How Not-to-Waste the Opportunity with your Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Page ?

Our-Customers (or Our Clients) page is where you would showcase your Marque Customers and their Success on your website. Today Social Proof is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have in your company website from a buyer perspective. Unfortunately, this very Our-Customers page is one of the most “under-utilized” page for most businesses. Therefore there is lot of scope here for making them work for you – in terms of converting your visitors – to leads and customers – by providing credibility and proof to your marketing claims.

Lets see how to make this work for you.

In this article i would be analyzing the Our-Customers page of some impressive companies looking for best practices. We will do this based on below 5 factors. When i say Our-Customers Page – I mean any page or tab where you would list all your social proof, including Customer Names, Testimonials, Videos, Stories, Case Studies, Social Mentions, Social Counts, Media Mentions, Badges, Reviews, etc etc (for more about the different kinds of social proof – read this)

5 Factors to Evaluate Our-Customers (and Our-Clients) Pages

1. Well Organized  – Show Where to Start !

Organizing the content such that it is difficult for visitors to figure out where to start is a bad design. Therefore make it clear which is your featured customer or content. Don’t give choices to the visitor ! An A-Z list or filters to start with is a bad idea. Not all your customers are equal. Make up your mind as to which story you want to showcase, and make that clear.

2. Engaging – Make it Interesting !

The content needs to be engaging so that the visitors are inclined to continue, and not close the page.  Enough has been said about how visual content is more engaging compared to text. Make it interesting with Photos, Videos, Charts, Graphs, etc.

3. Compelling – Does it Convince to Convert ?

Make sure that the messaging in terms of benefits and value to the customer is clear and it does stand out. Highlight the key takeaways. Make sure it is in sync with your marketing copy. Use metrics and bullet points to show the results post your solution.

4. Credibility  – Does it sound Credible as a Social Proof ?

There are many many different kinds of social proof you could collect and show. And it could be company generated or user generated (UGC). I would recommend a mix and match. The more varieties you can show – the better. It helps provide assurance by showing consistency in the opinion across your audience base. Which means less skepticism and more credibility. (for more on which kind of social proof is more credible – read this)

5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) –  What is the Next Step ?

The worst thing would be to have a page with dead-ends – the ones where the visitor does not know what to do next , and has to search for a path. I mean in the fortunate case where he/she sticks along. Make sure to connect them to your lead funnel via CTA (Calls To Action) buttons or links.

 

Now, Lets analyse the Our-Customers Page of some awesome companies, and rate them on a scale of 1-5 for each of the above factors.

(Author’s disclaimer – I am in no way associated with any of these companies. These are hand-picked form the 2014 Forbes Most Promising and Most Admired Companies. Mostly. )


 

Example 1 – AirPush

AirPush is #2 on the 2014 Americas Most Promising Companies, and #1 in the Media category. It is a platform for Mobile Ads, with many big names like Coca-Cola, Amazon, Volkswagen, Hotels.com, LG, etc as its customers.

Home Page

Their Our-Customers page is a section in the Home Page. They have 2 sections

1. Logo banner followed with

2. Testimonial Quotes.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example AirPush

Case Studies Page

They also have a case studies page with 3 case studies.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example AirPush

  1. Organized  – 3/5 – There is a limited set of assets, but it is well organized
  2. Engaging – 2/5 – There is limited content. And the case studies could have been crisper. Interestingly, the PDF versions of the case studies are much better, but given that it is another click away, i am not sure if has been put to good use.
  3. Compelling – 4/5 –  The benefit metrics and the message is clear and therefore compelling.
  4. Credibility  – 3/5 – The brand names are very impressive. They also show some usage and reach statistics like total # of live campaigns, # of mobile apps, etc which is impressive.
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 3/5 – The “View Case Studies” CTA on the home page does stand out, but the real one – ‘Create Account”  within the case studies page is somewhere at the bottom of the page. Something worth testing.

Overall Score – 15/25 = 3.0


 

Bonus Tip 1 : 

I personally hate PDFs because they are dead ends by design. There is no scope for CTAs. PDFs do allow users to download and read offline, but i do have my doubts on how many people will go back and read offline something that they did not manage to do online, unless of-course you have created something super super engaging. The negatives of PDFs far outweigh the positives.

For more on why not PDFs read this interesting post in The Washington Post – PDFs that Nobody Reads


 

Example 2 – HireVue

HireVue is #10 on the 2014 Americas Most Promising Companies, and #4 in the category – IT Software and Services. It is an online platform for screening and hiring employees.  It has Hilton, eBay, Dunkin, GE, etc as its customers.

Our Customers Page

The website has Customers tab as one of it primary tabs. There are 4 sections in the Our-Customers page

1. Featured customers

2. Overall customers/reaped benefits stats

3. Story snippets with logo and shoutout

4. Sea of logos

 

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example HireVue Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example HireVue

 

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example HireVue - Customers

Case Studies Page

The story page typically has a logo, a video, a benefit shout-out (which is cool), and the actual story in the problem-solution-results format. It also has some relevant testimonials quotes. all making it an interesting page.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example HireVue Customer Case Study Page

 

  1. Organized  – 3/5 – Though there is a clear focus on the featured stories, they are taking all the space and making the rest of the content inaccessible. Added to it the whole image (photo of the customer’s business) is hyper-linked to the respective case study. You cannot avoid not clicking on it. Making it highly unlikely for people to have seen all the nice metrics in the rest of the page.
  2. Engaging – 4/5 – There is a lot of content in the form of photos, videos, case studies, shout-out metrics, quotes, etc. Everything making it more engaging.
  3. Compelling – 4/5 –  I liked the idea of providing the overall average benefit metrics – Improved quality of hire, Increased speed and productivity, Stronger engagement and satisfaction. I am almost sold on just this 1 section. In my opinion this should have been the top section. It is a shame that no-one would have got to see it because of the issue i mentioned in #1 above.
  4. Credibility  – 4/5 – The combination of the average benefit metrics with the case-studies/testimonials detailing it makes it a great combination. In addition there are those big brand names.
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 4/5 – There is a clear and prominent CTA – for taking the Live Demo

Overall Score – 19/25 = 3.8


 

Bonus Tip 2 : 

Showing statistics related to the usage of the product or service is one of the very effective social proofs. Especially if you have some impressive numbers.

Read more about how to use social proof in marketing here – 25 Ways of Using Social Proof in your Marketing


Example 3 – OnDeck

OnDeck is #11 on the 2014 Americas Most Promising Companies, and #2 in the category – Financial Services. It is an online marketplace for business loans trying to disrupt the dominance of traditional banks by easing out the complete process. It has lent ~$825M so far and has many many small businesses as its customers.

Home Page

The home page showcases the featured testimonials along with a photo, which is cool. It makes it very homely and welcoming for the small business owners since they are the target segment. customer persona matched.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example OnDeck

Testimonials Page

The Testimonials Page is the equivalent of the Our-Customers page. It has 3 sections

1. Link to Reviews on TrustPilot

2. Kudos mentions/posts in social media, and Yelp

3. Testimonials by Industry

 

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example OnDeck - Testimonials Page Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example OnDeck - Testimonials - Page 2

 

  1. Organized  – 4/5 – It is organized well from a visitor perspective, but maybe the ones that link to 3rd party platforms should be lower down to reduce the risk of link leakage.
  2. Engaging – 4/5 – There is a variety of content making it interesting.
  3. Compelling – 4/5 –  The benefit metrics and the message is clear and compelling
  4. Credibility  – 5/5 – In addition to the testimonials, the addition of the reviews from the 3rd party platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and TrustPilot makes it very credible.
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 4/5 -

Overall Score – 21/25 = 4.2


 

Bonus Tip 3 : 

I love it when companies don’t limit themselves to just company generated content like testimonials, videos or case studies. User generated content (UGC) like reviews on 3rd party platforms, social media mentions, etc add a lot of credibility, and it works magic when you showcase both.

for more on this read my article on What is a Better Social Proof – Company-Generated OR User-Generated ?


Example 4 – Tapad

Tapad is #12 on the 2014 Americas Most Promising Companies, and #5 in the category – IT Software & Services. It helps online advertisers to track and target consumers across various devices – desktop, tablet and smartphone.

Home Page

The home page gives a summary of their Our-Customers. they have 2 sections

1. Badges of Top X out of Y Companies in Z Industry Segment

2. Interesting mix of Media Mentions, Influencer Endorsements and Testimonials

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Tapad - Home

Case Studies Page

The Case Studies page has a listing of 6 anonymous case studies from 6 different industries each. And each of the individual case studies look like the one below.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Tapad - Customer Case StudiesTapad - Case Studies page 2

  1. Organized  – 5/5 – The section on the home page gives a very good start. I love the way they have made an interesting mix of all the social proofs – Top X out of Y Companies Badges, Media Mentions like the Forbes Ranking, Frost & Sullivan Award, Endorsements from Influencers (like the one from Evidon CEO), Testimonials (like the one from Dell)
  2. Engaging – 2/5 – There is not much details after the great summary.
  3. Compelling – 3/5 –  The benefit metrics and the message is fair but not outright compelling.
  4. Credibility  – 3/5 – Tapad is using “privacy” as their USP, and as a result there are no customer names.  So from a credibility perspective, the proof points score low. They could have made up for it by displaying other social proofs that don’t involve naming a customer.
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 1/5 – No clear CTA.

Overall Score – 14/25 = 2.8


 

Bonus Tip 4 : 

If you are in a business where you cannot take the names of your customer, either due to the nature of the industry or because for your own reasons, you can still showcase credibility by using social proofs that does not involve customer names. examples would be –  endorsements from 3rd parties or influencers in the industry, usage statistics like # transactions, benefit statistics like average improvement, media mentions, awards, partnerships, etc etc. see all the 22 different kinds of social proof here

 


Example 5 – CollectiveBias

CollectiveBias is #18 on the 2014 Americas Most Promising Companies, and #1 in the category – Business Services & Supplies. It is a platform to connect freelance blogger with companies for creating content. It has an impressive lineup of customers like Nestle, Walmart, Starbucks, Sears, Walgreens, etc

Home Page

The Home page showcases the featured testimonials.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example CollectiveBias - Home

Our Work Page

The Our Work Page is the Our-Customer equivalent here. It showcases the case studies.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example CollectiveBias - Our Work (Our Clients)

Case Studies Page

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example CollectiveBias - Customer Case Study

 

  1. Organized  – 3/5 – The featured testimonials and the featured case studies gives a good start.
  2. Engaging – 2/5 – Given that CollectiveBias is a content platform, the social proof content showcased falls short in terms of the opportunity to engage.
  3. Compelling – 3/5 – The metrics are good to give an idea of the reach of the content, but does not really provide a competitive edge. Not compelling enough to take that next step.
  4. Credibility  – 3/5 – Impressive names like Nestle and Disney make it sound credible.
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 2/5 – the CTA that is visible is the “Subscribe” to the newsletter, which is probably not a very good use of the Customer Successes.

Overall Score – 13/25 =2.6


 

Bonus Tip 5 :

It is a proven fact that people pay more attention to visual content than just text. Adding visual elements to the content makes it more interesting and hence engaging. Therefore add more photos, videos, charts, info-graphics, screenshots, etc to your Our-Customer pages.

see this article in Under30CEO on why visual content makes sense

 


Example 6 – Google Adwords

Google is #1 in the 2014 Forbes Most Admired Companies. Of-course ! We are interested only in the Google Adwords business for this exercise since that is the selling angle.

Home  Page

The Home Page shows 2 featured testimonials – one each for the Adwords (for Advertisers) and Adsense (for website owners who rent out advertising space)

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Google Adwords - Home

Success Stories Page

The Stories page consists of customer success stories in the form of videos or case studies. The page is divided into 2 sections

1. Small and Medium Business

2. Fortune 500

 

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Google Adwords - Customer Success Stories Page

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Google Adwords - Customer Success Stories - Fortune 500

  1. Organized  – 3/5 – Google does highlight some of its success stories in other pages, which is good. In the Success Stories page it has tried to organize it based on the customer persona – small/medium businesses versus big enterprises.
  2. Engaging – 3/5 – The videos look interesting and good therefore making the small/medium business section more engaging than the Fortune 500 section. The case studies could have been much better.
  3. Compelling – 3/5 –  Given that it is Google and it has access to a lot of resources, the content could have been better in terms of showing the BEFORE-and-AFTER scenario. None of the material do a great job of explaining why you should do Ads in Google. If it is not for the proven fact that search ads work, it would have been a challenge to compel people to go for it with just these stories.
  4. Credibility  – 3/5 – Many popular brands
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 4/5 – The CTA of “Get Started Now” along with the 1-800 number is clear and stands out.

Overall Score – 16/25 =3.2


 

Bonus Tip 6 : 

Customer Videos is a social proof that can be very effective if done right. The key would be to keep it short, make it interesting by storytelling, having the right CTA, providing a preview and promoting it in all places.

To know more read this article – How to make your Video Testimonials Work ?


 

Example 7 – Twitter 

Home Page

The Home Page features a prominent section linking to the success stories. It also showcases some featured stories of popular brands like Nat Geo, Adidas.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Twitter Advertising - Home

Success Stories Page

The Success Stories Page is the Our-Customers page for Twitter. It showcases a summary video which is cool.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Twitter Advertising - Customer Success Stories

Case Study Page

The Case Study page is very interesting consisting of the typical problem-solution-benefits. In addition it has some related “tweets”. Also it has some relevant testimonial quotes. Twitter also takes the opportunity to highlight the features/offering and ties it to the challenge-benefits. Overall, it is engaging.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Twitter Advertising - Customer Success Story Page

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Twitter Business - Customer Case Study Metrics

 

 

  1. Organized  – 4/5 – All 3 pages are organized well – The home page section, the success stories page, and the detailed story page.
  2. Engaging – 5/5 – The content is made interesting by including tweets, testimonials, takeaway shout-outs, key success factors, photos and feature description.
  3. Compelling – 5/5 – The Take-away shout-outs and the best practices do a good job of explaining the value proposition.
  4. Credibility  – 5/5 – The popular brands and the tweet embeds, along with all the detailing make it look credible.
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 3/5 – the “start advertising” is kind-of lost at the top. this could have been placed better. Needs testing.

Overall Score – 22/25 =4.4


 

Bonus Tip 7 :

Customer Case Studies and Success Stories are very powerful as a Content Marketing Tactic because it has the added advantage of having the power of 3 –

1. Informative (as a Content Category)

2. Credible (as a Social Proof)

3. Selling (as a Marketing Copy)

Read more about it here - How to Make your Case Studies and Success Stories Boost your Marketing ?


Conclusion

Now if you are wondering why none of them got a 5 ? well ..this is a reason

That is because there is scope for doing a lot with your Our-Customers Page. What you saw above were some great ideas, but there is definitely lots more. Watch out this space for the “Perfect Our-Customers Page” !

Meanwhile, if you have some awesome ideas please do share by commenting. And if you find this article useful, please SHARE it.

Appreciate it. Thanks, Anupam 

……………………………………………………………

anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet - The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn

Self Brand Marketing : Social Proof To Boost Your Career

How to boost your career ? What are the skills that will help you become successful in marketing yourself ?

First, let me give you the bad news.

There is no such thing ! The marketplace is dynamic and saying you will need A,B,C skills is short-sighted and it will always come with an expiry date, because by the time you master something there is always something new. Lets accept that it is a continuous learning process and accordingly the window of opportunity keeps shifting. What is hot today need not remain hot a few months later, and that’s a fact you need to get used to.

But, there is good news !

Here, Let me not give you the fish, but rather teach you how to fish. If i had to pick one skill that is critical to a professional success, that would be Social Proof.

But first what is Social Proof ?

In very simple terms – Social Proof is a marketing term used for “herd mentality” of human beings. We get positively influenced by what others like us are doing, and the influence is very compelling if these people have become successful by doing whatever they are doing. We want to become like them by copying their methods. (also see my recent article on the 21 different kinds of social proof used in marketing)

This can help you in 2 ways in your career -

1. To help you know what are the right skills at any moment.
AND
2. To assure potential employers (or buyers) that you have these skills.

Let’s see what this means -


 

How can Social Proof help you know –  What are the Hot Skills you should Acquire ?

 

Self Marketing : How To Boost Your Career With Social Proof - How to Know What Skills are Hot

Get a sense for what are the hot trends in the market by doing any/all of the following

1. Following the trending news topics on popular sites – Example –  Mashable, Huffingtonpost, Steamfeed, etc

2. Watch out for what influencers’ and prominent personalities in your field are talking about – Example – Seth Godin, Dharmesh Shah, Guy Kawasaki, etc

3. See what prominent companies in the field are saying and doing.

 

Now lets take two examples related to fields close to my heart – Marketing and Technology.

 

Example 1 –  Top-3 trends in ‘Marketing’

If you look around you – these are the top trends in marketing.

1. How to keep producing a pipeline of content for the insatiable  needs of marketing ?

2. How to use sponsored content in facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, etc ?

3. More and more people are using smartphones to do things – how to reach them ?

so correspondingly the hot skills would be – content marketing, native ads, mobile marketing, and social media marketing

 

Example 2 – Top-3 trends in ‘Technology’

Again here if you look around you – these are the top trends in marketing.

1. Wearable Technology – everything from wrist watches to glasses can be a device.

2. Internet of Things – every gadget or device can be connected to the internet.

3. What Actionable Insights can you derive from Data ?

 

so correspondingly the hot skills would be – Wearable technology, Internet of things, Big Data, and Analytics 


 

How can Social Proof help you – Assure Employers that you have the Skills ?


 

Personal Brand Marketing - How can Social Proof help you - Assure Employers that you have the Skills ?

Of-course, you will first need to acquire the skills, and do a good job at it. But as you are doing that, you need to build your social proof – 3rd party proof that can vouch and assure future employers that you have got the skills.

It can be any/all of the following

1. Endorsement from past/present employers – Example – LinkedIn recommendations.

2. Popularity – Example – Social Mentions ( Tweets, LinkedIn Updates, FB posts, etc) about you in kudos posts by people who have worked with you.

3. Sphere of Influence – Example – Connections in LinkedIn, Followers to your Blog, Twitter Handle, FB Page

4. Expertise in Subject Matter – Example – Blog articles, Your Comments in Blog threads related to the subject, Sharing in social media, etc

In today’s world – rest assured that no-one will hire you without doing a background search of your digital footprint. A simple google search would bring out a lot of interesting facts ? Therefore make sure what people see is what you want them to see.

 


 

Summary

By making sure you are paying attention to Social Proof – you could accomplish 2 important things -

1. You will always be on top of the hot skills (and therefore working towards acquiring them )

2. You will be able to market yourself effectively to your prospective employers for those hot skills.

And this is applicable universally, irrespective of your field of interest.

 

I would love to hear about your experiences and examples. Please share via commenting.

If you feel this is useful, please SHARE it with your friends. appreciate it. thanks. anupam


anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet - The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn

 


 

Special Thanks to Bob Clary, Marketing Manager at Webucator for offering free online training to our readers as part of their Most Marketable Skill Campaign. This month’s topic is Microsoft Powerpoint.

Feel free to write to Bob ( bobclary@webucator.com) or visit their Twitter Page for any questions/clarifications


 

How to Transform Your (Boring) Video Testimonials & Customer Success Stories into a Marketing Opportunity ?

In this article, I will not-be talking about 1. “Why you should have Video Testimonials ?” AND I will not be talking about 2. “How to shoot Good Videos ?”

Because It is a given that Customer Videos are one of the very powerful Social Proofs, and a very credible one it is because for the obvious reasons associated with anything video. And I am not the competent person to comment about the nuances of shooting a good video.

Instead, I will be talking about how to make your video testimonials a very effective marketing tool – effective in getting you more conversions and more leads, which should be the end objective of any customer success asset or social proof in the 1st place.


 

Bonus Tip #1 :

There are many different kinds of Social Proof – Testimonials, Photos, Case Studies/Success Stories, Videos, Reviews, Social Mentions, etc etc. See the complete list of Social Proofs here – 21-Kinds of Social Proof that you can use in your Marketing

Also see what type of social proof is better for you –  user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content – which social proof works better ?

 


 

The 6 Rules to Evaluate Your Video Testimonials & Success Stories

Lets look at video testimonials from various popular companies for best practices. We will do it based on the following 6 parameters. In the end – we will also look at 2 of my favorite video testimonials.

1. Preview – Why Should I See It ?

Unlike text, videos are not suitable for skimming. Providing a preview in the form of an executive summary is a good way of attracting visitors to see the video. It would also be a great idea to provide a text transcript, if possible.

2. Duration – Design for Low Attention Span !

Short is sweet. The attention span of a typical viewer is in seconds. Therefore the duration of the video should not be more than 1-2 mins at the max. Shorter the duration, the higher the chances of the viewer seeing what you want them to see. It is also the main reason for the popularity of video formats like Vine, which are 6sec videos ! In addition, it is quicker to load a short video.

3. Engaging – Make it Interesting.

It is boring to see just talking heads in a video. Make it interesting by covering the context as visually as possible, and making it interactive where possible.

4. Compelling – Does it Convince to Buy ?

Remember the convincing power of a testimonial video  is not directly proportional to the cost of the production. Having a professional crew shoot the video, and lots of editing can make the video look good, but that need not mean that it will really impress your prospects. In this respect, User generated videos will be way cheaper, and might do a better job almost all times.

5. CTA (Calls-To-Action) – Make Sure it does not become a Dead End.

What is the desired next step for the viewer after seeing the video, and is that obvious even without seeing the full video ? remember most people don’t see the full video, no matter the duration. Therefore you need to have your CTAs very clear and prominent.

6. Promotion – How are you Promoting the Videos ?

Any piece of social proof is a valuable marketing resource. Are you actively using them in your content and inbound marketing ? If not, it is a lost opportunity if you are under utilizing a valuable resource. This is where using a popular 3rd party platforms like YouTube helps. It allows users to discover your video as part of the search features of Youtube and Google.


 

Bonus Tip #2 :

You can promote your social proof in many many ways. see my recent article on how to use your customer testimonials (including videos) to boost your marketing –  Customer Testimonial Examples: 25-Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ best practices)


 

Now lets see how to apply this to some popular Customer Video Testimonials.

Author’s disclaimer – I am in no way associated with any of these companies. I allowed Google Search to give me the top Video Testimonials  which is a fair way of going about this. The intention of the analysis is purely for educational and best practices purpose. 

Example 1 – Qualys


 

qualys_videos_index

qualys_videos_Novartis

Preview – 2/5

There is no way to know which video i should watch, and why. The only indicator is the company name/logo and the profile of the speaker.

Duration – 2/5

The duration is ~5-mins. It is more than the recommended 1-2 mins.

Engaging – 2/5

Talking heads is not a very engaging format. Not a good use of the time when the speaker is spending most of the time in listing out all the benefits verbatim.

Compelling – 2/5

It would have been more effective to list the benefits as a text versus someone reading it out in a video.

CTA (Calls-To-Action) – 1/5

There is no CTA buttons. Not in the Video. Not even in the pages where the videos are listed.

Promotion  – 1/5

No promotion of the videos anywhere. The videos themselves are not from a 3rd party platform like YouTube, which further limits the chances of finding these videos.

Final Score – 1.67


 

 

Example 2 – Salesforce Pardot


 

pardot_videos_index

pardot_videos_EzeCastle

Preview – 3/5

The quote helps guess what the video might be about. 

Duration – 4/5

The duration of ~1.2 mins is awesome. It addresses the attention span issue perfectly. 

Engaging –  3/5

The demo of the application screens during the video gives some ideas of the product itself. Though it is not sufficient to understand the functionality, it does help break the monotonicity of the talking head. 

Compelling – 2/5

Though the screen sharing of the application makes the video interesting, it does not make it that compelling. Of-course, it does make it look more genuine. 

CTA (Calls-To-Action) – 1/5

There is no CTA buttons. Not in the Video. Not even in the pages where the videos are listed.

Promotion – 1/5

No promotion of the videos anywhere. The videos themselves are not from a 3rd party platform like YouTube, which further limits the chances of finding these videos.

Final Score – 2.34


 

 Example 3 – Courion


 

courion_videos_harvard_pilgrim

Preview – 1/5

There is no preview. The only indicator is the company name/logo and the profile of the speaker.

Duration – 3/5

The duration of ~2.2 mins, which is decent.

Engaging – 3/5

Th video covers the facility and multiple speakers, which makes it more interesting to watch.

Compelling – 3/5

It is compelling.

CTA – 2/5

There is a small link to ‘Contact Sales by Email/Phone’ in the index page. Definitely better than no CTA.

Promotion – 1/5

No promotion.

Final Score – 2.17


 

Example 4 – Yodle


 

Yodle_videos_index

 

Yodle_videos_example

Preview – 3/5

The quotes and profile of the customer gives a decent idea of what each video is about.

Duration – 3/5

The duration is ~2-mins, which is excellent.

Engagement – 3/5

The video shows the speaker in his/her workplace, doing their day-day job, hence making it engaging.

Compelling – 3/5

The story-line of how the company helped sounds compelling.

CTA – 1/5

There is no CTA of any kind.

Promotion – 1/5

No promotion of the videos beyond the videos page.

Final Score – 2.34


 

Example 5 – Nagarro


 

Nagarro_videos_index

Nagarro_videos_sample

 

Preview – 3/5

The preview gives an idea of what would be covered in the video, thus helping decide if/if not to watch it.

Duration – 3/5

The videos are of ~2.2-min duration making them a decent duration.

Engaging – 3/5

Showing the details about the customer’s business makes the video engaging.

Compelling – 3/5

The story-line is compelling to try/buy the services of the company.

CTA (Calls-To-Action) – 4/5

Yes. As you can see above there is a contact form in the same page as the video listings.

Promotion – 3/5

Simple thing like posting it on Youtube provides an additional way to promote the videos.

Final Score – 3.17

 


 

Example 6 – OfficeVibe


 

officevibe_videos_index

officevibe_videos_example

Preview – 5/5

The CultureTalks videos by OfficeVibe has one of the best previews. It actually gives the full transcript of the video. Very Useful.

Duration – 1/5

It is really long running into ~20-mins each.

Engagement – 4/5

It is in an interactive interview format where someone from OfficeVibe is interviewing HR experts in the customer side over Google Hangout, thus making it very interesting and engaging.

Compelling – 1/5

The video is very engaging from the subject point of view – the “culture” within the customer company. But it is not clear how the customer is using the product/service of OfficeVibe in doing whatever it is doing. That connection between the success of the customer and the solution provided by the company is missing somewhere, thus making it less compelling. Actually it is not even clear if the speaker company is one of OfficeVibe’s customers !

CTA – 3/5

If the desired next step is to share the video as a content, then there are the standard sharing/embed buttons, which is great.

Promotion – 5/5

The videos are on TouTube. They are also promoted extensively in social media by OffcieVibe.

Final Score – 3.17

Correction : I got a clarification from Jacob Shriar, Growth Manager at OfficeVibe – the cool dude doing the interviews,  saying that the CultureTalks video interview series is not necessarily with their customers, and hence they are not intended as testimonials for OfficeVibe.

Now it all makes sense. I would still like to retain it here because i think this is still a best practice, and a valuable social proof as such.


 

Bonus Tip #3 :

I would recommend  doing very similar interviews, but with your customers. You can do this with those customers who are not comfortable to publicly endorse you as the vendor/service provider for their own corporate/legal reasons. But I am sure they will be more open to do a best practices session on a subject matter that you care about. Still a big win for you :-)


 

Example 7 – GoPro 


 

GoPro_videos

GoPro_videos_sample

Preview – 4/5

There is no preview, but the cover photo and the short description does give a fair idea of what the video is all about.

Duration – 5/5

The duration varies from 1-20 mins, but the key thing here is that the duration does not impact the end objective – highlighting the capabilities of the GoPro camera.  Irrespective of where you stop, you still get the message. Thus making the duration irrelevant.

Engagement – 5/5

It is very engaging. One of the best videos.

Compelling – 5/5

Very compelling. I am sure you feel like getting one of those cameras even if you are a couch potato whose life does not involve any such outdoor adventures ! ;-)

CTA – 3/5

There are many CTA’s like Sharing, submitting your own videos, subscribing to the channel, etc

Promotion – 5/5

It is on YouTube. It is also well promoted on platforms like Mashable. GoPro videos have a cult following among outdoor enthusiasts.

Final Score – 4.5

 


 

Summary:

You saw 7 different examples of Video Testimonials, and the good/bad in each of them based on the 6 parameters. They were just examples for the sake of demonstration, but you can apply the rules to pretty much every video testimonial. 

Overall, you need to pay attention to the following 2 important areas (since it is not always obvious)

1. CTA (Calls-T-Action)

It is a big lost opportunity if you are not using your video testimonials for conversion, especially when they are meant for selling (lead generation) as their primary objective.

2. Promotion

You need to be promoting your video testimonials everywhere. Assuming that your prospects will come searching for them is again a lost opportunity. Keep in mind that 60-80% of the buying decision is already taken before your sales teams get to talk to your prospects. And this is the exact phase where  your social proof in the form of customer videos can tilt the scales in your favor. It would be really smart to bring your success stories in-front of your audience.


If you have other good examples please share via commenting.

If you feel this is useful, please SHARE it with your friends. appreciate it. thanks. anupam

anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet - The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn

 


Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content – which social proof works ?

How do you ensure that the social proof you are collecting will help you in your inbound marketing ? Company Generated Content  or User Generated Content (UGC) – which proof works better – in terms of getting you better results – in the form of more traffic, more conversions, and more leads !  (see my recent article on 25 Ways to Boost your marketing with customer testimonials and social proof )

Keep in mind social proof can be any/all of these –  customer names, logos, testimonials, photos, social share/follow counts, success stories, case studies, videos, user reviews, ROI studies, snapshots, spotlights, business benefits, metrics achieved, stats about customer base, product/service usage, tweets, social mentions, media mentions, celebrity endorsement, etc etc (see my recent post to see all the 21 types of social proofs that you can use in your marketing)

In general, we can classify Social Proof into 3 Categories based on how it is created.

A. User Generated Content (UGC)

This is created by the end users on their own, typically on 3rd party platforms. Less or no control by the company.

Examples could be the following

1.  Social mentions and posts in platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc

2. User Reviews in platforms like TripAdvisor, Yelp, BazaarVoice, TrustRadius, G2 Crowd, TrustPilot, etc

3. User Videos in platforms like youtube, vimeo, vine, etc

 (also see here for the various different kinds of UGC )

B. Company Generated Content (with endorsement from Users/Customers/3rd Party)

This is produced by the company, but with close collaboration with the end users and customers, or even 3rd parties of repute. More control by the company, but still endorsed by the users.

Examples could be the following -

1. Testimonials, Case Studies, Stories, Videos, etc

2. Social Sharing, Followers, Subscribers, etc

3. Celebrity and Influencer Endorsements, media mentions, etc

C. Company Generated Proof (unverified or not easy to verify)

These are “facts” claimed by the company, with less scope for verification. Fully controlled by the company.

Examples could be the following -

1. Customer Base  Statistics eg. 10,000+ customers.

2. Product and Service usage statistics eg. 40 Million Emails sent out.

 Now which of these categories makes sense ? 

Though the question seems simple enough, the answer is not very straightforward. To answer this question lets look at it more pragmatically – not from the seller point of view, but from the  buyer point of view. Putting myself in the shoes – If i am a buyer in the market, what are the questions i would ask when evaluating any vendor ?

6 Questions that i would ask any vendor

1. Social Proof – Do you have it ?

Could you demonstrate to me that there are other people who have used your product and services before ?

Lets look at the results of a survey that Dianna Huff and KoMarketing Associates did asking what B2B Buyers today want from vendor websites.

 

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content : social-proof must-have credibility indicators for websites

It is very clear that social proof is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have in order to establish credibility in the eyes of the buyer. This is very significant given the fact that 60-80% of the buying decision is taken even before a prospect tries to contact your sales teams.

 

2. Credibility – How much can i trust this ?

There is no question about faking social proof what-so-ever. That would be a stupid suicide. (see more in my recent post on Best Practices : How to keep testimonials real, and reasons why not to fake them)

The question is how convinced the buyer would be on seeing your proof points ? How credible does your proof look ?

We can classify the 3 categories based on the level of inherent credibility of the type of social proof. This has nothing to do with the proof point in itself, and it is a relative ranking.

I. User Generated Content – HIGH

User Generated Content does stand high in the credibility ladder. The reason being obvious – it is the end user making the point. He/She has no reason to say something good (or bad for that matter), unless there is a strong first hand reason. It also gives a fair representation of both good and bad sides. In real-life nothing is 100% good, so it always make it more credible to see the not-good side as well.

Example – Yelp Reviews – Lazy Bear

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content

II. Company Generated Content (with endorsement from Users/Customers/3rd Party) – MEDIUM

Company Generated Content like testimonials, case studies, and videos will always be lower in credibility compared to the earlier User Generated Content types. But you can always make it get closer (if not equal) by taking measures to keep it as real as possible. for the same reasons – it is a good idea to cover areas that might not be your week points, by answering questions that might be a concern by your typical customer. Of-course it has to be delivered and acknowledged by the end user in your content.

Example – Campaign Monitor’s Testimonials

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content - Example of Company (+User) Created Content

III. Company Generated Content (unverified) – LOW

Pure company claimed “facts” that have no easy way to verify would naturally be received with an element of skepticism. Therefore it always helps  to link it to publicly available facts where possible.

Example – MailChimp’s 5 Million Users

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content - Example of Pure Company Generated Content

 

3. Consistency – is everyone saying the same thing ?

Am i hearing these from just 1 channel from 1 particular audience ? or is it across the board irrespective of channels, across the audiences ?

As a buyer. As a prospect – If there is just 1 kind of social proof, then i am skeptical about it. Whereas if there are different kinds of social proof, it gives me an opportunity to see if the experience is consistent across the board.

Are your case studies, videos, reviews and tweets saying the same things ?

Lets look at an example – Social Proofs by Hubspot

A. Hubspot Case Studies

In this example Geoff Tucker from Alere Wellbeing says how good his experience has been with Hubspot’s customer service.

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content  hubspot_casestudy_example

 

B. Hubspot Twitter Posts

This Tweet by Stephen says how good his experience with Hubspot has been w.r.t customer service.

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content  hubspot_tweet_example1

 

C. Hubspot TrustRadius Reviews

This review in TrustRadius by Kevin says the same thing about Hubspot’s customer service.

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content  hubspot_review_example

All 3 different types of social proof are saying the same thing about Hubspot’s customer service, which is awesome. Therefore more varieties of proof points are very welcome from a buyer perspective because it provides the buyer an opportunity to verify if the claims are consistent across the board. Which leads to a  stronger assurance to believe the vendor.

 

4. Natural – does it look too scripted ?

Scripted content is less convincing compared to natural sounding ones. This is where user generated content scores over company generated ones. If they sound non-scripted and spontaneous, it makes them more believable.

Example – Manpacks Testimonials

 

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content  manpacks_tweets

Therefore it also makes sense to keep the company generated content less scripted. The imperfections actually make them sound more genuine. Don’t edit anything just for the sake of it, unless it makes a significant difference to the messaging.

 

5. Clear Benefits – are the features-benefits convincing ?

Is it clear that using the features provided would lead to the benefits claimed  ? Features in itself does not mean anything, unless the customer can see the benefits associated.

Example - Optimizely’s Case Studies

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content  optimizely_case_studies

This is especially important if your product or service has a lot of features. As a buyer, i would like to hear from users how using a particular feature has led to a claimed benefit.

This is where the company produced assets like case studies, stories, ROI studies, videos, etc are better placed compared to user generated ones where there is less control on the structure and flow of the content. (see more in my recent article  Case Study Tips: 5 Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices)

As a buyer i am more compelled to believe your social proof when you have the depth and clarity.

 

 6. Buyer Persona – does it look like “me” ?

The crux of the social proof argument is that it is “what people LIKE ME are doing”. Therefore for it to be effective as a marketing tool, it will have to match the desired profile of the  buyer – what we call as the buyer persona. It sounds easier said than done because your current customer base need not be the same as your ideal or desired customer base. This is because your target customer profile is always a moving target.

 

 

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content Buyer Persona

User generated content has less control on the profile of the people who create and contribute to the content. Whereas company generated ones have more control on the people you want to collaborate with. Also it is easier to fill the gaps.

 

Conclusion – the good news is that you need everything !

As you can see there is no 1 kind of social proof that can satisfy all the needs of the buyers. Therefore it is good to have as many types as possible because showcasing them together helps cover all the needs of the buyer. It is way more smarter than betting on 1 type of social proof. Therefore, Company Generated Content is as important as the User Generated ones, or vice-versa.

If you feel this is valuable, please LIKE and SHARE it with your friends. Appreciate it.

thanks & regards, anupam


anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet - The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn

 

Customer Testimonial Examples: 25-Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ best practices)

The most popular usage of customer testimonials is posting them in your Testimonials page or Our-Customers page, and you are done, which in my opinion is a gross under-utilization of this valuable asset. In this article you will see 24 more ways to utilize them well, along with examples and bonus tips on best practices.

Customer Testimonials help in making your marketing credible, increasing conversions from your calls-to-actions, increasing traffic from your content marketing, and getting you more leads as an end outcome. Therefore they are super valuable, and you can definitely do a better job of utilizing them.

For the purpose of this discussion, when i say customer testimonials, it includes all the formats of customer proof points – name droppings, logos, quotes, photos, success stories, case studies, videos, user reviews, ROI studies, snapshots, spotlights, business benefits and metrics achieved, tweets, social mentions, pins, and what not. (see my recent post to see all the 21 types of social proofs that you can use in your content marketing)

25 Ways to Boost your Marketing using Customer Testimonials

Includes examples/templates/best-practices of testimonials, case studies, reviews, success stories, videos, photos, tweets … or any customer proof point usages

1. Home Page

Displaying your customers on your home page not only means you are showcasing credibility to your claims, but also gives the impression that customers are central to your business. It kills (rather saves) 2 birds in 1 shot. Lets look at an example

Example – About.Me’s Home Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - About.Me Home Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - About.Me Home Page 2

The Home Page of About.Me showcases the about me pages of its customers. Its so cool ! Makes you want to get your about.me page right away.

Bonus Tip: Understand everybody will not have the luxury of using all the real-estate on your home page for customer testimonials. Wish every product and service was so simple that you didn’t have to explain it beyond your testimonials. In reality home page 1st fold is super premium real-estate, and it is a compromise with many priorities. I would recommend at-least having a small area for testimonials.  you could be displaying just 1 that says it all.

also check out this earlier post by me with some cool examples of Customers as Hero Images

 


 

2. Products, Services & Features Page

The page where you are explaining the benefits – features is a very good place to show case some relevant testimonials. It helps assure your prospects that people are using those features and are benefiting from them (like you claimed). Lets look at an example.

Example – Square Trade’s Iphone (product) Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Square Trade IPhone Products Page

 

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Square Trade IPhone Products Page 2

See how the strategic mention of the reviews from Apple App store fits-in to the context. The videos at the bottom are very relevant as well. If you are insuring your phone against damage, nothing is more convincing than testimonials from people who ended up breaking their phones and hence made claims, and got reimbursements – the biggest mental hurdle for buying any insurance policy – will they pay up ?

Bonus Tip – 3 things you need to keep in mind – relevancy, relevancy, relevancy. Testimonials in a product/service or features page makes sense only if it is contextual to what you are trying to sell.

also see this earlier post about contextual testimonials. yet again the example is that of a features page

 


 3. Landing Pages

The single only objective of any landing page is conversion. Every A/B test proves 1 thing for guaranteed – adding testimonials to a landing page increases conversion. period. If you don’t take my word for it, go ahead and test it, and come back to me if it is not true.

Example – Neil Patel’s (Quicksprout) Landing Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Neil Patel's Quicksprout Landing Page

Neil Patel is the guru of SEO and Conversion. If he is using a customer testimonial in every landing page of his, then you know that this is something you should copy blindly ! I am a big fan.

Bonus Tip – Landing Page experts always say one thing – do not distract the visitor away from the CTA (Calls-To-Action) Button. Therefore make sure the testimonials don’t take away the spotlight from the CTA, yet help add credibility to support your claims.


 

4. Pricing & Plans Page

The Pricing page is very strategic from a sign-up perspective. In addition to addressing all questions and concerns related to cost of ownership, it is an opportunity to provide additional assurance in the form of testimonials from existing customers. Lets see 2 examples

Example 1 – Unbounce’s Pricing Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Unbounce's Pricing Page

In this Unbounce example, the testimonial from Hootsuite tries to assure that choosing Unbounce is a good decision overall by reinforcing the USP of Unbounce.

Now lets look at another example.

Example 2 – 3D Cart’s Pricing Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - 3D Cart's Pricing Page

In this example from 3DCart, the testimonial from Mike & Karen is trying to assure you that this is a good deal from a cost-package perspective, which also makes sense. Therefore both are good examples.

Bonus Tip – What is the best one for you ? – that’s something you need to test because every case would be different.

 


5. Sign-up Page

Sign-up is the last stop before someone signs up. Therefore an opportunity to give that extra assurance boost. Lets see an example

Example – Present.me’s Signup Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Present.Me's Signup Page

Nice clean page with the right pinch of customer testimonial.

Bonus Tip – Just like the Landing Pages, do not take away the spotlight from the main CTA – to sign-up. 

 


 

6. About Us Page

About-Us page should in-fact be right the opposite. It should be about the customers – it should say why customers should do business with you. Showcasing what other customers say about you is just the right thing to do. Lets see an example

Example – Optimizely’s About-Us Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Optimizely's About Us Page

 


 

7.  Testimonials & Our Customers Page

Testimonials or Customers page is where you would consolidate all your customer proof points. This page is still very important because it is one place where your prospects can see the strength of Social Proof – The voice of the crowd.  Testimonials and Our-Customers are used interchangeably.

The key here is to organize everything such that it is engaging and helps drive the message across, without being boring. This is one of the top premium pages on your website from a traffic perspective, and it does make sense to use it well.

Lets see an example of a good testimonials page.

Example – Guidebook’s Testimonials Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Guidebook's Testimonials Page

In this example from Guidebook, the page is well organised – it is not too overwhelming, but at the same time makes it interesting with the right mix of brands and quotes.

Now lets see an example of an Our-Customers page.

Example – UberConference’s Our-Customers Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Uber Conference's Our Customers Page

I love the tiered approach taken by Uber Conference here. At the top tier is this testimonial from BeatsMusic that says it all. The 2nd tier is 2 testimonials, more detailed but compelling. The 3rd tier is a bunch of logos. Very engaging way to present your customer testimonials.

Bonus Tip – It is a bad idea to have an A-Z list because this is not a telephone book ! no-one will search for a customer by name. It is a good idea to provide categories at-the-least – like by solution, by products, by industry, by customer segment, by country, etc. and display the search results by relevance (not A-Z). see more in my earlier post on why you should not have a A-Z list


 

8. Success Stories & Case Studies Page

Success Stories or Case Studies Page is essentially a subset of the Our-Customers or Testimonials page, but limited to those that have a detailed story.

Similar to the Our-Customers page, The key here is to organize everything such that it is engaging and helps drive the message across, without being boring. This is one of the top premium pages on your website from a traffic perspective, and it does make sense to use it well.

Lets see an example.

Example – MongoDb’s Customer Success Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - MongoDb's Customer Success Stories Page

 

Bonus Tip – Another important thing in design of these pages is making them conversion friendly. It is a waste if the pages are a dead-end. They need to be designed such that it helps you accomplish that one and only objective of any customer proof point – generate leads. see examples in my recent post about best practices for case studies – Case Study Tips: 5 Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices)


 9. Contact-Us Page

Contact-Us page is very similar to the sign-up page. It is an opportunity to provide that extra bit of assurance so that your prospects can contact you. Lets see an example.

Example – Sarah Rudinoff Realtor’s Contact-Us Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Sarah Rudinoff Realtor's Contact-Us Page


 10. Blog Posts

Blogs are the most popular tactic in content marketing. The top objective of any content marketing is to get more conversions from your CTA (calls-to-action) buttons or links. Using customer testimonials provides assurance, and adds credibility, thus increasing conversions. Therefore it is a must have to add testimonials to your blog posts. Lets see 2 examples.

Example 1 – TINT’s Blog Pages

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - TINT's Blog Page

In the TINT example above the Kudos Tweets widget helps to entice the visitors to the blog to convert and visit the website.

Now lets see one more example.

Example 2 – Hootsuite Blog

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - HootSuite's Blog Post Page

In this example a customer case study is used as a blog post in itself.

 

Bonus Tip: You can do both of the above. Use the case study as a blog post, but also use snippets of the case study across rest of the blog and content.

see one more example of the Quicksprout Blog –  Content Marketing: Testimonials help increase blog conversions, and get more leads.

 


 11. Press Releases & News

Using Customer Testimonials as a press release or news article is a good way of reaching out to audience beyond your immediate circles. Lets see an example.

Example – Oracle’s Press Releases

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Oracle's Press Release Page

Bonus Tip – You can also use testimonials in other press or news releases where you are talking about other things like product launches, new features, etc


 

12. Webinar

You can do Webinars with customers, which is very popular. But in addition, you can also use testimonials to get more sign-ups and attendance for your webinars. Lets see an example.

Example – Unbounce’s Webinar Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Unbounce's Webinar Page

Bonus Tip – It is nice to have the testimonials to be relevant to the CTA (calls-to-action) like the Unbounce example above where people are not talking about Unbounce’s product, but they are talking about how the past webinars were useful to them as attendees. Very contextual.

 


 

13. Newsletters

Newsletters are another important content marketing tactic. The top objective is to get more click-through back to the website. Customer Testimonials help do exactly that – get you more conversion. Lets see an example

Example – Rackspace’s Newsletter

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Rackspace's Newsletter

In this example from Rackspace, they are showcasing a snippet of the case study with Data Morphosis and the CTA button is to see the complete case study.

Bonus Tip – You can also have CTA buttons that link to a landing page.

see one more example from the B2C space here –  Content Marketing: Increase email newsletter click through and CTA conversions using testimonials


 14. Emails – (Auto-Responders, drip campaigns, transactional, etc)

Emails are used for many purposes. It can be for drip campaigns where you keep dripping your target audience with a series of emails with a desired CTA. It can be auto-responders that are setup as a response to specific actions by the user. It can also be transactional emails related to on-boarding, billing, renewals, etc.

Whatever be the reason, there is a good opportunity to include testimonials. Including testimonials would basically help provide that extra assurance for the user to take that next step you desire them to take (aka CTA -calls-to-action). Lets see an example

Example – Influitive’s Email

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Influitive's Emails

I got this email from Influitive after i downloaded a white paper. The desired action that Influitive’s team would like me to take would be to visit their products page. The mention of popular names like Act-On, Eloqua, etc adds that extra bit of assurance and prompts me to check out their product.

Bonus Tip – It is a good idea to make the testimonials stand out with logos, photos, etc. Knowing that emails have a tendency to not show images, it is still worth the chance because visual components are much more compelling than plain text. Also email servers like gmail do show images because they pre-screen for malicious images (the primary reason for not showing images), and they also cache the images in their CDN servers (performance being the secondary reason for not showing images)

also see more examples of testimonials in emails here –  Email Marketing: Testimonials help increase click through rate, get more CTA conversions.


 

15. Whitepapers & eBooks

You can club together groups of customer success stories and case studies in the form of eBooks or whitepapers. Lets see an example.

Example – Workday’s Whitepapers

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Workday's Whitepapers

Here in this example, Workday presents 2 of its customer stories in the format of a whitepaper, where they are trying to explain a topic but with the use of a customer as an example. It not only makes it feel more easy to understand, but it also make it credible from a practicality and feasiblity perspective. You sound less preachy when you can relate it with examples.

Bonus Tip – In addition to discussing customer stories in detail, you can also use snippets of testimonials in any whitepaper, very similar to product/service features page.

 


 

16. LinkedIn Updates

Social Media is an opportunity to go beyond our know circles in order to reach out to the larger audience and get more visibility.

Lets star with LinkedIn. Post your customer testimonials as updates in LinkedIn. Lets see an example

Example – Tegile’s LinkedIn Updates

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Tegile's LinkedIn updates about Customers

The cool thing about the updates by Tegile is that the images are self explanatory.

Bonus Tip – In addition to getting the word out, you should also think about getting traffic back to your website. From that perspective, it would be a good idea to provide back links to your Our Customers page or even your Home page, if not a landing page.


 

17. Facebook Pages

Similar to LinkedIn updates, post your customer testimonials on your Facebook pages.

Lets see an example

Example – OfficeVibe’s Facebook Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - OfficeVibe's Facebook Posts about Customers

I love the CultureSpeak videos by OfficeVibe. They are recordings of interviews with the HR person (or whoever is responsible for the company culture) at the customer side, over google hangout. Very interesting.

Bonus Tip – Like i said earlier for LinkedIn updates – the idea of any posts in social media would be to get traffic back to your website, therefore you need to post just the teaser and people need to click on the back links for the main course .

Correction : I got a clarification from OfficeVibe –  saying that the CultureTalks video interview series is not necessarily with their customers, and hence they are not intended as testimonials for OfficeVibe. I stand corrected, but I would still like to retain it here because i think this is still a best practice, and a valuable social proof as such. And nothing stops someone from doing similar interviews with their customers, using them as testimonials, and posting them on facebook.

read more about it here – Best Practices in Video Testimonials


 

18. Tweet It (Twitter)

Tweet out your customer testimonials. Lets see an example

Example – Microsoft Education’s Twitter Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Microsoft Education's tweets about Customers

 

19. Pin it (Pinterest )

Pin the images and photos. Lets see an example

Example – Wine and Design Australia

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Wine and Design Australia's testimonials we pinned

20. Instagram It

Post it on Instagram as well. See an example below

Example – SideKicker’s Instagram Pages

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Side Kicker's Instagram photos

 


 

 21. Slideshare

You can convert all your testimonials into a slide deck format and post it on Slideshare. Lets see an example below

Example – Genesys’s Slidshare Pages

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Genesys's Slideshare posts about customers

Bonus Tip – You can also post your case studies and success stories as slides on Slideshare, and then embed it into your pages everywhere.

 


22. YouTube

Create videos of your customers and post it on Youtube.

Lets see an example

Example – Rockwell Automation’s Youtube Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Rockwell Automation's Customer Videos in youtube

Bonus Tip – You don’t need to always shoot professional videos that come at a big price. You can do user generated videos. You can also convert your case studies and success stories into a video like the example above.


 

23. Advertisements

Advertisements are a big area in itself. You can do a lot – traditional media ads, PPC ads, Native ads, Sponsered ads, etc. Here i am just giving some traditional media examples.

Example – SAP Ads

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - SAP Customer advertisements

 

Example – Oracle Ads

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Oracle Customer Advertisements - Ironman

Bonus Tip – Stay tuned for a followup post with more details about Customer Testimonials in Advertisements. 

 


 

24. Analyst Interview (Analyst Relations – AR)

Industry analysts are always tracking and evaluating companies. Testimonials from existing customers help make your case strong. Check out this example

Example – Marketo in Gartner Magic Quadrant (for CRM Lead Management)

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Gartner's Magic Quadrent for CRM Lead Management

 


 

25. Earnings Call (Investor Relations – IR)

Name dropping of recent customers is the best way to showcase credibility during earnings call. check out this example.

Example – Salesforce’s (SFDC) Earnings Call

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Salesforce (SFDC) Q4 earnings call


 

These were the 25 ways. I am sure i have missed some more. If you have other examples please share via commenting.

Summary – You can do a whole lot more with your Customer Testimonials than just posting them in your Testimonials Page. Above you could see 25 ways of using them. Go ahead and make your marketing kick ass with your customer stories.

If you feel this is valuable, please LIKE and SHARE it with your friends. Appreciate it.

thanks & regards, anupam

 


anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet - The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn

 

 

 

How to Convert your (Ordinary) Case Studies & Customer Success Stories into a Selling Machine (w/ 5 Examples)

I want to take this topic beyond the scope of creating a good case-study/success-story, over to the discussion of what do you do with your good customer stories. It is not about having amazing customer case studies and success stories, but it is all about how well are you using them. If they are gathering dust in some hidden corner of your website, then it is a big opportunity lost !

In this article we will discuss about - How to design your case study/success story to become a selling machine ! I believe that lead generation and conversion should be the #1 desired outcome of any case study or success story because that is the end objective of content marketing or any marketing initiative for that matter, and you should be looking at the customer stories the same way.

I love customer case studies and success stories because in my opinion they are the most effective category of content within your content marketing mix.

I can think of just 1 reason  as to why they make to the top of the content strategy pyramid – and that single reason is that a well written case study or success story can be a nice hybrid of the following 3 things -

1. Informative – as a piece of content –  they can help educate the customer with respect to typical pain points, best practices and use cases. It is always nice to read what problems other customers have faced and how they are trying to overcome it – gives a lot of fresh ideas.

2. Credible – as a social proof point – It is the end customer who is telling the story. Social proof point which makes it much more credible than coming from the vendor since it is someone else who is willing to put his/her credibility at stake.

3. Selling – as a marketing copy – At the end of the day, you as the vendor have the opportunity to weave the discussion to be in-tune with your marketing copy. In-fact a well written story is a marketing copy in disguise.

 

Today, i would be focusing exclusively on the #3 point above

How to design your case study/success story to sell.

I will be analyzing examples of case studies for best practices based on 5 key factors. These factors have nothing to do with the content style per say, and it is everything to do with conversion and lead generation.

5 Key Factors to help make a case study or success story to sell

  1. Organized - Is it being organized in an intuitive way so that your prospects are inclined to read on ?

  2. Engaging – Is the case study engaging with less text and lots of visuals, and organized in a story telling format ?

  3. Clear Benefits – Are you highlighting the key benefits of using your product or service in the form of call outs or shout outs with metrics and compelling reasons ?

  4. Clear CTA (Calls-To-Action) –  are there clear calls-to-actions and do they stand out ?

  5. Promoted – last, but the most important – how are you promoting your case studies ? or are you assuming your prospects will come searching for them ?


 

Now lets see how to apply this to analyze some popular case study pages.

(author’s disclaimer – I am in no way associated with any of these companies. I basically allowed Google to tell me the top 5  :-)


 

 

Example 1 – Hubspot

1. Organized – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Hubspot - Our-Customers Page

 

It is definitely well organized. The individual case studies are in a sequence and it is not in A-Z. I believe Hubspot has a reason for showing the ShoreTel one on the top. (Maybe it aligns the most with their latest marketing message of inbound marketing versus marketing automation – ideally migration stories from market leaders Eloqua and Marketo ?).

I like how it does not try to confuse you with too many case studies shown at your face at one go. The navigation is very intuitive with the appropriate tags and groupings that focus on the way customers would like to search for customer proof – By Company Size, By Business type, By Solution, By Industry, By Country. All makes sense except for the Reviews vs. Testimonials Vs. Case Studies. Not sure if customers care what is your format ?

2. Engaging – 4/5

It is engaging. I am looking at the same ShoreTel example – There is a video that is not too long, and is not just a talking head but in a nice story format talking about why ShorTel choose Hubspot over Marketo, and migrated from Eloqua (bulls eye  from a marketing messaging perspective ).  In addition to the video, there is a face photo of Freeman, and a nice big logo. The Text is not too long and it is in a story telling format, so makes it not boring.

3. Clear Benefits – 5/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Hubspot - Case Study - Benefit Metrics

The benefits are highlighted in a shout out format, and they are clearly compelling. The metrics clearly outline the end benefits of using Hubspot. eg. 36% year-on-year increase in leads.

4. CTA (Calls-To-Action) –  3/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Hubspot - Case Study CTA

 

Though it does have a primary Call-To-Action button, it gets a little distracting with too many other options all in 1 place. The screen i was looking had 6 options !! I agree it is better than not having any CTA at all, but 6 is a lot of distraction for a normal person. Looks like Hubspot guys stopped paying attention to their A/B tests ?

5. Promotion – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Hubspot Home Page - Customer Testimonials Snippet

In addition to the Case Studies primary tab in the navigation, they are using snippets of the case studies in the home page very prominently, providing link back to the main case study page.

Overall, I would rate Hubspot’s Case Studies a 4/5

 


 

Bonus Tip #1 :

One of the very effective ways to make a case study engaging is to use a story telling style. See this short article by Hugh Taylor on how to write technology case studies that tell a story

 


 

Example 2 – VMWare

1. Organized – 2/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - VMWare - Our-Customers Page

 

It starts well with a main spotlight video, and another 3 spotlight customers. So far so good, but then once you start searching, it lists everything as A-Z ! which means that i am always looking at the A’s. You might have the best story in a D, but then i will never be able to reach it, no matter how hard i try (and keep in mind your customers will not be trying even half as hard).

 

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - VMWare Case Studies

 

It does have the typical By-Product, By-Solution, By-Country, By-Industry, By-Language selectors, but everything finally lists it in A-Z, even the Chinese case studies. Shame that B-Z customer stories will never be seen by anyone :-(

2. Engaging – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - VMWare - Ducati - Success Story Page

 

The story is in an engaging format with videos, less text and highlighting of the important sections with call outs and shout outs. Here i am looking only at the newer stories that are showcased in the customers page. the ones that come up in the case studies page seem to all be in the older PDF format, which is not that engaging. and remember you don’t really get to see the newer ones unless the name starts with an A. Now you know why i hate the A-Z lists  :-)

3. Clear Benefits – 4/5

The benefits are highlighted and there are metrics that tie to the usage of VMWare, thus making it compelling.

4. CTA (Calls-To-Action) –  1/5

There are no calls-to-action anywhere in the case study page or the customers page. Except for the social sharing buttons which is more of a call-to-action for the employees than to visitors and prospects.

5. Promotion – 2/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - VMWare Home Page - Customers snippet block

 

There is no customers or case studies tab in the main navigation. There is a small section on the home page talking about customers, but that does not stand out. So unless someone is looking for case studies and success stories, you will not find them.

Overall, I would rate VMWare’s Case Studies a 2.6/5


 

 Bonus Tip #2:

There are many many ways to promote your stories. For some ideas see my recent article  25-Ways to Promote your customer Success


 

Example 3 -Tibco

1. Organized – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - TIBCO Our-Customers Page

Like the way Tibco has arranged its featured stories – By the various industry segments.  Very inviting to click and see the story.


 

Bonus Tip #3:

It is always a good idea to give a little more detail about the customer in addition to the photos because it might get confused for stock images. example – logo of the customer, or a call out benefit, or even just the name of the customer.


 

2. Engaging – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - TIBCO - RNLI Success Story Page

It has all the components that are very engaging – good video, not too much text, visual elements, call outs, etc.


 

Bonus Tip #4:

Splitting a story page into tabs as overview, details, & testimonials does takes away the flow. Would it  have been much more engaging if they were all woven into the story. what do you think ?


 

3. Clear Benefits – 2/5

There are  metrics, but they are focused on the customer’s business than Tibco’s. Example – RNLI having a 70Million budget does not say anything about the benefits of using Tibco.

4. CTA (Calls-To-Action) –  1/5

There are no calls-to-action anywhere.

5. Promotion – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - TIBCO Home Page - Customer Carousal

The stories are being well promoted. – On the main Tab, in the Carousal and in the product/industry pages. The real photos add to the wow factor.

Overall, I would rate Tibco’s Case Studies a 3/5

 


 Bonus Tip #5:

I am not a big fan of the carousel because in my opinion most people don’t get to see the subsequent slides unless it is dynamic and making movements in some way.

 


 

Example 4 – AWS (Amazon Web Services)

1. Organized – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Amazon AWS Our-Customers Page

Amazon has organized the success stories very well. The featured stories are on the top. There is enough information to entice the user to click to see the story. The big brands add to the oomph factor. Even the search is not bad. Though it lists in an A-Z order, there are not that many stories, hence it fits into 1 page and they have enough details with the customer logo and the benefits summary, thus helping users to be able to select the ones they want to read.

2. Engaging – 3/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Amazon AWS Dow Jones Case Study Page

The Stories are not very consistent. Example – some have detailed stories, while some are just videos, which is not bad in itself because most times in real life you have less choice as to what your customer is willing to provide. you have to make do with whatever is available. The videos are good, but the problem with just videos and no text is that it is everything or nothing.


 

Bonus tip #6:

In case of just videos – It might be a good idea to pull out snippets from the transcript and highlight it in the story page. That would entice users to see the video. In the above case the videos are in-fact very good, but you don’t get to know that without spending a few minutes. Not designed for people in a hurry, which is 99% of the audience !


 

3. Clear Benefits – 2/5

There are no consistent call outs for benefits. They are all there hidden in the videos and even in the story text in cases where there is text, but it does not catch the attention.

 

 


 

Bonus tip #7:

It is always a good idea to highlight end outcomes in some form of shout-outs. It draws attention to the most important part of the story – which is “So What ?”. and it is easy to do it if you already have metrics in the story or the video. It is a very low hanging fruit with Max returns.


 

 

 

4. CTA (Calls-To-Action) –  3/5

There is a CTA button to get a free account that shows up only after you start scrolling. that’s neat. But there is also a Next Steps section at the bottom that links to a different page. So there is some kind of confusion.

 

5. Promotion – 3/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Amazon AWS Product Features Customer Video Snippets

There is no primary tab for Customers or Case Studies (Success Stories). Also there is no mention in the home page. But it is very prominent when you go to the products page. There are many customer videos per features, which is cool !

Overall, I would rate AWS’s Case Studies a 3/5

 


 

Example 5 – Box

1. Organized – 2/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices)  - BOX Our-Customers Page

 

The featured customers are cool. There is a video for each of the 4 featured customers. But there seems to be some confusion in the way things are organized. Examples –  Our Customers Page and Case Studies page are 2 separate pages that are not connected to each other. The Customer logos in the customers page are not clickable though they are presented as if they had more to just logos. maybe there is a case study/success story somewhere, but it is not linked.

There is a link in the bottom footer navigation that says Case Studies. Gotcha !

 

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - BOX - Customer Case Studies Page

I actually like the way they have organized their case studies. It is by Industry and it is easy for users to see the ones that might be interesting to them.

 


 

Bonus Tip #8:

There are some awesome examples of organizing your Our-Customers Pages. See this recent article by me – The Best of Our-Customers (Our-clients) Pages. How to make Customer-Success-Marketing work for you ?

 


 

2. Engaging – 3/5

 

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - BOX - Balfour Beatty Case Study Page

The stories are short and to the point, but no visual elements.


 

Bonus Tip #9:

I am not a big fan of stories being presented inside a reader (with scroll bars) since it takes away the coolness. That might be just my personal opinion :-)


 

 

3. Clear Benefits – 2/5

The benefit metrics do not stand out

4. CTA (Calls-To-Action) –  1/5

There is no CTA button.

5. Promotion – 2/5

 

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - BOX Home Page Customer Logo Banner

Not a primary tab for Customers or Case studies/Success Stories, but there is a customer logo banner that is liked back to the customers page. And it says case-studies though it is a separate page.  Not really sure what they are trying to accomplish.

Overall, I would rate Box’s Case Studies a 2.0/5


These were the 5 examples we analyzed.

Some more examples here  –  

1. Example of a success story page designed for conversion

2. Case Study Tips – Good & Bad of LinkedIn’s Customer Case Studies

 


 

Summarizing, You saw 5 different case study pages and the good and bad in each. They were just examples, but this applies to pretty much every case study or success story.

Overall, you need to pay attention to the following areas which are usually ignored. 

1. CTA Buttons

It is a big lost opportunity if you are not using your case studies and success stories for conversion, especially when they are meant for selling (lead generation or conversion) as their primary objective.

2. Promotion

You need to be promoting your customer stories everywhere. Assuming that your prospects will come searching for them is again a lost opportunity. Keep in mind that 60-80% of the buying decision is already taken before your sales teams get to talk to your prospects. And this is the exact phase where  your customer success stories can tilt the scales in your favor. It would be really smart to bring the success stories in-front of your audience.

 

If you have other good examples either from your own companies or from others that you admire, please share via commenting.

If you feel this is useful, please share it with your friends. appreciate it. thanks. anupam


anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet - The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn


See Other Related Posts

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof examples to boost your content marketing

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing  - David Ortiz Obama White House Selfie Example

 

Social proof is a terminology used to represent the herd mentality of human beings in a good way. There has been lots of research on the subject, but in simple terms – We all like to follow and do things that other people-like-us do. Much more if they have now become more successful by doing so.

Social proof when applied in a marketing sense is very powerful. It provides a compelling reason for visitors to click on the call-to-action links and buttons, because they see it as getting on the path that other people like them have taken in the past in order to find success.

I have compiled a list of 21 different types of social proof that you can use in your marketing. Please see below with some awesome examples.

21 Types of Social Proof to Boost your Marketing


 

1. Customer Testimonials.

Let me start with the most powerful social prof – Testimonials from customers. For customer testimonials to be very effective you need to make sure that they look and feel as real as possible by including proof points like – photos, full name and job title at the least. The more details it has the better it is.

(Example: LinkedIn )

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing  - Customer Testimonials - LinkedIn

You can use testimonials in various places across your website and content marketing. see some awesome examples here.

1. Examples on the Home Page

2. Examples on the ‘Our Customers’ Page

3. Examples on the Features page

4. Examples on your Blog Posts

5. Examples in your Emails and Drip Campaigns

6. Examples in your Newsletter

 

Bonus Tip: 

Ensure that you are including enough information so that your visitors can verify the credibility of the customer by a simple Google search. see this post to know more why and how to keep testimonials real – Best Practices : How to keep testimonials real, and reasons why not to fake them

 


 

2. Customer Logos

Customer logos bunched together as a banner or a page is very effective in showcasing social proof, especially if you have some recognizable brand names. Customer Branding always helps make a big first impact.

(Example: Oracle Eloqua)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Customer Logo Banne - Oracle Eloqua Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Link back to a detailed story or testimonial if you have one. Otherwise resist from providing a generic link to the customer website (unless of course the customer insisted you provide back link). In fact it is less valuable if you are expecting your prospects to read up about the customers whose logo you are showcasing (if that was your intent on generic linking)


 

3. Review from Users

Reviews from users rank high on credibility provided they done on platforms that allow both positive and negative reviews. And this is exactly what i mean when i say reviews.

(Example: Amazon)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing  - User Reviews - Amazon Example

 

Bonus Tip: 

Negative reviews are definitely not bad since it makes it more real life as no real business will have 100% happy customers. And in-fact negative reviews gives the opportunity to see how the company handles feedback about bad experiences. I see it as a golden opportunity to showcase competency in customer service.

 


 

4. Kudos Mention in Social Media (Eg. Tweets, FB posts)

Encouraging customers to post kudos in Social Media, and pulling them in into your marketing is one of the easiest ways to show credibility. It is super convenient from the customer point of view, and easily verifiable, hence making it one of the most popular social proofs.

(Example: ASmallOrange)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing  - Kudos Tweets  - ASmallOrange (ASO) Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Twitter and Facebook have made available widgets that helps you showcase your kudos tweets and posts in your website. check them out. See How to embed Facebook Posts, How to embed Twitter tweets

 


 

5. Customer Success Stories and Case Studies

Customer Success Case Studies and Stories if done well is a very effective social proof from a selling perspective because it combines credibility and marketing message in a very non-salesy way. It gives an opportunity to go to the details of your product or service features and map them to the business benefits that your prospects can expect to reap.

also see – Case Study Tips: 5 Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices)

(Example: Facebook Success Stories)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Customer Success Story and Case Study - Facebook Example

 

Bonus Tip :

Do not forget to add relevant CTA calls-to-action buttons to your case studies and stories, so that it does not become a dead end. see this for a great example –  Landing Page Optimization: Design success story and case study pages for conversion

 


 

6. Customer Photos and Selfies

It is a well tested fact that Customer Photos add credibility to your testimonials and make them look more trust worthy as mentioned earlier. Therefore last year stock photos got replaced by real customer photos. Now professional photos are getting replaced with Selfies with the common trend of selfies popularized by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus.

This is primarily because it makes it easy for the customer from a convenience perspective and it looks more real than a professional portrait any day.

(Example: Volkswagen)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Customer Photos and Selfies - Volkswagen Cars Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Try asking your customers for a selfie and you will be surprised by their willingness. Sharing photos is an inherent human behavior and the reason for the success of the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Flickr, the list goes on and on …

 


 

7. Customer Video

Videos of customers talking about your solution are more engaging because most of us are better in grasping a audio-visual content compared to pure text and images.

(Example: Unbounce)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Customer Videos - Unbounce Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Videos work only when someone is inclined enough to spend the 1-2 mins to see the video. Therefore always compliment with text and photo testimonials because it aids visitors to skim reading that is normal when you browse internet (read here about speed reading)

 


 

8. User Generated Content – Videos

User generated videos have all the plus points of reviews and videos combined together. They have the same level of credibility as user reviews, and the audio-visual component that comes with videos makes it very engaging to the viewer.

(Example: GoPro)

 

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - User and Customer Generated Videos - GoPro Example

 

Bonus Tip:

You don’t always need a fun product like a GoPro to encourage user generated videos as your social proof. It will be nice, but not a must. Even a boring product like business software (relatively speaking) can have interesting videos depending on the customer industry. Example  – An F1 race team could be making use of a lot of software in winning races ?  right. you know what i mean ;-)

 


 

9. Endorsements from Celebrities

Research shows that association with someone recognizable or desirable makes it more credible and trust worthy in itself. Endorsements from celebrities is very effective in the B2C space. Therefore you see a lot of celebrity advertisements in various media. You can use them in your website and content marketing as well.

(Example: Samsung at the 2014 Oscars)

Samsung has been very smart in using celebrity selfies. First it was the Oscars, then it was the White House. Nevertheless selfies is a new gig here, but celebrity endorsement in general has been there ever since the existence of marketing, which is ever since the stone ages.

 

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Celebrity Endorsements - Samsung Oscar Selfie Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Even if you are in a B2B space, i am sure you will have brands who are a celebrity in themselves. The Apples, Googles, Facebooks of your world. An endorsement from a big brand in the form of a customer or even a partner goes a long way …. 


 

10. Endorsements from Influencer(s)

Influencer can be anyone who has some clout with your target audience. An endorsement coming from someone whom your target audience trusts has much more credibility than anything coming from you as the service provider.

(Example: Neil Patel for UberFlip )

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing  - Influencer Endorsements - Neil Patel for UberFlip Example

 

Bonus Tip:

It would be awesome if this Influencer is an expert in what you are trying to sell, but it need not always be the case. It can even be someone that your customer segment would look-up to. Example  – Marketing automation software company Hubspot uses endorsements from Gary Vaynerchuk. Among’st many other things, Gary is a founder of winelibrary (an online wine retailer) and a person to look up to in the customer service and loyalty space, and hence someone that Hubspot’s customer segment would relate to. ( read more about it here)

 


 

11. PR and Media Mentions

Mentions in popular publications and media is also a valuable social proof because it is a know fact that credible news sources would be mentioning you only if they have reasons to believe in your story. Very valuable for new businesses.

(Example: Hubspot)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - PR and Media Mention - Hubspot Example

Bonus Tip:

From a credibility and verifiable point of view It is a good idea to provide link backs to the news articles that talk about you. If you are concerned that it would lead to link leak, then list them in a separate page.


 

12. Partnerships and Integration

Associating with other businesses and people who are more popular helps build credibility. In Information Technology it is important that your software plays well with the rest of the ecosystem and integration with other popular  software is a must have.

(Example: Zapier)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Partnerships and Integrations - Zapier Example

Bonus Tip:

These are social proofs that cannot stand on their own, but play well as a complimentary proof. i.e in addition to having customer proofs. see this post on why customer poof is important – Why social proof is useless without customer proof at the top

 


 

13. Trust and Security Badges

Third party certifications are a must have if your product or service needs assurance about privacy and security.

(Source: Curated by Monetizepro.com)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Trust and Security Badges - List curated by Monetizepros Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Similar to partnerships/integration that i covered earlier, trust/security badges are social proofs that cannot stand on their own, but play well as a complimentary proof. i.e in addition to having customer proofs.

 


 

14. Awards and Recognition.

Awards and recognition from popular boards or industry associations are valuable proof of credibility. They are similar to Media mentions, and are very helpful for new businesses or new products/services.

(Example: Jawbone)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Awards - Jawbone Example

 

Bonus Tip: 

They are helpful in industries where customers look up to expert boards, associations, councils, connoisseurs, etc  for opinions on the latest and greatest products and services that hit the market. example would be technology, engineering, and food industries.

 

 


 

15. Customer-Base Stats

Customer base or User base statistics in the form of social proof provide assurance to prospects  that they are not alone and there is already a significant number of people or businesses that are benefiting from your services.

(Example: AirBnB)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Customer Statistics - AirBNB Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Keep it real. It is awesome if you can quote numbers in real-time, but if not it is OK. Please don’t make up increment counters. Everyone understands it is a big deal to be able to show real-time numbers. Rounded-off numbers look and feel much more genuine than fake counters.

 


 

16. Social Sharing Stats

Social sharing statistics is a social proof that is very relevant and valuable in content marketing. Knowing that it has been shared well increases the credibility in the content.

(Example: CopyBlogger)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Social Sharing Statistics - CopyBlogger Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Many people recommend that showing stats that have low numbers is not a good idea. I don’t necessarily agree. Lets think like a customer – what could be that one reason as to why you are not showing your sharing stats ? A. you want to be modest and not be boastful. B. you have numbers that you are not proud of showing. what is your guess ? (i know this could swing both ways, but in the case of showing low numbers one thing is clear – you are honest)

 


 

17. Product or Service Usage Stats 

Similar to Customer Stats, but this is more about the Product or Service in itself. Having a large number of customers does not always mean they are using your services well, and vice-versa – having a large usage does not mean many customers. Though it is true in most cases. Therefore both statistics are valuable.

(Example: Mad Mimi)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Product and Service Usage Statistics - MadMimi Email Marketing Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Same as Customer Stats. Do not give fake counters. it is OK to say over 40 million emails sent. it does not have to be 40,145,987 !

 


 

18. Friends’ Recommendations

If you see that your friends and contacts in your network have recommended something it is very compelling because you can relate to it better. even if the number is small the impact is very big because you tend to think that if a few people you know have liked something what would be the scale at a broader level – quite big.

(Example: Coca-Cola Facebook page)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Friends Recommendations - Coca Cola Facebook Page Example

 

Bonus Tip:

I still don’t like coca-cola even though 5 of my friends love it ! :-)

 


 

19. Trending Stats

Statistics like 48 people are listening, 10 people are viewing, 25 people bought this item, etc are quite compelling as a social proof because it helps us picture a long Q in front of the popular food joint, which assures us that the food must be good.

(Example: Mashable)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Current Trending Statistics - Mashable Comments Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Try to keep it relevant to the customer. ask yourself the question – as a customer why would you care if this number is high ? eg. you can easily show “100,000 people are viewing this page right now” but ask the question – so what ? if you have a good reason – go for it ! eg. if it a piece of content, then even 100 people viewing it means it is valuable and hence it is big deal.

 


 

20. Subscribers and Followers

How many followers you have in social media or how many subscribers you have for your newsletter or mailing list definitely indicates the level of credibility and clout you have therefore it is a very valuable piece of social proof to showcase.

(Example: ContentMarketingInstitute)

 

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Subscribers and Social Followers - Content Marketing Institute Example

 

Bonus Tip :

There are many styles of presenting this, but I love this one above used by the content marketing institute for 2 reasons – 1. It is different from the standard social follow-like buttons, hence making it interesting. 2. It is ordered in the order of high to low, thus making it easier to total. at the end of the day, it does matter what is the total following. doesn’t it ?

 


 

21. Projects and Portfolios

Proof of past projects or portfolios in the form of screenshots and photos is very common in the services industry, but is rarely mentioned in the context of social proof which is surprising because it is social proof – 100% for sure.

(Example: Razorfish)

 

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Projects and Portfolio - Razorfish Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Try to strengthen your portfolio roster by including testimonials. Most people keep them separate, which does not make sense because at the end of the day both are proofs of credibility and it reinforces credibility and competency when both portfolios and testimonials (for those portfolios) are showcased together.


 

22. Visitor Activity Stats (NEW)

Live Statistics about the visitors and what they did on your website  is a way of assuring your new prospects about the popularity of your site.

(Example: TweetStork)

 

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof examples to boost your content marketing  - Example of Visitor Activity Stats

 

Bonus Tip:

This is more effective for B2C industries like Retail, Booking sites, etc where the relationship is transactional in nature. 

 


 

23. Best Practices Sharing by Customers (NEW)

Getting your customers to talk about their area of expertise is another way of showing social proof.

They might or might-not refer to your product/services, but by agreeing to share best practices they are endorsing you, which is great. They get to see this as an opportunity to showcase themselves as a subject matter expert, which is a Win-Win.

(Example: OfficeVibe)

Good example is the CultureTalks video interviews by OfficeVibe.

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof examples to boost your content marketing - Best-Practices Example -OfficeVibe

 

Correction : I got a clarification from Jacob Shriar, Growth Manager at OfficeVibe – the cool dude doing the interviews,  saying that the CultureTalks video interview series is not necessarily with their customers, and hence they are not intended as testimonials for OfficeVibe. I would still like to retain it here because i think this is still a best practice, and a valuable social proof as such. And nothing stops you from doing similar interviews with your customers and using them as testimonials. read more about it here – Best Practices in Video Testimonials

Bonus Tip : 

This is something that you can still try to do with your customers in cases where they are reluctant to provide any public testimonials (for their own reasons . eg. company policy).


 

And many more ……. I am sure there are other social proof that i have missed. Please share via commenting if you know them.

 

Summary:

It is a well proven fact that using Social Proof gets you more conversions, more traffic, and more leads. People always want to take the same path – the guaranteed path that others have taken leading them to success.

As you have seen above there can be 21 (and more) different kinds of social proof, and you can use them in innumerable ways across your website and content marketing. So go ahead and rock it.

Do keep one thing in mind though – keep them as real as possible because social proof is all about ‘assurance of credibility’ and any whiff of fake-ness  has exactly the opposite effect. 

 

If you have other good examples please share via commenting.

If you feel this is useful, please share it with your friends. appreciate it. thanks. anupam

……………………………………………………………

anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet - The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn

………………………………………………………………..