When it comes to differentiating your business from your competitors and shouting about the great products or services you offer, many businesses feel out of their depth or unable to make any major noise in the saturated marketplace. With every business fighting for digital real estate and to have their voice amplified to potential customers, it can almost be overwhelming as to what exactly to do in order to cut through the noise. Taking a leaf from some of the most successful brands online – Amazon, TripAdvisor, AirBnB – they all feature one aspect in common: they all focus on testimonials of their business offerings. Can success stories and tales of happy customers be the jewel in the crown of the business marketing toolkit?
One way businesses can utilize the power of the testimonial is through reviews by happy customers. Not only do reviews provide honest and customer-centric opinions about a business, but they also act as an unofficial FAQ for potential customers who may have similar issues that the business might not consider. Facebook allows for a strong review system for most businesses, providing not only reviews from strangers but from friends who may provide a trusted viewpoint. Uber also uses reviews for individual drivers and passengers alike, as eBay and Amazon do for sellers and buyers, which encourages both parties to have a successful interchange. The reviews are aggregated and a score is assigned about a business, which could influence future customers. While 92% of customers read reviews, 40% form an opinion based on just 1-3 reviews read. And, as only 26% feel it's important for a business to respond to reviews, it’s clear that they serve a purpose as an unofficial communication between the current customer and potential customer. On top of that, reviews can help improve a business' customer service offering.
Success Story Testimonials:
Success stories are also a strong way of showing exactly how a brand can help an individual as per the independent and provable evidence of the success story subject. Google Chrome used the small business the Cambridge Satchel Company as a success story of how someone used their search engine to achieve business success. Betway Casino focus on the astounding win of Jon Heywood who bagged £13,213,838.68 from a 25 pence bet on one of their progressive slot games. Slimming World showcases success stories of those who have benefited in their health journey through the use of the programme. Fitness professionals form their marketing plan around showing transformations they have helped make happen, whilst driving instructors also use the success stories of their previous customers in order to show how they could benefit new learners. Film distributors often showcase audience reactions to their films, which is especially seen in horror films, such as the 2018 release The Nun. Seeing genuine success from independent individuals gives an immense amount of credibility. Success stories provide a strong bank of content that leads to greater engagement to give a human face for the business.
Another clever way businesses use testimonials and success stories for their marketing is by appointing brand ambassadors. Social media influencers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have replaced celebrities with powers of trust signals to encourage others as to which brands may benefit them as consumers. Dating show Love Island is infamous for using promotions from the stars – the show even featured outfits provided by Missguided which the cast wore every episode and linked back to the app for people to buy after seeing them in action. 20% of Twitter users are reported to go on to share a brand recommendation posted by an influencer, which shows their incredible power and the ability they have to help encourage through a testimonial. Some cite the fact that influencers are paid as a reason to suspend belief about how credible their love for a brand is, but the majority still trust social media influencers for now.
One of the best ways to showcase what your business can offer is to show it through the intangible benefits that have been gained by previous customers. A business may be offering a product or service, but it’s really offering an emotion as the benefit to the problem it is solving. Proving that other customers have been as fulfilled by your business allows testimonials to really show exactly what your business can do for people.