Marketing, in its most basic form, is all about communicating value to your audience. If you know your product and audience well, you should be able to communicate the value of what you’re offering with relative ease.
A particularly skilled and seasoned marketer can do this in their sleep, but even some of the most talented marketers can only do so much on their own.
The modern consumer views marketing and advertising in a fairly positive light. They understand that it’s largely unavoidable, or part of the deal and, in many cases, welcome it as a way to discover new products and services that will add value to their lives.
Still, customers can only put so much weight behind claims made by the same people that are trying to separate them from their money, regardless of how trustworthy they perceive them to be, or how much they genuinely need the solution being promoted.
And this is why customer testimonial videos are so powerful.
Social proof is undoubtedly the most effective tool in the marketers arsenal
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people’s actions and decision-making is influenced by the actions of others, to make better decisions, or at least ones that conform to social norms. Naturally, marketers picked up on this long ago, and have used it to great effect ever since.
As highly social beings, it’s only natural that we rely heavily on social proof and confirmation to determine if the decisions we make are in fact the right ones. This applies to everything from what we should eat, to who we should vote for and, of course, what we should buy.
Relying on social proof in our decision making doesn’t always result in making the “right” decision, but there’s no denying that the desire for social validation is deeply ingrained in the human psyche, and influences many of our decisions.
In fact, 70% of consumers say they turn to product reviews before making a purchase. You can bet that pro marketers are well aware of this too, because in another study from 2013, customer testimonials were rated as the most effective B2B content marketing tactic, above all others, by 89% of marketers.
Customer testimonials are generally thought of as bottom-of-funnel content that helps get prospects over the hump, and ready to buy. There are instances where customer testimonials can help generate interest and awareness at the top of the funnel, but most people will only seek out testimonials or reviews after they’ve determined their needs, done a little research on their own, and narrowed down their options.
So even though a glowing testimonial isn’t likely to drive massive amounts of traffic to your website, a few well-placed testimonials at key trigger points throughout the customer journey is a highly effective way to convert visitors into buyers. Later in this article, we’ll explore some ways to do exactly this.
Amplify Your Results with Video Testimonials
Customer or client testimonials, in any form, are valuable assets to be used in your marketing and sales efforts, whether it’s one line of text or one hundred. Heck, even a positive tweet is nothing to sneeze at.
However, there’s no denying that video testimonials are the most impactful and effective, by a long shot.
In this post-truth era that we find ourselves in, people are naturally skeptical of what they read on the Internet, but this skepticism was present long before the 2016 presidential campaigns began. It’s said that roughly 90% of people believe that the testimonials they read in marketing messaging are made up.
Accompanying your testimonial with a photograph (along with a name, position, and company, for that matter), however, can greatly combat this skepticism. Still, these tactics pale in comparison to what a well-produced video testimonial is capable of accomplishing.
Video helps elevate testimonials beyond just words on a screen, and brings the customer and their endorsement into the real world, so to speak.
With video testimonials, your future customers can read the subject’s body language and facial expressions. They can hear the excitement in their voice when they talk about the benefits and solutions that are most important to them. And your prospects are far more likely to believe what they’re hearing.
All in all, video testimonials enable your audience to experience your brand more fully, in a way that makes it easy to stand out from your competition.
10 Effective Uses of Customer Video Testimonials
Once you get your video testimonials together, you need to figure out how you can use them most effectively. Remember, marketing is simply the act of communicating value to your audience, and effective marketing is all about communicating that value at the proper points in the customer journey.
Every business is different, so it may take some time to figure out what will work best, but here are ten ideas to help get you moving in the right direction.
- Include links to video testimonials in a key blog post.
- Post video testimonials to your social media accounts.
- Add links to video testimonials to your email signature.
- Create a case study around them.
- Make a video testimonial the focus of your homepage.
- Place video testimonials near opt-in forms and add-to-cart buttons.
- Build an entire campaign around one or more video testimonials.
- Create a separate webpage with an ongoing list of video testimonials.
- Send out links to video testimonials in your newsletters.
- Include links to video testimonials in your proposals and invoices.
Bonus: Send a personal email to customers and prospects, informing them of the success your other customers have enjoyed by providing a link to relevant video testimonials.
Learn More About the Power of Video Testimonials
Want to learn more about how you can use video testimonials to develop new business? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Video Testimonials.
Video marketing is new, it’s not cheap, and it can all be a little bit scary. So, what’s the best way to deliver immediate results, so that management begins to understand the value of adding video to your marketing mix?
If there was one type of video that could accomplish that, what would it be?
One Video To Rule Them All
There is one type of video that tends to demand almost universal admiration from everyone involved, and if we were denizens of Tolkien’s Middle-earth, we would almost certainly commission the Elven smiths of Eregion to create for us a testimonial video.
(If my Middle-earth analogy has you confused, ask a Lord of the Rings nerd to translate for you.)
[bctt tweet=”If we were denizens of Middle-earth, we’d commission the Elven smiths of Eregion to create a testimonial video.” via=”no”]
Testimonial videos draw on many of the best practices of video marketing. They are very well suited to the particular role of driving late-sales pipeline value. In other words, they have a particular job to do, and they do it well.
They also tend to appeal to a wide variety of people, both within and outside of your organization.
Sales people love them, because they’re a great thing to share with on-the-fence prospects.
Services people love them, because they demonstrate the satisfaction of at least some portion of their customer base.
Customers love them, because good testimonial videos not only cast your company in a good light, they also make your customer look like a winner.
[bctt tweet=”Testimonial videos draw on many of the best practices of video marketing.” username=”Thoughtcasting”]
Testimonial videos have the added benefit of appealing to our vanity. Whether it be justified or not, hearing a customer talk about how wonderful your company, its product and services are makes everyone feel good.
It’s human nature to enjoy the praise of others, and the value of that praise in a brand or sales situation is self-evident.
If customers think well of you, other customers will want a piece of that action. Unhappy customers may even think the problems they’re experiencing are their fault, if other customer are so apparently happy with you. (I’ve seen it happen.)
“Vanity is my favorite sin.”
– Al Pacino
Perhaps most importantly of all, your CEO will enjoy the praise and, with any luck, ask for more testimonial videos. (Like Gollum, once you’ve had a taste of it, you’ll never let it go.)
Make Your First Testimonial Video a Doozy!
As videos go, testimonial videos usually aren’t expensive to produce. But, there are two reasons why you don’t want to skimp on your first one.
To begin with, you want your first video to be as flawless as possible. It should be a shining example of the video marketing craft. Properly conceived and expertly executed, it should serve as an example of the level of quality you intend to bring to all future video projects.
Second, if you produce your first video on the cheap, that’s how management will expect you to produce all subsequent videos – cheaply.
Spend the time, and perhaps the political capital, up front, to win a budget that will allow you to create a quality video that can serve as an example to everyone of the type of video you intend to produce on a regular basis.
[bctt tweet=”Spend the time & political capital, up front, to win a budget that’ll allow you to create a quality video.” via=”no”]
Don’t Forget Your Promotion Plan
If you’ve read any of the other post on the Thoughtcast Media blog, you’ll know that we’re really big on the marketing aspects of video marketing. No video, no matter how well-produced, achieves its marketing purpose just sitting on a shelf (or some forgotten page on your website).
Spend the time up front to plan for your video’s successful distribution. Once again, testimonial videos lend themselves to this purpose very well.
Here are some ideas on how to promote your testimonial video:
- Feature it in your company’s next newsletter. You’ll benefit from both customers and prospects seeing how happy one of your customers is with your company, it’s products and services.
- Find a prominent and permanent home for it on your website. Testimonial video are right at home on many “About” and “Our Customers” pages.
- Include it in an email campaign for customers.
- Encourage sales people to share it with their hot accounts, as a way of getting them to finally “pull the trigger” and buy from you.
Be sure to include your promotional plans when you pitch management on your video marketing plans.
And, don’t forget to include the results of your promotional activities in subsequent follow-ups with management. Nothing sells like success.
Video Testimonials are the Best Way to Get Started in Video Marketing
So, if you’re looking for an early success story for your burgeoning video marketing program, give the testimonial video a try. Testimonial videos have wide appeal, they’re relatively inexpensive to produce, and they perform extremely well in support of late-pipeline promotional applications.
Create a great testimonial video, promote the daylights out of it, and you’ll be treated to a hero’s welcome back in the Shire. (That’s my last Lord of the Rings reference for a while. I promise.)
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are properties of New Line Cinema