The impact of social proof: why testimonials work

06 Feb The impact of social proof: why testimonials work

We all know it’s true that if someone tells us they’ve used and liked a product or service then we’re more likely to buy it, no matter what it is. It’s the case both for individual customers and for companies.

In a world full of marketing in which every product seems identical, classic marketing messages like “we do it better”, “it’s never been so easy…” or “the only product on the market that…” (to name just a few of the most hackneyed formulas) just don’t cut it anymore. They’re less effective than they used to be.

Social media has led to more horizontal communication. Users have more faith in what their fellow customers have to say than in a company’s best sales strategies. Social proof has become the litmus test that customers use to decide between options and, at the same time, a powerful sales tool.

That’s why testimonials expressing clients’ opinions are so important. Somebody talking about you in a simple, straightforward manner, saying that you can be trusted, is the best kind of publicity you can get in these sceptical times.

It boosts your reputation and, therefore, your chances of attracting more clients. After all, however large or small your business, its success largely depends on what you say, and what people say about you. This is even more true when it comes to B2B, as trust is a key part of making a sale.

Testimonials back up your communication strategy and spread your message over different channels. Because, whether they’re written or audio-visual, when they combine a good story, a positive message and the emotive power of words or images, they make up a winning formula.

How to use them

When you have a positive interaction with a client, you can ask them to give you a testimonial. It’s not about asking them to sell your product or service or say how amazing you are. It’s about asking them to explain their problem and how you’ve helped them resolve it. Truth and real experience are more powerful than any slogan you could come up with.

The testimonial could be written or audio-visual. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. It largely depends on what you need and who your audience is, but it is true that videos tend to pack more of an emotional punch, as you see the client’s face and a lot is communicated through their facial expression and body language.

There are plenty of examples out there, but at Intracon we use testimonials too, so we thought it’d be best to share an insight into how we do it. Carlos Lahoz, Textiles Brand Innovation Manager at HP, especially appreciates the wide range of solutions Intracon provides, the versatility and flexibility, especially when the limits of a project aren’t clearly defined.

Similarly, Mónica Torrecilla the Director of Marketing at Neuraxpharm, points out that changes to branding are complicated and delicate and comments that Intracon has been key in the transformation process, as it’s managed to ensure that the sales team feel like they’re part of the company’s new strategy.

Lastly, Xavier Pegueroles, Head of Marketing of the automotive division at PPG, the world’s first producer of industrial paint, points out that Intracon is an agency that “commits to and gets involved with its clients”.

Testimonials are sincere declarations that your clients will value and that you can use both on your website and your blog, in sales folders, press releases or other channels and, of course, on all your social media accounts, simply by adapting the format.

The structure of a testimonial doesn’t always have to follow the before-during-after structure, listing what you’ve done for the client and why they’re happy. Sometimes, an anecdote can add a brilliant storytelling aspect to your testimonial. Don’t be afraid to get creative.

To sum up, credibility is essential for your business to succeed. Strategic and intelligent use of testimonials can help you boost your credibility and, as a result, improve your reputation and sales. We’ve tried and tested it and can help you with the process. Want to know how?

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