Video Testimonials: Word of Mouth is the Best Advertising

What’s more effective?

”Our product packs a punch. Install it, work through the tutorial and watch your productivity skyrocket. At the four week mark, most of our clients can’t remember their life before Productivity Rules. It’s time to take back control, destroy the clutter and live your productive life.” - Web Copy

or

“After I installed Productivity Rules, I got through my entire to-do list in half the time. It’s been a week and I’ve gained 5 hours of extra time.” - CMO of That Company You Love

The top paragraph strings together a bunch of marketing buzzwords. The product may be amazing, but there’s no concrete evidence that sets it apart from everyone else who offers you the moon.

On the other hand, the bottom paragraph offers a short example from someone you admire, and it has a clear benefit.

That’s the power of a testimonial. This short snippet of text is something between a review and an endorsement. It shows your customers that people they trust experienced clear benefits from using your product. It’s a powerful piece of social proof.

Anyone can say their product is a miracle, the like of which the world has never seen. Just take a look at all the “superfood” pills out there that promise you’ll lose 20 pounds in a single day.

We’re becoming immune to the buzzwords. To win customers in our increasingly competitive marketplace, you need real-world examples.

Why use video testimonials?

Short, written testimonials work. They’re great for sales pages and your home page, and have been proven to increase conversions. WikJob increased their sales by 34% by putting a few customer testimonials front and centre on their website.

Testimonials work because they tap into one of the most powerful, old school advertising methods — word of mouth. In the digital age, world of mouth has gotten a bit of a makeover. It’s no longer confined to friends and family, it’s influencers you admire and reviewers you like.

Video takes word of mouth marketing to the next level. Anyone can write a blurb praising their product, take a picture of a stranger and stick them together. I’ve seen this done to sell scammy products more times than I’d like.

A video is harder to fake. This is a real person, willing to associate their face and name with your product. It creates trust, and helps forge a real connection between the viewer, the person in the video, and the company. This trust helps strengthen the relationship between brand and consumer: 72% of consumers say that reviews and testimonials make them trust a company more.

A study published in the Journal of Market Research found that brands with strong emotional appeal generate significantly more word of mouth marketing from customers. What packs more emotional appeal than a well-made video?

What makes a good video testimonial?

A great video testimonial is short, sweet and authentic. It feels like a conversation between you and the person in the video.

A scripted testimonial doesn’t really work. It feels too corporate — something most consumers see as inauthentic. This isn’t the time for a teleprompter. Instead, sit down (physically or virtually) with your customer and talk about what they like about the product, and the benefits they’ve experienced.

Video testimonials examples

Video testimonials come in many flavors. These two examples are both from the software industry but use completely different approaches.

John Lewis Testimonial for Oracle

This video testimonial from David Hunn, the director of the John Lewis IT Department, perfectly fits the John Lewis brand. It’s a bit old-school, but effective for the target audience. Oracle sells expensive software to decision-makers at big companies.

The way the video is set up reflects that. This is a top-level executive. He walks us through the facts and figures, sharing specifics about how Oracle helped them meet goals and improve their bottom line. There’s no exaggeration or buzzwords, just results.

FreshBooks Customer Testimonial - Sarah, Interior Designer

Unlike Oracle, Freshbooks costs around $20 a month, and is designed with the small business owner in mind. Sarah’s story mirrors that of most small business owners. In a short, authentic video, she shares how she started her business and the problems she faced. Like a lot of us, accounting was a big one.

She is relaxed yet animated, and her tone draws you in. She tells us how she found FreshBooks, the problems it solved, and how it helped her grow her business and give her more time to focus on client work.

Both examples focused on sharing the data in a way that will appeal to each business’ target audience.

Creating your video testimonial

Are your ideal clients closer to those of Oracle or FreshBooks? Decide on the style that will appeal to your ideal client. Your testimonial is like a little slice of what your company stands for. Make sure it’s a reflection you want to put out there.

An effective video testimonial will include:

  • A summary headline. Use copywriting principles. You can go simple, like FreshBooks. They called the video Customer Testimonial — Sarah — Interior Designer or you can get more creative.
  • Your company logo. Include your company logo at the start and the end of the video
  • The name and job title of your customer. Knowing a bit more humanizes the person giving the testimonial and makes them seem more trustworthy. It moves them into the “person like me” category.
  • Stats and results. Ask your customer to talk about specific problems and tell you how the product solved them, using facts and figures. Both the testimonials we shared dove into specifics.

How to get testimonials

Getting a video testimonial can be a little tricky. If you aren’t ready to dive straight into the deep end, and want to stick to traditional testimonials for the time being, this post by Orbit Media walks you through all the steps to take when asking for a traditional testimonial.

When you’re ready to make your first video testimonial, start with customers you have a strong relationship with. They could be early adopters or someone who’s been openly supportive from the start. Depending on where you are, your customer’s geography is also worth taking into account!

Approach them directly, and be clear about what you want and what the expectations are. This is a big ask, but one that can benefit you both. Highlight the benefit to the customer, such as gaining more exposure for their business. Focus on making the experience as simple and pleasant as possible.

The alternative way to make a great video

The obvious way to make a testimonial is to film it, but that isn’t always possible. Hiring a videographer can be expensive, and you and your customer may not be in the same place. What if you’re based in Melbourne and the customer you’d like to interview lives in LA? The time difference is enough of a problem without throwing travel into the mix.

If you find yourself in that situation, try one of our video templates.

Set up a Skype conversation with your client and interview them, recording the audio. Edit the recording and pick a few snippets that really highlight the benefits and make for an engaging story.

To make it extra authentic, use photos or even some Skype footage of your customer and add the audio over the top. You could also use charts and infographics to visually convey numbers and highlight key achievements.

This video would have the personal elements that make a testimonial work, but is much easier to make if distance is a problem.

Where and how to use video testimonials

You can use video testimonials in a lot of different ways! Use them on key product pages, on landing pages, in relevant blog posts, on your homepage or on your ‘About’ page.

Testimonials are a great thing to use in end-of-funnel content marketing material. As the customer gets closer to making the purchase, testimonials can push them over the edge.

Video testimonials are also great for social media ads. If you’re advertising an e-course, you can use them as part of your initial ad campaign. You can also share them on social media, especially as part of a product promotion social media marketing plan.

A testimonial can add legitimacy and increase engagement on any relevant page, make one today!