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How Can Reviews and Testimonials Improve Your Marketing

How Can Reviews and Testimonials Improve Your Marketing

Put yourself in the shoes of a customer who has to choose between two brands. One brand has a lot of positive customer reviews and testimonials, while the other does not. Which one would you choose? The brand that has more user reviews and customer testimonials, right?

Even if the product and its quality are the same, most customers tend to prefer to buy from brands that they can trust. A brand with more user reviews and customer testimonials is considered more trusted. If your business has few positive reviews and testimonials or needs to learn how to collect and use them to your advantage to turbocharge your marketing and sales, then this article is for you.

In this article, you will learn everything you need about using reviews and testimonials to take your marketing and sales game to the next level.

What are User Reviews and Testimonials?

Landing Page Testimonials Examples

User reviews and testimonials are types of customer feedback that users share about your product and service. User reviews are generic and informal, while customer testimonials are specific and formal and usually focus on a result the customer has achieved after using your product or service.

Why Are User Reviews Important For Marketing and Sales?

Here are some reasons user reviews and testimonials are crucial for your marketing and sales success.

  • Trust
  • Credibility
  • Validation of claims
  • Social Proof
  • Increases search visibility
  • Influences purchase decisions

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is a concept introduced by psychologist Robert Cialdini. It revolves around how individuals respond in uncertain social situations. Psychologist and mental health counsellor Dr Williams explains that social proof occurs when people find themselves in uncomfortable situations and seek guidance on acceptable behaviour from observing others. 

Rather than relying on personal knowledge or intuition, individuals look to their peers for cues on acting. An example cited by Dr Williams is the phenomenon of cell phone use, where individuals tend to mirror the behaviour of those around them, demonstrating the impact of social proof in shaping actions.

Social proof becomes a potent tool in marketing by capitalising on the human inclination to conform. The desire to fit in and make decisions endorsed by peers influences public behaviour and purchasing choices. By leveraging social proof, marketers tap into the psychological need for acceptance, making it a compelling force that shapes consumer decisions and actions.

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What are The Advantages of Social Proof?

Casper Social Proof Testimonial Example

Here are some of the advantages of social proof.

1 – Boost Conversions and Sales

People are influenced by other people’s opinions, especially if they come from someone who has already used the product or service they plan to buy. It helps businesses convert more prospects into leads and leads into paying customers. Data shows that 58% of customers are willing to pay more for a product or service with more positive reviews.

2 – Builds Credibility

Social proof, such as favourable reviews and testimonials, can boost your business credibility and establish your brand as a trusted business. As a result, customers are more willing to do business with your brand.

3 – Minimises Customer Anxiety

According to research, 74% of customers say that a positive review. It helps build trust. The direct consequence of this increase in trust is that customers are less likely to think twice about buying from your brand and more open to purchasing your brand.

What are The Different Types of Social Proof?

Social proof can be categorised into three different types.

Expert Endorsements

As the name suggests, expert endorsement is all about getting approval from an expert or a credible authority in the industry.

Celebrity Endorsements

Celebrity endorsement is just like influencer marketing, where you get a celebrity onboard so they can promote your product and services and share their positive experience with your brand.

User Reviews and Testimonials

This type of social proof is more geared towards providing user feedback about your products and services.

How User Reviews Can Help You Build Trust?

Practical Ways To Build Trust At Work

Here are three ways in which user reviews can help build trust.

Authenticity and Transparency

User reviews are usually shared by real users who have experienced the product or service. This makes user reviews more authentic, making prospects more likely to believe them. Genuine user reviews also have transparency as they highlight the pros and cons of a particular product or service.

Product and Service Quality Insights

Prospects want to gain as much information about the product or service before purchasing. They want to know about the product and service quality. User reviews can help businesses provide that to their prospects and encourage them to make a buying decision.

Community

User reviews can also give prospective buyers a sense of community. They can see that many people have already bought that product and read about their experience. They can tap into the experience other users have with your product and service and decide whether they want to buy a product. This also makes them feel a part of the community of hundreds of others who have made a purchase instead of being the only person buying a product. 

How Does User Reviews Influence Consumer Behaviour?

There are three main ways in which user reviews can influence consumer behaviour.

1 – Social Validation

Humans need validation for their actions. This can come in many forms, but social validation is among the most powerful. When many people have taken a particular action, it validates its credibility and gives it more social acceptance. This also applies to purchase decisions. When a product has so many positive user reviews, it gives it a social validation that it is worth the money. This persuades prospective buyers to purchase and experience the product or service themselves.

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2 – Authority

Prospects tend to think that a more authoritative brand creates a product with more positive reviews. User reviews can cement your brand’s authority in the consumer's mind. Once they see you as an authority in your industry, they trust you more and are more likely to purchase your business.

3 – Likability

Suppose a particular product gets so many five-star ratings and positive reviews. In that case, it automatically makes prospects believe that people more like it than a product with fewer positive reviews. This paints a positive picture of the product with more positive user reviews and ratings in the prospects' minds, which nudges them to purchase.

What Does Data Say About Influence of User Reviews?

According to user review statistics,

  • 95% of customers read reviews online before making a purchase
  • 94% of customers say that they have avoided a brand due to a negative review
  • 92.4% of customers said that reading a trusted review increases their likelihood of making a purchase
  • 89% of customer say checking for reviews is an integral part of their buying journey
  • 88% of customers who read user reviews say it influences their buying decisions.
  • 49% of customers trust user reviews like a personal recommendation.
  • 40% of users say reviews build credibility for a product
  • An average user reads ten reviews before trusting a business
  • One review can increase the likelihood of the user clicking the buy button by 65%
  • Displaying user reviews can increase conversions by 270%
  • Expensive items with reviews converted 190% better than lower-priced items.
User Reviews And Testimonials Stats
Source: Techwyse

How do you use user reviews and testimonials in marketing?

Here are some ways businesses can use user reviews and testimonials in marketing.

1 – Website Content

Businesses can either include testimonials on the home page or have a separate page on their website for testimonials. Some companies do both, while others incorporate user reviews and testimonials in their website copy. You can take any of these approaches based on your business needs.

2 – Social Media Campaigns

There are many ways to take advantage of user reviews on social media. You can include it in social media posts, use it as user-generated content or make it a part of a video where your satisfied customers share their positive experience with the world. This can boost social media reach and engagement on your branded page.

3 – Email Marketing

Incorporating user reviews into emails can be a great way to turn your email subscribers into paying customers. When your email subscriber reads an email with a positive user review, it automatically pushes them down in the marketing funnel. As a result, they are more likely to make a purchase. You can even send remarketing and retargeting emails that contain user reviews to those who have left the cart abandoned or still need to complete the sales process.

How To Showcase Testimonials In Promotional Material?

Here are two ways you can use it to showcase user testimonials in your promotional materials.

1 – Case Studies

Case studies are an excellent way to demonstrate expertise, build trust and credibility and attract new customers. By highlighting how customers benefited from your product and services and how your product and services helped your customer solve their pain points, you can easily attract new customers. Businesses can also throw an element of storytelling into the mix, making it more enjoyable for your prospects.

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2 – Success Stories

Like case studies, customer success stories can also help businesses shed light on the positive aspects of their products and services. It allows them to demonstrate how their clients benefited from their service and managed to achieve their goals. These customer success stories make your brand stand out and improve customer satisfaction.

How Brands Are Leveraging User Reviews?

Want to see user reviews in action in real life? Here are some natural-world examples of brands leveraging user reviews to their advantage.

Molekule

Molekule converted user reviews into headlines for their website pages. This allowed them to bring authenticity to their brand. Moreover, it makes their copy stand out and gives their website content a refreshing new look. You can also convert user reviews into images and upload them to your website like Soylent did.

Positive Reviews
Source: Powerreviews

Derma E

Derma E took things to a new level by incorporating user reviews into its packaging. Their innovative approach highlighted their customer satisfaction and increased the number of user reviews. They included the QR code at the front insert of the product and accompanied their product with a user instruction guide and user review.

At Home

At Home, they integrated user reviews into their email marketing campaign perfectly. With a meticulously crafted subject line, “You rated and reviewed; we rounded up your faves”, they managed to grab the attention of their subscribers immediately. Not only that, it encourages prospects to click and open their emails. When users connect to open the email, they see their top-rated products with star ratings and user reviews.

At Home Reviews
Source: Powerreviews

Healthy Choice

Healthy Choice also does a great job when it comes to featuring user reviews as social media posts.

Shindigz

Shindigz has also tried its luck by converting user reviews into Instagram story highlights.

Continental Tires

Have you run out of social media post ideas? If so, you can learn from Continental Tires, who converted their user reviews into Instagram stories.

How To Persuade Users To Share Reviews?

Here are some ways to entice users to review your products and services.

Make It Hassle-Free

Most customers won’t bother leaving a review because it is too cumbersome to write one. You can make it easy for them by providing a review template they can follow and leave a review within minutes.

Incentivising Genuine Feedback

One of the best ways to get customers to write a review for your product is to provide them with some sort of incentive. It can be a discount code they can avail of on their next purchase or some cashback.

Feature Reviews

Users are likelier to leave a product review when they know your brand will highlight it in their marketing materials and other channels. Provide them the assurance that their review will be shared across multiple promotional channels, and they are more likely to oblige to your review request.

How To Increase Sales With User Testimonials?

Here is how you can harness the power of user testimonials to boost your sales.

Place User Testimonials Strategically

Instead of randomly placing user testimonials on your page, place them strategically. For instance, if a user testimonial highlights the benefit of a particular product feature, you should put it exactly where you have written content to highlight that specific benefit. This reinforces the point and boosts your conversion rate.

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Tell Stories

You can share user reviews in the form of stories as your prospects can better relate to them. This allows them to connect more with your brand, which leads to long-term customer relationships.

Use Visuals

Visual content, such as images and videos, can have a much more significant impact than textual content. People tend to remember more of your brand message if they consume it in visual rather than textual form.

What Are Some of the Biggest Challenges In Collecting User Reviews?

Two of the biggest challenges businesses experience when it comes to user reviews are:

Fake and Biased Reviews

Businesses need help managing fake and unbiased reviews. They have little control over user reviews and depend on users' mercy. If a user writes a biased or fake review, it can dent their business reputation, but they cannot do much about it. Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a business reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.”

Handling Negative Reviews

One negative review requires 40 positive reviews to nullify the impact. That’s how damaging a negative review could be for your business. 56% of customers said that businesses' response to negative reviews changed their perception of them. Additionally, 55% of users expect companies to respond to negative customer reviews in a week. This puts businesses in the right spot as they must respond quickly and efficiently to negative reviews.

How To Respond To Negative Reviews?

T Mobile Reviews

Have negative reviews? Here is how to respond to them.

Thank Customers for Highlighting Issues

If a customer has highlighted an issue in your product or service, you should thank them instead of taking it personally. Tell them what steps you are taking to fix the problem. This will not only calm your frustrated customers but also show them that your brand takes their feedback seriously and is doing something to correct the problem.

Show Empathy

When a customer has a poor experience with your product or service, this leaves a bad taste in their mouth. You can reduce their pain by empathising with your angry customers. Tell them that you can feel the ordeal they are going through and ensure it does not happen to anyone again. When these customers see that you care for their pain points and understand how they feel, it makes them less aggressive towards your brand.

Deliver a Personalised Response

Another mistake most businesses make is they write a generic response to every negative customer review. This makes the situation even worse. Instead, you are better off writing a personalised and authentic response to every negative review your brand receives. Keep the response focused on the issue the user is highlighting instead of beating around the bush.

Speed Does Matter

As mentioned, customers expect brands to respond quickly to negative user reviews. Ignoring negative reviews altogether or delaying the response can only add insult to injury. The longer your business takes to respond to these negative reviews, the more time angry users have to vent their frustration and spread the word out to others. By responding to negative user reviews quickly, you can prevent the situation from getting out of hand.

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Conclusion

User reviews and testimonials can make or break your business. Cheerful customer reviews and high star ratings can act as a catalyst for attracting new customers and building your brand’s credibility. On the flip side, negative reviews can tarnish your business reputation. You can prevent the damage by efficiently responding to these reviews.

How do you use reviews and testimonials to improve your marketing and sales efficiency? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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