Video killed the radio star (and the text star, and the billboard star, and probably the Death Star). It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating. Video plays a critical role in the future of marketing and lead generation. HubSpot reports that 81% of businesses used video as a marketing tool in 2019, with projections rising for 2020 and beyond. Video marketing is versatile and dynamic, with hundreds of ways to incorporate video into a brand’s marketing strategy. Roger West previously discussed the benefits and best practices associated with video marketing on YouTube, but video marketing goes beyond SEO. Video testimonials are growing in popularity, but many brands are still missing out on their benefits.
To The Funnel and Beyond
Video testimonials are a marketing powerhouse - appealing to prospects in the top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel. Testimonials are the most effective tool when it comes to establishing trust and credibility with the audience. Statistics show that social proof is more valuable than the standard regurgitation of statistics gathered in a vacuum, as the testimonial features a third party who experience real results with a particular product or service. This inherent value and implantation of trust means that video testimonials can be leveraged throughout the lifecycle of a sale or conversion.
- Top of the Sales Funnel: Use a short video testimonial to introduce your product or service and include a brief testimonial segment that focuses on education to raise awareness.Goal:Help and educate.
- Middle of the Sales Funnel: Now that your leads are committed to solving their problem (maybe even one they didn’t know they had until they saw your first testimonial!), lean a little further into selling your service. Include slightly longer testimonials from customers that appeal to emotion. Emphasize an understanding of customer pain points and how your service addresses them. Goal: Empathize, appeal and position.
- Bottom of the Sales Funnel: Include a 1-3 minute video testimonial from a client to incentivize prospects into becoming customers. Showing real people discussing your real solution to build trust and elicit an emotional decision from the prospect. Goal: Build trust and convert.
Making the Most of Video Testimonials
When deciding on which clients you should feature and interview for a video testimonial, begin with those who have the most compelling stories. Also be sure to engage a member of your client’s team that most closely reflects your target audience - decision makers, leadership, purchasing, etc. This will help you create a shortlist of clients from whom you can select to meet the three narrative components of effective video testimonials:
- Builds trust and credibility
- Elicits an emotional response to trigger decision making
- Tells a good story
Once you’ve identified and asked your clients to provide you with a video testimonial, it’s time to begin the planning phase. The success and efficacy of your video is largely determined by the marriage between your narrative focus and technological mastery - so call in reinforcements if you need to. Ask your creative team to create an outline of the testimonial prior to filming, but don’t script it. Guiding your client is suggested - though completely scripting an interview will make the final product feel rehearsed and inorganic.
Identify a good interviewer for the video testimonial. Maybe there’s an objective member of your team who is good at making connections and guiding conversations. If not, many digital marketing agencies and video production companies have employees trained on the art of the interview for the purpose of video testimonial creation.
When filming day rolls around, create a relaxed but professional environment to film in. Ensure that you’re using appropriate equipment that matches the quality you aspire to, using tripods, lighting (natural or artificial), high-quality video cameras or DSLRs, and audio equipment that eliminates background noise and external distraction. Film some B-roll, or subject matter other than your interview subject, to give your testimonial more texture and glimpses of your product, employees, or services at work.
Throughout the filming and editing process, it’s important to keep the three pillars of video testimonials in mind. You want to build trust and emotional connections through storytelling to get your message across. Let the client sell the work for you.
Post-production is your last stop before publishing - and it may take the longest. Depending on your needs, you may want to add text, transitions, and other after-effects to your testimonial. If there’s a graphic designer on your team - they can help with some aspects of this phase, but you might want to enlist the help of an agency or video production company to finish the job.
Post It, Share It, Spread It - Everywhere!
Your video testimonial is done. It’s beautiful. It’s shiny. Gollum would definitely consider it precious. What now? Well, post it. Obviously. A video testimonial, like other forms of video marketing, is versatile. They can be published to YouTube, Vimeo, on your website, in blogs, in newsletters, on social media...and just about everywhere else. Video testimonials can be repurposed the same way blogs can, and they should be. It’s easy. Watch this!
See how easy it is to just sneak a video in?
If you want to create or just get better at producing video testimonials and other dynamic content, Roger West can help.