Who truly appreciates long-form testimonials?

One of the copywriting/marketing services I provide is "deep interviewing" clients' customers, writing their stories, and posting on the clients' blog. See blog.seaeagle.com, woodmastertoolsblog.com, blog.timberking.com. Companies generally appreciate the value of testimonials but not necessarily long form stories. How to connect with companies & marketers who see the value of real people telling lifestyle stories that communicate the real value story of a product/service in their own words?

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8

Is there an opportunity for you to demonstrate the value by helping them solve a problem they do have? It seems like you have a good opportunity for some educational marketing.

I read some of your examples and they seem excellent. What kind of results have they gotten? If your articles have generated sales or increased lead generation, take those results to other similar or competing businesses and offer to get them similar results.

Do you have sense of whether your testimonials work best for services, products, retail, hospitality...? Any specific industries? Local businesses vs. national businesses?

Could you put together a list of 100 ideal prospects that you could reach out to and market to with the intent of educating them, cultivating some interest, and then making an offer?

You asked, "How to connect with companies & marketers who see the value of real people telling lifestyle stories that communicate the real value story of a product/service in their own words?"

I think it's your job to show them the value. So I'd ask, how can you identify companies & marketers who would like the result that you can deliver? And how can you show them the value of real people telling lifestyle stories that communicate the real value story of a product/service in their own words?

The one place I don't see long-form testimonials is on http://www.edwardsdirect.net/testimonials.html :)

Hi Mike, Great input, especially promoting the results long-form testimonials have provided. Thanks, Steve

5

Like you Steve I have substantial experience in capturing the value and relevance of one person’s experience and delivering it (across various media platforms) to targeted others that are most likely to respond favourably (becoming advocates and/or customers).

Long form is generally more effective when embedded in a case study. The most important aspect when formulating a convincing case study is fine tuning the questions you use to extract the specific client responses essential to making their story persuasive and tangible to the reader. Never forgetting, that a testimonials only justifiable purpose is to assist in the generation of further business.

Hi John, Thanks, I certainly agree. My big question is how to reach and connect with clients who want testimonials like the ones I've put together. Their power is undeniable but testimonials are not the first (or second or even third) tools marketers pick up. — Steve

“…clients who want testimonials like the ones I've put together?” I don’t believe you can assume that clients want to read testimonials; if the individual is already a client then testimonials are relatively superfluous to requirement.
Testimonials have value to people who are yet to become your clients, they provide evidence (social proof) of your offer or products ability to effectively service an individual with similar needs.
They rarely are effective as a lead marketing tool, they back up a position and your offer to elevate reticence and instil enough confidence in the prospect's mind to instigate a contact enquiry.

4

Steve,

I suggest you take the interviews and turn them into case studies. Then you can take excerpts of any positive quotes as a shorter testimonial on their website, social media,etc.

Thanks, Jennifer, good thought. I'll end up suggesting this to some of my clients. — Steve

4

Hi Steve - Selling. Somehow in one form or another. In my experience that is your answer.

Most companies (aka clients) simply do not go looking for someone like you. They do not value what you do, most of them barely even understand what you do.
In spite of all the breathless hype from the content creation industry about how important content is, it seems most of the clients have not caught on to this.
Further, you are practicing the other one of the world's oldest "professions". Yes you are selling your words, except no one is looking. Like that other oldest profession you need to get out where people can see you, evaluate what you have to offer and then pay you for your time.
I find it a unique challenge. My education and initial decades of business experience have all been in 'non-sales' positions. Cold calling, door knocking, offering webinars, etc. all offer potential. Unfortunately, unless I can get lots of people to know about any of those things nothing happens, which leads me back to square one - selling aka promoting, aka tooting one's horn - remains the 800 pound gorilla in the back corner that content creators, (myself included) largely refuse to face.......

Hi Jeff............I agree with everything you wrote. Fortunately, I have several clients who do value long-form testimonials including woodmasterdrumsandersblog.com and others, above ...and I also do many other forms of advertising copywriting. Re: getting the word out about my testimonial work, I have cold-called, cold-emailed, am cooking up a send-for whitepaper something like "how to get your customers to write your perfect testimonial" Your thoughts appreciated — Steve

3

Long or short, the main thing is they are real and not fabricated. That's while Google reviews can be popular alternative as they are tied to real people and if you have enough of them they can't all be fake.

Thanks, couldn't agree more re: testimonials must be real, genuine. But my question is how to connect with companies that see the value in the long-form, content-rich. photo-augmented interviews/posts I do....rather than the extremely brief Google review style testimonials. — Steve

3

Hey Steve, your skill set lends itself perfectly to video. Take a look at this hybrid of a brand video we produced for HandrahanRemodeling.Com, it includes a testimonial as well. It was all shot in one day at the builder's client's home. This type of video can usually be accomplished for around $7500.

Hi Darrin, Thanks for commenting. Besides testimonial blogs, I do a lot of testimonial videos -- for clients' sites and often posted within blogs. Here's a favorite testim. video I did https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mynq_AuMxXM Many more. You're a video producer, I'm a long-time direct response copywriter with lots of writing-for-video experience, testims, products, etc. Want to talk? Thanks, Steve

Look forward to speaking, Steve. By the way, that was a great video. Honest, straightforward, and ever more pertinent to the buyer who is looking for differentiation. I love it when you can truly reward a prospect for watching the whole video.

3

I understand exactly how you feel. I have done quite a bit of writing in my time. Here's my suggestions. First, focus on the main points of your report. Unfortunately, people tend to have a short attention span these days and if you can put present them briefly while not taking it out of context, you'll come out ahead.

Good point, Larry, thanks for commenting. — Steve

2

Are video testimonials better than written ones.

Hi Dr. Rogers, Video testimonials better than written ones? It depends. Video testimonials have the advantage of engaging the viewer with action. Action of the speaker, action of the product or service that he/she is speaking about. Written (online/offline) testimonials have the advantage of being skimmed and read in a hurry. A nice feature in some cases since attention spans are short. Generally, though, a testimonial is more compelling in video format. For example, see my video testimonial 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mynq_AuMxXM The interviewee has extraordinarily strong "presence" and really tells the story well. Wouldn't be a powerful in print. Video? Print? Can depend on what your testimonial video is intended to do. What kind of testimonial are you planning? What's the goal of your testimonial work? Thanks, Steve

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