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What are testimonials?

Basically, a testimonial means nothing more than recommendation, reference or testimony. In marketing, this is a special advertising method in which a prominent or even non-prominent person makes a positive statement about the product. The main purpose of testimonials is to create credibility and trust

  • Are of great importance especially in online trade
  • Eliminate any doubts customers may have
  • Are an advertising measure that has been tried and tested for many years
  • Are illustrations of positive customer feedback

Meaning and functioning of testimonials

It has been known for a long time that references can have a very positive effect on the credibility of a product. In the media one therefore often meets prominent personalities who pretend to use the brand or product and are very satisfied with it. This results in a positive image transfer. But also non-prominent persons (or even fictional characters) can be used for testimonials. In both cases trust, brand awareness and credibility should be built up. Especially in the relatively impersonal environment of online trade this can be very helpful. This marketing method in the B2C sector ensures that the whole thing becomes more “personal”. After all, purchase decisions are often made on an emotional level. As a rule, customer testimonials are presented which present the company and its products or services in the most positive light possible. For example, an online shop places positive customer feedback on its product page or in a newsletter. The way it works: If potential consumers see that another customer also likes the respective product, this creates trust. On shop pages, it is usually more likely that products are bought where there is already a lot of positive customer feedback than products without feedback. The testimonial must match the product and the recommender the target group. With celebrities, the image is also important. It can also be a good idea to specifically use non-prominent people – “very ordinary people” who obviously do not pursue any commercial interests, which can also considerably increase credibility

What to look for in testimonials

However, there are risks in using testimonials. For example, damage to the image of a celebrity can also have a negative impact on the image of a company and its products or services. So it always depends on how closely the testimonial and the product are interwoven. In addition, one should also be careful with the use of fictional people when creating testimonials. In general, the message should be accurate and positive, but not exaggerated, and the attesting person should also fit the product (and vice versa) and the target group. It is therefore important to harmonize all these factors. Incidentally, effective testimonials can also consist of storytelling, e.g. what one has experienced with the product etc. Natural feedback is still the best way to do this, because it is associated with the greatest credibility. Non-prominent persons are also associated with lower costs. In order to avoid legal problems, permission to use the customers name etc. should always be obtained from his testimonial. False statements about the products or services should of course be avoided at all costs and advertising should generally also be marked as such. Quotations on websites or in other media are not seldomly displayed with the pictures of satisfied customers. Testimonials can therefore reduce any remaining mistrust and primarily motivate the still undecided customers to make a purchase decision. The use of successful testimonials is therefore also an excellent option for landing pages. The success of testimonials is mainly based on psychology (keyword social proof). In principle, testimonials could therefore also be called reference marketing

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