Testimonials vs. Reviews: Understanding the Difference

Testimonials and reviews may appear to be the same thing, but their differences can be used to your advantage! Both of them can be the deciding factor between if a customer purchases from you or a competitor. So, it is important to know how to utilize them efficiently to increase sales and create a positive brand image. 

What is a Testimonial

A testimonial is a written, or spoken, statement about your brand, from a customer. Testimonials are collected by asking your customers to share their experience with your brand, and to describe the quality of your offerings. These endorsements from satisfied customers are important to showcase since they show potential customers that they can trust your brand. 

An example of a testimonial is on the small business success stories page on Apple’s website. As seen below, customer testimonials are featured on their site. This includes short articles written by customers explaining how Apple has helped their business.

Advantages of Testimonials

Testimonials have many advantages, including:

  • They show emotion well: Your customers can express your brand story in a way that converts. Especially with video testimonials, your customers make an emotional connection with potential customers. 
  • Positive feedback: Since you are requesting the testimonial from your customer, they are generally positive. Their positive opinions about your brand can increase confidence in potential customers. 
  • They are sent straight to your brand: When you request a testimonial, it is sent to your brand, versus being posted on an external website. This can help your brand monitor what is being said about your brand online. It also allows you to save time since you do not need to spend time searching for videos posted about your brand. 
  • Utilize them in your marketing: When requesting a testimonial, be sure to let your customer know that their feedback may be featured in your marketing. This is a huge advantage since featuring testimonials in your marketing strategy, such as in ads, on your website, and in emails, will cause an increase in sales.
  • Longer form content: Since you are directly instructing your customers on what you want in a testimonial, you give them the option to create long form video content. Longer content means more information is presented to potential customers.
  • Direct customers: Provide your customers with a question you want them to answer in their testimonial. This helps guide your customers’ responses and ensures that they do not have to spend too much time thinking of what to say.

What is a Customer Review

A review is more informal than a testimonial. Reviews can be posted anywhere, which can help increase reach for your brand. When your brand has a lot of reviews, it will instill confidence in potential customers, and help them make a more educated purchase. 

Below is an example of a review posted on Yelp for The Getty. The Getty has 3,000+ reviews, and an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Advantages of Reviews

Reviews have multiple advantages, including:
  • Anyone can post a review: Reviews can be posted by anyone, and they are created because your customer wants to share their opinions on your offerings with others. This is beneficial since you do not have a limit as to how many reviews are posted about your brand. 
  • Posted anywhere: Reviews can be posted anywhere! They can be posted on external websites, and on your customers’ personal social media. This is beneficial since your customer’s followers will see their review, and it can convince them to look into your brand or purchase from it. 
  • Can be anonymous: Since reviews can be anonymous, people are more honest. This can help your brand get clear insight into what needs to be worked on. 
  • Reviews are mostly written: Most reviews are in written form, allowing their feedback to be searchable. This will increase the reach of your brand, and will help potential customers filter reviews. 

Key Differences Between Testimonials and Reviews

Testimonials and reviews are similar since they both feature feedback from your clients, but there are some key differences:

  • Testimonials are more formal, while reviews are more informal. Since your brand is personally requesting feedback from customers in their testimonials, and providing them with a prompt, they end up being more personal and tailored to your brand and the content that you need. 
  • Your brand is able to monitor testimonials easier than reviews. Testimonials are sent directly to your brand, whereas reviews are posted on third party websites. 
  • Testimonials have more focused feedback, whereas reviews feature a range of different topics. For example, you can ask your customers to tell you how you have helped them solve a problem they are facing in the testimonial they create for you. In a review, customers are not instructed on what to say: they can talk about the employees they interacted with, a specific product or service, or any feature they choose to focus on. 
  • Reviews offer your brand with more unfiltered feedback, whereas testimonials provide you with mostly positive feedback. 
  • Reviews typically feature stars. People use stars to quickly make a judgment about your brand without actually reading any of the reviews.

Testimonial vs. Reviews: Which is More Effective for Brands

You might be wondering, which is more effective for my brand? Well, testimonials and reviews are both effective for your brand, depending on how you use them. 

Collecting reviews is a great way to gather feedback on what needs to be improved or changes about your brand. Imagine you only offer one color for your product, but you read a bunch of reviews stating that they wish your product came in other colors. You can utilize this feedback to make more customers happy, and ensure your customers feel heard. 

Additionally, you are more likely to have more reviews than testimonials. The number of reviews will have an impact on potential customers. If a brand only has 2 reviews, they might appear as a rookie against their competitors, who might have 100 reviews. More reviews = more trust. 

Reviews also serve as social proof on external websites. Since your reviews can be posted anywhere, people can discover your brand from the reviews they read on these platforms.  

Testimonials are great to use in your company’s marketing (with your customers’ permission). You can feature testimonials in your ads, on your website, on social media posts, in proposals, and in email campaigns. Since you are able to showcase them in multiple places, they will help your potential customers build trust with your brand. 

Both testimonials and reviews are essential to your brand, since they serve different purposes and leave a different impact on your consumers. Utilizing both will lead to a successful marketing campaign. To learn more, head to https://vidlo.video/.

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