All brands and businesses intuitively know that getting good reviews is important. And since we are human, we also like getting a nice little pat on the back from a satisfied customer. However, there is more than just feeling good to reviews – they actually have a statistically significant impact on marketing.

3 Reasons Testimonials are Essential for Your Content Marketing

  • Testimonials are natural content for your site and social media profiles.
  • Testimonials are more believable than you yourself saying that you’re awesome.
  • Testimonials provide social proof that your service/product is really being used.

The actual power that testimonials provide seems underestimated – just look at how many small and mid-sized businesses have just a handful of reviews or have even failed to claim their Google business page to display reviews. According to Review Trackers, Google accounts for 57.5% of all reviews worldwide, but 56% of local retailers haven’t claimed their Google My Busines listing.

Instead of just thinking that reviews are important, here are the cold hard facts that you need to take some time to consider how to incorporate testimonials into your marketing strategy. We also have a fantastic infographic summary of this information you can use at the bottom of the page.

Why are client reviews important?

Testimonials, also called user-generated content (UGC) are incredibly powerful – they are the next best thing to word of mouth when it comes to marketing your business or brand. To underscore that statement, 92% of customers read online reviews before buying. Beyond that, reviews are awesome content for your overall marketing efforts, and no brand should be without them.

Testimonials are natural content for your site and social media profiles

  • 10 or more reviews can increase search traffic by 15-20% | Big Commerce
  • Get approximately 62% more revenue from using customer testimonials regularly | Strategic Factory
  • 34% average increase in conversions when testimonials are included on the sales page | IMPACT
  • Customer testimonials placed alongside more expensive items increased conversion rates by 380% | Power Reviews
  • A single business review can lift its conversions by 10% | RevLocal
  • 81% of consumers say they will pay more for a product with reviews | TurnTo Networks
  • 60% of consumers consult blog and social media reviews on their mobile devices before shopping | Collective Bias
  • Online product reviews about a product can increase its conversion rate by more than 270% | Spigel Research Center
  • 73% of customers value the written review over the overall star rating | Fan and Fuel

The takeaway for you:

Displaying reviews where your audience spends time will positively impact conversions and revenue. It might seem like the only place to put this user-generated content is on the homepage, or maybe even a separate customer review page, of your site. However, spend a little time thinking outside the box and the possibilities start to open up:

> Testimonials highlighted on the online checkout page.
> Reviews displayed intermittently throughout the product/service page.
> Video testimonials featured on social media profiles.
> Short, written reviews near the very top of your website.
> Spotlight a consumer story in an email campaign.
> Short video testimonials as part of a retargeting campaign.

Proudly show off your testimonials – you’ve earned them!

Testimonials are more believable than you yourself saying that you’re awesome

  • 83% of customers don’t trust advertising | Status Labs
  • 72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business | Big Commerce
  • 90% of users need less than 10 reviews to form an opinion about a business | Martech Zone
  • 15% of people don’t trust businesses without reviews | Status Labs
  • Consumer reviews on products are trusted almost 12 times more than the manufacturers’ descriptions | MarTech Zone
  • 73% of consumers report that user-generated content increases their purchasing confidence | Turn To Networks

The takeaway for you:

It’s not that consumers outright think a business is lying about what they offer. It’s just that most of them trust the opinion of their peers. Our audiences know that whatever we say about our product or service is going to naturally be positive and glowing. Our motive is obvious: we want them to buy.

But, when someone who doesn’t have that motive, and simply is sharing their experience after making a purchase or working with your company, then the content of that testimonial can be more easily trusted as truthful and honest. This is content created by a user/buyer. Hence the term “user-generated content.”

And, now that reviews are easier to leave and to find, people are using them to make decisions about purchases, even when a review is from a complete stranger.

So, put user-generated content where your audience can find them, and provide links to other places your testimonials live, such as Google and Facebook.

Additionally, make it easy for your current and past clients to leave a review by emailing a link to them, or in some cases, you can send a link via text when you have the person’s permission to do so. Always pair your review link with a genuine request for the customer’s thoughts – a generic request is more likely to be ignored.

Then, take the next step. Respond to your reviews, even the good ones. With the increased visibility provided by the internet, consumers are now interested in seeing how a company responds. It’s another great opportunity to show that you as a business are paying attention to your audience and demonstrate the human side of the company.

Testimonials provide social proof that your service/product is really being used

  • 88% of consumers trust online testimonials and reviews as much as recommendations from friends or family | Big Commerce
  • 70% of people trust reviews and recommendations from strangers | Neilsen
  • 66% of Americans trust an anonymous online review more than they trust a recommendation from an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend | Talk Triggers
  • 72% of customers won’t take action before they read some reviews | My Testimonial Engine
  • 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has user reviews | eConsultancy
  • More than two-thirds of users trust reviews more when they are a mix of negatives and positives | ReeVoo

The takeaway for you:

The internet makes it so simple to share thoughts, feelings, and experiences with a wide audience. User-generated content about a product or service demonstrates to potential buyers that real people are getting real results or having truly positive experiences.

Negative reviews are also useful. They provide an opportunity for a business to respond publicly to the complaint and show how they will work to resolve it. A few negative or neutral reviews also make a business appear more genuine because it’s unbelievable that 100% of people had the best experience. When a client comes out and states they weren’t satisfied it shows consumers that there hasn’t been any censoring of bad reviews, thus increasing trust in the company.

Testimonials are Essential for Your Content Marketing

It’s obvious that great testimonials are beneficial, but the data actually shows specifically how helpful and important positive reviews can be for thriving in the transparency of the online-driven world.

Hence, getting testimonials cannot be something that is left to chance, or that comes up as an afterthought. Your buyer’s experience needs to intentionally include the request for feedback and comments. Your marketing efforts will thank you for taking the time right now to think about and incorporate a plan to get this incredibly valuable content.

Once you have it, be sure to use it. Display it on your site, highlight it in social media, and follow up with any testimonials you receive. This is a small but important strategic component for content marketing. It’s not content you created but it is content that will make a huge difference to the growth of your brand.