Anyone online can boast about how amazing their product or service is. All it takes is some clever copy, high quality images, a compelling video, and you’re set to sell to sell your brand
But often, these marketing tactics alone aren’t enough. Many customers like taking the time to research, compare prices and read reviews before making a purchasing decision, whether they’re buying a new camera or just a pair or socks. Customers are skeptical. They need to know you’re the real deal. They need proof that they’re spending their hard-earned cash wisely.
This is why testimonials are so powerful. Kind words from a real-life customer – someone who hasn’t been paid to say nice things – can persuade a potential customer to do business with you for the first time.
So if you don’t have testimonials on your website already, it’s time to fix that. In this post, we’ll take a look some fantastic examples of testimonials done well, along with plugins that can help you integrate them with your site.
What Are Testimonials?
On weekends, I like to go out for brunch with my boyfriend. The only problem? He takes so long deciding where to go. While still in bed, he’ll spend 20 minutes searching Instagram for cafes in our city, scrolling through their recent photos, and even choosing what he’s going to order before we even leave our apartment.
It’s a well-established weekend routine that I poke fun at, but at the same time appreciate – we’ve never had a bad brunch experience. We always know that the cafe we go to will have great food because other people have already validated it for us.
This phenomenon is known as social proof: a psychological mechanism where people tend to follow the actions and behaviors of other people in an attempt to make the “right” choices. In my case, making sure my avocado toast is spot on every time.
So how can you make the most of this phenomenon to convince customers to buy your product or services?
Let’s take a look at four of the most popular types of testimonials: quotes, social media, case studies and videos.
Quotes are the most popular form of testimonial because they’re relatively easy to get and display on your site.
Typically, the quotes are 1-2 sentences long and outline how a customer has benefited from a particular product or service. You’ll usually see them paired with the person’s name, title, company and photo – the photo reinforces that a real, live person is behind the words, helping to establish even more trust.
Zapier uses customer testimonials on its homepage to help convince potential customers of the value you’ll get if you sign up for its automative service. Each of the quotes is easy to read at a glance and the happy photos provides further credibility.
Phocas steps things up a notch on its dedicated “Testimonials” page. The data analytics company displays dozens of quotes written by happy customers with any important information in bold. You can even filter through different kinds of testimonials using the links on the left to see logos, eBooks and even awards.
More often than not, your customers will be happy to help you out and write a quote for you. Just straight-up ask – you’ll be surprised how many people will want to say nice things about you.
2. Social media
Social media, and in particular Twitter, is a convenient medium for collecting testimonials. All you have to do is save the link for each tweet and embed it in your site for instant proof of the quality of your product or service.
The great thing about social media testimonials is there authenticity. Because these testimonials are public, anyone can click through to check it out for themselves and learn more.
Take WPMU DEV, for example. The WordPress all-rounder uses Twitter testimonials on its homepage to reinforce the value of its plugins, themes and API services and persuade potential customers to sign up for a free trial.
These tweets feel real because they are. The quotes are overwhelming positive but each comes with a name, date, photo, and even likes and retweets.
3. Case studies
Case studies are a great way to go beyond a brief quote and really explore how you’ve helped a customer by digging deep into their story.
If you’re like me and use Slack in your day-to-day work, you already know how awesome it is for team communication online. So the company no doubt had zero obstacles collecting case studies for its “Customer Stories” page. The fact that there’s a case study about how the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s 5000 staff use Slack is almost like showing off!
Using strong imagery and behind-the-scenes details about how people at the lab use the platform to communicate, the case study is a huge feather in Slack’s cap. Plus, when you read through other case studies the company features on its site, you can get a sense of its versatility and how it’s being used around the world.
Shopify also uses case studies to its advantage to showcase how its eCommerce platform is helping anyone – even busy families, as the below interview explains – to move their offline stores online.
Video testimonials are incredibly persuasive. After all, what’s better than actually seeing and hearing someone praise a product or service?
Wistia sprinkles videos throughout its case studies. Not only are the stories impressive to read, but the variety of different content – in particular the videos – makes the content easy to scan and digest. The videos of people actually using Wistia further reinforce that people are use the video hosting product and are having success with it.
A quick search for testimonials in our marketplace brings up 104 plugins for adding all kinds of testimonials functionality to your WordPress site. So where do you start?
First, you need to determine what kind of testimonial you want to display on your site and where – you might want to include testimonials on your homepage as Zapier has in the example above or on a dedicated page like Slack, Spotify and Wistia.
The next step is to find the plugin that can help you achieve the functionality you want. So let’s go through a few different options.
It’s hard not to get excited (pun intended!) about the fact you can create 100+ different layout combinations with this plugin. It features a flexible testimonial builder and a rating submission form so you can display star ratings. it’s even rich snippets compatible so you can display your testimonial ratings in Google search.
With almost 5,000 sales, this plugin is ideal for displaying quotes and linking to case studies. Its main features include grid and slider layouts, a star rating system that you can integrate with rich snippets, and front-end submission form.
On top of all that, this plugin includes a widgets that can be used to display the layouts and its compatible with Visual Composer.
If you’re looking for a plugin that integrates well with Visual Composer, this is it. There are lots of slider showcase options, grid and filter showcase options, rich snippet integration, plus a submission form so users can write their own testimonial.
With the BNE Testimonials PRO plugin you can display testimonials anywhere on your site. If you’re a developer, you can even make customizations using the WP REST API. Features include four list, slider, thumbnail slider and masonry grid layouts, a shortcode builder, and lots of filters/hooks for developers.
I hope this post has inspired you to start collecting testimonials and featuring them on your site. With a little inspiration and using plugins from our marketplace, you can easily add testimonials to your site that persuade potential customers to trust you and take a chance – just like other customers have before them.
Don’t forget to promote your testimonials. Why share them once when you can push them to your social media accounts, include short quotes in your email signature and feature them in company emails.