There are tons of services and businesses online. So, why should customers choose you exactly?
That's an easy question to answer — you might think: "Because we're the best, the cheapest, the most efficient," etc. But how can your customers know that if they've never used your product or services?
Well, there's this thing in marketing called "social proof," and it makes things a helluva lot easier when grabbing new customers' attention.
Social proof is a term from the 80s that describes the sociological and psychological phenomenon of how people copy the actions of other people in order to belong to a social group, be accepted, liked, or achieve some social gain.
Influencers marketing products that they use are a perfect example of social proof. Customer testimonials are another significant example of social proof, which is what we'll talk about next in more detail. I'll also include three superb examples from different online businesses!
TLDR: From boosting sales to turning customers into brand ambassadors, social proof is super important for online businesses. Customer testimonials are a great and crucial example of social proof. They're usually featured in varying lengths on companies' websites and can even be videos of satisfied customers. The aim of customer testimonials is to strengthen the company's credibility and imbue trust in the company's product quality or service. Through the example of Scrivener, a software for writers, you'll see the classic way you can feature customer testimonials. In the Freeletics example, I will show you how you can do this through video testimonials and how you can utilize the existence of brand ambassadors. And finally, the Codeacademy example will show you how you can use both videos and customer stories in the form of interviews to make compelling examples of the worth and usefulness of your services.
What are Customer Testimonials?
Customer testimonials are recommendations for a specific product or service from satisfied customers/buyers. The aim of the testimonials is to affirm the value of a particular product or service. Usually, customer testimonials come from satisfied users, but they can also be done upon request from the company or in the form of paid endorsements (which is basically influencer marketing).
When done right (which is crucial, to say the least), honestly, authentically, and concisely, they can help boost company sales, convert leads, extinguish any doubts about the product, and turn customers into brand ambassadors.
Let's take a look at three amazing examples of customer testimonials that can teach you a lot.
1. Classic Testimonials from Scrivener Users
Scrivener is software that helps writers of any kind to develop their stories and writings in a simple and organized manner.
Their example of customer testimonials is a great, classic example that I absolutely love.
First, you can see quotes from the testimonials on the landing page. And as you can see, you can click on the SEE ALL TESTIMONIALS link, which will bring you to the main testimonials site: Here, you have plenty of testimonials from different types of authors. If you're interested in a particular type, you can choose between Graphic Novelists, Biographers, Lawyers, Screenwriters, and many, many others.
Some testimonials are shorter, some longer, but they all contain the name and surname of the author in question, their line of work, their books or project, and images of themselves or their book covers.
That way, you can be damn sure that these are indeed real people; I mean, you can easily google them and see what they're up to. In any event, Scrivener has some of the best and most straightforward customer testimonials I've ever seen on the internet.
2. Freeletics' Video Testimonials and Brand Ambassadors
Freeletics is a fitness app aimed at providing people with a digital personal trainer so they can exercise anywhere, anytime they want.
And when it comes to health, fitness, and body toning, you can't mess around much, can you? The Freeletics team knows this, which is why they've opted for the video testimonials type of social proof.
They call them Success Stories — video testimonials of people worldwide who've committed to an exercise plan, lost weight, and gained muscle. The compelling thing about these videos is that they come from real people — not some faraway unreachable fitness freaks, but people like you and me, talking in different languages and showing their before-and-after selves. So you've seen the success stories, and you're probably all fired up for a new, healthy regimen in your life, so why waste time and search for the signup link somewhere on the page when you can have it right here, right now? That is why the CTA is right below the videos.
A strike of genius, I say.
Another great program of social proof they've developed is the Freeletics Ambassadors campaign. Each ambassador was once a Freeletics beginner and through hardwork, met their fitness goals. The program's goal is for new members in the area to reach out to these ambassadors for support and maybe even train together! What better way to convince you of the quality of their coaches then to meet people who have used them to succeed.
3. Codecademy's Video Stories and Written Interviews
Codeacademy is a well-known online platform that offers a variety of programming courses. Now, a business like this is basically nothing without social proof and successful customer testimonials.
What I especially love about it is that you can find both videos and written stories from actual Codeacademy learners, so you can choose whether you want to read the stories or watch videos. What's more, I also love the titles of the testimonials — "What happens when a Pianist learns to code" or "Lessons from a Chef turned Deputy CTO." They do a great job at giving you a quick picture of the personality of the Codeacademy's learner and also make it known that coding is for everyone.
The learners' stories are written like short interviews, making them very easy to read and adding a conversational tone and human dimension to the whole thing. At the end of the interview/story, you also have links to the courses the learner has taken and a link to the whole of Codeacademy's course catalog. This helps a new learner get right to a course they want without spending time searching.
4. Express VPN Testimonials Combo
ExpressVPN is a company that provides VPN services, one of the best in the market. Besides virtually chasing your favorite show halfway across the globe, VPNs are usually serious business. People use them for protection and privacy, so it’s only natural that users want the best and they want it written down.
ExpressVPN tells their clients they’re doing a pretty good job protecting their online activity through reviews, tweets, and media quotes and testimonials that they provide on their landing page. The screenshot above shows the first type of testimonials they use - the review. Here, they provide their Trustpilot score and their App Store score, both of which are pretty high. And next to them you can see a review featured on Trustpilot from one customer named Sean, as well as a review featured in the Apple App Store from another customer who says they’ve been using the product for years. The second type of testimonial is one using tweets as social proof. Here, you can see three clients who’ve posted on Twitter about their experience with ExpressVPN. And the third type is media quotes. These are clippings from online reviews about ExpressVPN. In this case, you can see three reviews from relevant and well-known tech, entertainment, and news sites, all of which have good words for the VPN service.
Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? The moral of the story here is - why have one when you can have all three?
5. Canva’s Engaging Case Studies
Many of you reading this have probably already heard of Canva - the beloved graphic design platform that makes the internet a more beautiful place. Now, Canva came up with a really in-depth way of showing just what it can do for your business or project. They chose the power of case studies. A case study is done when a particular client has successfully implemented or used a service for their aims.
Canva has plenty of case studies on its hands and they’re not afraid to show them to you. They even provide you with filters through which you can choose the region of the company that used their services alongside their branch. Here is a case study from a New York magazine that recounts the story of how they started and how Canva helped them develop their visual identity.
Case studies are a great way to show real, successful projects to your potential clients, not to mention they’re super trustworthy. Your clients can just google the entrepreneurs and websites and see just how much this particular service has helped them in their business.
6. Fiverr’s Vide + Quote Testimonials
Fiverr is a global market platform that offers freelance services. Naturally, they have loads of clients, and yet they’ve opted for a very simple and yet super effective customer testimonials strategy - the video+quote combination.
Their testimonials can be found on the landing page. Here, you can see one of several such combinations. On the left side, there is a short video that features a client talking about the benefits of using Fiverr, and on the right side, you can see a catchy quote from that video.
This is a great strategy when you want to combine both video and text but don’t want to overwhelm your client with too much video or too much text.
7. Toptal's Video Case Studies and Testimonials
Toptal is another freelancing platform that gathers the best worldwide freelance talent in one place. They have freelancers with huge portfolios and credibilities, and the same goes for their clients. Yes, they have a lot to brag about.
When it comes to their testimonials, their dominant choice is video case studies featured on their landing page; a bit lower down the page you can also find short testimonials and a Trustpilot score. These are the video testimonials. When you press on any of these squares, you get a window within your page opening that features the video in question. And here you can see a selection of client testimonials that have used Toptal’s services. This one is a pretty standard way to feature customer satisfaction; however, it’s very much reinforced by the fine selection of professionally done video case studies above.
Whether it's choosing the best writing app or getting your own online personal trainer, customers want to make sure they get the best of what's offered out there.
Naturally, in order to get the best info on a certain product or service, they turn to other customers and buyers like them. Customer testimonials can work magic if they're used the right way as social proof.
By showing the satisfaction of your existing customers, you make it much more likely to convert leads and persuade potential customers to use and buy your expertise, products, or services.