Testimonial advertising is like a stamp of approval from different kinds of people who have tried and tested your products or services. For some consumers, it’s the final nail in the coffin that they need to go through with a purchase.
It can be a very effective form of advertising if done well. It can increase your conversion and revenue significantly in the long run. That’s why here’s what you need to know to get started with testimonial advertising.
The Science Behind Testimonial Advertising: Social Proof
Per Wikipedia, social proof is “a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in a given situation.”
The term was coined by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence: Science and Practice. This book was published in 1984.
This concept is driven by the assumption that the people around us possess more knowledge about something. It can also be observed as a tendency to conform especially to large groups. After all, in the eyes of consumers, if a lot of people like it then it must be good, right?
In social situations, conformity helps us figure out what the “correct behavior” is. We look to what others are doing because we believe that their interpretation of situations is more accurate than ours.
We can see this manifest in testimonial advertising in so many ways. For example, we can see people looking to experts for advice and opinions when researching products and services. This is because we believe they know more than us and can give good recommendations.
As for the conformity part of social proof, this can be observed when celebrities or influencers advertise a product or service. We can see lots of consumers buying products and services just because their favorite artist or influencer is using them.
Benefits of Testimonial Advertising
- Increase Customer Loyalty
When customers truly enjoy your product or services, they usually reach out to you to tell you about their experience. This is a big compliment to your brand because a customer went out of their way to tell you about their experience.
When you’re posting the testimonies of your customers about how they appreciate your product or service, they also feel appreciated. This shows how you value their opinion.
But don’t forget to ask for permission first! It’s important to get consent first before you post any of their reviews.
- Captivate Others with Organic Content
What’s awesome with testimonies is that they’re written like how customers usually talk. They don’t use carefully chosen words and complicated corporate words to describe their experience.
When people use words that people can understand, they can better connect and resonate with them.
- Cost Effective
When it comes to asking other people for their opinion, you don’t have to spend a dime. You can just ask them for their experience and they’ll be happy to help. You don’t have to pay them to get their input. The process of asking is also an opportunity to establish a relationship with them.
- Increase Conversions
According to BigCommerce, customers are 58% more likely to convert when they interact with your review. They also found out that if your product has 50 or more reviews, this generates a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
3 Testimonial Advertising Techniques
- Customer Opinions
Customer opinions are the type of testimonials that we are all too familiar with at this point. In 2022, online shopping has become the norm because it’s convenient and it reduces the physical contact we have outside.
We can see ratings usually in the form of 5-star ratings. The more stars a review has, the better. Along with that rating is a short written testimonial of the buyer’s experience with the product or service.
With the rise of e-commerce websites, the opinions of other consumers and customers are becoming more and more important. A study by Trustpilot in 2020 showed that 9 out of 10 consumers worldwide checked out the reviews first before buying the product.
Surveys have also shown that 88% of consumers reported that reviews had influenced their online purchasing decisions. Another survey has shown that 86% of customers report that online reviews were at least “moderately important” when they shopped for new products.
This kind of testimony is common in B2C companies, like e-commerce websites. People rely on the opinions of other consumers who have purchased the product before. What makes this type of advertising extremely effective is that people trust the opinion of online reviews.
In a survey by BrightLocal in 2020, they found that 79% of consumers report that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That’s almost 4 out of 5 consumers! Another survey showed that 70% of people trust reviews and recommendations even though they come from strangers.
- Celebrity Endorsement
The appeal of celebrities, artists, musicians, and influencers are consistent throughout time. One way or another, public figures have garnered fans all over the world. There are even subcultures and social media groups and discussions that revolve around these artists and they’re called fandoms.
These artists can be an extremely powerful tool for advertising. When they promote something, their fans are naturally drawn to these products and services because they want to identify with their idols. They want to use what their idols use.
An awesome example of this is Jungkook accidentally causing the stock of Downy to go out. In January of 2019, Jungkook, a member of an extremely popular K-pop group, mentioned he used ‘Downy Adorable.’ This information trickled down to the fans and everyone wanted to buy one for themselves.
This caused almost 2 months’ worth of stock to sell out instantly in the whole country of Korea. Jungkook became the center of news channels and he even appeared in the Trending part of the business section of Twitter. Downy Korea had issued an apology for the lack of stock because they weren’t able to anticipate the sudden surge of demand.
- Expert Opinion
This kind of testimonial focuses on the endorsement of professionals and industry experts. It appeals to consumers because the perceived expertise of individuals convinces them that these professionals know more and know better than they do.
The opinion of experts helps to add credibility to the product or service. It also helps consumers learn more about the technical side of these products and services. Finally, it also addresses the fear of consumers that they might not know enough about the products and services before purchasing them.
According to Think With Google, 80% of shoppers start their buying process by watching a YouTube video related to their purchase. This is because they want to inform themselves better before choosing what product to spend their money on. Part of this process is watching experts in their respective fields talk about products and services.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do testimonials appeal to consumers?
Testimonials are important to gain customer trust toward your business. Testimonials are recorded written or spoken statements that help customers to understand your credibility and authenticity.
How are testimonials used in marketing?
Testimonials are an important way of lead generation in marketing. Apart from this, testimonials help marketing in the following ways:
- Used as social proof
- Helps in establishing trust
- Used as visual content
- Helps in creating tangible impact
- Creates a positive brand image
Are product testimonials reliable?
Yes, product testimonials are reliable. They help customers to understand a product and help them to avoid fraud by assessing genuine feedback from fellow customers.
Testimonial Advertising Can be Great for Your Business
Testimonial advertising can be one of the most effective ways to increase conversions and get more revenue if you do it right. It gives your customers or clients an idea of how what you’re offering can also help them solve their problems. It shows them that your products are tried and tested by others.
The 3 most common testimonial advertising techniques are customer opinions, celebrity endorsement, and expert opinions. You don’t have to use all of them immediately. You can start with customer opinions because it’s the most affordable and cost-efficient technique. Once you have resources, you can then follow up with expert opinions, then, finally, celebrity endorsement.