Using testimonials to market your business

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It's okay, you can take a rest from talking about yourself, your team and your business. Really, it's alright.

Your marketing and sales elevator speech needs a break. And you need a break from it, too.

Now it's time to let your customers and clients go to bat for you and become your brand champion

What's that saying? Ask and you shall receive? Ask your clients for some words of support and start building a client testimonial library that will build your businesses' credibility and help augment your marketing strategy results. You've done a great job generating leads and marketing their businesses for new growth- they'll be happy to return the favor.

For those of you new to the testimonial game, here are some marketing testimonial tips that will help you build your happy-client showcase:

Make the Testimonial Process Easy

We're willing to bet most of your clients will be happy to give you a glowing testimonial. However, carving out the time to do it is another issue entirely.

Whether you're getting the testimonial in writing or on video, make sure you make it easy for your client to be your brand advocate. Go above and beyond to accommodate their time restrictions and requests; make the testimonial process efficient and painless. In other words, keep your happy clients...happy.

Here are some tips to keeping your brand supporters on board during the process:

  • Offer after hours or early morning interviews or meetings. Take them to breakfast, buy coffee or meet after close of business so that they are not impacted negatively in any way.
  • Provide editing help if your customer is not comfortable writing the testimonial on their own
  • Assure them that they'll have an opportunity to edit, revise and provide final approval before their testimonial is used for marketing purposes
  • If doing a video testimonial, make sure the shoot is efficient and makes your client comfortable, so the testimonial they provide is genuine and reflects their true personality
  • Above all, be prepared and organized throughout the testimonial development process. Don't waste your client's precious time.

Keep Your Client Testimonials Down-to-Earth and Natural

Testimonials that are rife with business jargon and cliches are not effective.

Don't try to over-script your customer or client's interview or written response to your testimonial request.

The more you let each customer or client's personality shine through, the more impactful their brand advocacy will be on leads assessing your businesses capabilities and credentials.

Use Video, Even If You're Not A Pro

Your team doesn't need a video production expert to create effective client testimonials. Strong video production quality is important, but it's not the be-all, end-all for testimonials.

If you have to use your phone, go for it; if you have a video camera, even better; if a team member dabbles in video production, let them have at it. 

The point here is that even moderately professional video testimonials have greater impact than words on a website page. 

Seeing facial expressions, body language and putting a face to a name goes a long way to making your client's words of support more meaningful to potential future customers. 

Use Your New Testimonials As Marketing Tools

Actively use your client testimonials in marketing campaigns, on your website, in emails and in other promotional efforts. Create a YouTube channel, leverage your testimonials in the sidebar of your home page. There are so many ways to use your client's support to market your business.

It's not effective to collect a bunch of client quotes and put them on a web page buried two navigation layers deep on your website.

There's so much you can do with testimonials, particularly when paired with a compelling content offer. Don't take a passive approach- let your customers do the talking and you'll be surprised at how much their brand advocacy will help generate leads and increases your conversion rates.

It's not enough for you and your team to deliver your elevator pitch at networking events and conferences. At some point, potential customers want to hear it from a third-party, either via testimonials or through references.

Point is, advocating for your brand needs an integrated approach, where you, your staff, your clients and your marketing strategy work symbiotically to tell your organization's story in a compelling and persuasive way. 

Utilizing only one or two testimonial channels creates diminishing returns over time.

If you'd like some useful video tips to help plan your client testimonial shoot, check out this video by our resident videographer and tech guru, Mark.

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