The Value of Giving Testimonials and Reviews
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Many articles focus on the importance and value of getting positive reviews on sites such as Google Plus and Yelp. However, the benefits of providing testimonials on another company site are often overlooked. Providing testimonials on a website of a company with whom you’ve done business has several benefits.
What are the benefits of having one’s testimonial appear on a supplier, vendor or business partner’s website?
There are three main benefits:
- The testimonials featured on websites often include the name of the person providing the testimonial, their title, their company and in some cases a link back to their company’s webpage. The link back to the company’s website is usually of high SEO value. Fit Small Business (my company) just had a testimonial with a link appear on the website of a merchant account processor. The page was a PR4, which means Google thinks it's a good page.
- If the company receives lots of media attention, you may get calls from reporters. I was the CMO for a company that was one of the early users of Salesforce.com and we were one of their showcase clients. I must have received at least 3 or 4 calls from reporters about how we used Salesforce, presenting me with an opportunity to receive a few positive media mentions.
- You may become part of their marketing materials and/or sales pitch. Once your testimonial goes onto a company’s website, it may end up in brochure material and in conversations with their salespeople. Potential clients may ask the company salespeople, “Do you have any clients in my industry?” and if your company happens to be in the industry, they may use your company’s name. In short, a testimonial may lead to company’s name being seen or mentioned more.
Who should you target for testimonials?
Here is how to narrow down the list of companies to spend time targeting for testimonials:
- Make a list of the companies which you do business and have a positive opinion to share. Don’t be worried about the amount of business which you do with them.
- Which of these companies have websites that feature customer testimonials or reviews?
Once you have the list of companies, then find the right person at the company to send your testimonial to. That person might be Chief Marketing Officer, a PR manager, the head of sales or a person specifically dedicated to working on web marketing. If you know people already at the company like an account executive, it is a good idea to ask them to provide you with an introduction to the right person. If not, try finding a person with marketing or public relations in their title on LinkedIn and ask them to point your in the right direction.
What should your testimonial look like?
You want the company which you’re providing the testimonial to use it, so the testimonial should look how they want it! They are already showing you what type of testimonials which they like by what they have included on their website. How long are the testimonials? What is the tone of the testimonials? Do the testimonials include numbers? What are the main benefits that they highlight in their marketing materials? While hitting on the right points, having the right tone and length, you want to provide a testimonial that's a little bit different than what they already have.
You may also want them to know that you are open to modifying the testimonial. You can say something like, “While the testimonial focuses on XYZ, we are also big fans of the XYZ123 feature and would be happy to modify the testimonial.”
Giving testimonials is an often overlooked method to gain exposure and quality links. The amount of effort is relatively small compared to other methods for gaining attention.
Written by Marc Prosser, publisher of Fit Small Business.