What is it?
In a testimonial video, customers explain their situation, perhaps share a bit of their background, then discuss how your company made a positive difference in their lives and how much they enjoy doing business with you. As a marketing tool, it doesn’t get much more powerful than a testimonial video. People might be skeptical of a company with even the most sterling reputation -- especially if the company is singing its own praises -- but complementary reviews from actual customers? Those deliver credibility. The point is that people don’t always (or even often) trust companies, but they do trust other people.
Here’s a testimonial for Mindtribe, a product design company. The clip shows just how much information you can pack into a testimonial video in less than 2 minutes.
In this example, RealCare uses testimonials from actual nurses discussing the benefits of the company’s healthcare training programs in their work with patients. The video provides an essential personal touch. You might agree this is far more effective than hospital administrators rattling off facts and figures.
Roku TV created this testimonial video to illustrate how easy it is to set up and use Roku products. The example features a variety of people from different backgrounds sharing their experience. The video is punctuated by highlights from their comments, superimposed as text on the screen. Highly effective.
Testimonial videos are also used by religious organizations for impactful messaging. Here’s an example.
When/Where to use.
Testimonial videos are often used as commercials for a company. You’ve no doubt seen countless examples on television where people are going about their daily lives, singing the praises of a company and how its products or services help make life better, more enjoyable, last longer -- it all depends on the company's line of business. A pharmaceutical company might use Testimonial Videos to show how its drugs improve health and prolong lives. A company that makes portable wireless speakers might create a Testimonial Video of customers around a campfire, talking about how great it is to have tunes wherever they go. In fact, one tried and true approach to staging the Testimonial Video is to get customers talking about a product in the environment in which they use the product.
Social media posts are another effective strategy for sharing your Testimonial Video, mainly because the video is so easily shared among friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms.
If your Testimonial Video is designed to highlight the good work of a charity, the video can be embedded at the top of an email funnel to spark interest in donations. Firms engaged in content strategy report that an initial email embedded with a video increases the click-through rate by 96%.
Place the Testimonial Video on your website and visitors may spend 88% more time on your site. That’s just the average increase in engagement when a video is added.
Why use it.
You can always add written testimonials to your web page and put them in your sales flyers. Some people might even read them. But a Testimonial Video grabs attention. If someone is new to your product or service and intrigued, you could load them up with all the features and benefits available. Or you can ask one happy customer to share her experience with your company in a short testimonial video. Given the choice, research shows your prospects will check out the video before engaging with any of your other marketing materials. A testimonial video is just that powerful.
Videos are also what people are looking for when they go online to research a company. And most of the time, they’re using a smartphone to watch these videos. YouTube’s mobile video consumption report increases by 100% every year. Almost 5 billion videos are watched daily on YouTube alone. That’s a massive appetite for video content. More importantly, watching videos represents more than a third of all online activity, while 85 percent of website visitors say they will click on a video before checking out any other content on the page -- clear evidence that people prefer to engage with videos over any other content.
If the purpose of being in business is to help your customers, why not let them help you by sharing their stories of how your company solves a problem? New prospects are far more likely to connect with real customers than a faceless corporation -- no matter how desirable your offering might be. Seeing other people use your product or service and hearing them explain why is almost always going to resonate more with new customers than any sales pitch you make on your own.
How to use and Analyse/Measure
There are four key metrics you can track to measure the success of your Testimonial Video.
- Play Rate. This is the number of times the video was played divided by the number of views. More specifically, play rate is the percentage of users who decided to continue watching your video beyond the first few seconds.
- Shares, Likes, Comments, and Reactions. This is more of a manual process where you check your social media postings for audience engagement, counting the number of shares, the number of Facebook “likes” and especially comments.
- Click-through rate. Most video hosting platforms enable you to track the number of individuals who go beyond your video to the next step, such as visiting a landing page. The video must have a URL on display, along with a clickable link just below the video display screen. People offering testimonials can encourage viewers to click the link so there is a clear Call to Action (CTA) in your video.
- Watch Time. This is literally a measurement of how long people view your video. Drop-off rates tend to increase dramatically beyond 5 minutes, so shorter Testimonial Videos are usually more effective.
The Testimonial Video by definition features at least one person sharing a positive personal experience with a company, while including 3-4 individuals in the video is not uncommon. How many people appear is up to you, although sometimes less is more. One truly compelling story with an emotional appeal may get the job done. This may not become evident until production begins, but if you get one outstanding testimonial in the can you might want to rethink strategy and you may decide not to pursue additional testimonials, in which case production time will be shorter.
Each testimonial includes a personal story of how the individual benefitted from doing business with your company.
Process to create
The Testimonial Video creative process begins with the identification of goals. Are you hoping to highlight a specific product and its benefits, as expressed by satisfied customers, or is the video more about branding and awareness? How many testimonials are needed to get the message across? One especially compelling testimonial can be effective, allowing for a shorter, stronger video message. Perhaps your company is engaged in a charity program, in which case the testimonial(s) might focus on people who have benefitted from the charity.
Once the goal is determined, the next step is to recruit individuals to deliver the testimonials and identify the best setting for them to appear in the video. Should they be featured at home? Using your product? Out somewhere in public, walking and talking? These questions are designed to get you thinking about the tone of your Testimonial Video, the mood you are trying to create.
Your vetting process in selecting participants for the video can reveal details you might not have thought of.
Customers might be especially pleased with a certain feature of your product. That should be the feature you highlight first.
You also want to encourage potential participants to be completely honest and sincere in their testimonial, since an audience can spot bad acting. Also make it clear to your participants that their remarks will be edited and condensed to keep the video at a manageable length. This prevents participants from being disappointed or even angry if only a portion of what they share winds up in the finished video.
Here are sample questions to ask customers before encouraging them to appear in your Testimonial Video:
- What were you looking for when you hired our company? What was the most important factor in choosing to work with the brand?
- What challenge did you face before working with us? How did it make you feel?
- How did we exceed your expectations?
- What did you notice about us that was different from other companies you’ve worked with?
- Did brand name resolve your needs? How would you describe your experience? How do you feel now that brand name has helped you solve your challenge?
- What are you able to enjoy now that the challenge is solved?
- If a friend asks you how satisfied you are with our company, what would you say?
- If someone tells you he is thinking of buying from our company, what would you tell him to expect?
- If you were asked whether you’d do business with us again, what would you say?
Once people have agreed to appear in your Testimonial Video, give them all the questions you plan to ask – in advance. This isn’t a quiz show. You want your participants fully prepared with their answers so they are comfortable and ready to deliver. Conversely, you don’t want them to give responses that sound rehearsed. Only fresh, natural testimonials are effective, and that’s because they sound authentic.
Unless you are pursuing paid celebrity endorsements for your project, the Testimonial Video is often among the simplest, fastest and less expensive marketing videos you can produce.
Depending on the scope of your vision and the production values needed to bring it to life, a corporate story video can cost anywhere from $1,000 to more than $5,000 per minute.
The expense breakdown includes items such as cameras, sound recording equipment, scouting and securing locations, if necessary, as well as hiring professional acting talent, renting wardrobes and any necessary props, licensing music, shooting the video, and post production, including editing. Your specific needs may include some or all of these production tools.
Animated videos tend to be more expensive due to the use of high-end computers and image rendering equipment.Likewise, extensive use of special effects can increase the production cost.
Once the story outline is determined, an experienced video production company will be able to provide an accurate estimate for delivering your corporate story.
Four weeks is the average time to produce a Testimonial Video, from conception through production and post-production to the completed project. Much of that time will be devoted to planning and pre-production, which is always less expensive than making dramatic changes during production.
It’s possible to line up several testimonial speakers in one day. We can also develop a plan for producing testimonial videos on a consistent basis.
It is customary and advisable to secure signed release forms for all individuals providing testimonials. This protects you against the possibility of future civil claims should one of your subjects later decides she wants to be paid -- or paid more -- for having appeared in the video, or disputes the terms under which she agreed to appear. While the chances of conflict are small, a signed release form is still your best protection. You can customize and download release forms from several websites, one of which can be accessed here.
The Testimonial Video puts a human face on your company, products and services. Consumers may be skeptical of companies, but they do relate to the stories of other people. Happy customers sharing their experiences with your company is a virtually guaranteed way to connect with an audience of prospects. Putting a human touch on your marketing is the way you persuade people to buy. When your audience sees other people enjoying their purchase from your company or benefitting from your services, they have a powerful incentive to try it for themselves.
“One of the best, most creative, most on-point creative groups you can find. On top of that they are on-time & on-budget! With great communication along the way they make the production process enjoyable and exciting!"
-- Everett Bowes, WeTalkSocial
“Reliability and delivery. Best creative service around. Not a lot of companies out there that I trust like I do them.”
-- Mike Crow, Orthofix.