More Powerful Testimonials

3 easy steps…

If we’ve worked together, you know how much I value listener testimonials.

You also know I abhor “fake” testimonials, and I am hearing more and more of them with every US market visit, primarily on the big consolidated company stations.

Fake testimonials are usually scripted, and/or they use voices from, say, Birmingham on a San Francisco station.

The point is, they are not real people using their own words to talk about your specific station, and I think they are worse than running no testimonials at all.

Like claims of “more music” and “variety,” faked testimonials turn what could be emotionally impactful words into wallpaper noise that train people not to hear them.

Here are 3 simple steps to more powerful testimonials:

1. Only use real listeners in their own words. Never script a testimonial. Ever.

2. If your listener can share a personal story about your station, it will greatly increase the impact. Our brains are wired to remember and respond to stories.

Now, in the age of PPM, when ever word is analyzed by a VP of Programming somewhere, you don’t have the luxury of running the whole story on the air, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put it on your web site, under a Testimonial button.

And, the story doesn’t have to be long to be effective.

And that leads to…

3. Adding a name, at least a first name, and a face — video is best, but a picture will also help — will instantly make the testimonial more convincing and more memorable, and you can easily do both on your web site.

There’s a lot of neuroscience behind why this 3-step process works, and it explains why word-of-mouth is so powerful.

All you really have to do is think about your own life, your own experience. If a friend tells you they had the best dining experience of their life at a specific restaurant, you are much more likely to try it than if you just receive a mailer with the same words on it from a faceless entity.

I know you’re busy, doing 3 or 4 jobs now, and I also know getting real listener testimonials, and keeping them updated and fresh, is a time-consuming effort, that is never really over.

But IMHO, if you don’t have the time to do real ones, you’re better off not running them at all.