With trust in marketers at an all-time low, customer testimonials are the solution you need to drive home sales.
When the only information your potential customers have about your brand is written and advertised by you, you’re asking them to take a leap of faith based on your word alone. The more expensive the product or service, the larger the leap will be. Before you can ask your audience to take a risk, you need to prove that your business can be trusted by adding customer testimonial examples to your marketing plan.
With shoppers getting smarter with their purchase decisions, only 3% of consumers trust marketers and salespeople. Most buyers aren’t going to choose your product or service just because they see your ad on social media. They’re more likely to seek out insight from their peers as well.
By taking advantage of the most effective types of testimonials, you can persuade more shoppers to become loyal customers.
What are customer testimonials?
Customer testimonials are endorsements from people who have experience using your product or service. In most cases, they’re statements from regular people who believe in the value of your product. However, highly effective testimonials can come from industry influencers and other public figures, too.
Testimonials can take many forms. They can be written or spoken, paid or organic, and shared on a dedicated testimonials page on your site or on social media. Despite the diversity of testimonial examples out there, all of the best testimonials share one major characteristic: They produce results.
By offering a positive new perspective from a third party, even if they’re paid to endorse you, you can quickly gain the trust of their fellow shoppers. While friends and family members are still the most trusted sources for recommendations, 83% of consumers trust the word of their peers—some even completely. Due to this high level of trust, testimonials provide instant social proof that your brand can provide quality service and products that consumers love.
7 best customer testimonial examples
While there are many types of testimonials you can add to your digital marketing strategy, there are seven tried and true options that many marketers favor. In this section, we’ll explain the differences and guide you to great testimonial examples that perfectly demonstrate each one.
1. Video testimonial
Video is booming in the marketing world. According to Google, nearly 50% of internet users actively search for videos related to a specific product or service before visiting a retail location. This means that online video is increasingly a part of the buyer’s journey, influencing whether or not a consumer chooses to shop with your brand.
When a potential customer finds a testimonial video during the research phase, they can be immersed in someone else’s success story. Consider this powerful testimonial example from a patient at a Cleveland Clinic. The story is real—told by an average person you could imagine yourself speaking to—which makes it feel more genuine. It even includes B-roll that shows the clinic’s environment and helps tell the patient’s story.
Customer videos can be organic, but more often than not, you’ll need to initiate it. Think about some customers who have benefited from your product or service or who are simply strong proponents of your brand. Preferably, they’ll be good speakers, too. Then, reach out to ask if they’d be willing to provide an on-camera testimonial. Once you have your customers, brainstorm some prompts that will help them tell their story. For example, you may ask, “How has our product impacted your life?”
Filming doesn’t have to be fancy, and you don’t even have to fly an out-of-state customer to your office to get a good testimonial. Some video testimonials are as simple as the customer recording a video on their own smartphone camera. It’s really the story that counts.
2. Quote testimonial
One of the most traditional types of testimonials on our list is the quote testimonial. These are the customer endorsements you see on the homepage or testimonial page of many of your favorite brands’ websites. In many cases, they’re as simple as a one-sentence statement with the speaker’s name and (if relevant) title.
While quotes were first used in newspapers and printed marketing collateral, they can still be useful in modern marketing—if you know how to pick the right ones. Written testimonials can even boost your search engine optimization (SEO) if they include keywords that you want to target. More importantly, these short testimonials should offer brief, but strong evidence that your product or service works.
Once your target audience lands on the page, we recommend having a picture or video of the speaker next to each quote to put a face to a name. This will act as further proof that real people are recommending your brand. For some great quote testimonial examples that are wisely paired with video, take a look at ChowNow’s testimonials page.
3. Customer review
Consumer reviews are powerful tools that are proven to have a major impact on buyers’ choices. Just having 50 reviews on a product page can actually increase conversions by 4.6%. Once consumers start interacting with these reviews, they’ll be 58% more likely to convert, and your revenue will increase by 62% per visitor.
This form of testimonial is typically posted directly on online review sites where you have a business presence. They include platforms like Google and Facebook as well as industry-specific sites like Avvo for lawyers and Cars.com for dealerships. Some brands, particularly retailers, may even have review features embedded into their site.
What makes customer reviews unique from many other testimonials is the fact that your response matters. On these public platforms, potential customers often look for your response to negative and positive reviews. It’s how they find proof that you care about your customers and listen to their needs.
While online reviews do tend to feel extremely organic—they come straight from a user’s account, after all—you can use digital tools to help you rapidly increase your review count. Podium Reviews, for example, automatically texts your customers review invites to help you collect hundreds of testimonials for the sites that matter.
Take a look at this testimonial example from Carvana, which compiles thousands of customer reviews onto one web page.
4. Social media testimonial
Just like online reviews, social media testimonials are a growing trend. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter have billions of customers combined, and a single post from one customer can be reached by hundreds or thousands of people at once.
As long as you have business profiles set up, social media testimonials can often come organically from users who take a picture at your business and tag you. However, some businesses will give a small reward to their customers for their social media shares to encourage them to post more testimonials. For example, a coffee shop may offer a free drink of choice in exchange for a tweet that tags the business and uses a branded hashtag.
Social media testimonials aren’t always story-driven—they’re often people-driven, too. Many business owners pay for influencer testimonials to expand brand recognition quickly. Consumer-facing products do especially well on Instagram while business-to-business (B2B) brands do better on LinkedIn. Influencers can be celebrities or thought leaders well-known in a specific industry. They can also be micro-influencers, who have just a smaller but highly engaged (and highly trusting) following.
Take a look at this thredUP testimonial example from mid-tier influencer Jaci Marie Smith to see how a great story and a strong following can lead to high levels of engagement for a business.
5. Case study
Case studies aren’t always what you think of when you hear the word “testimonial.” However, a case study is a powerful tool that can expand upon a quote testimonial’s SEO capabilities. It also leans more on logical appeal than ethos to convert leads, a good opportunity to appeal to a different type of customer.
While case studies will most often be lengthy landing pages or whitepapers written by your company, they’re still essentially a testimonial. You’ll gather data, stories, and quotes directly from willing customers to drive the final case study you write. This type of testimonial should ultimately answer how your company contributed to a customer’s success with clear evidence of results.
You’ll often see case studies used by marketing agencies and software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, as well as other B2B brands. This IDEO case study is a great testimonial example for a little inspiration.
6. Blog post reviews
For many consumers—especially those looking to make an expensive or high-commitment purchase—reading a few short reviews is not enough. Blog post reviews can give your target audience detailed insight into how your product or service works and whether it’s worth the purchase.
You may find your brand mentioned in or at the center of blog post reviews once in a while. A blogger may take an interest in your product and try it out for interested audience members. This Hello Fresh review, for example, is a non-sponsored post from a food blogger.
However, a great way to collect positive, high-quality blog posts to link to on your own website is by providing affiliate links to influencers. Many business owners pay these influencers a percentage per purchase through the link or a flat fee for the blog post and link use.
Blog post reviews can be well worth the investment, as they frequently double as SEO-boosters. When trusted sources begin linking back to your website, search engines will begin to recognize you as a trusted source, too, boosting you to the top of relevant search pages.
7. News reviews
Media outlets are trusted sources of information with large audiences. As such, getting a review about your product or service published on a news website, in a magazine, or on a news network can help grow your audience.
Many reviews that are published by media outlets are the results of press releases and press kits, which encourage journalists to learn about or try out your product or service and share their thoughts.
However, if you want to ensure you have a highly positive article to post on your testimonials page, this is possible, too. Many modern media outlets offer native advertising opportunities, which are paid promotions that look like regular reviews or articles. These articles will engage the news audience, give you something to share, and help you boost your SEO (much like blog post reviews).
You can take a look at this article in The Atlantic paid for by Nest as an example.
Build trust in your business
These days, the majority of consumers are researching online before they buy—and they’re not looking for what you have to say. They want to hear from fellow shoppers that your brand is the one they can trust. With customer testimonials, you can more effectively increase your conversion rates, making your journey to the top of your industry easier.
Online reviews are one of the strongest types of testimonials around, with the ability to directly impact your profit for the better. Get our six tips to maximize your reviews and testimonials to improve your bottom line even faster.