Using testimonials and customer reviews to help you sell your business is a very smart marketing technique. Your customers, current and past, make the best sales tool you will ever have.
Their 3rd party review and comments can help convert your prospects into customers. Try using some of these methods to help build your customer reviews and testimonials.
11 Ways To Leverage Customer Testimonials And Brand Ambassadors
Successful PR, media strategy, creative and advertising executives from Forbes Agency Council share trends and tips.
In this day and age, people are inundated with repetitive ads, one right after the other. But people want to connect with other people, not just ads they know are targeted to them.
Brand ambassadors can act as a trusted source with a direct line from your product to your client base, as long as their engagement is organic and honest. That honesty and human connection are why a stellar customer review or organic brand ambassador can often go further than an ad and truly convince someone about the quality of your company’s product or service.
With all of the marketing advice out there, it can be difficult to know which strategies are the most effective for your company and vision. To help you create authentic promotion, we asked 11 members of Forbes Agency Council to share their most successful ways of leveraging customer testimonials or organic brand ambassadors. This is what they had to say:
1. Repurpose Reviews For Multichannel Use
Use positive reviews as content, highlighting the best of the review by adding it to an image for social media. When possible, try to get video reviews from customers. They can be used both on social media and on your website, as well as commercials, media kits, etc. Always get permission to use reviews first! – Rebecca Kowalewicz, Clearbridge Branding Agency
2. Create Community
Makeup and fashion brands, in particular, are very effective at making a community where people are eager to upload their personal photos and experiences with products purchased. Tapping into this community/thought leader and influencer mindset can be an invaluable way for companies to not only encourage people to upload their reviews and experiences but to increase interaction with the brand. – Brandon Stapper, Nonstop Signs
3. Respond To Complaints Quickly
Word of mouth is one of the most effective methods of advertising in terms of cost, reliability and overall customer satisfaction. Since consumers have access to more product information than ever before, you’ll need to harness both positive and negative reviews. Stay on top of customer complaints by responding quickly and offering solutions that make your customers feel special. – Timothy Nichols, ExactDrive, Inc
4. Encourage Customers To Sing Your Praises
Soliciting feedback from customers doesn’t have to be transactional or automated. Brands with great customer service and engagement develop a relationship where the customer wants to tell others about their experience. Reposting a positive customer review (with permission, if posted publicly) is great, but empowering customer advocacy through relationship-building is always more impactful. – David Harrison, EVINS
5. Build Conversations Around Reviews
When customers leave positive reviews, it usually means they are passionate about a product or service, and they may be posting about it on their social media channels as well, sharing their experience. This is a huge opportunity for brands to use that natural user-generated content to build word of mouth and design conversations by sharing these posts on their official social media profiles. – Daniela Pavan, The Ad Store New York
6. Leverage Reviews To Produce Desired Outcomes
Customer reviews and testimonials are a great way to generate outcomes when used for lower-funnel marketing efforts. After your upper-funnel efforts introduce consumers to your brand and mid-funnel efforts demonstrate product value and benefits, testimonials provide third-party validation and are effective in generating results, regardless of whether it came from an influencer or an average Joe. – Jeeyan Rostam-Abadi, Hawke Media LLC
7. Encourage Them To Add Photos And Videos
Encourage your reviewers to include photos and videos with their review of your product or services. These photos and videos can then be repurposed for your next marketing campaign and/or social media posts. Consumers have a much higher percent chance of buying your product or service if they can relate the experience to themselves, especially visually. – Jason Kulpa, UE.co
8. Feature Your Brand Ambassadors
Your reviews should be featured prominently on your website. They should also be posted to Google Reviews if you can get the client to post to that directly. We typically set up landing pages that make it easy for clients to post reviews on our website and direct links to Google Reviews, Yelp, Facebook and other companies. This makes it easy for the client. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design
9. Boost And Share
Third-party validation goes a long way with potential customers, so make sure it gets seen by your target audience! If your product or service receives a glowing review by an influencer or publication, share it on your social channels and put some money behind it to ensure the coverage shows up on people’s news feeds. – Allie Danziger, Integrate Agency
10. Engage, Appreciate, Validate
Customers often trust other customers. People want to see and hear about experiences they’re investing in prior to purchase, so if positive testimonials are available and individuals are accessible, engage with them, reward them and request permission to share their thoughts as additional validation to key stakeholders. Amplify engagement with influencers as well, especially at activations. – Scott Kellner, GPJ Experience Marketing
11. Leverage Testimonials Through Video
Leveraging customer testimonials through video is extremely powerful. Customer testimonial videos offer your audience a human story with a real person to connect with through voice, emotion and body language. When you’re able to develop an encouraging emotional connection with a viewer, you have a higher chance of convincing them to buy your product or service. – Randy Soderman, Soderman Marketing