Content Creation: Why and How to Use Customer Testimonials
How many reviews did you read on Amazon before making your last purchase, whether for a new pair of running shoes, a golf bag or a book? Customer reviews are a powerful tool to include in your content creation mix – and do indeed influence purchases. With B2B digital marketing, customer testimonials or success stories are powerful – they answer the question for prospects about what customers who have purchased your product or service think about it.
“92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know.”
– Nielsen Research
In our content creation process, we include customer testimonials. It tells your story from an objective third party about why your B2B brand, product or company should be chosen. They give you credibility, and promote your company without an aggressive sales pitch. They’re another way to build trust with both prospective customers and current ones.
Here are some reasons to start creating content that includes customer testimonials:
Bring a human element
Unlike reviews, you control what is said/posted
Now that you know you want to use customer testimonials, what now? As an Atlanta-based B2B brand strategy agency, C.E.K. & Partners’ writing lab offers content creation services for both traditional and digital marketing . This entails incorporating testimonials into the work we produce for brands.
Are you considering including customer testimonials in your content creation process?
Here are 5 tips for creating them.
1 | Identify customers
First and foremost – be authentic. Testimonials should be real and never fake. Identify a list of potential customers to reach out to for a testimonial.
Identify the right customers based on the type of projects/services or industries you want to showcase.
The customers who provide testimonials should reflect your ideal prospective customers – and focus on distinct solutions and benefits provided to them.
If there are multiple customers involved in a project, consider which customer can provide the perspective that would be most meaningful to the pain points of your prospective customers – and approach that person individually. Often reaching out at the end of a project is the right time so the project and its success will be top of mind.
2 | Gather the right information to write the most compelling testimonial
When planning for writing a customer testimonial, it’s helpful to know what you are looking to communicate about your company’s offering, and to provide the person providing the testimonial with guidance on exactly what you are looking for. It should make a compelling point about the overall process, pain points addressed by your company or the benefits that your product has provided. Also, it should support your overall content marketing plan.
Two examples of questions you can ask during the customer testimonial content creation process:
What value/benefit did our services provide your company?
What was the project’s ROI or cost savings?
Once the customer has provided a quote, it’s okay to finesse it, but always do share the final version so they have the opportunity to refine and give final approval. Additionally, do ask them to provide a hi-resolution head shot.
3 | Consider content creation that includes various formats
While we highly recommend a success story section on your company’s website, testimonials should be created to work in various formats, from social media to brochures, newsletters and websites. And always include those elements that add to the credibility of the actual quote – name, title, company and a photo. For a website there are multiple ways to present a success story on a website.
Salesforce, one of the country’s most innovative companies, does a great job of offering a mix of styles for its online testimonials.
Here is an example from the salesforce.com website highlighting multiple customers.
Another example from salesforce.com highlights one customer and drives to a video with a "watch the story" call to action.
Another example from salesforce.com showcases how the company offers a more robust text version for those who prefer to read over watching a video.
Below is an example of a single compelling quote from the C.E.K. & Partners website. A series of these can be compiled into a rotating carousel.
4 | Integrate customer testimonials across communications
As an Atlanta-based brand strategy agency that offers content creation services, our approach entails creating a range of formats, allowing customer testimonials to be incorporated across your communications.
A short quote can be placed as a callout in a solution sheet or a proposal.
When using testimonials for digital marketing, the high-level version can be accompanied by a “learn more,” allowing the reader to access the full story – or see the full story via a link to a 30-second to 1-minute video – a more personable format.
On the website testimonials should not be limited to one section of the site, but incorporated into a home page, product page or other relevant pages. Testimonials, whether in images or video format, are great sound bites for social media.
Traditional sale sheets and brochures offer an opportunity to choose whether to use the shorter variations of your testimonials or to create more robust variations detailing the success story or offering a case study version of the high-level situation, solution and results.
Share Your Testimonials
Lastly, while customer testimonials will be on your website and in social media – share them! Tell employees about them so they can reference them when training others or when talking to clients.
Need an Atlanta-based content creation agency? Ready to elevate your content strategy and content marketing with insights from a market research study or just want to tap into our writing lab?
Give us a call at 404.345.6447.
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C.E.K. & Partners is an Atlanta-based B2B brands strategy firm. We help brands create meaningful connections with customers and accelerate business growth. We help category leaders reposition their brands and help them put in place the strategies and tools to establish thought leadership and grow. Our hand-selected team of senior practitioners holds expertise that spans custom market research design, brand strategy, content creation and digital marketing design (including website design).