How to Write a Testimonial (5 Practical Tips)

With so many websites and online businesses available to browse on the internet, how do you make yours stand out? By including reviews and testimonials from customers to build trust and credibility.

Writing testimonials to display on your website or social platforms will showcase what you have to offer and prove your success to prospects.

What is a testimonial?

The general definition of a testimonial is a customer statement that describes the effectiveness of a brand, business, or product to get results. The traditional testimonial format consists of a challenge from a customer and a description of how the business provided a solution. 

A testimonial is very similar to a recommendation or a personal referral. They can also mean the same thing, as many businesses tend to group all three together. However, a testimonial typically addresses the objective of a company and then walks through the solution they provided to improve the client’s quality of life. A short referral or recommendation might consist of a compliment or a simple statement, but a well-thought-out testimonial often tells a story. 

What usually makes up a testimonial?

Every testimonial will be slightly different depending on the business and the client. However, a compelling testimonial will generally begin with an in-depth description of the product or service provided. The following elements to include are the client’s problem or challenge and how the business solution solved the problem and created an effective result. 

To build credibility, a well-crafted testimonial also needs to include critical contact information like what industry, company, and the role the people involved are in. 

Why are testimonials important?

Testimonials are crucial to content marketing and should be utilized in every business. They introduce the company and give some context to its relationships with its clients, but they can also highlight their expertise and knowledge. Testimonials provide powerful social proof, and in a world where there are multiple options at the click of a button, testimonials can be a compelling reminder of the reputation of a business. Whenever a client or company puts their name on a testimonial, it’s considered a ‘virtual’ stamp of trust and approval. 

Businesses can also use testimonials in various places. You can place them on your website, in case studies, throughout a blog post, in advertising campaigns, or on your social media platforms. All testimonials serve the same purpose — to engage, convince, and eventually convert potential customers looking for extra reassurance before committing to a business.

The different types of testimonials

1. Peer testimonials

Did you know you are more likely to buy a product if the person in the advertisement or campaign is the same demographic and has similar traits as you? This is why peer testimonials are extremely powerful. They are a great testimonial type to have on your website since we naturally gravitate towards people and things that we are comfortable with and resonate with. 

If your business is targeting a particular demographic, include testimonials for that demographic. For example, if your business caters to a younger demographic, having testimonials from adults under 30 will be more beneficial than ones from an older generation.

2. Quote testimonials

When you think of a general testimonial, a quote testimonial will likely come to mind. Quote testimonials are popular and well-used and remain one of the most common types of testimonials shared by businesses today. 

You’ll most likely see positive quotes on sales pages as they give the final ‘push’ to many hesitating prospects. They’re great for increasing the conversion rate, and they’re often brief and succinct, making it easy to be weaved within sales copy and placed on visual website content. 

3. Social testimonials

Social recommendations usually happen organically. Add another level of credibility to your business by creating natural conversations around your products or services on social media. With social testimonials, you don’t need to ask for them, which increases their authenticity. As a potential customer, seeing someone loving a company enough to shout it out makes it hard to ignore its credibility. 

Social testimonials can be Tweets about your products and services, screenshots of your work on Instagram, YouTube videos, or Facebook posts on your business page. 

4. Video testimonials

Not all testimonials are written! Video testimonials can be one of the most trustworthy forms of testimonials because it’s difficult to fake authenticity. Getting somebody to sit down in front of a camera and sing your praises is incredibly credible.

A great way to utilize video testimonials is by using a mix of both written case studies and video testimonials from your customers.

3. Case study testimonials

Demonstrating noticeable results is powerful. Case studies walk the prospect through a specific transformation another client has made with the product or service. Case studies are magnetic for readers as they begin to see themselves in the story. It shows them that what the business does works – and there are results to prove it.

Case studies often include images, screenshots, and relevant visuals of results. If the client is okay with it, many businesses also use quantifiable results.

How to write a testimonial

1. Reach out to your customer and get specific information

Getting testimonials from your happiest clients and customers is easy! They may have already offered to be a reference so that they won’t mind the request. Because they really like your business, they often will not mind putting in a good word or two. You’ll need to send out a professional, short, and considerate email asking them if it’s okay to include their information on your business platforms. Be specific in the questions you ask them, including their contact information, company, and demographics.

Alternatively, look out for non-intentional testimonials. These are ‘everyday’ messages, including grateful email messages, social media comments or reshares, and in-person praise. You can utilize these as testimonials, although remember to ask for permission first!

2. How did you solve their problem(s)?

While many visitors who view your website or social platforms might be browsing to see what you have to offer, others will have a particular problem in mind. Understanding your target customers and their pain points can help you shape your testimonials based on what your audience wants to see — and what will resonate the most with them. 

Include the customer’s problem(s) they were facing before utilizing your business and how your products or services helped solve them. By having a wide range of “solutions,” a prospect will likely see themselves in your successful clients and want to achieve the same results.

3. Keep it short and conversational

Ideally, a testimonial should be a single sentence. Few prospective customers will read a paragraph-length testimonial, even if they’re full of glowing compliments. Again, this is a reason why you should write them yourself rather than depend upon your customer’s writing ability. Crafting short and sweet testimonials is a time-consuming process requiring patience and skill but can help keep interest levels high. 

It’s also essential to keep the tone conversational. This is not the time for overly formal and technical vocabulary. You want your testimonial to appeal to as many people as possible, so utilize language that is casual, easy to understand, and fun to read.

4. What is the story you want to tell? 

An excellent storytelling element is more likely to apply to longer testimonials and case studies. However, when a testimonial is intriguing and engaging, prospects are more likely to be curious about your company and what you have to offer. 

A great testimonial story could include your customer’s background and why they decided to reach out to your business. You can then detail their pain points and goals and how your solution helped assist them. Finally, end with how they feel after using your product or service. This is where emotive words can be beneficial, as they’ll appeal to a larger audience.

5. Include visual elements

Make sure your testimonials are visually appealing, so readers won’t just see a big text block. Visual elements can include changing fonts or having a headline and short bio in a different color. To make it more personal, add an image headshot of the person or organization giving the testimonial. Of course, you’ll have to ask before including their picture, but if they’re permitting you to state their testimonial, they’ll most likely say yes.

Image headshots can also increase the credibility of your testimonials, as they’ll highlight the fact a real person is saying nice words about your business. 

The bottom line 

Testimonials are a crucial part of any content marketing strategy. Writing a powerful and engaging testimonial can help improve your business credibility and give prospects a final push to purchase your product or service.

When writing a testimonial, it’s essential to keep your customer at the forefront of your mind. Once you know what will resonate with their needs, you’ll be able to highlight the most beneficial aspects of your business.

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