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.
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.
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 Local, Yelp 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.
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.