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Using Behavioral Psychology in Testimonials

An illustration of five black stars on a gray oval against a gray background.

They may seem arbitrary or unnecessary to some, but testimonials on your website can affect how your products or services are viewed, helping your business to close more sales. While it is important for business owners and marketers to write material about their brand, testimonials have a kind of weight and validity that standard written copy does not have. The two writing forms work well hand-in-hand, conveying that your business is the expert and that your customers can confirm this.

According to Emily Cullinan of BigCommerce, when it comes to consumers, 92% of them will read reviews and testimonials before purchasing a product. Likewise, 88% of people would say that they trust online reviews just as much as they would trust a personal recommendation.

If you want to include quotes from your clients on your website but don’t know the best practices, look no further! Here are tips of advice that we would suggest to anyone wanting to integrate testimonials into their webpage copy and want to have an edge from a behavioral psychology standpoint.

1. Use Testimonials with a Purpose

Every good company website and landing page is making some sort of specific promise to the audience. While your company’s written copy should clearly describe the unique value proposition as well as the claims about the products and/or services, you need testimonials to back your word up.

Rather than including a generic endorsement, use specific testimonials that back up what you are saying to the audience. If someone who doesn’t have a stake in the company itself can help express that your company delivers when making an assertion, this evidence shows that what you say about your products and services is true.

Including testimonials with a specific intent in mind will help create a feeling of social proof, a situation where someone feels compelled to copy others’ actions in order to try and achieve a similar result.

Keep in mind: in order for social proof to be effective, the person providing the quote should be similar enough to your audience. They are essentially helping to guide the audience along and, ultimately, help to make a choice for them.

In order for social proof to be effective, the person providing the quote should be similar enough to your audience

2. Use Different Media Types

Whenever possible, use different types of media to showcase testimonials. Not only are text-based testimonials easy to fake, but they also aren’t nearly as engaging as other formats.

Using images of people alongside the quote can drastically help support the claim they are making. While pictures help to paint a more realistic picture for your audience on who gave the testimonial, they also create more visual fixation. Some studies have even shown that including human images help psychologically to increase feelings of appeal, presence, and connection.

For a real-life example, as of writing we include images of our clients and their company’s logo next to their quote about working with Optimal. Not only will our viewers be able to see the names and faces of specific people we are proud to work alongside, but it also creates more of a sense of social proof.

More powerful than images, though, are video-based testimonials. Not only are they virtually impossible to fake, but they are actually 10 times more effective than text-based testimonials, making the phenomena of social proof even more effective. While they can be more intensive and strategic to produce, video testimonials certainly are more successful and will pay off.

3. Post Multiple Testimonials

It is good to show that many people have enjoyed working with your business rather than just one or two. Including multiple testimonials per page can secure the viewer’s attention and the phenomena of social proof, possibly turning them into a client.

Think about it: if people of different backgrounds and industries have all had a great experience working with you and are willing to share their opinion, it conveys a sense of security, trust, and repetition in a good performance. What’s not to love about that?

Make sure to properly disperse the quotes you choose to include. Do this by either scattering them throughout the page’s layout or by including them in some type of carousel format. This will help your audience to become more interested in what the clients have to say rather than feel visually bombarded with quotes.

While they can be more intensive and strategic to produce, video testimonials certainly are more successful and will pay off.

At the end of the day, testimonials are more than just digital word-of-mouth. They help to verify businesses, products, and services. They let people know that your brand is respectable and is worthy of others’ time, energy, and money. By using behavioral psychology-based techniques to incorporate quotes on your website, you can give your positioning as a company more of an advantage.

Curious about other ways to use persuasion and behavioral psychology in your marketing tactics? Download a free copy of our e-book, Mind Shift, today!

About The Author

Noah Fidlin is the brand marketer for Optimal Digital Marketing, helping to expand the presence of the company through social media, video, graphic design, writing, and photography. When he isn't working, Noah enjoys making pour-over coffee, watching a great movie, and going to the record store with his friends. He holds a degree from St. Norbert College as a graphic design major and an English minor, having graduated in 2020.

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