Whether you’re a SaaS organization with a virtual phone number service or a digital marketing agency, one great way to attract new customers is to get existing ones to rave about your product and services.
Seems obvious right? But how do you go about collecting this sparkly testimonial? How do you encourage your customers to leave you inspiring and detailed feedback for all the world to see?
A lot of the time, testimonials result in generic, impersonal feedback such as, “This was a good company to work with. Service was good.” Or maybe if you’re lucky, “This is by far one of the best ways to receive an international call from Canada. And the customer service is excellent.”
That level of detail and enthusiasm is what every business really wants. It paints your company in a good light and shows you’re a genuine company with quality products that cares about its customers.
What’s more, it helps you build a strong brand identity and gives potential customers a reason to choose your business over others. But the question is, how do you get similar (and even greater) levels of detail from your testimonials? Sometimes, it’s a matter of asking the right questions!
But before we get into those, let’s cover the main benefits of testimonial campaigns so you can appreciate how important it is to get them.
Why testimonial campaigns matter
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Gathering customer feedback has various benefits. But here are just three reasons why testimonials matter when it comes to your content marketing plan.
We are a social species. As such, we are easily influenced by other people. We are part of an ecosystem of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. So, when someone screams, “There’s a fire over there!”, we all run away in the opposite direction.
Likewise, when someone says, “Hey that movie was incredible; I especially appreciated Scooby Doo’s avant-garde take on burger assembly”, it may influence other people to go see the film too—or get a burger, it’s a toss up really. The point is, we influence each other, for better or for worse.
As a consumer who is hesitating between different products or services—whether it’s marketing dashboard software or SaaS workplace services— they are likely to check out reviews online first.
Going with a company that has consistently good reviews reassures customers that they can trust that company. What’s more, those reviews are likely to nudge customers gently in that direction.
In contrast, companies with no reviews can make customers feel skeptical. After all, there must be a reason they have no reviews, right? Are they a fake business? Have they deleted old Google Maps accounts because they received too many negative comments? Or are they a new start-up that’s untested?
Reviews reassure us about what we’re getting into, who we’re giving our money to, and the service we’re likely to receive.
Fresh information and inspiration
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As well as influencing us one way or another, capturing readers’ attention, and helping to create trust, reviews and testimonials can also be really informative.
You can now search on Google Maps for words like “bucket”, and it will show you whether a business near you has “bucket” somewhere on the website linked to the map pin, or if “bucket” is mentioned in any of the testimonials.
You may not have realized that a particular company even sold buckets, but now you do. A lot of people will also include hacks they’ve used or solutions they’ve discovered by going through a particular company.
Testimonials often offer a story, beginning with a problem the customer was facing, followed by different ideas they tried, a solution they found, and what they would recommend to other people in the same situation.
Questions for your testimonial campaigns
Now that you understand the benefits of testimonial campaigns, let’s talk about how you can actually get those testimonials for your content. The key is asking your customers the right questions after they’ve used your services.
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking…
What did you most like about our product/service?
This question invites the customer to pinpoint what really stood out about your service and helps you to see what your winning qualities are. It also highlights these qualities to prospective customers.
It’s a great question to ask if you would like some detail rather than the generic thumbs up. In addition, it can lead to more popular search terms being mentioned, which can boost your Search Engine Optimization metrics for greater visibility in search results.
This is a positive question that focuses on things the customer liked. It makes it more likely your customer will leave an upbeat testimonial, even if they weren’t altogether satisfied with the product or service. It can even lead them to think about your product in a better light.
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What have been your top 3 benefits from this product/service?
This is another positively phrased question that encourages the customer to think about your service in a good light and share that with the world. Generally, people like to be asked their opinion and feel heard and seen. So with this question, you’re unlikely to be met with a sarcastic or snarky response (although it does happen sometimes).
This question is a bit more broad than the previous one, and casts the net wider in terms of reaching other people with potentially similar needs and interests. Instead of focusing on just one, perhaps niche, aspect of your product, sharing the top three benefits increases the likelihood that one of those points will resonate with another customer.
Would you recommend this to a friend? If so, why?
You will notice that the follow-up to the first question is only relevant if the answer is “yes”. In other words, this question encourages only people who would recommend the product to a friend to go into further detail.
For the most part, this bypasses any deep-dives into why someone wouldn’t recommend your service. It also offers the customer a new perspective to think about your product from.
Most people trust their friends’ opinion. So reading that someone else – even a stranger – would recommend a product to a friend can be a trust-building experience. It’s one thing to say you like something. But to then stake your reputation on it shows another level of contentment with the product.
Is there anything in particular you would like to add?
This open-ended question invites the customer to leave more detailed information about things you might not have thought to ask or that are too specific to ask every customer. It can be a great boost for your testimonial campaign.
It encourages customers to think laterally and offer what could be quite an interesting talking point that you could then reuse in your marketing content.
For example, they might include tips on how to make a timeline using your software that will inspire others more than any generic “great product” statement ever could.
3 ways to use testimonial campaigns for content
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Now that we have covered some ways you can gather interesting testimonials for your site, let’s look at how you can use them for your content!
- On your website
Have you ever been on a website and seen testimonials flash across the screen like a slideshow?
This is an excellent method of showcasing your testimonials in a non-intrusive way when people visit your website. It’s an instant reassurance to your prospective customers that you are a trustworthy company. It may also encourage your prospects to convert directly via your website.
As well as your homepage, you can place testimonials on product listing pages, next to call-to-actions, or even create a dedicated testimonials page.
- Social media & email content
Whichever content medium or format you choose is a great place to add reviews and testimonials.
Any of your Instagram followers or email newsletter subscribers are potential prospects or returning customer. So it goes without saying that this is a great way to encourage them to engage further.
Reviews can be included under posts (in the text body) or even in images as quoted text. Keep it short and sweet to maintain the flow of your content and add to, rather than distract from, your message. For instance, one can use Instagram schedulers to post reviews effortlessly.
- Case studies for your testimonial campaign
Case studies are like the portfolio of the business world, allowing you to showcase your success stories. You can amass them into a blog or take snippets that you can display on Instagram stories or posts as well as on your website.
More robust than testimonials, case studies offer details about the project you undertook for the client as well as the client itself—for example, their background, mission, and target figures compared to what you helped them to achieve. This transparency can build trust with your audience and act as an easy testimonial to cross-reference.
Combining case studies and testimonials is a powerful method when it comes to building trust with customers and increasing conversion rates.
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Kick off your testimonial campaigns!
Testimonials are a great resource for any business. They build trust with the audience and can be harnessed by the company to generate content that can be sprinkled throughout different communication mediums, from websites to social media.
With this brand guide, you can generate outstanding testimonial campaigns that can be seamlessly integrated into your content curation strategy. Plus, your positive reviews will help bring in more business. It’s a win-win!