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Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace
The   Bazaar   Voice
Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace
testimonial ads

User-generated content (UGC), like ratings, reviews, and customer photos and videos, helps shoppers validate purchases and discover new products. This is simply because people like to know what their peers think of the products they’re considering, which is why testimonial ads are so effective.

Our Shopper Experience index found that 78% of consumers say reviews impact their purchase decisions, and a separate survey revealed that 88% of shoppers use reviews to discover and evaluate products they’re considering. So how do you get that content in front of shoppers? With testimonial advertising.

Chapters:

  1. What are testimonial ads?
  2. Why are testimonial ads so effective?
  3. Examples of online testimonial ads
  4. Examples of in-store testimonial ads
  5. UGC is the key to your testimonial ads success

What are testimonial ads?

A testimonial ad is putting your customers’ words on display in your marketing campaigns, both online and offline. As mentioned, customers trust their peers’ words over those of a brand, so it’s time for you to use those words to your advantage. 

In a time when the voice of the customer matters more than ever, testimonial ads are perceived as more honest and authentic to shoppers than strategic brand copy. If you have UGC in the form of ratings and reviews or you’re active on social channels, you already have a wealth of resources to pull your testimonial quotes from. 

Why are testimonial ads so effective? 

Testimonial ads work because people trust other people. In one survey, 76% of consumers said they trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from friends and family. Social proof is the idea that when we’re trying to make a decision, we look at the decisions our peers have made before to help. When we’re unsure about something, we’ll assume that someone else with more knowledge of the topic knows more than we do. 

For example, if you want to buy a new pair of noise-canceling headphones, but you don’t know a lot about tech, you’ll look to your peers. Maybe you’ll check out a tech blog, ask a friend, or read reviews of your top choices. You’re using others’ experiences to help make your decision. 

A product description crafted by your copy team is excellent, but a product description that details how customers use the product in their own words is better. Why? Because it provides social proof to online shoppers. And, by incorporating common customer use cases and customer phrasing into your product pages, it also helps improve search and marketing copy.

Read on for the best examples of testimonial ads we’ve seen.

Examples of online testimonial ads

Brands and retailers tend to use testimonial ads on multiple digital channels. You don’t have to limit testimonials to your product description pages or homepage. You can use them in email campaigns, social media posts, or out-of-home ads.

And don’t just think online testimonial ads only benefit your digital shelf, either. Our research shows that 30% of shoppers conduct online research while shopping in a physical store. Meaning these digital ads impact purchasing decisions everywhere your shoppers are.

Here’s a few brand examples of top-notch digital testimonial ads. 

1. Nisolo 

Ethical shoe and accessory brand Nisolo recently sent out this email campaign with the subject line “Comfy AND cute? You can have both!” And to hammer home the message that their shoes are actually comfortable, they used a quote from a recent review that highlights the stylishness and comfort of the shoe. 

testimonial ads

2. Peloton

Fitness brand Peloton uses customer testimonials as part of their social media campaigns. They’ll post a customer photo with a quote about how Peloton has positively contributed to that person’s overall health journey. 

testimonial ads

3. Brooklinen

Home essentials brand Brooklinen relies on the voice of the customer to sell their sheets. Since they’re sold online, curious shoppers can’t just feel the linens to see if they like them. That’s why the brand expertly uses big quotes on its homepage to provide real social proof to online shoppers. 

testimonial ads

4. Gillette 

In a recent campaign, razor brand Gillette let the words of their customers speak for them. In this effective commercial, the brand displays customer reviews and shows how Gillette genuinely listens to the feedback from reviews to improve products.

testimonial ads

5. Lush

Lush uses pull quotes from customers on their product detail pages (PDPs) to give shoppers more information. On this PDP for a bath bomb, the customer quote tells online shoppers how the bath bomb smells and how their skin felt after using it. Social proof like this can be highly beneficial for bath and body brands online because shoppers can’t see or smell the products in person. 

6. Hardys Wine

Having collected over 1,700 reviews through an offline marketing strategy, Hardys decided to incorporate them into online paid testimonial ads. The ads generated 10,000 clicks through to retail partner sites and decreased cost-per-click by 60%.

According to Alister Dell, Digital Marketing Manager at Hardys, “We’re really pleased to report that [using reviews in paid testimonial ads] has led to an increase in advertising effectiveness in the form of better cost-per-click and more engagement.”

Examples of in-store testimonial ads 

A lot of UGC is found online. It’s very easy for shoppers to access reviews, photos, and videos for products they’re curious about when browsing the web. But what about in-store shoppers?

In-store testimonial ads can help customers make better purchasing decisions too — 62% of shoppers look at UGC on their phones while shopping in a store. Many brands and retailers have begun making that process easier for customers by proactively displaying UGC in-store in the form of signage, digital displays and QR codes. Let’s take a look at the best in-store testimonial ads examples.  

1. Amazon

The online giant has a few brick-and-mortar stores across the country. In these stores, they curate items that customers have rated 4-stars or higher and sometimes include quotes from customer reviews on certain products.

testimonial ads

Your brand doesn’t need to create a whole separate store for your highly-rated items, but you could consider using a small section of your store to showcase what customers love best and use quotes from reviews on signage and other displays as social proof. 

2. Neutrogena

Cosmetics and skincare brands can use in-store UGC to provide social proof for products that customers can’t open and test.

testimonial ads

This display from Neutrogena highlights a customer’s 5-star review and uses a pull quote to describe what the customer loves about the product. 

3. Chobani

Food and beverage brands are another category that sometimes rely on UGC for social proof. In these billboards, Chobani could’ve written marketing copy about how good their yogurt tastes or what ingredients they use, but instead, they let their customers speak for them.

The brand uses customer tweets as quotes in a billboard to campaign to promote their yogurt and build trust with shoppers.

UGC is the key to your testimonial ads success

Putting your most compelling UGC front and center ensures your products are discovered and championed. By using testimonial ads mined from UGC in your marketing campaigns, website, social channels, and product pages, you’ll build trust and provide the authentic social proof that shoppers are looking for.

But the first step is having a comprehensive UGC program that allows you to gather consumer insights. Then, you can turn around and display this valuable content to inspire fast and confident purchases. 

Or if you’re a Bazaarvoice partner, you can leverage our Insights tool to quickly find customer quotes that can be used as testimonial ads on your product pages, emails, and other campaigns. And if you’re not a Bazaarvoice partner, get in touch below to learn more.

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