Word of mouth has a special status in contemporary marketing. Successful entrepreneurs use it to increase lead generation and strengthen user engagement, especially on websites and social networks. Online reviews and customer testimonials also have the power to boost sales, while a recent study revealed that user endorsement has the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89%.
Of course, this is true only in case of real and well-crafted testimonials. We are not talking about fake reviews that don’t contain names, sources, or images. In this article, we are about to show you how to create compelling testimonial pages to inspire customer trust.
Testimonial Page Objectives
The most important objective of customer testimonials is to improve brand authority. According to the research, almost three-quarters of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. To put it simply, it is a social proof that products or services function properly. That’s why client endorsements should describe your products and analyze how they work.
First of all, you want users to see that the items you are selling are 100% functional. Besides that, you need to mention other benefits such as the free trial period, gratis shipping, or refund. If possible, you should also undermine competitors using a sentence like this: “I tried dozens of anti-dandruff shampoos so far, and I finally found one that actually works.” With all these elements included, you can rest assured that website testimonials will serve their purpose.
5 Tips to Create Perfect Testimonials
Now that you’ve seen the objectives and essential features of customer testimonials, you should also learn how to make them sound even more convincing, credible, and realistic. Here are the five tactics in that regard:
Tell a story
Storytelling is the cornerstone of good testimonials. It influences both the users’ perception and behavior, making them more purchase-prone. The story should be able to tell people exactly what they want to hear. For instance, if you are selling some sort of medicines, customers should explain how it helped them ease the pain. The point is to reveal practical use and problem-solving qualities of your brand.
But it’s not always that simple. Perhaps you sell goods that don’t actually solve problems. This is the case with things like clothes or furniture as you can’t really say that your couch solves somebody’s problems. In such situation, you need a great story to describe how comfortable or beautiful this couch is.
Some of the most innovative companies use storytelling as the basic feature of client testimonials. Zendesk is a great example in that regard – they go beyond standard testimonials and provide followers with high-quality customer stories, adding more credibility to the word of mouth marketing.
Add a human touch
It may seem strange to read that you ought to add a human touch to the customer-generated testimonial. However, you would be surprised to know that many companies create vague and generic client endorsements. Keep in mind that the purpose of this type of website content is to convince people to buy your products or services, so it has to be highly credible.
“You need to come up with authentic content which a real buyer would say. Write it in a conversational tone, using everyday language. You can make an exemption only in case your target audience consists of extremely eloquent individuals or experts in a specific industry like IT or engineering. In all other cases, testimonials should sound like real-life statements of an average person,” says Tom Lee, a marketing specialist at Superior Papers.
Use photos of real people
Use images which represent common people and individuals you expect to see in everyday situations. This is something that Free Agent – online accounting software – regularly does with its testimonials.
Another detail you should bear in mind is to choose images according to cultural and ethnical peculiarities of target locations. For example, you should probably use a photo of a 30-something Caucasian male when selling the latest business intelligence software.
On the other hand, a photo like this would be unwise if you are targeting Chinese or African clients. You just have to make the right kind of balance between the story you want to tell and the faces potential buyers expect to see behind those testimonials.
Don’t neglect video testimonials
Video testimonials are the latest trend in website content creation. According to the recent study, videos will make more than 80% of an entire Internet traffic by 2021, which means that users want to see this kind of content even on testimonial pages.
If possible, you should craft spontaneous video endorsements. Avoid scripts to make actors sound more convincing, keeping testimonials short and simple. Users don’t enjoy watching long videos, so try to create dynamic but short clips of 45 to 60 seconds. Don’t forget to change frames and sequences frequently because nobody wants to watch the same person (however good-looking) talking for more than few seconds.
Company Chow Now completely stopped posting testimonials with images. They shoot professional videos with each client, which makes their testimonials extremely appealing and trustworthy. Of course, it takes a lot of time and budget to make a video of such quality, but you can do just as well using nothing more than a decent video editor and a little bit of creativity.
Average customers should make the majority of testimonials, but you could also save some room for social influencers to praise the brand online. A survey revealed that almost 40% of Twitter users made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer. These are industry thought leaders or highly successful individuals whose words have the power and authority to skyrocket your business.
For instance, an NBA star can judge the quality of sneakers just like IT experts can speak on behalf of your latest software. An average buyer trusts their evaluations. Your only job is to find an influencer who shares the values and style that your brand represents. This person will attract new buyers and expand your base of loyal customers in the long run, so don’t be afraid to invest in testimonials of well-known or influential individuals.
Well-designed testimonials add value to content marketing, which is why successful businesses pay special attention to this aspect of content creation. When designed professionally, client endorsement has the power to boost the number of leads and conversions.
In this article, we showed you how to create effective testimonial pages to inspire customer trust. Make sure to follow our tips and feel free to let us know in comments if you have other valuable suggestions to share with our readers.