If you’ve ever had to search for a new restaurant or book a hotel in a new city, you’ve likely read reviews (also known as testimonials) to make your decision. In the world of financial services marketing, testimonials can be just as powerful in creating a connection with your prospective customers. Studies have shown that 97% of business-to-business customers cited testimonials and peer recommendations as the most reliable type of content,1 while 72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business.2
Why testimonials work
When a person is faced with an uncertain decision, they naturally look to others for guidance. This “social proof” is rooted in our psychological need for validation from others who have experienced a company’s products and services.
There is a truism when it comes to marketing that says – “show, don’t tell”. You can have the best words to describe your value proposition and how you help your customers. However, there is nothing like having your own customers convey that message through their personal stories and experiences with your company.
If your purpose is to solve customers’ problems or challenges, testimonials show that you understand what they need and demonstrate how your company can help.
How to make sure your testimonials resonate
Be specific and focused
Stay away from generalities and draw on the details (metrics) that bring the reader into the story. Keep the testimonial focused on one problem or challenge and have your customer explain exactly how your company helped.
An effective testimonial is essentially a compelling narrative about how your company helped a customer. Videos are a great way to deliver that story, especially through social media.
Put a face to the name
Where possible, use a photo of the customer to create authenticity and a stronger connection to their story.
Create a longer-form version of a testimonial with a case study, leveraging the context and complexity of the customer’s challenge to build a strong narrative.
Avoid the perception of any conflict of interest or the notion that the customer is being compensated for their story. For U.S. investment advisors, be aware of the SEC disclosure requirements for testimonials and endorsements that came into effect in 2021 (the transition period for compliance ends on November 4, 2022).3
Need advice on how to incorporate testimonials into your marketing? Ext. Marketing can help you add this powerful tool to your digital platforms. Contact us today at 1.844.243.1830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Why B2B customer reviews matter as much as consumer reviews. Manya Chylinkski, Momentum, November 5, 2014.
2 How to Use Customer Testimonials to Generate 62% More Revenue From Every Customer, Every Visit, Emily Cullinan, Big Commerce, April 6, 2017.
3 SEC’s New Marketing Rule for Investment Advisers Goes into Effect, Arnold & Porter, May 14, 2021.