Saturday, 11 December 2010

The Power of Testimonials

In the past months, online retailers have really been emphasising customer reviews, feedback and testimonials on their websites. After making a purchase online, it’s even become normal to receive a follow-up e-mail encouraging you to leave a review on their website. Amazon, Topshop, Accessorize… all the big names are doing it. Elsewhere, even the BBC iPlayer website is asking you to make and share reviews and recommendations with your social networks.

How can you integrate the power of testimonials into your online presence?

Your company website is the most obvious place to display testimonials. Of course, the more specific they are, the better.

1 -I enjoyed working with Art DivisionA happy client.

2 - “What I liked most about working with Art Division was the speed and efficiency in dealing with requests, their expert advice and the face to face communication with the team.Donald Ingham, Outerspace Garden Design

Option 2 is clearly better here as we, as potential clients, understand not only why it was a good experience – but the specific reasons. Giving a full name, company, and a photo when possible all add to the credibility and value of the testimonial. Of course, check first with the client their permission to publish their comments. 

Consider not only having a page especially for testimonials, but also weaving them through the site – for example in a side bar - to catch the readers’ eye. Details are important, but they do need to be readable - keep them to 5 lines or so when possible. If you have a very long testimonial, break it up and use different parts in different places over your site.

Taking it further

A testimonial could be for example a twitter feed managed by an employee or group of connected employees – leading to real social media success. It gives potential clients an “insight” into your company – the chance to get to know a little about you and your culture.

Elsewhere, it could be a review of your product or service on your Google places entry – here is displayed not only reviews that  clients have left specifically on Google places, but also a selection of reviews on your company from around the web. When you do a Google search for your industry in your geographical location e.g. “my industry + town”, do you like what you find?

We haven’t stopped hearing about the power of video this year – why not add video testimonials to your youtube channel or company website? Videos give that much more credibility than a short paragraph of text.

Testimonials can be considered the most powerful type of marketing copy – how will you integrate them into your online presence?

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