Do NOT Use a Testimonial Tool Until You Do These 4 Things

Nov 23, 2022 | eCommerce, eCommerce Platforms

Everyone wants to use a testimonial tool nowadays. Social proof is all the rage. Why? 

According to Revive Marketing, testimonials are the driving force behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions.

People buy what other people buy. It’s that simple. 

So – it’s time to start using a testimonial tool to increase your lead conversions, right? 

WRONG!

Wait a minute!

Businesses read statistics like the above and think they need to start collecting testimonials right away. But there’s a problem.

Your business might not be ready to start using a testimonial tool until you have done these four things:

  1. You have a target customer type
  2. You have focused testimonial topics
  3. You have fixed technical SEO issues
  4. You have social media accounts up and running

If you haven’t knocked out these tasks, your customer testimonials won’t have the maximum possible impact.

Let’s look at each of these tasks and see how they can positively and negatively effect your customer testimonials. 

Find your target customer type before using a testimonial tool

If you are a landscaping company that sees a high ROI on commercial clients, but you’re marketing yourself as a consumer landscaping service, you’re going to confuse leads. 

Let’s consider the following scenario:

  • You’re a landscaping company that has been in business for under a year
  • Your first 20 clients were homeowners, but you recently picked up a few commercial clients
  • You’re seeing a much higher return on commercial grounds maintenance work
  • You want to exclusively work on commercial facilities moving forward

Let’s pretend I’m the director of operations for a hospital. That’s a real position, right? I’m looking for a landscaping company that regularly services commercial clients. 

I google [landscaping company near me] and browse the SERP. 

Hoorah! Your business appears. 

Your website uses stock images. That’s fine. Which website doesn’t these days? 

I start clicking around on your website. Yes! You have an entire section explaining your commercial facility maintenance offerings. You even offer power washing and street sweeping. I’m thinking we’re a perfect match. 

But then I see you have a testimonials section. 

Do NOT show off the wrong social proof

This is me when I see the wrong social proof

You have user generated content from homeowners. I start watching the customer testimonials. Each video is a homeowner showing off their yard. This isn’t what I want! 

You know how you write your website copy so that it resonates with your target audience? You use familiar terminology that resonates with them, right?

Testimonials have to literally speak to your your target audience. If you want to serve one audience, but are displaying testimonials from another, that’s confusing!

Before you start asking customers for reviews and testimonials, make sure you know which customer type you want to show off. 

You should have specific testimonial topics to cover

The social proof that is derived from testimonials is a powerful tool for closing leads. 

But testimonials are more than just social proof! 

Testimonials are a living, breathing, super-powered FAQ section.

If you want your customer testimonials to have maximum impact, make sure you’re directing your customers to leave succinct testimonials that highlight keywords and topics. 

You don’t want rambling testimonials. 

Surely you have a friend, family member, or acquaintance who rambles. Someone who starts talking and never really stops. You forget why they started talking in the first point. You forget their point. Did they even make a point?

This is what we call information overload.

What everyone thinks when they watch/read a rambling testimonial

Testimonials with information overload don’t maximize impact. According to Animoto’s research on video marketing, 59.9% of their survey respondents revealed that they would not watch a video if it’s too long to their relative standard. 

So how do you reduce the ramble and add more value to your customers’ testimonials? 

Find your customers’ frequently asked questions

Takes notes on the questions and concerns you get from leads and customers.

What are your leads worried about? Is there something about your product or service that prevents them from signing up? 

Maybe there is an element of your product or service that causes a bit of confusion?

These are topics that provide a lot of value in customer testimonials. 

Let’s say you’re a window washing company and your leads always ask, “do you work on tall buildings?” 

Your answer is, “yes, we work on skyscraper windows all the time.”

This would be a great topic to cover in your testimonials. You can ask your customers to start their testimonials by stating their buildings’s number of stories. 

After watching or reading a few of these customer testimonials, your leads will have their questions answers for them!  

Most customers expect this level of competence and service. A 2020 SalesForce study found that 66% of customers expect businesses to understand their unique needs. 

Would this study lie to you? No, we didn’t think so.

You absolutely need to resolve your technical SEO issues

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Uh oh – not this old saying again. Let’s not wade into the complicated metaphysics behind this question and just “no.”

Showing off testimonials on a website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate is virtually the same thing.

You might have a website but nobody is visiting. 

Your website might have testimonials, but there is nobody to watch, hear, or read them. They’re lost. It’s almost like the testimonials don’t exist at all!

Look – a tree falling in the woods!

Bottom line – your site needs an SSL certificate.

Don’t put it off. Don’t do it tomorrow. If you don’t have an SSL certificate, stop reading this article and message your hosting provider. 

If you don’t have an SSL certificate, modern desktop and mobile browsers will be hard pressed to send traffic to your site. This is how sites without SSL look on the iPhone Safari browser. 

Image from Digitbin

Make sure Google can crawl and index your website. 

If you want your site and testimonials to be available on SERPs, make sure the Googlebot web crawler can read your website for indexing.

If your pages are set to private, don’t allow indexing, or requires a login, Googlebot can’t crawl your website, index your site, and serve the search results. 

You need an audience on social media before buying a testimonial tool

Starting new social media accounts and adding testimonials all at once sounds like running a marathon while trying to play the flute. There are too many things going on. 

Here’s what we suggest:

Start accounts on the social channels that your competitors use.

Time to do some spying!

Which social media channels do your competitors use to connect with leads and customers? Get those social media accounts set up as soon as possible. 

Setting up social accounts can take a surprisingly long time! There’s a lot of admin work – going back and forth with emails, setting up accounts, adding logos, etc.

Start the MVP process (minimum viable posting)

Before you start adding testimonials, you want to get into the rhythm of posting content. We call this the social media MVP: minimum viable posting. 

You don’t need to spend hours upon hours creating and publishing content, but you do need to make an effort to introduce yourself to your community. 

A few good post ideas to start with:

  • Photos of employees – always ask if you can tag their personal accounts
  • Photos of completed work or products
  • Photos and quotes of people who inspire your business and culture

Build an audience 

Before you post your hard earned testimonials, you need to make sure you have an audience on your social channels. 

Building an audience can be challenging. Here’s how to get started:

  • Message accounts who like and follow your competitors
  • Post consistently
  • Research and use hashtags
  • Ask your local content aggregators to mention your accounts

Once you have a following, now it’s time to start blasting out testimonials! 

Our conclusion on testimonial tools

Do NOT buy a testimonial tool until you have taken the time to set yourself up for success. 

Once you get these four task out of the way, TrustSpot would be happy to help you with testimonials!

TrustSpot is an affordable testimonial tool with hundreds of clients.

Don’t know how to get started? We make it easy. Click the link below for a testimonial demo.

Thanks for reading!

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