to ask them the right questions or give them some guidance in order to get the most helpful responses.

"On screen, testimonials seem simple, but remember that most people are not used to writing, at least not for publication, and may feel a little intimidated or think it will be a time consuming process," says Tim Kelsey at Pronto Marketing.2 "So make it easier for them by giving them some guidelines or examples of what other people may have written."

Kelsey suggests asking them why they came to you, what you did for them, and how they benefited. These are great questions that can elicit the kind of response that makes for a solid testimonial because they get to the core of what your business can do for people and why it's worth paying for.

Use them where they make sense

No matter how glowing and relevant your testimonials end up being, they're not going to be of much use if you don't promote them the right way. Make sure you're using them where they make sense and can provide the best chance of demonstrating to potential customers/clients

Your website

Your website is perhaps the most obvious place to include testimonials, but where you put them on your site matters. Don't bury them on pages users are less likely to visit. Use them on your homepage and on heavily trafficked pages. Use them on product pages and on landing pages that you are using in your online marketing efforts.

Your blog

Your blog is a place to talk about what your company is doing, and it doesn't hurt to include testimonials on it either. That doesn't mean you should overload your blog with post after post of people talking about how your business is helping them. Instead, try adding one or two within a post on a subject that will be of interest to readers. Find a way to work them in organically so that they're relevant to the subject at hand.

Your newsletter

The same strategy should apply to the content of your newsletter. Your newsletter is a great place to include testimonials illustrating how your business has helped others, but at the same time, people aren't going to be interested in simply reading full articles just about that. Find ways to work these testimonials in organically so they pertain to what your audience is actually interested in reading about.

Videos

Similar to articles, videos are going to be more effective if the content is useful to the audience. You can make short videos that focus on the testimonials themselves, but these words from satisfied customers will carry more weight if they are applied in a relevant way to content the audience is specifically interested in.

Social media

On social media, you can also think of the testimonials themselves as small, bite-sized pieces of content to share on your social channels. Here, you don't have to worry as much about keeping users' attention as they scroll through their news feeds and timelines, so just getting these valuable anecdotes about your business in front of them at all can be useful. Pairing them with eye-catching graphics or other attention-grabbing content can also help.

Ads

Use testimonials in your ad copy if they are valuable enough and illustrate why a potential customer should choose you over the competition. You may need to condense longer quotes (think about how movie trailers use positive quotes from critics), but the right quote from the right person could be what it takes to convince someone to buy.

Testimonials can be a great addition to your toolbox as you look to increase sales. Just remember that not any old testimonial will do, and you have to use them in ways that are more likely to make a difference rather than just putting them anywhere and expecting a boost.

1. https://www.pilotonline.com/inside-business/article_5ce24814-99cb-11e9-8c61-67a996405824.html

2. https://www.prontomarketing.com/blog/how-to-use-testimonials-effectively/