The Rise of Testimonial Videos

What makes them special?


“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show them.” – Steve Jobs


As this global village of ours expands, rapidly and ceaselessly, customers and consumers are left in a bit of a predicament. The initial sense of liberation that the digital age permitted is wearing a little thin. As we first moved out of the darkness of Mom and Pop’s corner store, toward the shining beacon on the internet, of online retailers and increasingly international local suppliers, we felt empowered by a vast world of choice. Now, far too often we can find ourselves paralysed, by a vast world of choice.


So as customer’s eyes glaze over, as they treck through this limitless global village and are unable to differentiate between an array of products and services, business owners are left with an opportunity. Yes, the market has changed enormously, but ultimately consumers still respond to old-fashioned truths. What can your product or service do for them? What does that look like in their life? If you can cut through all the flashing lights, all the confusion of comparing ‘special’ offers, specifications, warranties, price-point, and so on, and give a customer a relatable piece from a fellow human being who has already had the experience, that can have a profoundly positive effect. Welcome to the world of testimonials, an old-fashioned idea brought into the 21st century with the Testimonial Video.


Lately, we have seen a large growth in the video marketing field as more and more often, marketers are using this platform as their go-to for selling and advertising products and services. So, what is one of the best type of marketing videos? Testimonial videos. Why? Simply because testimonial videos are a resource and not just a sales pitch. Let’s discuss it more below.


What makes Testimonial Videos different?


As humans, we pride ourselves on being the logical, reason bound species and comparatively, we are. Nonetheless, we’re still monkeys wearing shoes, and as marketers know, emotion plays a fundamental role in a customer’s decision-making process.  A testimonial video can be better than any other form of proof because it is relatable. Companies can use pointed reason drawn from verifiable data, meticulously plotted on graphs, or costly celebrity endorsements to great effect, but in many cases, a simple testimonial video would be far more successful. Gone are the days when people read the newspaper or watched a grainy black and white TV add and believed that those goods and services were the hottest on the market and were reaching their eyes and ears based on merit.


Consumers are no longer naive. With the digital age, they can see billions of results in a fraction of the time it takes to type the word Google. And of course, each of those billions of products and services claims to be the hottest, but consumers now know better. They know that anyone can type anything into a webpage, and so they feel lost and in desperate need of a dependable life raft as they drown in those billions of results that result in nothing but noise. In this market, happening upon an honest testimonial video from someone with wants and needs that the viewer is able to identify with is a very powerful thing. Companies can select happy customers that can, in turn, help other potential customers verify the merits of the product on offer in an emotionally intelligent and relatable way. Happy customers are also quite often more than willing to provide feedback for your products and services without having to receive compensation, thus making this type of video more cost effective too!


Put simply, a testimonial video gives your products and services more credibility. Consumers are attracted to this type of video because it has “real people” appeal. One ‘real person’ speaking in an unbiased fashion to another, based on their experience. Generally speaking, corporate video marketing is also advantageous because a thousand words can be expressed in a minute of video. So once you have someone’s attention, a testimonial video becomes a fantastic platform to communicate a lot of useful information in a very short amount of time. Testimonial videos are also unscripted, another cost saving, and with the addition of a professional video production team, they can be a very easy and pleasurable thing to make! Who doesn’t like spending a day on set hearing how wonderful they are from a throng of grateful customers?


Testimonial videos use real people… or at least they should!


If relatability and honesty are at the heart of the testimonial video form, then the last thing a company should do, is betray that trust. This is at the very heart of why testimonial videos appeal to customers and why they cut through the noise of the digital age. A professional video production team will accept that there are certain circumstances that may require hired actors to express the sentiments of happy customers, but this is very hard to achieve convincingly and should be avoided wherever possible. Customers only respond well to the testimonial if it IS honest, and they can smell a rat from a hundred miles away. Even if the final product is convincing, the actor used could appear in another advert, and depending on the contract this may happen all too soon, with the adverts running simultaneously. Disaster! To disillusion the already disillusioned consumer is to run the risk of losing them entirely!


But this is good news, really! Scripts take time to write. Actors take time to cast. Product explainer videos often involve animation. Animation takes time to create, and so on. And as we all know, time is money! Testimonial videos generally take less time to produce than other forms and as a result, they represent a cost-effective advertising option for many savvy companies.


Testimonial Videos Are Made by Professionals


While testimonial videos are by and large about selecting the right happy customer and simply letting them tell their story in a natural way, this still requires a specialist’s touch. In most cases, the customer giving the testimonial should talk about your company or product as if they are talking to a friend at the kitchen table (if appropriate it could even be shot at the kitchen table… yet another cost saving!), but this is not always a simple matter. A professional video production team will know how to coach the person giving the testimonial to make them feel comfortable, unpressured and enable them to give their best to your video. The strength of a testimonial video – just like any marketing tool, is highly dependent on the effectiveness of its presentation and delivery.


So, we take a skilled video production team, add a few happy customers, a few fantastic products or services, stir these ingredients around in the oven-safe testimonial video tray, and pop it all at 200 degrees (fan-forced). It soon becomes clear why the testimonial video is on the rise!


For inspiration on testimonials or corporate videos in general click here.