Why are testimonial videos a worthy investment?
In 1 word: trust!
Building brand trust is perhaps the most important factor for a high lead conversion rate, and that’s exactly what a good testimonial video achieves.
With an effectiveness rating of 89%, testimonial videos are the most proven-to-be-successful video marketing strategy.
And, you’re in luck, because they’re exactly what I’m going to delve into in this post!
What’s a Testimonial Video?
When it comes to deciding whether or not to buy, customers pay major attention to what others (especially people similar to themselves) who’ve already made that purchase have to say. Usually they will do this by seeking out reviews on social media and elsewhere on the web.
Testimonial videos essentially perform the same function – BUT, thanks to their visual nature, they’re far more effective! It’s a platform for your satisfied customers to tell the world about their amazing experience with your product or service.
“It’s a platform for your satisfied customers to tell the world about their amazing experience with your product or service.”
Testimonial videos can take on many forms, the majority of which will be represented in the 15 examples at the end of this article, and they can often overlap. Here are some of the most common types:
- Customer testimonial video: Your client gives an overview and review of your product or service, whether they be an individual or a business.
- Success story video: You prove the quality of your product or service by showing how it has transformed someone’s life for the better, usually with before and after juxtapositions.
- Celebrity (or ‘influencer’) testimonial video: Someone in the public eye, preferably respected by your customer base, endorses your product or service by describing how it has worked for them.
- Employee testimonial video: Your employees talk about what it’s like to work for you in order to encourage a high-quality workforce to your business.
Of course, there are always exceptions and creative twists on the traditional styles. Some of which we will take a closer look at. But, for the most part, these 4 types cover every testimonial video you’re likely to see.
So, if you’re looking for a way to maximise your profits, look no further!
How Can I Produce Effective Testimonial Videos?
Here are my top 8 tips for creating an incredible, conversion-boosting testimonial video:
1. Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is important when creating any video marketing material, but especially your testimonial video. Because, if a viewer can identify with one or more of the participants, more than likely they will pay it much greater attention.
The best method for collecting this kind of data is Qualitative Research. With tools like Qualaroo, you can survey live traffic on your website.
New apps are also being made available that take the pain and hassle out of gathering customer testimonials. The best of the bunch is Boast, and you can even trial it for free.
Or simply just examine online reviews to find out things like:
- If you’re appealing to specific demographics
- If there are any major complaints about your business
- What people really love about your product or service
- Your customer’s general tastes, feelings, impressions in relation to it
Not only will this tell you who should be in your video, but also what topics it should cover.
2. Make It Believable
Unless you’re doing it ironically, no one wants to be presented a stiff, obviously scripted testimonial video as if it’s a genuine, off-the-cuff review. In fact, skip the script altogether and focus on creating as comfortable an environment as possible for your participants. One that dispels any pre-shoot nerves.
Make use of visible psychological implications. Take the Kennedy-Nixon debates for examples, those who watched it on TV were sure Kennedy had won; those who listened on the radio were convinced it was Nixon. The conclusion: always look the part!
Help guide the participants with some simple, well thought out questions that reveal:
- Who they are, who they work for and what problem they were experiencing before coming across your product or service
- How they came across your product or service
- What ways it helped them – go into specifics
- Their favourite thing about it
- Why any major doubts people have are ill-conceived
- Why they would recommend it to other people or organisations
Alternatively, if your service is all about the environment – a university campus or a summer camp, for example – try doing quick interviews in real-time with people going about their daily activities. Then edit them into an all-encompassing testimonial video.
3. Give Some Context
To gain some added trust with the viewer, include yourself or a member of your team in the video. By doing this, you will give the viewer some interesting background as well as help them attach a face and personality to your brand.
In it, you could:
- Talk about what led you to develop the product or service
- Show what your work environment is like
- Give some geographical context to your business and your product or service reach
- Explain why helping your customers brings you infinite joy and satisfaction
4. Appeal to Emotions
As frustrating as it can be, not all businesses can win over an audience with hard facts and figures alone. Therefore, appealing to things that your audience cares deeply about is important.
For instance, if you’re trying to bring awareness to an amazing new medicine, don’t just list the reasons it works better than other similar medicines. Show the entire journey of a patient from their pre-discovery of the medicine to their full recovery.
In other words: make it an experience rather than a purely rational, to-the-point interrogation of someone.
5. Work on Setting
Setting is important for giving character and authenticity to your testimonial video. If you’re recording it in a standard interview-style, having the participant’s workplace as the backdrop is a good rule of thumb.
However, if for some reason that’s not possible, here are some tips to follow if you want your setting to have a professional-quality appearance:
- Choose a space where you can control the light with either a dimmer switch or adjustable blinds
- Give the space some personality with things like books or plants, but remove anything that could be too distracting
- It should be somewhere where the interviewee feels at ease
- When set dressing, rearrange the scene in many different ways to find out what works best
For a more comprehensive guide to set dressing your video, take a look at this infographic I created on the topic.
If, on the other hand, your video is telling the story of a particular customer’s experience/transformation achieved by using your product or service, try to use the locations in which that story took place. Or, show the customer partaking in activities they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to without your product or service.
6. Publish it in the Right Places
Outlining specific key performance indicators (KPIs) in pre-production will go a long way to informing where the final video should be published, and ultimately to its success. For example, if your KPI is to increase traffic to your site from social media marketing by 20%, it makes the answer to the question of where to publish it an easy one.
If you’re publishing it on your website, avoid putting it on a page that is made specifically for reviews and testimonials alone. These have been proven to attract a very small share of visitors’ attention on websites. Instead, if it’s a testimonial about a specific product, put it next to where people can read about and purchase that product.
7. Shoot More Than You Need
It might sound obvious, but if you’re making a 1-minute testimonial video, don’t just conduct 1-minute interviews with your participants. Instead, conduct 45-minute interviews and edit them down until you have the best 1 minute of footage.
If shooting in various locations, select more locations and shoot more scenes than is necessary. It will allow you to produce the best final product possible.
8. Don’t be Afraid to Break the Rules
As you will see in the 15 video testimonial examples, some of the best testimonial videos are those that break from the traditional formats. They include:
- Blind taste tests
- Scripted testimonial videos that humorously play on the artificiality of bad ones
- Pet testimonials
- Group activity testimonials
But the possibilities are endless.
How Can I Find the Perfect Testimonial Video Company?
If you would rather hire a professional video testimonial service to produce your video, these tips will help you to find the perfect one and build a strong working relationship with them:
- Take a look at their previous work and reviews. Have they made similar videos to the one you want? Have they worked well with businesses like yours or with some reputable brands names?
- If you are more trusting of agencies who can meet you face to face, only seek out ones in your area. Search ‘testimonial video company London’, for example.
- During your research, collect video examples that will help communicate your idea to agencies.
- Write out a brief that encapsulates your brand ethos and the key messages you want to get across in your testimonial video.
- Beware of agencies who, on your first phone call with them, are quick to provide a quote based on things like video length. They’re almost certainly looking for a quick sale rather than a collaboration aimed at achieving your desired business results.
- In your dealings with them, do they seem: keen, responsive, understanding, etc.?
- Always be open to professional opinion and be realistic with your schedule and budget.
If you would like to read a more in-depth article on finding the perfect video production company, you can do so by following this link.
15 of the Best Testimonial Video Examples
Bank of America – Testimonial Video
American multinational investment bank and financial services company Bank of America created this testimonial video with Boka Restaurant Group in 2012.
The Boka Restaurant Group is one the U.S.’s top chef-driven restaurant groups. In this testimonial, they tell the viewer who they are and what they do and how Bank of America was there for them at a time when no other bank was.
The is an excellent example of a customer testimonial video because it shows the client in their own successful environment rather than in a bland studio. By doing this, it makes what they’re saying sound all the more sincere and unscripted. The audience is more likely to believe that they couldn’t have gotten to where they are without the aid of Bank.
Sincerity is everything in your testimonial. Showing why it’s beneficial to do business with you is always better than explaining why.
Proactive – Testimonial Video
Back in 2011, skin-care brand Proactive recruited popstar Katy Perry to endorse their 3-step skin cleanser system. The result is this testimonial video.
In the clip, she discusses how her skin blemishes have led to insecurity and how, after trying Proactive Solution, they were completely cleared up.
Yes, this video is unbelievably cheesy and artificial, however, a study performed by Harvard Business school has proven that celebrity endorsement increases sales by 4% on average – millions of pounds for a big company.
So, if you can afford it, relevant celebrity testimonials are almost a guaranteed win.
Guardant Health – Testimonial Video
Guardant Health is a ‘precision oncology company dedicated to helping conquer cancer through proprietary blood tests, vast data sets and advanced analytics.’
Their powerful video testimonial follows the story of Guillermo, an active, single dad in Chicago who was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Having come to accept death, he decided to seek a third opinion from a doctor who uses the Guardant 360 test. And slowly he made a full recovery.
This video is as earnest and believable as any you will see. When someone has had an intensely positive experience health-wise, they are likely to want to do all they can to put the word out other people who are suffering, even without the potential financial gain.
If you are helping people’s live in a significant way, do all you can to highlight some of their stories.
“If you are helping people’s live in a significant way, do all you can to highlight some of their stories.”
James Cook University – Testimonial Video
James Cook University in Townsville, Australia created this testimonial video to encourage students to study at their school of creative arts.
In the clip, we hear from students of different nationalities, sexes and ages studying anything from design to photography, telling us how JCU has been for them.
This is a great testimonial video because it does a lot to reduce the anxiety young students might feel over the daunting prospect of starting at university. By covering lots of ground, it portrays a welcoming and supportive environment inclusive to all.
Make sure you know your audience in and out so you can cover its various demographics in your testimonial video. If a viewer can identify with one of the people talking, they are far more likely to listen to what they have to say.
Amazon – Testimonial Video
Even the biggest companies in the world need testimonial videos. American electronic commerce company Amazon made this clip in 2016 for their shipping and logistics service Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA).
In the video, we hear from 5 people who’s companies have used FBA to grow their business.
When it comes to b2b, it’s more important to prove why your service is the right choice through hard data than trying to appeal to emotions. Amazon achieves that perfectly here with some sleek graphics that show the growth their FBA service has helped customers achieve.
If you’re selling a service to businesses rather than to individuals, add graphics to your testimonial video that help build the case for choosing you.
Pepsi – Testimonial Video
Carbonated soft drink manufactured PepsiCo has been running this classic testimonial marketing promotion since 1975. This video is from 1981.
‘The Pepsi Challenge’ confronts their biggest competitors Coca-Cola head-on by asking members of the public to blind taste test the two drinks side-by-side and choose their favourite.
Guess who comes out on top every time?
Selling food or drink is a lot more impulsive than selling a product or service, so having uninformed people give their immediate response is the perfect approach in this instance. If most people unknowingly prefer your product to the market leader, there’s no reason why the general public wouldn’t give a try.
When a campaign has been running for over 40 years, you know it’s a winner.
99designs – Testimonial Video
99designs is a go-to platform for custom graphic design. In this video, they talk to a young creative, Jenn, who runs her own women’s accessory line Le Floq. After giving an overview of her business, she goes on to describe in detail her experience using the platform.
This is a good example of a testimonial video with a specific aim. It shows the type of client who would use, and benefits from using, the service. Jenn tells us about the entire process and why it was so amazing for her in a natural and believable way.
Always outline exactly what you want your testimonial video to achieve before beginning video production.
The Belgravia Centre – Testimonial Video
British hair loss clinic The Belgravia Centre created this patient testimonial video to remove doubts about the validity of their treatment.
In the simple 90-second clip, we hear from 26-year-old Zahra who suffers from female pattern hair loss. To back up her praise for their service, they use before and after photos to reinforce its credibility.
Visually this is a bog-standard testimonial video: a client standing before a white background talking about their experience with a product or service. However, in this instance, it works because the success of The Belgravia Centre depends on whether or not people believe in their treatments and not on any emotional or environmental factors.
Is your service one that people are doubtful or sceptical about? Prove them wrong with testimonial success stories.
Steve & Kate’s Camp – Testimonial Video
Steve & Kate’s camps are multi-interest summer day camps for kids across America. In this testimonial video, they assemble feedback from many of the kids at the camp into a single well-edited clip, allowing them to sum-up their experience themselves.
This is a great testimonial video because it also works well as a regular brand advertisement. It speaks directly to children from children, which can go a long way in encouraging them to want to go themselves. And it makes sure to cover the wide range of activities that the camps cater to.
In certain cases, testimonial videos might be the best choice for your main brand advert. A good agency will help you to realise this.
LoyaltyOne – Testimonial Video
Canadian marketing services provider LoyaltyOne went a different route with their testimonial video. In this 3-minute clip, we hear their employees attesting to the quality of the working environment at the company rather than customers to their product or service.
As you can see in the video, LoyaltyOne have won awards for being one of the best companies to work for in Canada as well as one of the best employers of young people. This employee testimonial video aims to show why that is through the employees themselves in order to encourage a top-level workforce to want to work there.
The better you treat your employees, the more productive your output will be. If you’re a business owner who’s aware of this, show it in an employee testimonial video.
“The better you treat your employees, the more productive your output will be. If you’re a business owner who’s aware of this, show it in an employee testimonial video.”
Slack – Testimonial Video
Cloud-based team collaboration tools and services technology Slack created this unique testimonial video with the help of Sandwich Video agency.
In order to avoid being cliché and falling into the usual affected testimonial tropes, they took a humorous approach, making it in the style of a TV sitcom. The Sandwich Video team also run through all of the Slack features, making it a dual-purpose testimonial and demo video.
It’s obviously scripted and not a genuine testimonial, but that’s the whole point! Slack know their audience and what they would like to see, and a serious video talking about how great they are is just not it.
If you feel the standard approaches just aren’t for you, get creative and break the rules with your testimonial video.
eHarmony – Testimonial Video
American online dating website eHarmony made this success story testimonial video to show some of the real-life love stories that have come about thanks to their service.
In it, 8 couples, previously struggling and lonely in life, talk about how easy it was to find their perfect matches with the help of the website’s unique approach.
As well as that, we hear from the founder of eHarmony, clinical psychologist Dr. Neil Clark Warren, discussing the satisfaction he has experienced from having ‘a front row seats in watching loneliness dispelled.’
For a lot of people online dating can be a scary prospect. What this testimonial video does so well is to prove just the opposite using down to earth examples of people who felt there was no hope for them. Including some of the children literally born out of the process doesn’t hurt either!
If your service can be intimidating for people, prove why they’re wrong to feel that way in your testimonial video.
Love Yer Dog – Testimonial Video
All-natural dog skin and coat care manufacturer Love Yer Dogs created this simple testimonial video with the help of animal rescue centre Flagler Humane Society and Stimpy the dog.
It is a classic testimonial video with before and after photos to prove the quality of the product.
Stimpy is the perfect dog for this clip because, being a rescue, the product’s effectiveness can be easily tracked and documented throughout his recovery. Also, there’s no doubt it would strike a strong emotional chord with their intended audience.
You don’t need a big budget to make a great testimonial video, as long as you can be truthful while speaking directly to your audience you should be on to a winner.
Hewlett Packard – Testimonial Video
Major American multinational enterprise information technology company Hewlett Packard made a high-quality corporate testimonial video for their OfficeJet Pro X printer.
They go to a lot of effort to show how the product can be used anywhere in the word no matter the purpose and help companies in a variety of industries deal with things like wet conditions or their environmental impacts.
Although they’re not the most believable testimonials in the world, it still does a great job at explaining why the OfficeJet Pro X is the best option for all business printing needs.
Try to cover all of your product’s benefits and features in a natural way in your testimonial video.
Tri-City Cleaning Services – Testimonial Video
Canadian cleaning service Tri-City Cleaning created this low-budget testimonial video to ensure potential customer that they would be in safe and capable hands if they decided to choose them.
We hear from two happy customers, as well as Tri-City staff, telling why they are the best option in the area.
It’s not the best video in the world, granted, but in this instance, it really doesn’t have to be. When a service requires customers to put some level of trust in them – their personal space and possessions, for example – all the audience really wants to see is other regular people vouch for them.
Does your company require a certain level of trust from customers? Perhaps you’re a child-minding or dog-walking service? If so, use your already happy customers to quell any doubts and win you more business.
- I hope this guide has been insightful and that it comes in useful when making your own testimonial videos.
- Do any of the 15 examples discussed correlate with your business or testimonial video needs? Be sure to mark them for future reference.
- Remember that testimonial videos are proven to be the most effective marketing strategy making it truly a worthwhile investment.
- And please leave any questions or feedback in the comments section below. I’d be happy to get back to you!
Need to explain something relating to your business? Then check out my definitive guide to explainer videos, another amazingly engaging video style, here.