In today's world, the majority of consumers spend time online researching brands and specific products online or through social media before they buy.
Consumers depend more than ever on word of mouth references from people who have used those brands or products -- whether those references are in the form of anonymous reviews or client testimonials.
According to major marketing group ODM, about 90% of consumers trust the word of people they know. That's not surprising, but what is surprising is that 70% of consumers trust the word of people they don't know, while only 27% trust "experts," 8% trust celebrities, and 14% trust advertisements.
Here are six ways to better showcase the testimonials you receive.
1. Put them on your homepage
Too many small businesses don't take advantage of the option to put testimonials right on the homepage; they get buried in the "about" section of their website or testimonial pages. But testimonials right on your the main page of your website can really catch the eye of people who find you online, which can work very well for your business. Use part of a testimonial as your homepage's headline, or create a rotating sidebar that will show several testimonials as visitors check out your homepage.
2. Blog about them
Testimonials are great for blog material. It's simple to start out your blog post with a testimonial from a happy client; you can then spend another hundred or so words going into a bit more detail about which products or services that customer was so happy to use. It's a great way to generate content on your blog, and the testimonial-giver will most likely help you promote the blog post, since we all like to see our names in print.
3. Create longer case studies
Many larger businesses, especially technology companies, use case studies to give potential clients a more in-depth view of how their products have helped others. But don't overlook the power of case studies for your small business, too.
Hire a qualified writer to interview your happiest customers and to tell their stories in a longer-form testimonial, weaving the customer's factual story in with their quotes. This works well if they are written in a way that will resonate with your potential clients and the challenges they face.
4. Use them to explain how you offer a solution
You can do this on your homepage, in your blog, or through other marketing materials. The key to good salesmanship is always to show your potential customers how your products or services offer a solution to a problem or pain point. For instance, on our credit card blog, we could simply list the benefits of the Ink Chase card, but instead, we have found it more effective when we illustrate how a product can solve a particular pain point, such as small businesses' ability to manage cash flow with a credit card.
5. Work them into social media
Work them into social media posts. Use your Facebook and Twitter presence to highlight your recent good news when a client has praised something your company has done well. If the client participates in social media, the person could respond to your conversation, adding a testimonial right on your page.
6. Use them for internal communications
If you have a newsletter that goes out for your company's employees, consider sharing testimonials from happy customers, as well. Telling the story of how your business is making a difference or growing a happy customer base will boost your employee's morale. Even if you don't have a formal company newsletter, you could set aside a place in your office to post copies of testimonials that your employees will love to see.
Remember, when it comes to marketing your small business, don't miss out on the power of client testimonials. You could send out simple online surveys to gather their comments or offer to write it up for them in your office. The trick, however, will be finding creative ways to make those testimonials out visible, and if you're stuck on ideas, try one of these!
Photo credit: cealdoctor.com
Daniela Baker is a social media advocate with the credit card comparison website CreditDonkey.com. Small business owners can visit to read their blog and compare small business credit offers.