Social proof is one of the essential tools that a business can use to attract and keep a wider audience. It’s no longer a question if you should use testimonials, but how can you get the most out of them.
Publishing a photo of a satisfied user with a quote on your social media can get some positive reactions, but it isn’t enough to grab attention and convince people to give your product a chance.
If you want to add impact to your testimonials, you need prospects to connect with the message, recognize their issue in it and feel that it’s more than another generic user review.
Let’s go over some checkpoints that will help you step up your content and create more effective testimonials that will give a crucial contribution to your results.
How to Make Customer Testimonials that Stand Out
1. Use video.
It’s not a secret that video content is one of the core elements of marketing strategies for many brands. This trend goes perfectly hand in hand with sharing positive experiences that customers had with your brand. Creating B2B video testimonials provides you with an opportunity to go in-depth and showcase each story with a special treatment that will make it more believable.
Don’t let the thought of producing a video scare you away – you don’t need a full crew with expensive cameras and many hours to edit it. Thanks to available tools, you can even create an effective video testimonial remotely without even meeting the participants in person.
Even though you still need to meet some quality standards to make the content watchable for your audience, the focus shouldn’t be on making it as flashy as possible.
Instead, the value of taking the video approach is that it gives you a dynamic way to tell a story of how you can help the prospects without dropping a block of text on their head or asking them to sit through hours of explainer videos.
This form can provide a more sincere feel to recommendations, as they can hear a real person talk instead of feeling like your brand is addressing them. Of course, just because something is in the form of a video, it doesn’t mean it will automatically be a success.
2. Don’t make commercials.
If you want to get the word-of-mouth feel in your video testimonials, you need to use real people and let them tell their stories. This doesn’t mean that everything should be improvised, but you need to resist writing a full script for your speaker.
When you get a returning customer that’s willing to be in a video, the focus should be on their first-hand experience with your product and how it helped them solve a specific problem. Think about it as a conversation between friends – how would they describe to someone why they should give you a chance.
Preparation should include sharing with them your general vision, key points you’d like them to cover and the technical things they need to know. The rest is better kept organic. You can use a basic form to keep the story structured:
- Introduction – a short talk introducing the speaker, their situation and the challenge they were facing. This is the part where you set the stage and establish the emotion that will hook the viewers to hear the rest.
- The experience – after they pull the audience in, they should go on to cover the exact way you’ve solved their problem, but not listing bullets they could’ve read on your website – genuine emotion and conversational tone are the best way to convince the viewers that the recommendation is not staged.
- The point – wrapping up, the customer should conclude that they’re satisfied with all the aspects of their experience. This should seal the relatable nature of the talk, concluding with a note about the before-after of using your product.
3. Make the video engaging.
Firstly, try not to lean into putting everything into the video. It’s tempting to use as much material as possible when you have satisfied customers talking about you, but this can get tiring and make viewers drop off without getting to the point.
Instead, go for a shorter piece of content that will hold the audience’s attention throughout and tell a story with a purpose. For example, 30 minutes of conversation can become a 90 seconds video that packs a punch and puts the prospects in the speakers’ shoes.
A good rule of thumb is to think about if the video would deliver the same message without a sentence. If it doesn’t change anything, it’s safe to say you can do without it.
It’s not only the length that impacts the viewing experience. If you go just for a talking head approach even a minute can make the viewer doze off. Implementing B roll that showcases product being used, speakers’ workplace or even just different angles of the person talking or laughing can help hold focus.
If you want to go another step up, introduce graphics and text overlay. This helps the video be engaging, while also being a convenient way to highlight some data or put emphasis on certain information.
Just be careful not to overdo it, as it can go in the opposite direction and become too overwhelming for the audience.
4. Promote testimonials the right way.
When you have a finished piece of content you’re satisfied with, you need to push it through your channels with the goal to maximize the effect.
Your brand’s social media pages are the easiest way to distribute your video testimonials. Still, you shouldn’t just post the video everywhere and call it a day. You should think about the channel specifics and adjust the content accordingly.
For example, think about going with vertical videos for Instagram and Facebook as they’re mostly browsed through mobile devices. Subtitles are also a simple way to make the content more social-friendly.
There should also be a clear call-to-action added to the post to avoid your audience just scrolling away. Connect the testimonial to a landing page on your website, suggest they view previous content that you have explaining everything they just heard in more detail or even lead them further down the funnel with a leads form.
Another place that can work well with your video testimonials is embedded on your website. Creating an engaging landing page that collects your customer video testimonials can increase the time users spend there and increase the domain authority of your site. You could also submit testimonials to other websites to get a backlink to your landing pages.
Video content can also be a great addition to your email marketing campaigns, especially for users that are in later phases of the buyers’ journey. Insert a short clip inviting the prospects to see more on your website or just embed the whole video making it a centerpiece of a newsletter depending on your frequency.
Your sales team can also leverage the video content to close deals, both in their offers and in outreach campaigns instead of sending classic FAQs.
Creating effective testimonials asks for additional effort compared to other content, but when you do it the right way it quickly pays off. Just keep in mind that the customer should be the face of this type of content and that it should be different from other types of direct promotion.
Take your time to find the right speakers and prepare everything so they know what’s expected from them. When you got everything mapped out, feel free to experiment with different formats and gather material that will, later on, be turned into something relatable and dynamic.
Put the time in crafting the final product as well, because you can use it in multiple ways later on. Video testimonials are a valuable asset in your strategy that can be served in multiple ways, keeping them fresh for different channels and stages of buyers’ journey.
About the Author
Sam Shepler is the founder and CEO of Testimonial Hero. 150+ B2B revenue teams at Google, UiPath, Medallia, InsightSquared, and many others use Testimonial Hero to easily create customer videos that engage prospects, reduce friction in the sales cycle, and drive more revenue faster. Follow Sam on Twitter on LinkedIn!