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Testimonials are self-evidently a great way to win new clients and grow your business profile. If you want to consider adding them to your tactical marketing armoury, there are some prior considerations to resolve.
- Does your business get testimonials spontaneously?
- Have you got any existing testimonials?
If you aren’t a long-established business, then it will be more difficult to encourage spontaneous outpourings of delight and joy.
Never fear, we’ve got a plan for you.
What’s already in the can?
Start with any existing documented positive feedback that you or your client can find. And plan
a page on your domain where you can drop in all the quotes from clients.
Make it easy to find e.g. www.yourdomain.co.nz/testimonials.
Make the most of the page so the viewer finds it a helpful resource, not a chore. Lay out the page so the most recent testimonial is at the top and the reader scrolls down to see others. If there are obvious different services or products which have received reviews, clearly separate them too. A series of embedded tabs can be a neat solution here.
Starting from zero
A different opportunity exists for businesses without any rave reviews. You may feel it’s hard to ask for favours, to ask for sales or to ask for testimonials. Let us help you make it easy.
Business “workflows” are a trendy catchphrase that is a way of describing ‘how-we-do-things-round-here’. Any marketing activity which you do more than once deserves a workflow process. The reason is that it becomes part of normal business life and is easier to reproduce if you do it frequently.
Think about how you are going to set up the business process to get new testimonials regularly from clients and customers.
Our marketing meeting has “Testimonials” as an agenda item. We review a list of recent clients and pick a couple to approach. The lead person who works on the client phones up and asks (using a pre-agreed script) if we can have a testimonial. Further, we ask for it in three places – spoken, on LinkedIn and on Google. The spoken one we write down as we chat and then send back to the client for approval.
What’s so easy about this is that the client doesn’t have to actually write anything – they just talk. Most people find that easier.
Then we upload the testimonial or ask the client to do it on social pages. We also link back to the client’s website (like we do on the Creative Agency Secrets Testimonials page). It’s nice to give them back some strong SEO link juice.
Testimonials add to your SEO
Ask for testimonials on your Google My Business page. Note, you have to have a gmail address in order to create these so it can be a challenge for some clients if they have to create an account. The great output from this is that your testimonials are visible in public search (alongside the search map) and when you have over 5 published, you get a star rating too. That makes you stand out even more from competitors.
Get more mileage from each testimonial
Remember I suggested you get clients to ‘just talk’ and you write the testimonial? Well that chatting will almost certainly contain a lot of information. Take all your testimonials and copywrite a long and a short “sound bite” version of each. Put the short version on the website testimonials page. Copy the long version of each to a blog post – and link to it from the short version on the testimonials page. Creating on-site links is good (reduces bounce rate) and also helps show an expanded authentic “customer voice” to each one.
Gamification of testimonials
Inspired by Gabriel McIntyre’s “Getting Paid Faster with the Invoice Challenge”, we set about adapting it to suit our need for client testimonials. [Seriously, watch the video – it’s genius.]
Here’s the case study of the campaign we ran to get testimonials and support a good cause.
Now, where else can you get and share testimonials? We know they’re on Linked In, Facebook, Neighbourly (NZ local media), Yelp, Finda, Localist….. There are heaps of places – but don’t try to game the system. Just pick the site(s) you know your clients and prospects use.
Over to you to share your favourites.
This article was first written for publication in Marketing Online Magazine