December 30, 2014
Testimonials are essential to effective inbound marketing and can create a connection with your audience before you ever speak. They also support social media marketing with “social proof”.
Reviews and testimonials are part of powerful word-of-mouth advertising. Some companies seem to instinctively know how to use testimonials to generate brand loyalty, create brand awareness and convert leads to sales. But it’s not instinct. It’s about strategy and implementation – like all good marketing!
I head up the website redesigns here at OverGo and I’ve come across a lot of great-looking websites and testimonials pages. But it’s not just about good looks! Let’s look at four companies doing it right and how what we can all learn from their success.
The well-known vehicle rental company uses testimonials to boost its fleet management reputation. Much like having an impressive person give a letter of reference, Enterprise uses the recommendations of its most influential customers to sway new prospects with a bandwagon approach. The message of the testimonials is that the company can handle the fleet of cars for these large companies so they will be able to do it for you.
One of the benefits of testimonial marketing is that there is no contractual guarantee implied. The Federal Trade Commission guidelines state that the ads must be true in that these are actual customer experiences. A client’s perception of service that is always accurate even if the real service parameters vary from client to client.
The Internet security company LifeLock uses testimonial text blurbs paired with video recommendations to get the greatest impact. Testimonials have the ability to deliver a marketing message without sounding dull or agenda-driven.
Even reenacted testimonials come off as natural. Research shows that marketing strategies with an organic feel have a competitive edge over those that seem staged. LifeLock is also very good at using only testimonials are on-point, reinforcing its overall marketing message.
3. Lockheed Martin
Commercial and governmental aerospace developers do not need to do business-to-consumer marketing. But that doesn’t mean they have no use for reviews! Lockheed Martin, maker of aircraft, satellites and robots, uses its testimonial marketing to recruit talented employees.
The employee testimonials emphasize diversity, a smart move since the company is attempting to enlist talent from around the globe. It has devoted an entire webpage to the topic that highlights communication from employees of various ethnicities and backgrounds.
Oil companies often have an uphill battle when it comes to improving public opinion. Rather than taking on environmental issues directly, Exxon uses its testimonial format to highlight its work with young eco-conscious engineers entering the field. Each encourages students to enter the chemical engineering industry and take on the challenge of creating sustainable, clean energy for the future.
5. Red Cross
In the nonprofit world, perception is as important as service to a charitable company. Transparency is both good marketing and federally mandated. The American Red Cross uses its testimonial messages to show the donor public that real people are reaping the benefits of the donations received. At gala events, the raw emotion associated with charitable services can make direct interaction uncomfortable for donors. Written testimonials are just as impactful but offer a cushion between philanthropists and benificiaries.
You might have an amazing website with testimonials sprinkled across in all the right places. But any old client or customer testimonials isn’t going to do. Every business should have a strategy behind their testimonials, showcasing only the ones that support their business goals and company culture.