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Testimonials – The best FREE marketing tool you’ll ever use

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You’re doing well, your marketing is working and you’ve got a potential customer who is interested in what you do... what’s next? To be seriously considered you have to build trust and prove that you can do what you say you can do.

What is the best, easiest and cost effective way to do this? Testimonials!

This simple and FREE marketing tool is often overlooked, but can help to seal the deal when a customer is making a purchase decision.

BrightLocal’s 2015 Local Customer Review Survey of over 2,000 consumers revealed some astounding results:

  • 92% of consumers now read online reviews 
  • 68% form an opinion by reading just 2-6 reviews
  • 69% say a review must be written within 2-3 months to be relevant
  • 68% say positive reviews make them trust a local business more
  • 80% will trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation 

These findings are just as relevant for NZ businesses. A great local example is from Versatile - and for once we are not talking about the pulling power of Richie McCaw!

Not everyone has Richie’s number on speed-dial or the budget for large television campaigns and celebrity endorsements. However, Versatile understand the power of real customer reviews and have included an entire page of glowing customer testimonials on their website.

So what can we learn from others who are successfully using testimonials to build brand trust and credibility? Here are 3 pointers to help you leverage great customer feedback:

1. Have testimonials everywhere potential customers are looking

When people are checking your business out they won’t just be looking in one place. Your website is a great place to start but also encourage people to rate you on your business Facebook page or to endorse your skills on LinkedIn. Are you on any other public sites like Google Maps where people can post testimonials. Don’t forget to include these.

2. Keep it fresh

Regularly update your testimonials. Think about the kind of message it portrays if you don’t have any recent testimonials. People want to see that you have a history of meeting and exceeding expectations and that your most recent customers are just as satisfied with your product/services.

3. Include visuals if appropriate

Written examples are great, but an extra element of proof can be added through the use of images. If you build houses, include an image of the finished build. If  you sell handmade dresses, ask your happy client to take a picture of themselves all dressed up. If you have worked with a recognised business or brand, include their logo.

Images of happy customers encourage others to buy. Retail giant Glassons encourages happy customers to post pictures of themselves on Instagram wearing their clothes using #glassons. They then upload these to their web page to support sales of individual products. There’s no reason why you can’t do something similar.

Testimonials are a fantastic and FREE way to create credibility, reinforce your message and drive sales. Your only investment is to look after your customers and follow up with them to get referrals.

Finally, make sure you share the love and give testimonials yourself. If you’ve had a great experience with a brand or company then let them know, endorse your contact’s skills on LinkedIn or give them a review on Facebook.

 

Make sure you are subscribed to our blog for regular fresh thinking, tips and advice on how to get customers and keep them.

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Lee Retimana is the Chief Marketer and Brand Strategist at Muritai Group. With 25 plus years in sales and marketing across a diverse range of industries including IT, manufacturing, health and business services, Lee saw a huge gap in the market for providing small business owners with strong and actionable marketing advice. With a focus on fresh thinking; Lee challenges her team at Muritai Group to use their experience and expertise to challenge ineffective marketing with creative ideas, strategic thinking, and common sense to deliver marketing that works. Lee says "We are experts at finding customers and keeping them. We know how to craft the right messages to get you noticed, make you relevant, interesting and ultimately loved! Our whole business approach links every single marketing tactic to your business objectives and is how we develop a marketing strategy that works – so your business can thrive". Give Lee a call (021 321 747) or email (lee@muritai.com) to see where her fresh approach can take your business.

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A Fresh Approach to Marketing