Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

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The most effective way to grow your audience is through the power of testimonials. Testimonials are the old-fashioned way to build reputation and legitimacy for your brand. Sometimes the old-fashioned methods of marketing are the best ways!

Although without the right tools at your disposal, getting testimonials can be like pulling teeth. The most effective ways to get testimonials is to leverage the power of the internet.

​ 1. YouTube Unboxing Vlogs

Probably the most powerful customer review or testimonial at the moment is an unboxing video review on YouTube. This kind of review entails a vlogger literally receiving a package from a brand and then unboxing, assembling, using and assessing the product for the first time, while filming for YouTube.

This form of review is ideal for consumer tech, FMCG or retail brands. Building a vlogger outreach component into your marketing strategy will pay dividends, with increased sales. This is because having a prominent and popular vlogger endorse your products in the video is a bit like the holy grail for marketing right now.  It is possible to sponsor an unboxing segment on vlogs, but that makes it less genuine.

B2B brands can still get in on the action with vloggers and user-generated storytelling too, it just requires a little more creativity in the approach. 

You could ask permission from the Vlogger to use their vlogs on their own social channels and to quote the most praiseworthy parts as text-based testimonials on their website. This could lead to relationship-building with the prominent blogger, and them being aware of your brand. This is how genuine collaborations and vlog reviews happen. Become a fan of theirs first and share their content. Then, after a few months of doing this, you have some leverage to ask for a review.

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

​ 2. LinkedIn Recommendations

Linked In recommendations are great. However you can’t leave a recommendation for a company page, only for individual people. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic opportunity if you happen to be an owner/operator or sole trader.

For larger organisations, it’s still possible to leverage Linked In for company reviews. Encourage individual employees to ask for testimonials from clients regarding specific projects they worked on. Then obtain permission from these individuals to use these testimonials on the testimonials page of the organisation’s website. 

3. Facebook Reviews

If you have a Facebook page and you’re setup using the business template, then your page automatically comes with a tab for testimonials.

You can rearrange the order of these tabs and how they appear on your Facebook page by going to settings and then selecting templates and tabs. From there you can move around your tabs so that reviews/testimonials appear at the top. Then you can ask your followers to leave you a review. 

4. Incentivise customer reviews online and offline

When a customer purchases from you online or in-person, use that opportunity to encourage them to provide feedback. This could be printed on the back of a receipt. Or the prompt could be in the form of an automated email that triggers after a customer completes the website’s check-out or receives their goods in the post. Incentivise this process by offering the chance to win a prize.

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

5. ​ Scrape the internet for reviews

Lots of reviews and feedback will remain hidden from your business without digging on the internet to find them. These reviews could be on message boards such as Reddit, industry forums, blog posts, comments under news articles or in social media.

The best way of getting to these reviews and testimonials is by using Google Alerts and Social Mention. You can set up email notifications for specific keywords related to your organisation, such as product or service names, the names of senior leaders in the organisation or any other term you like. 

6. ​ Online directory websites

Common search directories such as Yahoo LocalYelp and Google My Business allow customers to easily provide feedback and testimonials. In the case of Google, the more reviews people give your business, the more your organic search ranking is boosted. So this is one reason to encourage Google reviews.

It is possible to triage and respond to negative feedback or reviews from this platform and get notifications when a new review comes in.  It’s always a good idea to have an updated listing on these websites, as it’s just another way for the customer to reach you online.  In your print and email marketing you can guide customers to leave a review on Google to gain more reviews over time.  

Six creative ways to get more customer testimonials

A word of warning about negative online reviews

Despite all of the praise-worthy and heartening feedback left by clients, opening up multiple platforms for online reviews comes with its own risks. You can mitigate against these risks by subscribing to email notifications from these platforms. This will inform you when a new review comes through. When a negative review comes in, ensure that you provide prompt, helpful and positive response to the individual.

Instead of avoiding the issue, address it honestly and humbly and always turn the negative feedback into a positive for the business. The only way that a brand can succeed is by understanding when a part of the process, product or service is broken and then taking the necessary steps to fix this internally. View it as a positive if it ultimately makes your organisation better.

So are online reviews and testimonials worth the effort? Absolutely! Not only are they great for building brand reputation, negative reviews can be used as a powerful learning curve for the business, with the potential for positive outcomes.


Do you want help to find customer feedback and use it to the fullest in your business? I offer a free content audit, which can show you how you can leverage all of your existing content. What’s great and what should be improved. 

Register now for a free content audit…

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Four important ways to build trust and rapport in remote teams

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Nowadays, teams are stretched all over the globe and this is only set to continue. Anyone who works remotely can tell you, it’s challenging to manage a decentralised and dispersed team. In terms of team building, there’s one core element that’s the glue between dispersed team members – trust! Here are five core ways to build trust.

Where possible, meet in person

Although in some cases this isn’t possible, meeting with your co-workers at least once builds a high degree of personal trust, teamwork and shared purpose. This occurs far more rapidly than remote working with no interaction. The physical meeting of minds is a self-sustaining way of maintaining rapport over long distances. Have lunch, a few drinks and get to know each other’s personalities and communication styles. This will prove to be invaluable later on for the project, especially when you face and overcome challenges together.

Sometimes meeting in person simply isn’t possible. You may be separated by large bodies of water or tracts of land. In this case have weekly chats on the phone or Skype and build rapport that way.

Share the same strategy, goals and expectations

Make sure that you’re all striving for the same end goal. This means that you’re all on the same page for implementing the team strategy and individual input. Avoid all possibilities of confusion about goals and expectations early on in your relationship. Make sure that individual roles and deliverables are absolutely clear. This transparency in turn promotes trust.

As a manager, you can keep the project on track, with regular email and telephone conversations. Obviously, it’s even better to have face-to-face meetings where practicable. Track the project against performance metrics.

Foster honesty and transparency

Another important way to build trust as a part of team, is by having clear and transparent processes and ways of working together. Use collaborative software like Slack or Basecamp. This easily promotes collaboration and shows progress of projects. Showing everybody how they are tracking is one easy way to boost productivity.

People thrive on keeping up with the other members of the team. This transparency and accountability fosters productivity and trust. When the project is visible in this way, any obstacles or issues along with way can be resolved in a collective manner.

Showcase everyone’s diverse capabilities

Make sure that in addition to the team members understanding their individual roles, they also have enough support to diversify their capabilities, and learn as they go. This will benefit them as individuals, and the team as a whole. Rarely do people understand everything about a task all at once. So it’s important to nurture knowledge and support professional growth.

References

“Trust Makes the Team Go ‘Round”; Harvard Management Update; Judith A. Ross, February 27th, 2008. 

By following these key steps, you can build a cohesive, strong and formidable team with a high level of trust and camaraderie between individuals. If you would like some advice about content marketing then claim your free content audit and race ahead of the competition!


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Evo Industries

Content Strategy

Background

Evoheat are an Australian company who have since 2006 manufactured around 60,000 domestic & commercial heating units per year.  Total Marketing Australia have been providing marketing support, strategy and implementation to Evo Industries since the inception of both companies in 2005. As growing businesses, both companies supported and guided each other with their respective skills, personnel and expertise.

Challenges faced by the brand

The new brand needed to be identifiable as a part of the same stable of brands. So one of the challenges was developing the new website to have a the same skin, look and feel as the old website, but with a new colour scheme and tone of voice.

They were entering into a highly competitive marketplace with many global players that have deep pockets. Evo Industries on the other hand begun as a start up and were completely self-funded. They didn’t have the same marketing budget as their global competitors Rheem and Zodiac, yet they needed to make a huge dent in the market with a modest budget.

Gaining access to the right individuals with specialised knowledge about the technology within Evo Industries. They only have a a small team who are very busy with other aspects of the business. So there was a challenge to gain access to specialist knowledge.

An Australian audience who are for the most part unfamiliar with this technology in Australia. Even though it’s tried and tested overseas, it’s relatively new in Australia – so the challenges of convincing the audience needed to be overcome.

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Solutions

The highly skilled team of developers and designers at Total Marketing managed to refresh the branding without straying too far from the core website branding. So there was a consistent layout, logo, site map and content between the two sites.

Athena took it upon herself to study of the industry stakeholders, technology, along with the social, environmental and economical impact of the technology on society. In this way, they were able to overcome the need for accessing a subject-matter expert in the organisation.

Athena created an ongoing monthly content strategy that was cost-effective, high quality and targeted to relevant industry publications and websites, which reached Evo Industries’ target audiences and answered their questions about the new technology, prompting them to become either loyal followers of the brand or to enter into a buying cycle.

Athena built trusted relationships with editors, specialists and thought leaders in the industry by providing fresh and high quality content for them to publish, which was designed to promote and educate readers on Evo Industries’ work, product range and past successes.

Athena and Leon created a comprehensive digital marketing strategy incorporating PPC and geo-located landing pages which was successful in generating organic web traffic to the site, improving web ranking and driving genuine sales leads to the site.

Leon project managed the creation of a complex new website so that it was simple and easy to use, yet user-centric and enabling much more effective sales conversions.

Leon managed the relationship with Evo Industries, ensuring that the business’s core needs were being met throughout the course of the year.

Athena changed the brand tone of voice so that it was comprehensive, technically accurate and yet simple enough to be understood by the average person.

Results

In 2014, Evo Industries formed an alliance with a German-American organisation 2G. Evo begun selling new technology from their partners 2G into Australasia.

Over the course of 2014, Evo Industries won a prestigious award for one of their projects; expanded their office to another state and took on more staff.

The team at Total Marketing produced a powerful marketing strategy for their ever expanding stable of brands: Evoet and Evoheat.

In terms of the PPC campaign, the target of selling over a dozen units after 24 months was achieved. This was achieved through a blend of relevant content marketing, a sales funnel that was closely monitored for adjustment and by using a sales CRM, which enabled inbound sales to be captured and delivered to the sales team at Evo.

The content marketing planned and executed by Athena meant that Evo had all of the right and relevant information for their prospective clients when they were needing it. This addressed their concerns and barriers to purchase and then moved them through the sales funnel towards the sale.

With a carefully managed digital marketing and content marketing strategy in place, Evo Energy Technologies moved to the top of Google search rankings in Australia and S.E Asia for a variety of industry products. As a result, the nascent brand gained huge exposure and following on social media platforms, as well as increased sales conversions through their new site.

“We engaged Athena for her copywriting services and can highly recommend her. She was quick to grasp the essence of our business and translate that into sparkling copy. She is the ultimate professional and a pleasure to deal with. We look forward to using her services in the future.”  Read more Carl Diamond Google Analytics Consultant, Diamond…

Carl Diamond

“Athena is a talented news writer and editor for our website, Edinburgh Book Review. She thinks outside the box and often comes up with new ideas for content. Athena’s easy to work with, accurate and reliable.”  Read more Saskia Iseard Founder, Edinburgh Book Review

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