Get Up to Speed on Testimonial Videos
by Jacob Trussell5 min read
- 51% of marketers worldwide use real customer stories in video content
- 43% of B2B marketers find testimonials to be the most valuable video type for moving prospects through the sales funnel.
- 68% of buyers find testimonials to be one of the most valuable features of the purchasing process
- Conversely, 73% of sellers find testimonials to be one of the most valuable features of the purchasing process
- 33% of B2B marketing professionals worldwide are currently using testimonial videos in their media mix
What is a Testimonial Video?
In essence, testimonial videos use your audience to sell for you. They tell a true story, through a first person perspective, about someone’s experience involving your brand or product.
A way you can think of testimonials are like explainer videos, but with a unique storyteller–people who already love what you’ve got. These personal stories validate your brand or product to a prospective customer because you are authentically showing the confidence other consumers have in your offering.
This in turn allows you to communicate your brand’s story and the benefits you provide in a meaningful way, establishing a deeper, more personal level of credibility with your target audiences.
That personal credibility instigates social proof, a theory popularized by psychologist Robert Cialdini in the 1980s. Social proof is the concept that whenever we see someone else enjoying a product or vibing with an app, it makes us want to feel those feels for ourselves.
If social proof sounds like some pseudoscience, then we’ve got a question for you. When was the last time you or someone you know purchased a product because you saw a friend, celebrity, or influencer talking about or using said product?
I mean, we all bought a pair of Post Malone’s line of Crocs, right?
How it Works
Let’s clear something up about testimonials before we dive into how they work.
While this video type is most commonly used to share customer stories in the B2C and DTC space, they have far more utility than that. Testimonials can encompass case study-style videos, where B2B clients wax poetic on their experience collaborating with a brand on a campaign. They can also take the shape of culture-style videos, where your own team members can share their personal stories of working at your company.
If you don’t exactly know where to start, look towards creating UGC-style testimonials to strike an instant connection with your audience.
UGC stands for User-Generated Content which, if the name wasn’t abundantly clear, are videos that are–or appear to be–natively created on a social platform. We’ve all scrolled through Instagram or TikTok before and run across users speaking directly to the camera about a hot new video game or fashion line. This is true blue UGC.
Audiences have become accustomed to seeing friends and influencers speak about brands and products on social media, which is why UGC is such an effective video type to use. UGC-style testimonials mimic the style of true UGC, leveraging the familiarity of the format to inspire relatability in the viewer. With testimonials, your customer, client, or team member becomes both the storyteller and the story, so identifying individuals that will resonate with your target audience is key.
UGC-style testimonials are constructed so that it seems like the speaker shot it themselves, even though a small production crew was likely present. This will make the video feel less like a full-blown brand commercial, and more like one friend simply telling another why they love something they just purchased. One result of the rise in mobile video over the last few years is that online audiences are more trusting of user-generated content than lavish, impersonal productions, so don’t be afraid to go lo-fi, and scale up your productions from there.
Regardless of whether you choose to use real customers, clients, employees, influencers, professional actors, or a mix of them all, we need to double underline a point we just made. The most important factor when ideating a testimonial video is casting. You must ensure that whoever is delivering your testimonial is someone your target audience can relate to. If your testimonials aren’t absolutely authentic, your target audience will be able to tell.
Top Industries for Explainer Videos
Top Use Cases for Testimonial Videos
- Product Marketing
- Brand Marketing
- PR & Corporate Communications
Effective Best Practices for Testimonials Videos
- Use first-person language to achieve an active–rather than passive–voice.
- Leverage carefully curated talking points over formal scripts to ensure you retain a conversational tone.
- Create variations with multiple individuals to target a wide range of audiences, demographics, and platforms.
- Utilize an identifiable or familiar setting that will be relatable to your target audience.
What the Industry is Saying
“Customers are more likely to trust one another than an advertisement designed to promote your brand simply because it’s a person to whom they can relate. This relatability is only increased when your viewers see and hear a story similar to their own.”Reb Risty, REBL Marketing (via Forbes)
“A solid video testimonial can go a long way…they can be more impactful than anything written by your company or any commercial you may have produced in the past. It shows your company’s capacity to benefit the lives of people just like your prospective clients: It is genuine, heartfelt, and evocative.”Ryan Klein, Forbes
“People have become so used to using this kind of “social proof” to make decisions that as of last year, 78% of people say they trust online reviews just as much as recommendations from acquaintances. The more you can do to make your testimonials relatable, the more effective they will be – and seeing the person behind the review is a prime way to achieve that.”Chase Kleckner, Hubspot
Want to expand your testimonial knowledge to get a firmer grip on the style before your next campaign? Look no further than this required reading list from industry thought leaders to kick off your ideating.
- Build a Trusted Brand Through Testimonial Videos (Forbes)
- Best Video Types for Advertising in 2022 (QuickFrame by MNTN)
- 3 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Testimonial Videos (Hubspot)
- Brand Marketing with Video: Your Ultimate Creative Guide (QuickFrame by MNTN)
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, the ceiling is high for what your business can do with testimonial videos.
Regardless of your objectives and goals, this video type swaps out carefully crafted buzzwords and ad copy for the genuine opinions and perspectives of those impacted the most by your brand or product. By inspiring relatability through UGC-style videos, testimonials in turn establish social proof, encouraging your prospective customers down the sales funnel.
And not to bury the lede here, but by contrasting your customer problems with your personal solution, you’ll invariably surface the core differentiators between you and your direct competitors. This way, your testimonial video can encompass not only your customer’s experience using your product – but their experience abandoning the competition in favor of you.
Whether it’s a real customer, current client, or happy employee, everyone in your brand’s orbit has a story to tell.
Let them tell it through testimonial videos.
Subscribe to the MNTN Research Weekly.
Sign up to receive a weekly feed of curated research, sent straight to your inbox.
1 Types of Videos Organizations Use According to Marketers Worldwide, Sep 2021 (Insider Intelligence)
3 8 Video Ad Creative Trends That Have Emerged Since March 2020 (QuickFrame by MNTN)
4 How to Make an Effective Testimonial Video (Forbes)