Even in conventional marketing, word-of-mouth and actual user feedback is a powerful influencer of purchase behavior. In Filipino homes and neighborhoods, it is not rare to find people shifting to another brand because the “kapitbahay” across the street is using the same brand and swears by its value. This is how brand name products have come to be used as the “common names” of similar products of other brands (i.e. Colgate for toothpaste, Frigidaire for the refrigerator, Pampers for diapers, etc.). The same holds true over the internet. People are more willing to try out new brands and products because of how others like them have benefitted from their use – or, they just do not want to get left behind by the trend.
In your own internet marketing campaigns, you can make use of testimonials from your local clients and effectively use them to increase your following and sales. Despite the way people today are asserting their individuality, the crowd mentality is still not dead. But, there has to be some value in what you are offering in order for you to create crowd interest and generate a stream of loyal followers and users. You need to make sure, first and foremost, that you have a valuable product offering. This is, after all, the first P of marketing. Your value proposition should be strong and compelling for you to be able to draw people to your offer.
Once you have taken care of your first P, you should not have any problems having people talk about your product. Engage your customers and get more “meaty” feedback – a comment like “This is an okay product to try.” or “I like this. It’s nice.” is not going to cut it. You need more substantial customer testimonials if you are to capitalize on them in your internet marketing campaigns. It has to sound like a friend thanking another for introducing them to a new product that changed their lives in whatever way. Okay, the life-changing bit might be a bit of an exaggeration, but really, you have to make sure that the testimonial tells others how your product has added value to their lives.
These testimonials do not simply pour in. You have to actively solicit them. Using a promotion to encourage customers to turn in their stories is a more pro-active way of generating testimonials. Get your customers to share their stories, and even pictures or videos if applicable, about their experiences with your product. Offer a raffle for testimonials posted on your website or have a contest on the testimonial with the most “likes” on your facebook page. Since it’s a contest about the best testimonials, you effectively “limit” your customer feedback to those that are positive and constructive to your brand.
You can also use one or several of the best testimonials that you get for your publicity stints. You can run advertorials or features on the customers with the best testimonials so you can highlight your product value proposition as you delve deeper into your customers’ stories. You can even use these testimonials to open your email blasters with a header that says, “Customer so-and-so has experienced this. Are you ready for your turn?” or any other creative statement to that effect. With the right messages, these testimonials can lead more prospects to your website where you can convert them into loyal customers.