When it comes to successfully marketing your business, something called “peer review” is one of the best ways to sell your products or services.
Before the advent of the internet, peer review usually consisted of Person A telling Person B about your great company.
Nowadays, peer review comes in the form of social media and online testimonials—when someone has had such a great experience that they take their personal time to write an unbiased online review.
Also known as social proof, customer testimonials are a powerful way of instilling trust in potential clients and customers.
How Can Testimonials Benefit Your Business?
Customer testimonials are a trusted and believable way of telling your customers:
We’re an amazing company—but don’t take our word for it. Here’s what other people just like you are saying about us.”
Research has shown that:
- 84% of people trust online customer reviews just as much as they would a personal recommendation from a trusted friend.
- Positive online reviews greatly influence 90% of consumers buying decisions.
- 97% of B2B buyers state that they trust consumer reviews more than any other type of on or offline content.
- Compared to other types of content marketing, customer testimonials have received an 89% highest effectiveness rating
What Makes for a Great Testimonial?
All customer testimonials are not created equal. Those that are short and offer no insights or real value don’t come off as trustworthy as those that do. There are five elements of a great customer testimonial:
Visually Aesthetic – While a text-only testimonial is good, those that include videos, images, and other design elements can up the trust factor by several levels.
Short and to the Point – Nobody has time to read a 1,500-word review. When you encourage your customers to write a testimonial, ask them to stick to the facts and how your product or service solved their problem or made their life better in some way.
Detailed – A detailed review is much more trustworthy than one that is just a few sentences long. Readers are better able to relate to reviews that include specific details—to the point where they can put themselves in the proverbial shoes of the writer.
The Tone of Voice – Reviews that are paraphrased or written in “corporate” or “marketing-speak” don’t come off as natural. In fact, they can cause people to think that the review is fake. Testimonials tend to work best when written in a natural tone of voice.
Truthful – Reviews must be truthful. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has started to crack down on companies who write their own reviews or hire others to do so. Getting caught posting fake reviews can heavily damage the reputation of your business.
How to Get Great Reviews and Testimonials?
The best way to get a review is to simply ask. Keep in mind that it’s illegal to write your own reviews or have someone else write fake reviews. The FTC has set up a dedicated webpage that provides guidelines for online reviews. Here are just a few of the many ways you can ask people to leave you an online review:
Email – If you have a list of customers, you can segment it, reach out to them via email, and ask them for an honest review. Chances are you’ll get more than a few responses.
In-Store Requests – Have a few cards printed up that state your appreciation for their business and ask for a testimonial. You can even set up a website page that’s specifically dedicated to receiving online testimonials.
Customer Surveys – A customer survey will not only attract reviews, but it might uncover some hidden insights into your business that you were not aware of. You can use a free tool like Google Docs or a paid tool such as Survey Monkey.
Marketing Experts in New Bern
Many New Bern businesses are taking advantage of customer testimonials. If you would like help getting started, give the marketing experts at AlphaGraphics New Bern a call. We’ve helped countless New Bern businesses with both their printing and marketing needs.
At AlphaGraphics of New Bern, we’re much more than a print shop. We’re also marketing experts who you can count on to help you when it comes time to market your business. To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of New Bern can produce and design your next project, you may email us, request a quote or call us at (252) 633-3199.