It has been said for a company to say nice things about itself is to have others say those nice things. Enter customer or client testimonials. This concept has more power than most people recognize. After all, if one of your customers gives your company a glowing testimonial, that customer is basically saying that he/ she is willing to put his/ her reputation on the line for you.

But testimonials also have psychological underpinnings that few other types of marketing tools do. According to the Content Marketing Institute, customer testimonials are a form of social proof. When people watch them, they assume that the feelings expressed by the speaker reflect the correct behavior or attitude toward a product or service. As a business owner, it’s the form of social proof that you want your product or service to have.

It is likely that most small business owners understand this on some level. Perhaps you’re in that group, but aren’t sure how to implement the use of testimonials. Or you have some idea how to do it but still aren’t convinced they could help your business. If so, read on. Here are three reasons to use video testimonials in your business’s marketing plan.

Before You Get Started

What you don’t want going into a video marketing campaign is to approach your endorsement videos with a “Ready! Fire! AIM! strategy.” Instead, Thought Cast Media recommends you approach your marketing plan with a strategy, just as you would all of your other marketing campaigns.

You might try to figure out how many customer endorsements you’ll need in order to reach your goals. Clearly, you don’t want to just stop with a single one. However, too many might bog down your marketing materials. It might be a good idea to look at how your competitors use spoken endorsements. Pay attention to how many they have. That can provide you with a rough guide.

You also want to figure out if you have some really engaging endorsements. Ho-hum testimonials convince no one. Go through your files and find the reviews that knock your socks off. Use those. If they were originally written instead of video testimonials, use technologies like Skype or Google Hangouts to get video if you have to. Or have a paid announcer read your testimonials as part of a longer piece.

Additionally, you’ll want to figure out a way to get customers to give you testimonials. Make a point of following up with your customers. Don’t bombard them all at once with requests for testimonials. Rather, use what’s called the drip method. Continue to send email requests on a regular basis to your customers. Also, don’t be afraid to personally. ask your best customers for a video review.

Lastly, figure out where you want to store your video endorsements. Will they be on your website? On your YouTube channel? On Facebook? Really think about where you’re likely to encounter your ideal customer. That’s a good place to put some of those videos.

1. Generate More Revenue

Reason number one for a small business to use testimonial videos is money. According to Big Commerce customer endorsements can increase a business’s revenue by 62%. That’s quite a jump.

This happens for a couple of reasons. Reviews that are 3-star or higher usually endorse the product, giving it a credibility boost that you wouldn’t get otherwise. This makes people feel more confident to buy. Reviews and endorsements also include many keywords, and if you’re a local small business, this counts as an organic way to increase traffic to your site. The more customers who can find you in a search ultimately means the more money you’ll make. After all, people have to find your product before they can buy it.

2. Credibility

Don’t you wish you could get all of your customers’ friends and families to recommend your product to their friends? And have the same effect that that kind of word-of-mouth can have? With video endorsements, you can. According to Search Engine Land, 88% of customers reported that they trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation.

Think about that. Your video reviews and endorsements are like having your customers’ friends and family give your products and services a thumbs up, and these thumbs up will be treated with the same weight as an endorsement from a personal friend.

Entrepreneur points out that unlike other forms of advertising and marketing, video testimonials don’t feel like a sales pitch. This allows your customers get transcend their feelings of skepticism.
What’s more, if you’re a local business owner, you can count on 88% of your local customer base to read reviews to influence buying behavior. These customers will read at least six reviews. However, 85% will read as many as 10 reviews.

But you don’t just have to have written reviews. Sites like Amazon, Yelp, and TripAdvisor all get their fair share of video reviews. Video reviews add a certain amount of credibility that other types of reviews don’t. Putting a face to a review makes it seem more real. This type of review often also includes a demonstration of the product or service. Your potential customers will use this information come buying time.

However, there’s another reason aside from all of this. People who have “jumped” onto your marketing funnel are at the end of the decision-making line by the time they watch a video endorsement. While video testimonials can be a lead generator, most often, customers use video endorsements as way to solidify for themselves what a good purchase they’ve made. This cuts down on buyer’s remorse and many of the other negatives that can go along with the buying process.

3. Product Launch

An article on Boast suggests that videotaped testimonials can launch a product. This is a BETA test of sorts. Usually, the company gives its reviewers an Advance Review Copy (ARC) in exchange for an honest review. Doing this not only allows a business to build word-of-mouth for the product, it also gives the company to do course corrections if something is off about the product.

This can happen for you in a couple of ways. You can “accidentally” leak a video to the public. These types of marketing tools often go viral, especially if it’s for a product that people have waited for for a while.

You can additionally build your company’s reputation by sharing your video with your target market on social media. This counts as a wise strategy for the new product or service that hasn’t gotten its foothold in the marketplace yet. And if one of the testimonials you include in your video marketing plan includes the endorsement of the product by someone famous, you’re in an even better position to sell.

Final Thoughts

Customer testimonials can great enhance your video marketing strategies. They help your business gain more local traction by enhancing local SEO for your site. These endorsements also carry enough weight with your would-be customers to increase your sales by over 60%.

Additionally, people report feeling as confident about video testimonials as they do about personal recommendations. Your best client reviews and endorsements can be like the friends and families of your potential customers telling them to buy from you.

Finally, using video in this way can be an excellent way to launch a product. Videos of this nature help you get into new markets and to BETA test your product and your advertising before opening these elements of your marketing plan up to the public.

Author's Bio: 

Tristan Pelligrino is the co-founder of Motion Video, a national video production company focused on helping businesses reach their audience through video content. He started his career as an IT consultant working for large organizations like PricewaterhouseCoopers, IBM, and Oracle. After an early career in consulting, Tristan branched out to create a leading regional video production company and digital marketing firm, and he is now focused on spearheading the growth of Motion Video.