Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media Studios (http://www.orbitmedia.com), where he assumes a marketing and web strategy role. Andy has over 12 years of experience in web/content marketing and strategy. In fact, he has even written a book on the subject, Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing. He also applies himself to speaking, writing, and teaching on content design/marketing. Orbit Media Studios itself is a web design company that builds websites for their clients to make them more marketable. They have worked on over 1000 projects and have been around for 15 years with a team of 38 people.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- How to create testimonials that are authentic and effective
- A step by step guide on Orbit Media Studios testimonial strategy and how it can work for your business
- How to get testimonials to convert without requiring more effort
To See These Tactics In Action:
To See The Transcript:
Tim: Testimonials, you probably have them. If fact, you might even have an entire page devoted to them. But are they generating the serious results you’ve been told they should be generating? If you’re like the majority of folks, the answer is no. So you know you need them and you know they should be getting results but how do you change it? Andy Crestodina from Orbit Media Studios joins me today to share how he used testimonial for his client in a way that completely changed their business. When you hear what he did, you’re going to wonder why you didn’t think of it first. I’m Tim Page, the conversation educator here at LeadPages and this is ConversionCast.
Tim: Welcome to ConversionCast, the only podcast that gets to the heart of the metrics. Now here’s another data driven case study.
Hey fellow marketer. The episode is coming right up but first don’t forget to join me for this Thursday LeadPages webinar. This is an all-new webinar for 2015 that’s going to show you how to turn your site into an evergreen lead generation machine without spending all of your time on marketing. The beautiful thing is it includes our four top list-building strategies for the New Year. All you need to do to join is text LeadPages all one word to 38470. Again text LeadPages, L-E-A-D-P-A-G-E-S to 38470 and you’ll be registered for the webinar. Oh and if you’re outside the US, don’t worry, you can still join the webinar. Just go to ConversionCast.com/webinar, again ConversionCast.com/webinar and we’ll see you there.
Now here’s today’s guest. Hey Andy, how is it going?
Andy: Very good Tim.
Tim: Now we’re going to talk about something pretty fun. We’re going to discuss your clients one of your clients that you’ve worked with but there’s really kind of an overarching philosophy that you’ve applied when it comes to let’s not get into it yet I don’t want to kind of give it all away yet. So the first thing I do want to give away Andy is can you tell us kind of the results that this client was able to get from what we’re going to talk about.
Andy: Sure. So the general category, this is a service provider, it’s a career coach and just a little company. You know, she’s offering career coaching to different categories, different people from different walks of life. And it’s the kind of business where a lead flow can make or break the year pretty easily right? We generate a little more demand and it can actually like change her lifestyle like this is not – this is the kind of business where a decent conversation rate and a steady flow of leads can easily blow up a business right and cause her to need to hire and grow and just pricing to control demand. So the results that we’re going to look at and the trick that we’re going to show had led to over the last month a lead flow of 24 leads for just one specific service off of one specific page , which is the kind of numbers that in her case is kind of like you know, kicking a dent in the universe as far as a little tiny business goes. So that’s pretty huge for her.
Tim: Yeah that’s amazing and you had mentioned that you know generally her services run about $5000 so really if you think about that from that perspective just a few leads makes a big difference. I mean 24 leads a month makes a huge difference so that’s great. Before we dive into it, tell us a little bit about what Orbit Media Studios is all about and what your role is there.
Andy: Sure. So we are a web design company and so we’re thinking about the you know, in this case we’re looking at a website and so guys like you and me Tim think about ROI and so you know, we have to make sure that our clients get an outcome, get a result, the positive effect from the work that we do. So we’re building websites all day every day. We’re not really a marketing company but we’re one of the better known sites, companies that do this here in Chicago, there were a team of 38. We won a lot of rewards. We’ve been around 15 years and more than a thousand projects overall. You and I met because we’re pretty active in content marketing and we both kind of speak at different conferences around the country. But yeah orbit is a web design company and my role is basically the marketing role. I’m a co-founder here but I do lots of speaking and writing and teaching on all these topics that you and I love.
Tim: Absolutely and by the way and I’ve mentioned this to you before but you have a great talk at [[0:04:05]] [Indiscernible] , great talk.
Andy: Oh. [Laughs]
Tim: Right. So —
Andy: You too.
Tim: Thank you, thank you I appreciate that. So what I think I want to do dive into is first off can you kid of describe, you know, I’m going to let the cat out of the bag. We’re kind of talking about testimonials here although this page had a lot more to it than specifically just the testimonials but you have some strong feelings on testimonials and where they should and shouldn’t be. Can you kind of talk about that?
Andy: Yeah. So many people do it wrong and it’s a wrong way to do it and people do it wrong all the time and it’s pretty simple but it’s a common mistake. I have a strongly held belief that testimonials should never go on a testimonials page. I’m going to back that up. Basically when people make a testimonials page, what you’re doing is you’re taking all of your supportive stuff you know, keeping it all tucked away in a place that’s far away and less likely to be seen by your audience. Go look at your stats and you’ve got a testimonials page and you’ll quickly find that not as many people is going to those pages as the service pages or the product pages. So they’re weak when you put them all together and then hide them on a page separately. They’re strong when you spread them throughout the site. So get rid of your testimonials page, blow it up, pull that out of there and put the testimonials everywhere. Make every page a testimonials page because that’s the support, that’s the proof. That’s the evidence you’re legit.
So when you make your claim on the page, the proof and the support for that should be very, very close like not even very many pixels away from the claim you just made. That’s the right way to do testimonials.
Tim: Yeah it’s like saying if you’ve got people on the street just screaming about how great you are it’s like you just running out there and telling them to shut up for a little bit you know.
Andy: Yeah or imagine this. So, Tim, you’re a lawyer, you’re making a case, your client is innocent, you’re telling the jury and when it comes time to get a witness on the stand, you tell them to walk down the hall, go left, turn right through that door on the —
Andy: On the shelf they’re going to find, you know, someone who’s going to explain why your client is innocent. The jury is not going down there, it’s not going to happen. You’ve got to put it in front and in the field of vision of the decision maker by combining social proof and claims on the same page.
Tim: Okay. So you put it on the same page but where do you put it? I mean we take this great social proof, these awesome testimonials , which we could probably talk about how to get a great testimonial about a million times but where do we put it once we’ve got it?
Andy: Well there’s position of the testimonials that matters. There’s the format right. We were looking at video testimonials a bit ago. I don’t think there’s a wrong place to it as long as it’s close to the claim. So the page that we were looking at that’s rocking this company’s world has testimonials down the right rail, it’s on the right side and they’re in multiple formats there. We’ve got video there, we’ve got text there. They’re also in line and the content is a good place to put them no reason not to, good reason block, quotes in formatting and at the bottom right? If you keep going down the page there’s no reason to keep giving the visitor more evidence. So near the calls to action, near the claims and throughout the page definitely in this case we’re seeing how it looks nice when it’s on the right side.
Tim: So you make a claim and you back it up with social proof right next to it.
Andy: Exactly and when you – what happens is and this is quotable for you , which may be you’ve heard me say before. Everything you write and say in your marketing looks and smells like marketing. But when they say it it’s social proof. It just feels different.
Andy: It’s more authentic, it’s legit. So you can write anything as good as these testimonials, better yet get them in video. You got the body language tone of voice, the person’s face. You’re not –you know, the experience is different because now you’re feeling it. A video testimonial is the atomic bomb of marketing and it’s critical for any company that has a trust based service or offering.
Tim: all right. So I’ve got a couple of things to ask. One how do you get somebody to give you a video testimonial?
Andy: The key is the timing because there is a curve that people fall into so when someone gets really excited with the service you offer and someone really feels the benefit of the work that you did, they’re grateful. It’s when you get the compliment and that’s the moment to strike while the iron is hot. So it’s that moment when you say you know, listen if you really believed in what we did, if this really made a difference to you. If you got that benefit and if you don’t mind, wow I would love to just have someone come in. It will take only ten minutes of your time. We’re just going to sit down. It’s going to be real simple, very painless. All we want is just to hear you say it in your own voice. Would you mind if we booked the time for me to come in and just sit next to the camera while you just say what you said to me?
So I think that the key right then is timing and [[0:08:33]] [Indiscernible] I’m very courteous so like a low bar it’s not too time intensive and all you’re asking for is for them to repeat what they just said to you in their authentic voice.
Tim: That’s great and the other question is you know, how do you make a testimonial effective or does it even matter the specific content of the testimonial?
Andy: It does matter and you know that I’m kind of a search optimizer and that’s one of the keys to this page that we were talking about is that it actually ranks the phrase right? That’s half the battle.
Andy: You know, the website is the mousetrap and the content is the cheese as our friend Barry [[0:09:06]] [Indiscernible] says. So the content or the testimonials does matter occasionally and you can look for it and some people will actually have you, allow you to write or edit the testimonial if you do it in text. I love testimonials that have keywords in them because I mean it’s actually good for conversions too right because the claim has text in words and that the testimonial also has text and words the scent is there right? The link is there. It feels like it’s still – like there’s no connection. But also that other instance of that keyword is truly a legitimate way to indicate relevance to Google and it’s good on page SEO. It shows that the page is truly about that topic and that doesn’t hurt when it comes to rankings.
Tim: So we’re getting testimonials, we’re not hiding them on a testimonials page. We’re putting them pretty much all over our site especially where we have calls to action, where we have kind of claims about you know, what we can do. We have a good mix of video and text.
Tim: Is there anything else that’s important about this topic?
Andy: The other use of video on this page that’s really effective is we’ve got the service provider herself talking about her passion right and that connects to the visitor’s emotions. That’s really important. But basically no. I think the main message here and what we’re going to do is to go destroy their testimonials page, free that content, put it throughout the site, get it close to the testimonials claim. Look for testimonials with keywords in them. A couple other ideas, you know, if you ever get a positive tweet that tweet is embeddable you know how to click that little menu and get the link and embed the tweet, that’s a testimonial right and it’s in context of even if it’s a tweet if it still appears in your page as a tweet that’s fine.
And also you know there’s testimonials that appear as social proof, that appears other places on the web. If you’ve got that trust based business or you’re establishing yourself as a thought leader, go back and look at LinkedIn. Right those LinkedIn endorsements are actual testimonials in some cases and if you get permission from the writer to may be pull that content out of there and get it on to your site, you know put it on your bio or put it on the service page, that’s also social proof. So keep an eye on the social web as sources of social proof.
Tim: That’s fantastic. That makes perfect sense and I really want to see this stuff going. So once you’ve done this, once you’ve added some testimonials on your site, I would love to see that. Head over to ConversionCast.com/Andy. That’s ConversionCast.com/Andy and you’ll get to leave a comment on there. Post your site and may be Andy will stop by and say hello and give his thoughts on your testimonials or may be he’ll just be the main man that he is. Anyway, Andy thanks so much for coming on the show. It’s been a lot of fun.
Andy: My pleasure Tim. This is great.
Tim: Thanks for listening to this episode of ConversionCast. If you liked what you heard here today, we have something awesome that we want to send you. Our amazing team has created a free reference guide for you with every single split test and piece of conversion data that we have access to here at ConversionCast. This free booklet is packed with incredible case studies and real metrics from real people to show you what’s really working across multiple industries right now. This is the kind of information you won’t find anywhere else. As one of our listeners, we want to give you a copy of this book absolutely free. You can get your copy right now by going to ConversionCastGift.com. Again that’s ConversionCastGift.com. Go there now and pick up your copy and we’ll see you next time.
Listen To Discover The Exact Strategy Orbit Media Studios Used To Increase Leads By 97%