Marketing is all about singing the praises of your business and getting your potential customers on board. But what about letting somebody else do the talking? Testimonials are the perfect way to build trust with your prospective customers. Why? Because people trust people.
Sure, your business is trustworthy. But it’s one thing for your business to tell everybody about the great work you’re doing, and it’s another thing for real customers to tell people about the great work you already executed. Check out these five ways to make testimonials work for your small business.
1. Ask for Reviews and Feedback
If you don’t ask, you’ll never know the answer. To gather testimonials, start with what you already have. Look online at your Google, Facebook and/or Yelp reviews. If any reviews are particularly good, reach out to the customer who left the review and ask if you can repurpose it for your website or advertisement. If necessary, you can pitch slight rewording and ask for permission to use the content, or provide guidance for a new testimonial. You have nothing to lose, but all of the new testimonials to gain.
2. Keep It Concise
Let’s face it—attention spans are at an all-time low. That means your business’s message is fighting for attention on social media news feeds, television and radio spots everywhere. When you have customers with work, kids and other everyday distractions, it’s hard to hold attention spans. Encourage your customers who are giving testimonials to be concise with their message. Look for ways to cut out unnecessary phrases and only use the most meaningful words. That way, you make the most impact with the least amount of time and space.
3. Use Multiple Mediums
Some people like to read. Others like to watch videos. Potato, potahto. Make sure to gather testimonials in various formats, whether it be written text, video or audio for a podcast or radio spot.
We live in an age where cameras and voice technology on our phones can produce incredible quality, so it’s relatively easy to make an ask of your customers to gather the testimonial in whatever media format you prefer. Simply make yourself available to troubleshoot if problems arise. Tell the customer how they can best record, and how they can easily get the testimonial to you.
4. Make It Memorable
Just because it’s a testimonial doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Encourage your testimonial-givers to let their personalities shine through. If it’s a video, encourage props. If applicable, show off your work on camera or by using pictures for print. For video testimonials, consider having somebody that’s lively and good in front of the camera talking about your business instead of the standard, straightforward spot. Likewise, for a text testimonial you should use a customer that speaks with energy that translates to paper. Don’t be afraid to break some of the writing rules, like including more exclamation points than you would normally let fly.
5. Update Regularly
As the seasons change, so should your testimonials! Mark your calendar with a reminder to evaluate if it’s time for a refresh. The more work you do, the more opportunities you’ll have to gather rockstar testimonials from your customers. Fresh content means your customers see that you’re continually proving yourself to be a quality and reputable business, time and time again.
Now it’s time for lights, camera and action! Testimonials are the best way to garner trust with your potential customers without actually having to say anything yourself. Start with reviews you already have, and make additional asks from there.