Remote Video Testimonials. Is “Action!” over Zoom the New Normal of Advocacy?

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Video testimonials capture your customer success stories and present them to your audience in an interactive and engaging format that serves as a powerful sales and marketing tool. When your prospects can match a face with a positive review, their interest and curiosity peak as their trust and confidence in your product and brand gets amplified.

But the economic shock wave created by the ongoing pandemic has left us to figure out many business aspects: from the basics of ensuring business continuity and taking customer service remote, all the way to polishing engagement, securing loyalty, and boosting advocacy. Keeping your customers close is more important than ever, and genuine advocacy can be a way for businesses to heal and grow.

Inside this guide, we’ll cover in depth what video testimonials are, their types, the benefits they bring to your brand as well as all the necessary steps for preparing and conducting the interview. We’ll also walk you through some of the reasons video testimonials are important for the speaker as well, the boosting effect they can have on your champion’s career, and how to make the most of video testimonials while maximizing your ROI. But most importantly we are touching on how to transition from sending video crews around the world to creating professional looking remote video testimonials.

A video testimonial presents a customer’s positive experience with your product, service, or brand in video format for other potential customers to use as a source of reference and inspiration before making their purchase decision. Customer testimonial videos are a great way to connect with your target audience and boost brand awareness.

Positive stories boost our feelings of trust, compassion, and empathy. Thus by framing the testimonial as a story rather than just presenting facts will motivate your viewers to watch more of the content, remember the message for longer time, and emotionally connect with your brand and message.

How video testimonials help a company grow.

For marketers and salespeople, testimonials represent important instruments for building trust and boosting sales. But aside from that, video testimonials are also extremely versatile, they help uncover the true emotions of customers and the real reasons behind their purchase decisions and product usage. By bringing to light true passion and loyalty for the brand, video testimonials will keep visitors coming back to your website and will nurture them into taking action. This translates into better SEO ranking because search engine algorithms take into consideration the content interaction and time spent by a visitor on a website.

Video testimonials also help create transparency and authenticity which naturally gets people talking and leads to a boost in brand awareness and social interest. 96% of shoppers find videos helpful when making purchase decisions online.

Video testimonials also help develop a speaker’s career.

The benefits of video testimonials expand well beyond those for your brand, all the way to the interviewee. While the motivation to act as a pillar of trust and as a reference for other potential customers primarily stems from product or service delight, it then shifts into other personal benefits. They include recognition, professional growth, career opportunities as well as easy access to a pool of industry leaders and executives that can positively shape and influence their occupational aspirations. Your champions can use the video opportunity to clarify internally what the objectives were and how they achieved them. Or they can share it with their network to boost their status as a valuable professional in a marketplace that laid off millions in just a few short weeks.

Video testimonials are a partnership of trust between the brand and its most loyal customers. They bring to light valuable stories about the speaker and the brand, to the benefit of the audience. The initiative of putting your customer in the spotlight though video testimonial spreads awareness about the customer’s journey to success and, as a result, leads to more referrals, clients, strategic partnerships, and visibility.  So, video testimonials can also work as a launchpad for the speaker’s career or brand.

Types of video testimonials.

To boost your brand image and make the most of your customers’ feedback, you can

  • either ask your customers to shoot the remote video testimonial themselves
  • or hire a specialized crew to shoot a professional video for you
  • or make the best of both worlds by working with professionals to coordinate the project, create a storyline, help the customer create a small video set, interview remotely, edit the footage, and add branding elements.

That sounds overly complicated, but it really isn’t. Check out this best practice from Oracle’s video team.

Tutorial: Interview for Remote Video Testimonials

And if you are one of the skeptics who think remote video testimonials could never be high quality enough to represent their brand, it’s time to leave that mindset behind. Remote interviewing and conferencing platforms enable more people to participate, more motion to be captured, and more authentic sets.

Have a look at this video about Dell Technologies empowering education during lockdown. I had to wipe off a tear after watching it. And it is not one bit less professional than what a crew would produce.

The team at Metia has done a superb job. Hats off!

Example of a remote video testimonial, produced by Dell

If you are already using video testimonials as part of your marketing strategy, or you are wondering how to leverage their power, when it comes to choosing the best option for you, there’s no right or wrong decision. Remote production truly is a way to “do more with less” but it may not appeal to your advocates. Maybe they fear it will be unprofessional and hamper their brand more than boosting it. Show them what can be achieved, and then agree on a process that fits your heroes, audience, budget, and brand guidelines best.

Best practices for producing remote video testimonials.

In many video testimonials brands feature a customer who talks about how amazing their products and services are. While there’s nothing wrong with pinpointing benefits, that approach won’t get you very far in terms of creating rapport with your audience or getting them to sit through an entire 3-minute monologue. Instead, a good testimonial video should tell a compelling, relevant and inspiring story, with authority characters real professionals, genuine challenges and a well-thought out plot.

The key to crafting a compelling testimonial video story is to make your customer the hero, not your products or brand. The primary purpose of a testimonial video is to extract authentic, powerful, yet impartial emotions from the experience of a current or former customer in a way that can be useful to other potential customers. The focus should always be on the storyline and how it can spark the same emotions and convictions in the viewers as it did in the speaker, demonstrating how their challenges and problems can be fixed using the same solution.

Taking your interviewees through all the emotional stages of their buying journey and painting a vivid picture of the results they experienced with your product or service, will allow your prospects to witness firsthand the story of transformation that took place but also to relate with it and remember it.

How to prepare and where to start.

Before diving into the actual interview and starting the production, it’s important to figure out who your speakers will be. Deciding on who to choose for the interview is a process based primarily on your customers’ previous interactions with your company as you want your audience to fully identify with the speakers, their goals, and business or industry challenges. 

 

Prepare for the interview by creating a structure and a flow for the story to keep your viewers interested as they move through the video testimonial. It can be done internally or with the help of a marketing agency. At this stage, some in-depth research might be necessary in order to get the best results out of your remote video testimonial and deliver your message with impact. This will also help you draft the questions for the interview.

To make your research even more accurate, try getting as much information as possible from team members that have interacted directly with your customer. Departments like customer service, product development, and sales are usually the most exposed to your customers’ pain points, challenges, and frustrations, so they might be able to contribute some important insights. Some aspects to focus on include information about their overall buying experience, the hurdles that led to the buying decision, the pain points of each decision maker. Dig as much as you can into how life was before you came along.

How to conduct the remote video testimonial interview.

Conducting a remote video testimonial interview is not only about opening a conf call and asking a few questions. It’s about extracting authentic anecdotes and emotions from your customers’ unique experiences with your product and service. So, once everything is set up and the day of the interview has arrived, it’s time to sit down with your customer and bring to light that unique and genuine story your audience is interested in.

Creating a comfortable yet private virtual space and walking your customers through the interview process before the recording button is pressed will make them feel in control.

The questions that will yield the best responses and therefore the best results should be phrased around the following topics:

  • Struggles and pain-points the customer faced before they came across your products/services
  • Other solutions they tried, and why they chose you
  • Things they really love about the product, differentiators, uniqueness
  • Business results your customer achieved by working with you and by using your product
  • How does their achieved result make the world or someone’s life a little better

Production process and costs.

If you are producing remote video testimonials, the biggest part of the work is done by your customer. But you still need to invent some time, have some knowledge of video editing, or hire a professional. We’ve written at length about the costs of video production with a crew and UGC, please check out those articles for more info.

Measuring ROI.

Measuring the success of a video testimonial and its return on investment is perhaps the most difficult yet rewarding part of a marketer’s job. This is where video analytics and other metrics come into play, offering key insights on how the content is absorbed by the audience, how long they’ve watched your video, at what minute they decided to stop, etc. This type of information is useful for understanding the viewing behavior of your audience and making the necessary adjustments to improve the video testimonial campaign. If you want to determine the success of your video testimonial, here are some performance indicators you can track:

Minutes watched

The level of video engagement reveals how long a viewer has stayed with your video testimonial, and it’s particularly useful in determining whether your audience finds it relevant, whether they can relate to it, or if it has a good overall flow. Also, if they ever got to see the CTA at the end.

Social reach

Video testimonials go hand in hand with social media, so one way to measure the success of your campaign is through social shares, number of comments or interactions. The more viral it goes the more attention your brand receives, and more people will be introduced to your products or services.      

Click-through rate

This indicator measures how many people have clicked to find more about your brand after watching the testimonial. The CTR is measured by dividing the number of clicks by the total number of people who’ve watched the video.

Conversion rate

This is arguably the most important metric for any piece of content. Depending on the goal of your video testimonial, whether it is to attract new leads, get more traffic, or maybe to get the email addresses of the visitors, this metric demonstrates how your video testimonial has performed in achieving that purpose. The trick here is to track the traffic correctly in order to ensure full statistical relevancy.

Looking into the future.

The COVID-19 crisis has undoubtedly impacted the world economy and the business environment. Due to the social distancing measures imposed worldwide, many businesses have faced significant disruptions over the past few months. But the times we face also make us think outside the box and get creative with achieving our goals. Stories make us feel like we’re part of something bigger than ourselves. We all need that during the next few months, or years, when we will focus on self-healing and finding a new normal. Maybe remote production of video testimonials will be one of the things we will use more even when things return to normal, because it’s more cost effective, more authentic, and reduces our carbon footprint.


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