Before buying a book or a pair of headphones from Amazon, it's highly likely you'd read a few reviews to ensure you're making the right decision. For consumers, reviews are vital in helping make purchasing decisions. But the same is also true for organizations that buy a product or service from other businesses.
In the case of business-to-business (B2B) marketing, testimonials can carry a lot of weight in highly competitive markets and must be carefully planned and executed. Before choosing which company to purchase from, B2B buyers spend a long time considering their budgets, product effectiveness, vendor professionalism—and the testimonials of peers.
B2B companies know how to talk up their products or services, emphasizing how efficient and cost-effective they are. But customers don't want marketing spiel; they want balanced and unbiased feedback from people they can relate to. They also want concrete figures and results.
Testimonials build trust between the company and its users, and they help customers overcome any skepticism they might have. They also allow for comparison among similar products, which might help you get the edge over your competitors.
A good testimonial outlines key benefits, makes comparisons with other products, and backs up the claims you've made about your product or service. That's why many businesses choose to include a form of testimonial in their marketing. But some are more effective than others.
Research backs up the claim that customer testimonials are effective. Testimonials beat all other types of content marketing for their effectiveness, WebDAM found:
Some 78% of people say they trust reviews as much as recommendations from acquaintances, and it's interesting to note that the inclusion of both positive and negative reviews is perceived as more trustworthy than just positive reviews.