In today’s digital landscape, no matter what you’re buying, you can almost guarantee dozens of competitors will try to sell you on the same product or service. With so many products to choose from, how do you differentiate one from the next? It’s important for any software company to talk about their features, pricing, and latest updates, but why should a potential buyer believe what you’re saying?
This is where the power of strong customer testimonials come into play. Your customers are your strongest and most trusted advocates for both your product and your brand. If you’re trying to generate as many new leads as you can, these advocates will offer the best content to sell your prospects on the value of your software. According to Pardot, 89% of B2B marketers consider customer testimonials as one of the most effective content marketing tactics. More businesses are finding that testimonials are stronger at engaging with new users compared to other marketing tactics.
Testimonials aren’t the sole reason why a prospect buys your software, but they can help push a prospect to sign up for your free demo or trial. With the many ways that companies are utilizing customer testimonials today, they can give more viewers insight into your software while also showcasing how your product can help solve their business problems.
But don’t think of testimonials as a daunting task! Start simple, and think of customers who you enjoy working with or those who give your company praise. From there, ask if they would be okay with having their statements on some of your content promotion. Always be completely honest with your customers on where exactly you plan on using their quotes.
An ideal customer testimonial has all of the following, so keep these key features in mind as you speak with your customers:
- Use your customer’s full name. If you use a generic first name, this raises more questions from the potential buyer on whether this is a legitimate testimonial or not. Some customers are uncomfortable in giving their full name, so if that’s the case it’s fine to settle for the first name and last initial, but then you must include #2.
- Include the company name (and job title, to make it more specific and help qualify their statement). Without a company name or even industry, it’s almost worthless as readers don’t know which companies like using your product and if it’ll be best for theirs.
- Keep the testimonials short and concise. No one wants to read a novel by a customer gushing about your software with no real actionable insights. Get straight to the point so the prospect can move on and convert on the page.
- Use testimonials that have concrete numbers. For example, “ABC Software increased sales by 20%!” is a lot more actionable and favorable than “ABC Software helped us increase sales!”
- Choose companies that prospects might recognize, but if that’s not possible, at least include companies that they can relate to based on size, industry, etc.
- Include a picture of your customer next to their testimonial. Visual elements with your testimonial can go a long way in building trust with prospects. Adding a photo of the customer adds more authenticity to the testimonial and allows users to put a face to a name or company. If you’re not able to get a photo of the customer, use their company logo. (Do not use stock photography! That’s basically saying the whole testimonial is fake.)
Capturing some of the key components of a testimonial is important but it’s also important to think about which format you’d like to have your testimonial in. They can easily go on a website or landing page, be placed next to your lead form, or converted into a video or case study. Let me explain a little about each and how best to incorporate testimonials to maximize on incoming leads.
Website and Landing Page
When adding testimonials to your website, it’s best to sprinkle them throughout the buyer’s user experience with your site. As they’re checking out your pricing or features, they also can view snippets from current customers on why they like your product. For example, Salesmate includes their Customer Stories at the bottom of every page of their website. As a user views their Features, Pricing and Contact pages, they’ll always see testimonials.
Testimonials on a separate landing page are a necessary addition, whether they’re above the fold or near your CTA buttons. Including at least 2-3 testimonials on your landing page is a great way to quickly get your customers’ point of view portrayed without taking up too much space and also increase sales. In fact, WikiJob found in a case study that when they added three testimonials to their landing page, they saw sales increase by 34%. Not only does Insight Spa & Salon have a testimonial near the form of their landing page, but they also include two more testimonials at the bottom if a prospect wants to read more.
If you have a form on a standalone page, you definitely have room to add one or two testimonials next to the form. Let your current customers help sell your product by showcasing the great experience they’ve had with your product. Make sure they’re not too long, and in this case, usually a sentence or two will do. Keep it short and concise, and it may also be helpful to bold key phrases. Thought Industries includes their testimonials directly to the left of the form on their landing page so that potential buyers can read these and convert soon after.
Testimonials in the form of short videos have grown in popularity within the last couple years. According to Animoto, 4x as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it. Videos also have a more authentic point of view by showing a customer, as the user is able to seem them talk personally about your product. Video testimonials are harder to fake and are often seen as more believable than written testimonials. In fact, including a video testimonial on your landing page has a positive effect on conversion rates. WebDam found that videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86%!
Asana includes video testimonials within the Customers section of its website. Most of the videos are 1-2 minutes long and showcase how a certain person uses Asana to help them with their day-to-day life. Their video testimonials shift between the interviewee, the office, and their software program to further explain how it works. Whether you use Skype, Google Hangouts or a professional agency to record your video, there are a variety of ways to build up your video testimonial library.
Testimonials can easily work hand in hand with case studies. You can pull a snippet from a case study to feature as a strong testimonial on your marketing materials. Or you can use what started as a testimonial and go back to your customer to build out a deeper, more actionable case study.
Pulling quick testimonials from your brand advocates is the easiest first step, but when you’re ready for a more in-depth case study, it’s great to have a pool of people to choose from who you’ve spoken to before. Brigade Society does an amazing job on their website including short testimonials of a few of their customer. Users can then click on the read more to go to a case study directed toward that customer.
Testimonials add value to your landing page, website, or form by solidifying trust between you and your potential buyer. Including a customer who strongly advocates for your product adds more credibility and ultimately helps boost interest, which in return helps convert more users into potential leads and customers. How have customer testimonials impacted your lead generation efforts?