Difference between reviews and testimonials
Reviews and testimonials are similar in that they both include a customer or client’s experience with a product, service or company. Reviews tend to be shorter while testimonials tend to be more detailed.
Reviews are often provided to third party websites, like Yelp or Amazon. They are provided by the customer at their own discretion. Most customers and clients choose to leave reviews online because they had an exceptionally positive or negative experience, although some people receive products or payment in exchange for their honest review.
Testimonials are different because they are provided directly to the business. They are often requested by the business, and they sometimes include a video of the person providing the review. They do not include a star rating, as is the case with traditional reviews, and they almost always include more detailed information than a reviews.
Types of testimonials
Although they have many things in common, there are different types of testimonials. A few include:
- Social media testimonial: This type of testimony is popular with brands because it feels more natural and a little less formal. No formatting and very little editing are needed. They can enhance a company’s image on social media and they can be pulled from social media and used directly on the company’s website.
- Industry insider testimonial: This type of testimony can be especially impactful because it comes from a respected professional in a particular industry. It is best when used by B2B companies but testimonials from famous names can also be effective when gathered for products and services.
- Satisfied customer testimonial: This type of testimony is the most common. It consists of stories and quotes directly from customers who explain their experience with a product, service, or brand. Because they are from everyday people, it’s important to include a picture or video of the person providing the testimonial.
Most businesses can benefit from using different kinds of testimony. Those on social media have the potential to reach a wide audience, while an in-depth review from a big name can provide a company with bragging rights. Testimony from satisfied customers shows other everyday people that they can benefit from what the business has to offer.
Why are testimonials important?
Unlike reviews that are provided by customers to third party sites quickly, lengthy and thoughtful testimonials can be difficult to obtain. However, they can be extremely effective. Over 90 percent of people will trust a recommendation from someone they know, while 70 percent will trust a recommendation from someone they have never met. The more detailed the review and the more relevant it is to the audience being targeted by the marketing team, the more likely the people seeing the testimonial are to give the brand a try.
Testimonials are so powerful in marketing because they have the ability to establish trust. The internet is full of poor-quality products and scams, so knowing when a product or service is the real deal is valuable to customers. It gives consumers the ability to parse out how well a product or service will work for them before making an investment. With the right encouragement from the testimony of existing customers, consumers can be convinced to spend their money on something new.
How to get more positive testimonials
Positive testimonials don’t just happen. Because they are provided directly to a company instead of a third-party review website, the company must let customers and clients know that they are looking for testimony material.
On social media, that might mean encouraging customers to leave their testimony on the company’s webpage by offering coupons, special deals or even just the chance to be featured on the website.
The likelihood of getting good material is greater if the business reaches out to existing customers and clients directly. The marketing team might reach out by phone, email, or through social media. Send a list of thoughtful questions and ask if they would be willing to answer them. The answers can then be turned into testimonials.
A company may also be able to reach out to customers and clients who have already left reviews online regarding the business. Comb through the reviews on Amazon and take a close look at reviews left on social media. If one is especially positive, reach out to that person individually to ask if they would be willing to provide a more in-depth testimonial.
An easy way to encourage customers to provide their testimony is to include a link on the site. When clicked, the link should send the visitor to a form where they can fill out their testimony.
How to use testimonials to get more customers
There are many ways to use testimonials to get new customers. A few ideas include:
- Place testimonials on the company website. They can be included on product pages, landing pages, portfolio pages and they can be listed on a dedicated testimony page.
- They can be placed on physical marketing materials like brochures.
- Use customer testimony in television and radio commercials to reach a wide, local audience.
- Testimony can be used in online advertisements that are used on sites like YouTube, as well as sites that partner with Google Ads.
- Include testimony in emails. They can be included in a series of emails to encourage a purchase, or quotes can be included at the bottom of every email.
The quality of the testimony matters too. The more in-depth, detailed and personal the testimony is, the more moving the testimonial will be, and the more likely new customers and clients will be to give the brand a try. Video testimonials are especially trustworthy, as long as the video is of high quality and it is edited properly. Provide customers with the ability to provide voice testimony that can be translated, as well as written testimony to make it easy for them to leave their feedback in a way that’s comfortable and easy for them.