Any marketing professional with a working understanding of digital marketing can make a brand look good online.
They can write sparkling copy that does a great job of describing how affordable, effective, and indispensable the products are.
They can create an abundance of stunning visual imagery that paints a beautiful picture of what it would be like to use them.
However, nothing will win a potential customer’s trust as quickly as a sincere testimonial from another customer.
A great testimonial page helps take the focus off of the company behind a brand and place it on the happy customers that actually use and trust it.
But there’s a fine art to putting together a page that yields results. Here’s a look at everything you need to know to do it right.
What is a Testimonial?
In its simplest form, a testimonial is a positive statement or endorsement of a product, service, or company.
Testimonials most often originate from current or former customers who have used a company’s products or services.
However, they can also come from others in a unique position to endorse that company, such as colleagues, peers, and other industry associates.
To be effective, testimonials really need to be more than just a quote from a customer that confirms a product or service delivers the promised results.
A great testimonial successfully engages an audience, cultivates trust, and tells a story that inspires that audience to act.
Social proof is an influential motivating factor in a consumer’s decision-making process, so an entire testimonial page filled with stellar endorsements is a powerful marketing tool for any company to have in its corner.
Testimonials differ from consumer reviews in that reviews are typically written by the customer in an unguided format.
In contrast, testimonials are usually written by the business itself based on a customer’s answers to specific interview questions, before-and-after case studies, and similar resources.
Types of Testimonials
Testimonials can take many different forms, and there are just as many ways you can use a well-crafted testimonial page to showcase yours.
Which is the right fit for your company depends on who your target audience is and what effect you want your testimonial page to have on them.
Here are a few popular examples to consider.
When most people picture a typical testimonial, a simple quote is the most likely type to come to mind.
The quote can be as simple as a sentence endorsing a product’s effectiveness or as complex as a story that details how the person behind it benefited from that product.
Quote testimonials are often accompanied by a photograph of the person behind the words to make them seem more authentic and relatable.
Audio testimonials help personalize the idea behind an endorser’s words by adding the human element of a voice to the mix.
They’re also relatively cost-effective to produce, as all you really need is some basic recording software, a microphone, and a quiet spot where you can complete your recordings.
Many marketers like to combine multiple customer quotes into one track to create one easily accessible piece of marketing content to share around.
The rise of smartphones and mobile technology has made it easier than ever to consume and create compelling video content, so it’s understandable that video testimonials are red hot, as well.
Video testimonials combine the power of engaging audio, compelling visuals, and solid storytelling to connect with an audience.
They’re also easy to share and fun to watch, making them a big hit with consumers.
Another advantage of choosing video for your testimonial content is it has the potential to go viral and get everyone talking about your brand or product virtually overnight.
Also sometimes known as influencer testimonials, authority testimonials are noteworthy because they come from trusted heavy-hitters in your industry — people whose opinions your audience likely already trusts.
The spokesperson behind an authority testimonial may be a celebrity, social media influencer, or other known personality within your chosen niche.
Although the production process for authority testimonials can be expensive, especially when it comes to securing the right spokesperson, they can also be highly effective when done well.
Blog Post Testimonials
Particularly compelling testimonials can also make incredible blog posts.
They give you the unique opportunity to dig deeply into a customer’s personal story and tell it from your own perspective to let your audience get to know your company a bit better.
When properly optimized, they support a thorough SEO campaign, as well.
Blog post testimonials also leave a lot of room for creativity. You can base them on case studies, customer interviews, peer reviews, and more.
Another great way to raise the trust factor attached to your brand is to get it featured by respected news sources.
Press testimonials aren’t easy to obtain, but they’re highly effective, as they potentially expose your brand to many millions of consumers who might be interested in what you sell.
This type of testimonial is also a must-add to an ongoing testimonial page, as they’re highly convincing, even for people who have never heard of your brand before.
How to Write a Compelling Testimonial
Whether you choose just one of the above formats or a combination of several of them for your testimonial page, it’s essential to have an intelligent approach to the process.
Here are some standard best practices for crafting compelling, authentic-feeling testimonials that really resonate with your audience.
#1. Decide on a background narrative
Again, the best testimonials do more than simply repeat something positive a customer or peer has said about your products or services.
Instead, they leverage the facts of how your best customers feel about their experiences with you to tell your audience a story.
That said, the first order of business is to decide what that story will say.
Given the opportunity to make your future customers feel anything about your product, what would it be? What challenges have your existing customers finally overcome thanks to finding and trying that product?
Figure out how the answers to those questions fit into the larger narrative of your brand and use that as a guide when building your testimonial page.
#2. Know the characteristics of a good testimonial
As with any other type of content, the execution style really matters when it comes to your testimonials. Good examples that get results are:
- Short: Extremely lengthy testimonials that ramble on are unlikely to be read from start to finish, so keep yours concise.
- Direct: A good testimonial gets straight to the point, preferably within the very first sentence.
- Authentic: Letting your customer do the talking for you gives your words an authenticity they wouldn’t have any other way, so don’t miss that opportunity.
Be sure to include any and all relevant information in your testimonials to make them as credible as possible. Names, companies, titles, and pictures are all excellent examples.
#3. Guide your customers with specific questions
Keep in mind that while you will be building your testimonial on factual statements from your customers, you’re not simply asking them for a review.
Instead, you want specific types of statements that will fit the background story you’ve decided on for your testimonial page content, so guide your interviews with preselected questions.
Great testimonial questions are not only specific but also open-ended to give the interviewee a chance to express themselves authentically.
Be sure to emphasize critical issues or concerns your customer had before they tried your product and precisely how the product helped resolve them.
#4. Preserve your customer’s original tone
The genuine human voice behind a testimonial is what makes it so compelling and convincing, especially for customers who have no previous experience with your brand.
That said, you’ll want to preserve that to the greatest extent possible.
While editing testimonials for lengthiness and readability is OK, keeping your customer’s general tone and word choices is essential.
This helps keep the content from seeming too formal, contrived, or technical. Remember, the idea is to connect with your audience, and no one will do a better job of that than the real customer behind your testimonial.
5 Incredible Testimonial Page Examples to Inspire Conversions
Now that you know a bit about what makes a testimonial effective, it’s time to take a look at what makes a particular testimonial page compelling.
Here’s a closer look at some of the most convincing examples on the web.
Since ZenDesk is in the business of providing next-level help desk solutions, it only makes sense that they’d have one of the sleekest, most professional-looking testimonial pages on the web.
Of course, the layout is very pleasing to the eye. However, it’s also super functional.
Visitors can easily filter the testimonial page results by industry, company type, location, and more, so it’s easy to find statements from happy customers similar to oneself.
And if you’re simply looking to hear from ZenDesk’s biggest, most important clients, they’re attached to attractive thumbnails to make them easy to find.
You know Hootsuite best for its dedication to social media management.
Still, it just so happens to have a great approach to a classic testimonial page, as well — simple, functional, and informative.
The banner tells visitors in no uncertain terms that social media is in the company’s DNA and invites you to explore a variety of examples.
Underneath, a variety of testimonials, reports, and case studies are presented for the visitor’s perusal. Like ZenDesk, Hootsuite lets you apply a helpful filter to zero in on the exact category and industry you’re looking for.
A great testimonial page isn’t just a good idea for a business growth software giant like HubSpot.
It’s a powerful tool for convincing potential customers that the software company can work the same magic for their companies, too, especially since their services represent an investment.
Like other successful testimonial page examples, HubSpot’s page showcases a wide variety of top options to check out via a clean, attractive display.
Big names like Airstream, Crunch Fitness, and Rock Content have their logos prominently featured alongside a blurb detailing what HubSpot has done for their company growth.
In addition, a handy tagging system makes it easy to explore even more testimonials from companies in your same industry.
At first glance, Shopify’s testimonial page looks a lot like other noteworthy examples from around the web.
It’s clean, visually appealing, and easy to understand. It also prominently features a variety of different testimonials from companies across multiple industries and locations.
Beautiful thumbnails and tantalizing blurbs give viewers a taste of each testimonial at a glance. In addition, user-friendly filters make it a snap to find anything specific you want to see.
However, there’s one feature that sets Shopify’s page apart. The page closes with a direct call-to-action to become the next Shopify success story by entering your email address and signing up for a free trial. Who could possibly resist?
Squarespace is nothing if not a hot name in website building right now, but it’s not just because they’re excellent at what they do.
They’re also very well-known for doing business with many influential brands and household names across multiple industries. Think icons like Winona Ryder, Sophia Bush, Sadie Williams, and Craig Ward!
Not only are visitors to the Squarespace testimonial page instantly struck by the sleek, dynamic design of the page itself, but it’s hard to deny the star power they’re exposed to right away.
Who wouldn’t want to see their own name listed alongside massive success stories like the ones listed above?
Of course, these are just a few of the many successful testimonial page examples you’ll see from top companies online, but you can no doubt see the common threads between them.
For example, successful testimonial pages are visually striking while remaining organized and professional-looking.
They’re also functional in a way that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for quickly. Make sure yours is the same.
Wrap Up: Send Your Conversion Rates Through the Roof this Year
Great content that wins hearts and changes minds isn’t just helpful for your company’s ongoing digital marketing campaign.
It’s an absolute necessity, especially considering how important establishing a personal connection with a brand is to consumers.
An excellent testimonial page may be the type of content offering that can easily convert a lead who’s been on the fence. However, it’s not the only one.
Check out our recorded webinar on boosting content performance, and gain instant access to priceless guidance on effectively leveraging content to send your conversion rates soaring.