All of us have researched a new product or service, whether for personal use or business, so we know how powerful testimonials can be. After all, would you rather read a website where a company describes the benefits of their services or read real people’s firsthand accounts of their experience using the product or service?
Testimonials are a valuable and effective way to establish credibility and trust. They provide an unbiased and trustworthy content element to any website or platform, creating something called social proof. This is the “psychological experience that happens when people assume the actions of others reflect the accurate behavior in that exact situation (Search Engine Journal).”
Even if you know how valuable testimonials can be, you might still be wondering how to create them for your product, service, or senior living community. As a full-service digital marketing agency, Markentum is sharing some information about testimonials and how to find and create them for your community!
Types of Testimonials
Even though testimonials all serve the same purpose, they can vary in length, format, and platform. The most common type of testimonials include:
- Quote Testimonials: These are the most common type of testimonials and can be used throughout a website on an exclusive testimonial page or various services pages. You can also use them in print collateral. Quote testimonials or reviews are most often from a satisfied customer, resident, or family member and are effective in instilling confidence in a potential customer, resident, or family member.
Markentum's use of quote testimonials on our website
- Social Testimonials: Differ from other forms of testimonials in that you don’t have to ask for them, social testimonials are the natural conversations that occur on social media surrounding your community. If someone tweets about a positive experience, shares a photo of their parent at a community event or posts anything positive about your community, these are all usable social testimonials. (Just don’t forget to ask permission from the poster!)
- Video Testimonials: Videos are arguably the most challenging but most powerful form of testimonial. If you’re willing to spend the hours and the budget to produce video testimonials, you’ll end up with authentic and compelling footage that can lead to significant lead generation.
How To Get Testimonials
So, you know the benefits of testimonials and the different kinds, but you’re probably wondering, “Okay, but how do I get these testimonials?” There are a few ways to create testimonials and up your senior living marketing game varying in budget, time, and energy.
Use Existing Content
One of the easiest ways is to find comments that already exist. Look through your Facebook page and Google My Business for positive comments and reviews. Then, you can copy and paste or screenshot the review to use on your website’s testimonial page.
Tips for Using Existing Content
- When using reviews that already exist, always remember to ask for permission. You can do this by responding directly to the review itself or privately messaging the person.
- Don’t forget about smaller, more niche sites other than Facebook and Google. There are several websites dedicated to senior living marketing that include directories and reviews.
- Set up Google Alerts. In addition to established review sites, people may be mentioning your community on other corners of the web, such as personal blogs or news sites. Setting up alerts through Google or Social Mention can allow you to receive a notification when your community gets mentioned. (Just keep in mind these are unbiased reviews and may not all be positive!)
Ask for New Content
Instead of scouring the internet waiting for someone to leave a positive testimonial, ask them to! There is nothing wrong with asking families and past clients to leave a review or comment detailing their experience. You can do this through several platforms:
- You can post on social media asking for reviews
- You can send an anonymous survey via email
- You can create an email marketing campaign asking for positive testimonials
Keep in mind that these general invitations can also lead to negative feedback. The most effective way to gather positive testimonials is to reach out directly to those customers that you know are satisfied with their service. Send a personal reach out, thanking them for their business and asking them to take a few minutes to leave a positive review. You can then use these responses (with permission) to add content to your testimonial or service pages.
Tips for Asking for New Content
- While social media is a low-cost and quick way to get mass information out quickly, email marketing is an effective strategy for reaching people you already know are subscribers or fans.
- If creating a survey, don’t forget to include open-ended fields, so you have unique content to use.
- If posting on social media, be prepared to receive negative comments and have a plan in place for how to manage them.
Create New Content
We can all imagine a well-done testimonial video: a well-lit, tight-framed shot of a client, family member, or resident sharing their story, ending with a fade-out to the logo over some inspiring music. Unsurprisingly, these are often the most valuable form of testimonial and (also unsurprisingly) the most difficult to produce.
When creating a powerful and authentic testimonial video, it’s a good idea to work with a professional production company. That way, they can focus on perfecting the lighting, angles, and other details while you can focus on creating a comfortable and open experience for your interviewee.
Here are a few things to consider when shooting a testimonial video:
- Prepare a few questions ahead of time and send them to the resident, family member, or staff member. While having a script can seem too stiff and inauthentic, giving your interviewees time to think about their answers can make the process seem more organized.
- Instead of asking closed-ended questions like, “Do you like living in our community?,” ask broader questions that will procure more detailed answers, like “Why did you choose our community?” “What have you loved most about living here?”
- In addition to using the video footage itself on your website, you can pull out quotes and use those as well.
Expand Your Voice with Powerful Testimonials
Gathering and creating testimonials can require a lot of effort and time, but they can be a significant asset to your community when done correctly. Senior living marketing is one of the industries that rely heavily on success stories, so sharing those can be a powerful tool to build trust, traction, and authenticity!
Markentum is a digital marketing agency specializing in senior living marketing. Discover how we can help you create and promote compelling and persuasive testimonials by reaching out to our team today!