The Testimonial Content Type
Maintaining and updating content, especially content that can become outdated, or lose relevance, is beneficial for your overall search visibility in Google and other search engines. It also has a tremendous impact on user experience. Take customer testimonials as an example, when was the last time you updated them on your website? Do you have testimonial type content as part of your digital experience? One of the most powerful things about client testimonials is that they affirm your credibility, trust, and authority.
There is real the power of social proof.
At the time of writing this post there were 6.7 million results for ‘what our clients say about us’ in Google’s index. For many organizations their top 3 - 5 most visited web pages will include their ‘client’, or ‘testimonial’ sections, but do people really trust that content over something like a review on an third-party sites? It’s hard to say, but studies show that people trust those third-party reviews as much as personal recommendations. That being said, the testimonial content type can be powerful content when used strategically.
Using Customer Testimonials Effectively
The the most effective way to use testimonial content is in how you pair it with other content. Where you use a testimonial will enhance the copy it is used with. It can address questions, or concerns users might have in their decision journey. For example, if a testimonial is about how reliable your organization was at the delivery of a project you might pair that with copy about your core service.
Here are some often overlooked benefits of the testimonial content type. How can you leverage them and use the power of social proof more effectively for your brand?
Create Client Loyalty
Testimonials increase the emotional connection between the person who asked for it and the person who gives it. As much as we can talk about ‘brand’ — we live in a human to human world. Imagine how making every one of your clients feel appreciated can benefit you. The powerful benefit of this is that loyal clients refer others.
The Referral ‘Proof of Concept’
With a testimonial it’s like practice for what clients can say to others — in the form of a referral. Some clients might find making a recommendation to someone they don’t know to be awkward. It’s really just a mental roadblock, but the testimonial can help to remove that.
Straight From the Horse’s Mouth
Of course, loyal clients aren’t horses, and when they give you a testimonial, they won’t use your “carefully crafted” marketing message — they’ll talk like real people. Clients will express what’s outstanding and distinctive about your organization in everyday language.
Testimonials = Insight = Opportunities
Testimonials and feedback can be invaluable market research. It can be a great learning experience. This content type can lead you in planning, inform improvements, or help you refocus your offering.
Appreciation for Those that Make it Happen
Testimonial can be an amazing source of recognition for your team. They’re a great way to appreciate others in your organization and a way of showcasing their skill and expertise. Customer testimonials can also benefit in recruitment of other great team members. The next testimonial you get that singles out a team member, share it with the organization at a weekly team meeting or in an email. This can be a simple and surprising way to build morale and team spirit.
Visibility. Visibility. Visibility.
I couldn’t write about the power of testimonials and not talk about search visibility. The testimonial content type is like the FAQ content type. They often never surface in content ideation sessions, but they are both strong types of content to be regularly creating. Testimonials are great to add to your blog, and to amplify in your social. When they are given on third-party platforms they can really help to boost visibility. As a general rule of thumb, be as public with your testimonials as possible.
The power of social proof can help you gain and maintain your competitive advantage. This isn’t a content type you do a couple of times, but a tactic that your brand should be leveraging continually.
What Some of Our Clients Say About Us ;)
These client testimonials can be found on the independently vetted source — Clutch.co.
"ImageX stood out because they took the time to listen to us."
YMCA of Western North Carolina
“We've learned to rely on ImageX as a business partner—they think for us.”
Steptoe & Johnson
"Their project manager was extremely thorough. I never had to worry about anything."
“ImageX has been an amazing partner as a go-to developer.”
Main photo by Wesson Wang on Unsplash