When used correctly, testimonials can be a powerful and effective marketing tool to use as part of your content strategy, on your website and in your marketing materials. Testimonials, which I consider a form of word of mouth, carry a lot of weight in the minds of prospective customers because it gives them a glimpse of how you run your business from a client’s point of view.
Think about it, when deciding if you're going to try a new restaurant, don't you read the reviews before you go, and do they influence your decision sometimes? Of course, and it's the same with testimonials, they are reviews of your services from the client and they can make or break you.
Using testimonials the right way
If you are going to use testimonials in your marketing strategy, you should be selective about the ones you choose. Select testimonials with character and those that tell a story and address specific benefits or services offered, rather than short fruitless phrases.
Here are two examples
Example 1: “XYZ Nail Salon was great.”
This is a vague statement, and it doesn’t really give prospects a look into the service experience that you provide and what you have to offer.
Example 2: "I needed my nails done for a last minute event. My regular manicurist was out of town, I walked into XYZ Nail Salon to get a gel manicure and it was fantastic! Amy did a great job, the salon was clean, they got me in and out because they knew I was in a rush, and the staff was super friendly and courteous. I will definitely go back again!"
This is a better example of a great testimonial because it tells a story and it's descriptive in a way that makes potential clients want to come to check it out.
The latter is a story, a narrative about the experience at XYZ Nail Salon. From the second example, you learn a few things about the salon:
1. You learn that the salon is clean.
2. You were told that the services are great.
3. You found out that the staff is friendly.
This sounds like a place I’d want to go!
A final word on testimonials
When including testimonials as part of your marketing strategy, consider utilizing more creative approaches versus simply listing comments about your salon or spa on a page. It's always a good idea to add testimonials to the sidebar of other pages or tastefully weave them into the copy of your website or marketing collateral with bold or italicized text to make it stand out.
Lastly, be brief. There is nothing worse than a wordy testimonial with no substance. Add photos, include first and last names and locations of your testimonial writers, if you can, and be sure to ask for permission before adding this information to your materials or website.
Testimonials are a great way to build trust, solidify your brand and increase your conversion rates. But you must be creative, use real people, be brief and make sure your comments are believable and authentic!