Social proof is essential because it demonstrates your value to potential customers by showing what actual users think about you. We make purchase decisions based on what our peers think. Social proof shows that you’re trustworthy and that you offer value.
You need to work social proof into your regular marketing mix. An easy and effective way to do this is with testimonials.
What Is a Testimonial?
A testimonial is a recommendation written by someone who has used your products or services, sharing their experience with the reader. It’s more in-depth and personal than a review, but not as detailed as a case study. The purpose is to quickly show potential users what they can expect and help them make the right buying decision.
How to Get Testimonials
Testimonials are easy to get, but you usually have to ask for them. Whenever you receive a good bit of feedback from a customer, ask them if you can use it on your website. For example, a customer sends you an email telling you they really enjoyed your product. Reply asking if you can use the email as a testimonial, or if they’d like to write a new version.
Even better, create a system for procuring testimonials. As part of the follow-up to each sale, reach out and ask if the person would leave a good word for you. Provide a form to make it easy for them and automate to make it easy for you.
One more method for procuring testimonials is to search for mentions of your brand on the internet and, in particular, on social media. Reach out to the commenter with a heartfelt thank you and ask if they would be willing to write one for you.
How to Use Testimonials
Once you start gathering testimonials, there are many ways you can use them:
- Post them prominently on your website, especially on pages where you want visitors to take action.
- Share on social media, both as your own testimonials and sharing the content of others.
- Put testimonials on your landing page or sales page.
- Include them on the sidebar of your blog where they’ll be seen but not distracting.
- You may want to create a testimonials page on your website where you say, “See what other people are saying about ___.”
- Turn parts of testimonials into quotes to use as blurbs or press releases.
Testimonial Do’s and Don’ts
Here are some best practices to follow with testimonial content:
DO put your best ones in the place where they’ll be seen most.
DON’T edit testimonials. If there are spelling errors or glaring mistakes, edit those and make sure the user approves the final version.
DO use videos and visuals wherever you can. Video testimonials are highly effective. Try to include a picture of the user with written testimonials to add a personal element.
DON’T get friends or business associates to leave your testimonials for you. They need to be authentic in order to work.
Testimonials are just one type of social proof content to include in your mix, and they can have a huge impact on your conversion rate and sales.
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