Wouldn’t it be great if every time someone viewed your website, one of your current clients appeared next to them in a puff of smoke and told them how wonderful your practice is? Who wouldn’t take their pet to a veterinarian with a recommendation that compelling?
Unfortunately, teleportation marketing will probably never be possible, much to the chagrin of marketers everywhere. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t share the awesome things your clients say about your practice. You’ll just have to stick to doing so online.
One of the most effective ways to market your practice is through testimonials. Humans are naturally social creatures, and we tend to trust people that other people trust, according to a psychological phenomenon called social proof. The phenomenon of social proof dictates that when people are uncertain about what to do, they look to what other people are doing to determine how to behave. In marketing, this means that when people are uncertain of what product or service to use, they will look to what products and services other people are using to make a decision.
Social proof is what makes word-of-mouth marketing so effective, and it’s also the reason that testimonials work. Don’t wait until potential clients have come through your doors to show them how great your practice is. Let your loyal clients talk about how awesome you are while those potential clients are still considering you.
Once you’ve collected some testimonials, it’s time to post them online. There are a variety of different ways that you can share testimonials with potential clients. Here are a few to consider:
When people visit the homepage of your website, the first thing they’re going to see is your website banner. Is your website banner a slideshow? Why not add a slide with a testimonial on it, to let visitors to your website know right off the bat how awesome people think your practice is? It’s easy to implement and a great way to share your testimonials.
Within the website banner, you have a couple of options for implementation. You could add the words to the area on the side, like Honeoye Falls Veterinary Hospital did, or you can put the testimonial directly on the image, using a tool like Canva. Make sure that the image you’re using is the right size, so that the words don’t get cut off or skewed. If you’re not sure about the dimensions of your WebDVM4 website banner, you can find the banner image sizes here.
On its own page on your website
Real estate is plentiful on your website, so not devote an entire page to your testimonials? This is especially effective if you have very long testimonials or if you have a lot of them. Filling a whole page with the great things people are saying about you makes your practice look popular and trustworthy. Plus, it’s easy to create, and even easier to maintain.
Some tips for making your testimonial page more effective: put the page directly in the main navigation of your website, so that visitors know it exists right away, rather than burying it in the subnavigation. You can see this in action on The Veterinary Hospital of Davidson website. Another way to increase the impact of your testimonials is to include a picture. This a little more tricky to execute, but if you can get the photos of some of the people recommending your clinic, you can really strengthen the trustworthiness of the testimonials. However, whatever you do, don’t use stock photos! It’s often easy to spot a stock photo and it makes the testimonials look fake as well. Use real photos of your clients, or if you can’t attain them, stick to nothing.
Side note: Don’t create a testimonials page until you’ve had the opportunity to collect some actual recommendations. The only thing worse than not having a testimonial page is having an empty one!
Social media posts
Not all of your social media posts should be promotional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t self-promote from time to time. The trick to social posting is everything in moderation. The simplest way to share testimonials on your social media account is to create a graphic and put the text of the testimonial on top of it. This catches the eye and makes it interesting for your readers to look at. You can use an image of a pet, like Lake Road Animal Hospital and Kennel did or you can go more a more simple route, like On the Floor @ Dove. Alternatively, if a testimonial calls out a particular doctor or staff member, you could feature an image of that staff member next to the testimonial, like so:
One key to this approach is to make sure that your clinic logo is on the graphic. This reinforces the testimonials association with your clinic – and also makes it harder for another clinic to steal the testimonial.Once clients walk through your practice doors, of course they’ll love your amazing practice. But before they make it to that point, they may need a reason to book an appointment with your practice in the first place. Let your clients give them that reason, with testimonials on your website and social media that demonstrate how much your current clients love and trust your practice!