Social proof is a big deal in digital marketing and web design, but are you making the most out of customer and client testimonials? From collecting testimonials to deciding how they’ll be displayed, every little detail matters.

Four Tips for Maximizing the Value of Testimonials

Testimonials have been used by organizations and brands for centuries to attract prospects and build trust. However, as more and more businesses have moved online, the visibility of these testimonials has increased.

Here are a few tips to help you maximize the value of your own testimonials in a day and age where they play such a critically important role in client onboarding.

  1. Create a Collection Process

It all starts with a collection process. How are you going to get feedback from your customers? The good news is that there are tons of options, including:

  • Social media. With millions of customers on social networking sites, social media reviews have become very important over the past few years. From Facebook to LinkedIn, you need to garner some positive testimonials here.
  • Local search directories. Search directories like Yelp, BBB, and Google Places feature their own networks in which people can write reviews and post ratings. While you have little control over these testimonials, do keep an eye on them.
  • Industry review sites. Depending on the industry you’re in, there may be specific sites that allow you to create a profile and accumulate reviews.
  • Finally, you can allow customers to post reviews directly to your website. This is arguably one of the best channels since you retain control over how they can be used.

The more places you attempt to collect reviews, the more you’ll receive. However, it’s also worth noting that you increase your exposure to potentially negative reviews. Just something to keep in mind as you develop a process.

  1. Use a Variety of Styles

It’s important that you diversify your customer testimonials. This means paying attention to both format and placement. In terms of format, a healthy mixture of short-form, long-form, and even video testimonials will help you reach the maximum number of people.

As far as placement goes, visibility is key. A lot of companies put their testimonials on a subpage that requires visitors to click through multiple menu items. Since only a small fraction of visitors will actually do this, they’re essentially a waste. It’s much better to naturally integrate testimonials into the homepage – as in this example from QBErrors. This allows testimonials to receive the most exposure with the least amount of effort.

  1. Quality Over Quantity

The phrase “quality over quantity” rings true in many different areas of business – including testimonials. “While getting testimonials from satisfied clients is an ongoing process, you can make a better impression with one or two well placed, detailed testimonials than a slew of short, generic ones,” one marketing consultant explains.

A dozen one-liner testimonials do very little to enhance your brand’s perception. On the other hand, a couple of multi-paragraph reviews can directly increase your brand’s trustworthiness. Try to dig deep, as opposed to wide.

  1. Never Create a Fictional Testimonial

The absolute worst thing you can do is create a fictional testimony for your company. Fake testimonials are extremely easy to spot and can seriously damage your brand’s reputation. Should prospects recognize that your testimonials are fake, they’ll wonder what you’re trying to cover up. That’s not a situation you want to have to explain.

Making Testimonials Worth Your Time

If you’re going to take the time to procure, format, publish, and share testimonials, you need to make sure they’re worth your time and effort. Otherwise, you aren’t doing anything to strengthen your brand or acquire new customers. Think about these tips and never underestimate the value of proper placement. A testimonial is only valuable if the right people see it. The more places a testimonial is, the more return you’ll enjoy.