The Blue Kite Blog

How to Leverage Customer Reviews to Win More Business

By | November 12, 2014

When we think about the importance of customer testimonials and reviews, consumer-focused businesses and products often come to mind.

However, testimonials aren’t just important for consumer facing brands. In fact, the other day I read an article that said 93 percent of small business owners said customer reviews would increase their confidence in doing business with a vendor.

That’s no small potatoes, folks.

To put it plainly, nearly every business wants to see customer reviews and testimonials before doing business with another brand.

They want to know they can trust you by hearing directly from people who have worked directly with you.

Make sense, doesn’t it?

And yet, so many B2B companies fail to feature this important decision-making content in their marketing efforts.

4 Ways to Feature Customer Testimonials in Your Marketing

If you want to make more sales (and don’t we all?), here are some ways to feature testimonials and reviews throughout your marketing efforts. 

1. Feature testimonials on your website. 

The easiest and most obvious choice for using customer reviews is to feature them on your website. There are several ways you can do this. Here are a few ideas:

  • Create a reviews page. The great thing about doing this is that it will likely be the first thing people find when searching for reviews about your company. People often search out reviews for companies they are considering, so it makes sense to create a destination for this so your page is what they find.
  • Weave reviews throughout your site. Another idea is to weave customer reviews throughout your site. That way, people see what others are saying when learning about your products or services. This gives you instant social proof and instills confidents with the prospect.
  • Create case studies. Although the study found testimonials to be more powerful than case studies, this can still be a useful tool if you have data to back it up. A good formula for creating this is by showcasing the problem, how your company solved the issue and then end with results. It’s even better if you include a testimonial to go along with it.
  • Include on landing pages. If you use landing pages to sell your products or services, it’s important to weave testimonials into these pages to give your brand social proof. Here are some great tips for highlighting testimonials the right way. 

2. Highlight customer reviews on social media. 

Your social media channels are ripe for securing and highlighting customer testimonials. For instance, LinkedIn gives you the ability to request recommendations and Facebook has a “Reviews” section on their sidebar.
updesk-screen-shotGetting reviews in these places offers tremendous social proof.

Additionally, you can highlight user-generated content – such as posts, pictures and videos – on various channels. For instance, UpDesk does a great job of this by re-posting customer images of their standing desks on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great way to thank and recognize customers, while also showing prospective clients why people love your brand.

3. Get online reviews.

When thinking about customer reviews, you shouldn’t ignore other online review sites. After all, when people are searching for a solution, companies that are highly rated will stand out amongst competitors.

And, not to mention, Google Reviews are especially important because they play a role in your search engine rankings.

Also, pay attention to getting reviews on sites that are relevant to your industry. For instance, if you are a restaurant, you should pay attention to Zagat, Yelp, TripAdvisor and Open Table. Other companies may want to focus on the Better Business Bureau or other industry specific sites.

4. Feature customers in other marketing channels. 

Once you’ve secured customer reviews and stories, you can include these across various different marketing channels depending on what you have in place. Here are some ideas of where you could include customer reviews:

  • Email marketing. For instance, you could have a “meet the customer” segment in your eLetter that introduces your audience to new clients. Or, you could feature other user-generated content from social media channels in your email efforts. 
  • Premium content. Premium content – such as eBooks, white papers, video series and courses – is another place you can easily include testimonials. This works great especially if you are using this type of free content to sell a larger solution. The testimonials can show what customers gained from your content or your paid solution.
  • Promotional materials. You can also include testimonials in printed pieces, digital materials, videos and other promotional materials you may develop. These type of materials can be a great tool to send to prospects considering your services.

How are you using customer testimonials in your marketing?

There are plenty of ways to use testimonials as part of your marketing. This is just a good place to start – especially if you’re not already leveraging this tactic right now.

And, if you’re starting from scratch and don’t yet have any reviews, here are some tips to help you get more testimonials from customers. I promise you that this effort will be well worth your time and attention.

Have you used any of these ideas? How are you using testimonials as part of your marketing efforts?

4 Comments

  • Most of us in the business try these and it’s ALWAYS good to highlight them. What OTHERS say about you and your brand speaks volumes — that’s why for example it is standard practice for hotels to have rep to respond on TripAdvisor.

    I’m curious about the blowback.. these days, everyone it seems is questioning their time on social media, having debates about ownership and privacy and the like. Now you and I know when we post that review on Facebook, it’s public for the world to see and no longer ‘yours.’ And yet some may not take kindly to it being used for marketing purposes; that’s why Facebook has an option to block that (buried deep in the labyrinth of privacy settings).

    My cautionary tale for this: when you do land that great review, make sure you get permission to use it and keep that customer happy and loyal. FWIW.

    • Hi Davina – Thanks for weighing in. You bring up a good point. I think it does make sense to ask permission before using tweets or Facebook posts – depending on how you use them. I’ve seen some companies show mentions on their website and such. I think that’s a little more benign than seeing your tweet show up in a TV commercial, for instance. But yes, permission is always the best way to go.

    • Hi Davina – Thanks for weighing in. You bring up a good point. I think it does make sense to ask permission before using tweets or Facebook posts – depending on how you use them. I’ve seen some companies show mentions on their website and such. I think that’s a little more benign than seeing your tweet show up in a TV commercial, for instance. But yes, permission is always the best way to go.

  • […] determining how to best leverage customer reviews in order to drive new business is a critical topic in terms of on boarding new customers and […]