Testimonials are a powerful way for consumers to connect to your brand. The right testimonials grab the attention of viewers and show why you have happy customers who love what you do or the product you sell. They serve as a personal, informative review that can be utilized on social media, your website or in person to sell your brand.

Customer testimonials are one of the most effective things you can do to market your brand. Out of all content marketing, testimonials have an 89 percent effectiveness rating. When it comes to testimonials, however, there are many different types and ways to use them. Which one is best depends on a number of factors. Top testimonials often have some key features.

1. Specific Testimonials

One thing you need to do is utilize very specific feedback from customers. A generic comment, such as “love this place,” is not as helpful as one that gets to the heart of why the customer loves your business. If you want to use testimonials to increase conversions, they have to be very specific. If a customer sends you a testimonial that is generic, ask some follow-up questions.

For example, head over to ChowNow and see how they display their customer testimonials. The text is very specific about how the service helped a business improve their order taking process and the benefit to them. This allows the site visitor to see how the service might also help their business in a very specific way. If the goal of the business, in this case to help restaurants utilize a more effective takeout point of sale, matches the testimonial, then so much the better.

2. Storytelling

People enjoy hearing a good story that holds their interest. If you can engage the audience via a testimonial story, then people who land on your website are likely to sit up and take notice. In a nutshell, a storytelling testimonial features a beginning, middle and ending. It should also have some type of emotional tug on the reader. You can find these compelling testimonials by listening to your customers when they phone and email you. If their story tugs at your heartstrings, then it will likely tug at the heartstrings of potential customers as well.

3. Brand-Building Testimonials

When it comes to building your brand, you want potential customers to see your company in the most positive light possible. Adding testimonials from your customers is helpful when those testimonials work to enhance the image you’re trying to project. First, you have to know what that image is, though, so do some soul-searching as a brand.

One way to gather these types of testimonials is to ask your current customers to answer a question centered around the image you’d like to project. For example, if you want to build an image of going above and beyond, you might ask your customers to share stories where your company went above and beyond for them.

Take a look at how Michael Burke utilizes testimonials to further build his brand. He has paragraph-long statements from a number of his clients stating how he is organized and comes up with a strong plan to meet the clients’ needs. He enhances the overall branding through the site design that features his image as his logo. Everything works together toward a singular message.

4. Real People

Testimonials and reviews that feature real people are much more trustworthy to the reader. Eighty-eight percent of people trust online reviews as much as they would the personal recommendation of a friend or family member. This means what others say about you — what real people say — is important. You can show that the review is real by adding specific details about the person along with a photograph.

Sure, some unscrupulous companies might make up a testimonial and use a stock photograph, but these are typically pretty easy to pick out. Be authentic with your testimonials. You never want your site visitors to doubt that the testimonial is real or see you as less than authentic and trustworthy.

5. Video Testimonials

About 62 percent of seasoned marketers believe that videos are important to the way their brand is perceived. This includes items such as video and photos. Video testimonials are powerful not only because they are a visual medium, but because the consumer can see the actual person and know they are real.

The Best Testimonial Is the One Specific to Your Brand

The best testimonial is the one that speaks to the image you want to project for your brand. The more specific the wording, the better. While video might work better to grab some users’ attention, other elements, such as a review posted on a third-party site, might work to grab other users.

Your goal as a brand should be to create the best product and experience possible for your customers, so they will want to tell others how amazing your company is. You can’t fake good customer service and a positive brand image. Eventually, issues come to light and businesses are forced to fix them or perish. What you can do is know your goals, work toward them, and encourage your satisfied customers to share their joy with others.

Leave a Comment


Lexie Lu is a freelance designer and writer. Her ideal morning includes some HTML code and a cup of coffee. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.