Collecting reviews from happy customers is an essential part of growing your business reputation, and something that every business can do to some extent. Positive testimonials show prospects that you are a trustworthy and well-liked provider of whatever it is that you do.
And at the same time, there’s also the fact that online video is absolutely exploding. Tech giant Cisco has predicted that video will account for 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021. Also, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet – not bad when you consider that its search function is limited to content within its own site! The influence of video on the online landscape is massive, and businesses should take note.
Video testimonials are a great way to harness both of these positive trends in one fell swoop, and as we’ll discuss, getting your endorsements on camera provides a number of added benefits to amplifying your reputation over written testimonials.
Back to Basics
Testimonials of any kind provide valuable social proof – evidence that someone has dealt with your company and felt a positive result. And in the case of third party review sites like Yell.com, prospects can view unbiased reviews that aren’t amended or curated by the companies in question.
In fact, BrightLocal found that 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. I hate to break it to you, but potential customers trust the opinions of other customers more than they trust your highly polished marketing spiel.
Why Use Video Testimonials?
It’s clear that collecting testimonials provides crucial social proof, and that video is a powerful and ever-growing platform for businesses to market themselves.
The main argument for producing video testimonials is that seeing is well and truly believing. Seeing a genuinely happy customer talking about their experience can be perceived as more believable and realistic than a written testimonial. On the whole, we’re more sceptical about marketing tricks than ever before; and some consumers may think that written testimonials are completely made up. However, showing a satisfied customer speaking candidly about the benefits of working with a company is much harder to fabricate.
Though written testimonials may be given some character through headshots and editing, video really lets the reviewer’s feelings shine through. By hearing the excitement in their voice, seeing the glimmer in their eyes, and sensing the enthusiasm in their body language, we see that they’ve genuinely been impressed by the company they’re reviewing. We naturally warm to faces and personalities far more than we do mere names on a page, and video allows businesses to harness that.
Video also allows for a bit more creative license than plain text. Even though testimonial videos show the reviewer’s appreciation for the company in their own words, that doesn’t mean it has to to be a simple “talking head” video. Their dialogue can be used alongside visual product demonstrations, or footage of that person using the product in their average day. B2B companies can also interview members of the client company’s staff who benefit every day from the product or service in question. In this sense, video testimonials allows for a lot more imagination.
As a format, video gives the impression of being more digestible compared to a large chunk of text, simply because it’s a lot easier on the old grey matter than reading. Processing written words on a page is more of an active mental activity than passively watching a video, and we’re wired to favour options that we perceive as involving less effort. Therefore, if your testimonials tend to run quite long, you might want to consider presenting them in a more visual format such as video.
Video also implies that your company is reliable and financially stable. Professional video production can be expensive, and nowadays many people are aware of the time, effort, and expense that goes into creating high quality video. Therefore a video with high production values communicates that your company is able to afford a certain standard, and is therefore stable, reliable, and permanent.
In Defence of Written Testimonials
So does this mean that we should all throw our written testimonials in the bin and go video all the way? In a word – no. Your satisfied customers still took the time to write them for you, and they provide valuable insight to prospective clients. Though we’re making the argument that video testimonials are incredibly valuable, written testimonials are certainly not going anywhere, and they actually have some unique benefits of their own.
When provided through trusted review sites, written testimonials and star ratings can play a small part in a company’s search visibility. They also give a give a quick and reliable idea of average customer satisfaction “at a glance”; this is especially useful when people are out and about, or otherwise don’t want to sit through a whole video.
If you do a lot of advertising through print media, written testimonials are ideal – you’ll never be able to print out a video no matter how hard you try! But a succinct written review might just add that extra bit of social proof to a print ad or flyer.
Written testimonials are less of a hassle to collect than video, and can easily be edited, shortened, and paraphrased to suit design needs or to highlight certain points. Doing the same with video is not impossible, but takes a lot more time and effort – which usually equates to expense.
Which leads us to the biggest advantage that written reviews have over video – written testimonials are cheaper than video to create!
So What’s the Verdict?
Though written testimonials may be seen as the “cheap and easy route”, they are flexible and editable at a moment’s notice.
And though video testimonials may be considered the more expensive option, they provide highly valuable social proof to your prospects, and hold real demonstrative power in proving how your company has helped its customers.
Thankfully, you don’t have to pick a side. Many companies use a mixture of text and video testimonials throughout their marketing materials to great effect. And don’t forget that video testimonials can always be transcribed into text.
Customer reviews of all kinds are incredibly valuable, but video testimonials offer a convenient, creative and digestible method of singing your praises in a way that provides a powerful human touch.
If you’re wondering what new marketing avenues to go down in order to take business further into 2018, video testimonials may be well worth the investment.
Sidenote: If you are considering a video testimonial for your business, Yell offers a range of affordable video marketing packages.Wondering about the benefits of #video testimonials to boost your reputation? Click To Tweet
So over to you, reader; what are your thoughts about video testimonials? How do you currently collect and use testimonials? Would you give video testimonials a try for your business? Would you be willing to leave a video testimonial for someone else? Please leave your thoughts down in the comments.