Customer testimonials can speak to your leads on a level few marketing pieces can.
Whenever someone needs to make a complex buying decision, they look around for “people like them.” In B2C, that often takes the form of friends and family. In B2B, it’s business leaders in a comparable role – either at a similar enterprise or one the lead aspires to be like.
In B2B buying, accessing this community of “people like you” isn’t always easy.
Sure, you can tap your network on LinkedIn or reach out to others at an industry convention. But these are complex, time-consuming processes with their own constraints, not least the fact that decision makers often need to keep many details of their strategy confidential.
Enter customer testimonials.
Customer testimonials are a form of social proof – evidence that others in a similar situation have had success with your product or service. They are pretty unique in filling this role. Only case studies have the potential to be more effective in creating a sense of social rapport.
Testimonials are most powerful when they include a few specific details:
- The name, title, and organization of the person giving the testimonial.
- A clear, bright picture of the “speaker” who provides the testimonial.
- A succinct, impactful summary of the value your enterprise delivered.
- Details supporting why it was important or what it made it special.
Early in the life of your business, you might have only a few testimonials. It’s critical to find ways to solicit them from customers, especially in your post-sale follow-up process. You should also make it clear that you can edit testimonials for brevity and clarity, as they tend to meander on.
Once you have a selection of customer testimonials, where should you use them?
Don’t forget to put your customer testimonials to work for you in these spaces:
1. On Your Website
First and foremost, your testimonials belong on your website.
No matter your industry, testimonials on your homepage – usually near the bottom in a slider or static footer – are a great way to set the tone for users getting acclimated to your site for the first time. Some site layouts lend themselves to using a testimonial footer on blog posts as well.
Testimonials can also be used creatively throughout the rest of your web content. If you’ve written a blog post about how your solution saves money, it’s a great time to pepper your text with testimonials about savings. Just be mindful that they don’t disrupt the flow of information too much.
Your testimonials can also link to case studies, driving users deeper into the sales funnel.
2. On Your YouTube Channel
While written testimonials are wonderful, some people are wary of them.
We all know there are testimonials out there with stock photos in place of real people. They may have been written in a back room somewhere. Or, in cases where they’re based on what a real customer said, they might be wildly exaggerated. Your leads want to be sure.
Video content is felt to be trustworthy and reliable. When you can see people with your own eyes and hear the feelings in their voice, you’re more likely to believe them. That’s crucial in a situation where someone wants to praise a product or service right on the brand’s own site.
There’s another reason video testimonials work: People are simply less likely to believe you’d “go to all the trouble” to record and publish a false testimonial. Use these natural habits of thought to your advantage and meld customer testimonials with informative video content.
3. In Sales Enablement Content
Sales enablement content is content used directly by the sales team, often in the latter stages of setting up an agreement. For example, sales enablement content might kick in right before a discovery call as a means of getting the lead up to speed before the meeting.
At this point, leads have narrowed down their options to just a few they’re confident could help. Testimonials strengthen your hand by demonstrating to decision makers that past customers in a situation similar to theirs made the right move by choosing you.
4. On Your Social Media Feeds
On social media, you can link followers to testimonials on your website or simply share the text right in the social update. Also, you can break up your published testimonials into smaller, shareable pieces of content.
For example, add a real customer quote from a testimonial you published to a cool graphic, or edit video testimonial clips into shorter length videos that can fit into each social media platform.
Whatever approach you use, be sure your posts fit in a cohesive social media strategy and guide your users toward a specific goal.
5. In Traditional Marketing Collateral
Brochures and other traditional collateral still have a place in your overall strategy. This is especially true in live events, such as training, demos, and industry conventions.
Be sure printed materials look slick and don’t lose quality in the jump from digital. Also, when you distribute traditional marketing collateral that includes testimonials, be prepared to provide more context.
Recipients might have questions about the testimonial. This is a great opportunity to dive deeper on that particular customer's experience, so brush up on their successes and prepare to impress people who ask about it.
What’s your favorite way to use customer testimonials? Let us know below!