The use of testimonials in advertising is a well-known marketing strategy that uses previously satisfied customers’ statements of approval to promote a product or service. Whilst written testimonials on sites like Facebook, TripAdvisor, Yelp and Google+ can all be good for a business, they are nothing like as effective as video testimonials. The video testimonial takes customer feedback to the next level and is one of the most effective marketing tools available.
Here are eight benefits of using a video testimonial.
1. Videos trigger emotions
Whilst people like to pretend that they are rational, in reality emotion is a primary driver of decision-making.
When it comes to evoking emotions, nothing beats video. Text is sterile and unemotional – only the very best copywriters can compete with video on an emotional level. And it takes a lot more time; reading and interpreting text is much slower than watching video, something many people nowadays do not have the patience for anyway.
Video, on the other hand, has an immediate appeal, and can create emotional connections.
Much of it comes down to the brain. Our brain is full of mirror neurons, which fire both when we do something and when we see someone else doing it. In short, mirror neurons make viewers feel the emotions they see in the video. So when a customer is visibly thankful, relieved, or happy because of your product, potential customers will feel it, too.
And if you can succeed in making an emotional connection with your audience, you have already succeeded to a large extent.
2. Video has a higher retention rate than text
Studies indicate that video has a far greater retention rate than text. This is because our brains are far more engaged by storytelling than a list of facts. Images, in turn, add a component to storytelling that text cannot – speed.
There are many reasons that video makes content “stickier” in people’s minds. In part, this is because neurologically speaking, the human brain is hard-wired to pay attention to faces, colours and motion.
Storytelling has a similar effect on the brain. Our brains are particularly attuned to stories—and that’s exactly what testimonials provide. Stories of people overcoming problems are particularly irresistible, which is perfect for testimonials.
According to research compiled by 3M, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text, which means that a video has immeasurably more impact than the written word. Since 65% of people are visual learners according to the Social Science Research Network, one of the best ways to drive the message home is through visual content.
3. People prefer video
Ultimately, people just prefer video over text. Video marketing statistics indicate that 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read text on the same topic.
When it comes to products, the numbers are even more notable: four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.
This preference extends beyond web content. Including the word “video” in an email subject line was shown to increase open rates by 19%. Click-throughs jumped by 65%. And unsubscribes went down by 26%.
4. Videos get shared
Similarly, videos get shared much more than text and images – up to twelve times more than text and images combined.
In a 2013 study, Pew Research found that 47% of adult internet users share online photos or videos. And the indications are that this number is on the increase, especially as there is increasing amounts of video content available.
5. Consumers Trust User Reviews
If your testimonial is going to be effective, your users need to find the subject—and their testimony—trustworthy. Surprisingly perhaps, people trust reviews from strangers as much, or more, than they trust friends or family members.
Users want to trust your video testimonials, and they are prepared to, but you need to do your part and make them trustworthy.
That is why it is important to create a relaxed environment when you are filming your testimonial so your subject speaks naturally and they do not sound like they are reading from a script.
6. Videos Testimonials equal authenticity
Video testimonials are perceived as more authentic than written testimonials. People can put a face and a name to who the customers are, instead of reading text that could have been written by the company itself. This tangibility not only gives videos credibility, it also fosters a relationship between company and customer.
7. The importance of social proof
Social proof (also known as informational social influence) is a psychological and social phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour in a given situation. Social proof is one type of conformity. When a person is in a situation where they are unsure of the correct way to behave, they will often look to others for clues concerning the correct behaviour.
In terms of marketing, therefore, consumers look for others for guidance as to how to reach and behave in certain circumstances, and this is where customer reviews are so effective. Customer reviews have been shown to be very trustworthy—sometimes even as trustworthy as personal recommendations. User reviews, ratings, comments, social media posts, and other forms of consumer-generated content are powerful tools.
To maximise the social proof value of your video, you will want the subject of the video to be a representative of your general customer base.
For example, if you sell a product primarily to health care providers, you will want a doctor to feature in your testimonial.
8. Video Testimonials Convert
The ultimate goal of any marketing tactic is to convert potential customers into paying ones.
There is a reason that so many content marketers are using both video and testimonials: because they work. And when you put them together, you have a marketing tactic that drives social shares, brings more traffic to your site, builds trust with your audience, and converts customers.
Some of the biggest brands in the world invest significant time and money in creating video testimonials which are seen on prime time television and across the Internet.
There is one simple reason why companies which have multi-million dollar research and advertising budgets use video testimonials – because they are converting customers and generating revenue.
An effective video testimonial from a genuine customer can have greater impact than anything you can ever write or any other form of review, because it helps build an emotional connection with customers, and makes it easy for them to absorb and share with others. It shows your product or company’s capacity to benefit the lives of people just like your prospective clients – it is direct, genuine and evocative.