This is a guest post by Tomer Harel is founder and CEO of KeyScouts and co-founder of Spectoos
Customer-related content, like testimonials and case studies, is the most effective content you can show your users. In a study conducted by TechValidate 94% rated content sourced from real customers (like testimonials) as “very effective” or “extremely effective.” By contrast, only 54% of 3rd party analyst content was rated the same way.
In another study, Nielsen surveyed 28,000+ respondents in 50+ countries and found that 92% say they trust earned media (like testimonials) above all other forms of advertising.
But not all testimonials are the same, and having a balance of these five types will increase the likelihood that you will provide your users the information that will cause them to trust you, convert, and remain loyal:
1. Expert Approval
Engaging influencers in your vertical and getting their endorsement for your product is paramount to establishing yourself in your niche.
For example, blogger Julia Engel covers glamorous beauty and fashion styles on her blog galmeetsglam.com. Her endorsement of a certain outfit, like this romper on Instagram, gets ♥ed by over 19,000 fans who follow her and trust her fashion advice.
Experts are not just for pretty clothes. For a design company like Invisionapp, an expert approval can look like this quote from the VP of Design of Twitter:
Basically, if you show your audience that industry leaders use your product, they will want to try your product as well.
2. Celebrity Endorsements
Celebrity endorsements have been around for ages, but they are not just for Wheaties and Chanel. Conceptually, it may not make sense that people would want to base their dietary and olfactory decisions on what Hollywood icons peddle, but financially – it works!
Even mobile games find added profit from celebrity endorsements, like Clash of Clans with Liam Neeson.
And if you wonder if athletes can sell banking services, just ask Chase or Steph Curry.
— Chase (@Chase) March 15, 2016
The psychology behind celebrity endorsements is that people want some stardust to rub off on them, and using the same products as the celebs use gets them close to it.
3. Customer Reviews
Your prospects will greatly benefit from reviews from their peers. It may even be argued that customer reviews are even more powerful than celebrity endorsements.
When making purchases online, users cannot touch, feel, or try the product, so they refer to others’ opinions. Case in point, if you wanted to buy rolling ball point pens and turned to Amazon, you would find that this pen was reviewed by over 4,000 people.
You could even drill down to read what each had to say. Don’t want to read all 4,000? Just read this one that was ranked highest by your peer pen shoppers:
Peer reviews tell users that your brand and product can be trusted and has worked for others in a similar scenario, with a comparable desire that needed to be fulfilled.
For WordPress sites, a widget for user testimonials gives a way to showcase your testimonials and reviews in a way that is socially proofed, SEO-friendly, responsive, and KPI-centered.
4. Wisdom of Crowds
Similar to the effect of seeing that over 4,000 shoppers liked the ball point pen on Amazon, the wisdom of crowds can be quite convincing.
When I thought of buying a personalized book for my child, I saw this and decided to order one too:
In considering the purchase of a new domain name, I compared GoDaddy to BlueHost, which proudly displays they serve over 2 million sites.
In both of these scenarios, I (and many others like me) bought in to these products and services largely because so many others had before me.
5. Wisdom of Friends
Perhaps the most trusted review is one that comes from someone your prospect knows, personally. People trust their friends and acquaintances more when it comes to product recommendations, as they feel most connected and similar to them, and thus it is likely that they have similar tastes.
Goodreads is a widely successful app that gives me book recommendations based on the friends within my network.
I can also explore restaurants, parks, and basically any other business my friends have reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and other social sites.
By showing your audience proof that their friends use and approve of your product, you immediately establish yourself as part of their inner circle.
By including these five types of testimonial for your product, you will see a measured increase in interest, trust, and conversions!
About the Author: Tomer Harel is founder and CEO of KeyScouts and co-founder of Spectoos. He has been practicing Internet marketing for over a decade, helping hundreds of businesses to thrive online. Despite his extensive knowledge and years of hands-on experience, Tomer is always looking to learn more and be a little bit better every day at what he does.