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The Power of Customer Testimonials in Small Business Marketing

by | Feb 26, 2024 | Marketing | 0 comments

Small business charts a course through choppy waters: It’s risky and a bad review can mean the difference between sinking and swimming.

Harnessing the power of testimonials is about more than showcasing positive reviews. It’s about strategising their usage and maximising their impact. The problem is that you need to know how to ask for testimonials, first.

Don’t know how to go about it? Don’t worry.

That’s what we’re here to show you. Stick around and you’ll find out.

The Psych Game: Why Testimonials Work

Let’s dive headfirst into the human psyche: Why do testimonials work?

In technical terms, they leverage the psychology of social proof. When we see other people endorsing things, we interpret those things as valid. If other people like it, it must be a safe choice.

But there’s more to it than that.

Customer reviews harness the power of storytelling. People love a good story, and a testimonial is a slice of life that tells something relatable and personal. It’s the narrative of the customer journey, one that helps you attract new customers, and it’s presented in the microcosm of a few sentences or paragraphs.

They’re not claims made by you; they’re proof of your product’s effectiveness.

The Three Types of Testimonials

Written, video, and case studies: The power of testimonials from peers is relatable and highly authentic.

Each type has its own strengths and suitability for different use cases. Written testimonials are the most virulent and common form-they require little commitment from customers aside from a few moments to share their thoughts.

But what about the other two?

The most common form of video testimonial is influencer (or affiliate) marketing. Frankly, most customers won’t record a video testimonial endorsing your product unless there’s something in it for them.

Case study testimonials are, generally speaking, broader breakdowns of a product’s effectiveness and are often suited for B2B businesses. If you offer a product or service to other businesses, then demonstrating how that product has benefitted a client-backed up by statistics and performance indicators-will sell other potential clients on your product.

Credibility in Customer Reviews

Customer reviews can provide authentic and unbiased feedback about your product to others.

The keyword is “can”.

To do so, it’s imperative that they come across as genuine. Credible. A vague testimonial like “Brilliant product!” lacks authenticity or anything tangible that tells others why your products are great.

Instead, a review explaining why a customer loves your product and how it has benefitted them is far more persuasive. Encouraging customers to leave honest, thoughtful reviews-including multiple-choice questionnaires and leading questions-will provide you with the kinds of reviews you’re looking for.

You should also showcase a mix of positive and negative reviews. No product is perfect. A few negative or neutral reviews sprinkled into the mix will make the others come across as more genuine-and reassure customers you’re not trying to hide something.

Including reviewer names and locations (with permission) will make them more impactful than anonymous reviews, which are often looked at with a sceptical eye.

Not Coming off Too Strong: How to Ask for Testimonials

Knowing how to pop the question is an art form in itself.

You don’t want to appear pushy or needy, but you do want to ask for feedback.

Start by identifying satisfied customers. They’re your biggest natural advocates and they’re the ones who are most willing to provide glowing customer testimonials for marketing.

Make the review process as effortless as possible. Provide links to review pages, offer multiple platforms for giving feedback, and even suggest a topic or two your customers could cover in their review.

Timing is key.

The best time to ask is immediately after a positive interaction with a customer. That’s when their satisfaction is highest and it’s also when customers are most open to the prospect of doing a little work at your behest.

How Branded Gear Lands Better Testimonials

When offered as free promo products or incentive “thank you” extras alongside your regular product range, branded gear-mugs, pens, buttons, and more-can invoke the reciprocity principle.

It’s a psychological phenomenon where people feel compelled to return a favour. Brand marketing gifts promote your brand-but also subtly remind your customers to write testimonials for you.

Plus, branded gear creates a sense of belonging among your customers. Sipping coffee from a branded mug makes them feel like they’re part of a wider community-fostering even more loyalty and advocacy, leading to yet more glowing reviews that help you attract new customers.

Leveraging Testimonials to Attract Better Business

Place your testimonials where they’ll have the most impact.

Common favourites include your landing pages, product pages, social media posts, and even product packaging. Use them in your sales pitches to demonstrate how you satisfy your customers.

But don’t just plaster them everywhere. You need to tailor reviews to your audience to harness the true power of testimonials. If you’re targeting a new market, draw attention to testimonials from customers in that demographic.

Likewise, if you’re promoting a particular product, feature testimonials that speak about it.

A popular method to maximise impact is through testimonial videos. By combining visual and auditory elements, you spin a compelling story far more engaging (and persuasive) than written testimonials.

As a final note, consider using testimonial quotes in your marketing materials. Short and impactful, these excerpts highlight the real benefits of your product. Opt for easy-to-read, bite-size reviews that can be placed anywhere.

Showcase Your Way to Success

Testimonials are powerful tools for small businesses. They’re the social proof in the pudding that convinces new customers to sign up and they build trust among your audience.

Knowing how to ask for testimonials will significantly enhance your marketing game.

And don’t forget the power of branded gear to promote your brand and enhance your testimonials.

Owing to a rich history of experimentation and innovation, Prince William Pottery has mastered the art of the promotional mug. Now, your business can source promotional mugs from stock no matter your wants, your budget, or your timeline.

Click here to arrange a consultation.

Related Article: Customer Marketing Strategies: How to Attract New Small Business Clients



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