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April 21, 2015

Testimonial Marketing Series – Part 1 (Benefits)

socialgraphThink about the last time you were looking up a restaurant or activity online. Did you read reviews from others to determine whether it was worth the money and time? You most likely did. In today’s world, the Internet opens up many possibilities to communicate the benefits or drawbacks of services or products. In a business, such as fitness, where the service is not tangible the use of customer reviews is of the utmost importance. According to a Bazaarvoice survey, 76% of consumers regularly or occasionally use online reviews to determine which local business to use. Customer testimonials are a huge driving force behind successful fitness companies and fitness web design because they prove to others that the results of your clients are possible for them.

Telling someone you can change their life and give them the results they are looking for is great, but seeing results and hearing them from another customer is much more influential. Potential clients will always be more persuasive than the business itself. Creating a strong level of social proof helps people to make decisions more easily and trust the business they are beginning to work with. Minimizing skepticism and maximizing social proof through customer testimonials is a guaranteed method to bringing in a constant stream of new clientele.


Let’s talk about three main factors in determining how much influence social proof has:

  1. Scale
  2. Similarity
  3. Ambiguity

Now let’s break each of these down and explain their impact.

  • Scale: This requirement is all about the power of numbers. People are more likely to do or buy something if a large quantity of individuals tell them it provides benefits. Hearing the positive results of 15 people has a greater impact hearing from five. Our fitness web designs provide ample space for customer testimonials and proven methods to organize them.
  • Similarity: We are more inclined to connect with someone’s experiences if they are similar to us. Similarities can be anything from gender or race to hometown or career. This means it is important to incorporate testimonials from a wide variety of customers, to increase the chance of potential clients connecting with at least one of them. It is important to appeal to many potential audiences and not limit your testimonials by featuring customers that are all similar to one another.
  • Ambiguity: A lack of familiarity causes potential customers to stray from deciding to buy a product or sign up for a service. The most surefire way of combating ambiguity is to create a strong sense of social proof. Customer testimonials are the most effective way to create undeniable social proof. It is harder to argue against the success of a company if they have multiple convincing customer testimonials.

We believe fitness web design and customer testimonials go hand-in-hand to ensure the long-term success of fitness professionals and their facilities. We place a high level of importance on utilizing testimonials as a main focus of our web designs because of the huge benefits they provide.


Make Your Testimonials “Benefits-Driven:

Customer testimonials need to be solely focused on the benefits of your fitness practice. It is great to have customers speaking highly of you, but they need to highlight the direct benefits of your service to be successful. Testimonials that are benefits-focused are hard to argue with, and leave potential clients without reason to doubt your validity.

Now that we have gone over the reasons customer testimonials are important, it is time to discuss how to make them as effective as possible.

  1. We recommend keeping customer testimonials on the shorter side, but also not short enough that information is left out. It is important to maintain the attention of the reader or viewer while getting all of the benefits of your service across.
  2. Video testimonials or testimonials that incorporate images are much more successful than text by itself. Social proof is increased with images because results are visually understood and leave little room of skepticism.

Within the text or video, it is important for your customer to emphasize the benefits and values that your business was built on. These are suggestions on important elements to include in a benefits-driven testimonial:

  • Backstory and what they wanted to change about their bodies or physical fitness
  • The tangible results the fitness studio has helped them achieve through before and after photos
  • The culture or environment of the studio
  • Other studios or plans they tried that did not produce the same results
  • How their lives have been changed

Each of these components gets across the benefits of working with your studio while providing ample opportunities for potential clients to connect with current ones. It is important to have testimonials that are personal and express emotions so that the testimonials do not seem like commercials. The benefits of your business should be heavily implied, but while keeping the testimonial about the customer’s experience and their results.

Overall, benefits-driven customer testimonials improve businesses because they:

  • Increase social proof
  • Limit skepticism and ambiguity
  • Are not directly trying to sell something
  • Are easier to connect with
  • Directly explain and display the benefits someone has had as a result of joining
  • Endorse benefits and values without being an advertisement
  • Bring in new audiences and demographics

Here at Locus Marketing, our Fitness Website Formula service is dedicated to helping you create and promote customer testimonials in a proven and effective manner. Our web designs portray your testimonials in a logical way and provide ample opportunities for potential clients to learn more and sign up for a free offer. In addition, our WordPress plugin Awesome Fitness Testimonials, assists with the creation of testimonials that follow all of the suggestions listed above. We understand the power of customer testimonials and want to help you reach your maximum potential by utilizing them. Grab your free copy of the Awesome Fitness Testimonials plugin today and reap the massive benefits we have to offer.

Keep an eye out for Customer Testimonials Part 2 on the design of testimonials on your website and options to obtain testimonials from your customers next month!

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