How to Use Customer Video Testimonials Properly in Marketing

Nobody is going to change their business software, dishwashing soap, or other product and service simply because you ask them to. They need a valid reason to change and they are going to search for an answer only if they have faced a problem with their product.    

In such cases, you get a big advantage over your competition by using a video testimonial to promote your product or service.

But first, it is necessary to know the difference between a commercial advertising video and a video testimonial.


Commercial Advertising Video vs Video Testimonial


In a commercial advertisement, the company spokesman tells the good things about their brand. There is no one else there and the viewer doesn't interact with the people in the video.

In the video testimonial, there is an actual user who talks about the product, the difficulties they faced, and how this product is helping them overcome those challenges.

The viewer interacts with the testimonial video because they identify themselves with the speaker in the video. The viewer also empathizes with the problems the featured user faced because it seems like they themselves are going through those things.

In that way, the impact of a video testimonial can be very positive in your marketing efforts. There are so may benefits you stand to gain by using customer video testimonials.


Impact and Benefits of Customer Video Testimonials


The two biggest things that occur when you use video testimonials are these:


I. Building Brand Trust


When the customer talks about a brand, they personalize it. It is “his” or “her” personal product (soap, garment or something else) that we are refering to throughout.

However, getting a user to talk about a brand's product as if it was their own is not easy, because they probably already have another brand they use and don't yet trust any other brand. You need a powerful way to move the user’s thoughts away from their personal preference to consider the one you're promoting.

You can build this powerful reason through video testimonials. Show how another (perhaps sceptical) user overcame problems related to a given product's high price or bad odor, for example, by switching to your brand. Hearing it first hand from another user who is just like them can be very compelling to potential new users.


II. Establishing Direct Contact with the Customer Base


Meeting customers face-to-face and establishing a bond with them is possible with video testimonials because you’ll likely shoot the testimonial video live with them.

In advertising videos, customers do not interact with the video; they merely watch and passively listen to the views presented by the brand that’s promoting a product.

But, through a video testimonial, one can expect the viewers empathizing with the existing customer explaining their problems and join with them when they give their solution.

You don't have to go door-to-door to meet the customers, they are probably already lining up to meet you. You just have to reach out to your happy, satisfied customers via email or other means and invite them to present their experience with your product in a video.



Strategy to Create Video Testimonials that Help Enhance Your Brand


Making the video is crucial because viewers will sense authenticity and call out any false or cheesy moves you make. They will be quick to tear you apart (figuratively speaking) if they feel that you are deceiving them merely to make a buck or are insulting their intelligence.

So, here is a list of tips and strategies to create and make the best use of video testimonials.


1. Be Professional and Honest About It


Professional video makers will avoid common mistakes that all beginners make. Viewers will spot an amateur video and lose interest as soon as it comes on.

After all, almost all the advertising videos tout the same message—that they are the best! And tacky comments and suggestions are embarrassing for everyone involved.

Professionals will make honest videos that do not blatantly promote the product. Sometimes they may even admit and show some vulnerability that they are addressing to improve authenticity.

Professionals also focus and concentrate on some (not all) aspects of the product and promote that alone, rather than meandering and making the video longer than it needs to be.

Many approaches are possible when you are making video testimonials, including:  

a) Storytelling approach

b) Interview approach to the problem

c) Opinions about problems

Choose the approach that works best for you and that resonates with your target audience.


2. Use Top-Quality Video Equipment to Shoot and Edit


Using low-quality equipment, such as camera or tripod will ruin the appeal and impact of your video. Audiences today are accustomed to seeing high-quality videos and ad creatives.  

So, if you use cheap cameras or low-quality film editing tools to make your video, viewers will immediately develop a distaste for it and avoid your product or service completely.

With that in mind, collect customer opinions about your product or service. Make short video clips of 20 seconds each, showing people's positive responses and experiences about your product.

Sample the opinion of two or three customers who have a good impression of your product. Highlight the reason they like your product. You can even show them other products as well and take clips of their impression of that too so that the opinions they share don't seem biased.

Then, if you are not proficient in video production, you can leave it to professional video-makers to bring it all together and make the video for you. That way, you can be sure your video will be top-of-the-rung and made with the best approach because the pros have the experience.


3. Prepare a Good Storyline


You may be familiar with this advertising storyline: “I could not get this done the way I wanted. I met this person who showed me this product. I tried it and now I won’t change to any other product.”

That may not be a bad approach, but it’s overused. Try something new like: “I went to my friend’s house who was using this product and I was amazed by it.”

Or, “I was out of money and bought the cheapest soap on the market and I got stunned to realize how effective it was.” Be creative with your storyline, avoiding the same old, tired clichés.


Steer clear of blatant self-promotion at all costs when creating your video testimonials.

Though it seems like a heaven-sent opportunity to talk about your brand or products, do so with the knowledge that today’s audience is waiting anxiously to avoid product promotions that seem insincere or too good to be true: “We are the best… Our Tiffin Boxes are the most superior ever!”

Touting wares too much will backfire and make the people you want to win over to reject your product outright. People build mental barriers to keep away misleading messages and suppositions. They’ll be sceptical and avoid ads that only talk endless good things about themselves.

It is probably safer to take an exploratory viewpoint approach in your videos, such as why is the product good, how is the product made and what is the maker doing to keep the product top tier? Other angles you can use in an explanatory approach including, how do users gain by using the product or service? Is this the only way to gain from the service? And so on.

Although the nature of marketing means sometimes things can go wrong even with good intentions, if you can convince people that your product is going to be right for them, you’ll have won. Either way, using video testimonials is going to boost your product visibility.

Aleksi Halsas is CMO at Trustmary, which produces high-quality customer and employee testimonials that are effective and appealing to engage readers anywhere in the world. His specialty is boosting marketing campaigns and sales of businesses of all types with high-quality video testimonials. Follow Aleksi and the team on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.