When searching for something to buy, we instantly look for social proof on the website, social media channels, and review sites. For example, does the webshop have product reviews or case studies from similar customers? Or do customers mention their branded hashtag on Instagram, and are those entries visible on the website too?
Customer testimonials help us compare products and make decisions. According to Nielsen, 83% trust peer recommendations more than branded content and advertising. If we exclude everyday products and groceries, when was the last time you purchased something without asking your friends or finding social proof online?
Because marketers are finding social proof helpful in their personal life, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they are using various strategies to get testimonials for their brands as well.
If you want to increase customer testimonials on your website, you will find this article insightful. I’ll introduce you to 11 customer testimonial strategies and examples that your business can start using straight away.
What is a customer testimonial?
A customer testimonial is a positive description, endorsement, or recommendation of a product shared by a customer, influencer, business partner, or journalist. Customer testimonials help prove the value of your services in an authentic way.
You can gather customer testimonials in text, images, audio, and videos. Your marketing team might build a relationship with the customer, or you might automatically ask for reviews on websites, social media, and newsletters.
Sometimes, you pay for a sponsored post or work with influencers to promote your products but, most often, testimonials are genuine content from happy customers.
I’m sure your business is already gathering customer testimonials – it happens pretty naturally via email and other customer communication channels without much thinking. But if you are not displaying customer reviews or you are looking for additional proven tactics to get them, here are 11 customer testimonial examples:
- Quote testimonials
- Hashtag campaigns
- Customer reviews
- Review site testimonials
- Influencer testimonials
- Blog post reviews
- Case studies
- Customer interviews
- Audio testimonials
- Video testimonials
- Media coverage and PR
Quote testimonials are often hand-crafted by the marketing team after getting in touch with the contented customer. They can be carefully designed and complement the rest of the copy text on your website. The best quotes include a customer photo, and they fit seamlessly into your website design. Despite the amount of work, and as long as they sound authentic, quote testimonials wildly increase conversions.
On the Ahrefs website, you will find a fantastic example of quote testimonials. They have impressive design and carefully planned copy texts, and the quotes immediately tell why customers have chosen Ahrefs and what type of customers should choose this solution.
Brand and hashtag mentions on social media are arguably one of the most powerful formats for customer testimonials. Often, people ask their social network for product recommendations, and brands who receive the most mentions get visits instantly.
And not only the person asking the question is visiting your service; many people are looking for exactly the same, and they find out about your business through a friend’s question.
That’s what makes social media testimonials so powerful. The message reaches customers that would not typically visit your website or did not find you via Google search. Also, social media comments and recommendations often show solid reasons for choosing this specific product.
To increase the number of positive mentions on social media, brands build hashtag campaigns and ask customers to share their reviews and feedback mentioning the branded hashtag. Then, with tools like Flockler, they gather all of the brand mentions in one place, moderate the UGC, and then display social proof on websites, apps, and digital screens.
Vivadogs, a subscription service for pet owners, has a brilliant example of social media testimonials on their homepage. The #vivadogs hashtag campaign shows happy customers enjoying the service.
Most webshops have customer reviews embedded on product pages. With a review management platform, webshops curate reviews, respond to them, and re-use them in Google Ads, social media, and other marketing platforms.
If you would like to take your product reviews to the next level, you can mix them with social media testimonials too. With tools like Flockler, brands make UGC shoppable and tag products to hashtag entries.
Sohome’s shoppable Instagram gallery is a terrific example of customer reviews. On the homepage, you can find a curated selection of customer testimonials from Instagram, and each post includes a related product. Vice versa, brands can show product-filtered Instagram feeds on any page.
Most companies have a Google Business profile and promoting it on your website is a great way to get more customer testimonials. The more positive reviews you have on your Google page, the more likely your service will be shown when a customer is looking for a local provider on Google search. You can also share a link to request a Google review on your website, emails, or even text messages.
Besides increased visibility and traffic from Google search, you can show social proof and embed Google Reviews on any website and digital service.
In addition to review sites, Facebook Company Pages have a Reviews tab where your customers can leave recommendations. With Flockler, you can embed Facebook Recommendations on any website with customer testimonials from other social media channels.
Even if you don't work with professional influencers and pay them to promote your products, most businesses sponsor local sports, communities, and events. And for sure, your employees build your brand on social media - and discuss their work experiences with family and friends too.
Philips is one of the many brands that have decided to capture positive employee brand mentions from social media and encourage employees to publish more too. On the Life at Philips page, an Instagram carousel shows the latest posts from employees using the #lifeatphillips hashtag. Those employee testimonials brings the landing page copy text to life.
Some brands work closely with influencers and ask them to post content on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. For example, the GoPro Awards is a fascinating influencer marketing campaign with images and videos taken with GoPro cameras. For all those influencer testimonials, GoPro has built a dedicated landing page to promote them – and they invite customers to submit their entries too.
Blog post reviews and testimonials are a great way to compare products and direct traffic to your service. You can write them on your website and review competitors or complementary solutions. Or your business might be mentioned by another company or journalist in a list of tools and service providers. Also, many websites accept sponsored posts that help you find a new audience and traffic source – the third-party website brand becomes your social proof. Sometimes, companies reach out to you to exchange guest blog posts which can include comparisons and reviews.
A great example of the review blog post is SocialPilot’s list of content curation tools. While SocialPilot is a content curation and social media management tool, their list shows the variety of use cases you can solve with complementary solutions in the market. For example, they highlight how Flockler helps brands curate and embed social media feeds and how anyone can use Pocket for personal news and blog content curation.
In addition to social proof, your SEO ranking benefits from high-quality links pointing to your domain.
What makes a great testimonial and how to write a case study?
A great case study is short and authentic and matches the user’s search intention. So, if the website visitor is looking for a particular feature (search intention!), make sure the first part of the text replies to most common questions and shows the benefits of your solution. Keep the text short and aim at directing the visitor towards the next step of the funnel. For example, the following steps might include the signup or purchase button and various help documents and videos explaining the details.
Customer interviews often take more time to plan and create than most other strategies introduced in this blog post. However, they are extremely powerful when written engagingly and touching on the same questions others are asking before making the purchase. They allow your customers to describe benefits in their own words – while all marketers believe they are the best copywriters, nothing beats an authentic testimonial from a customer.
Before getting started, make sure you carefully plan customer interview questions in advance.
Customer interviews are a great source of quote testimonials too.
Podcasts have become relatively popular in recent years and provide an excellent source of testimonials. For example, you might publish your branded podcast and invite your customers to share their journey with you. Or someone invites you to a podcast as an expert which is essentially a testimonial from the podcast’s host. Even better, your customers might be interviewed to tell more about your solution or spontaneously mention you in a third-party podcast.
In the past, video testimonials required careful planning and a decent budget. A traditional video statement is a professional film with your customer in a TV studio-like environment.
But then came YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Instead of a professional setting, video testimonials are now often created by influencers and customers in their everyday attire and surroundings.
Fero’s Care’s TikTok videos in the 'Ask Gran not Google' campaign are a remarkable example of the engaging video testimonials. With influencers, the Feros Care builds engagement and reach, and invites customers and their relatives publish their own video testimonials.
If you work closely with influencers, co-created live videos on social media are the latest trend in the e-commerce market. Especially in Asia, live social commerce is gaining traction.
Lastly, a skilled PR agency can help you increase reach with customer testimonials in news stories and magazines. Journalists get approached by a massive amount of people every day, and this strategy usually works only if you have something novel to share or your company size makes the story attractive to a broader audience.
How to create a great customer testimonial page
Customer testimonials come in many formats, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. After reading this blog post, you should have more than enough strategies, and you can use them in different parts of the website. For example, you can add perfectly designed quote testimonials to the homepage and video testimonials to product pages. Or, if you are running a webshop, it is becoming a must to embed an Instagram feed on the homepage and each product page.