How UGC is Changing Customer Advocacy Video Testimonials

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Video testimonials help put a face to a brand’s customer base, making these reviews relatable. They provide visual cues that evoke emotions that text messages can only dream of. Videos lower bounce rates, improve SEO ranking, add a human element back into the world wide web, and attract site visitors better than any other content. Videos increase the time visitors spend on your site, and when coupled with a transcript, they invite three times as many inbound links, increasing your chances of being found, watched, and shared with a larger audience. 

It’s no surprise that videos are fast becoming the content marketer’s best weapon in the toolbox.

But let’s be honest: videos are a lot of effort. It takes a village; or at least a team of professionals. Copywriters to produce a script, directors to design a storyboard and advise the speaker, project managers to arrange for the best time and location, video producers shoot the segment and edit it, content managers to finally publish the video. That is a lot of time and resources invested in the planning, production and post-production work. Expensive, inefficient, and exhausting if the marketer is to keep up with the requirements of a modern editorial calendar.

Traditionally, the camera crew needed to travel to customer headquarters and capture the testimonial. However, as smart phones are becoming central to our lives, this is rapidly changing. Phones are now equipped to capture high resolution videos with good sound quality. While there’s of course productions that require cam and crew, those are no longer the customer advocacy video testimonials.

Enter the User Generated Video

A relatively new marketing content concept—but quickly becoming a trend—user-generated video is video produced by a non-professional, typically with their smartphone. Such as a quick message from a customer expressing their happiness with a brand, it’s products, or services. 

These videos are then shared on social or on review sites and through mentions, tags, comments, and stories, they fuel and shape the buying habits of a gadget addicted generation with amazing purchase power.

gadget friendly generation watching video testimonials image

According to HubSpot, “more than 8 in 10 millennials say user-generated content from people they don’t know influences what they buy and indicates brand quality, while 51% say it is more important than the opinions of their friends and family.”

But possibly the more important thing is that many of the buyers in this generation don’t even consider a product or service without first consulting community opinions. If testimonials are not your strength, it’s time to quickly catch up or you are not on the map.

User Generated Evidence for your Customer Advocacy Program

Brands are now tapping into this trend. They run popular challenges and contests, invite followers to record their comments in a video, and quickly curate them for social media. These are the brands that always have a ton of relatable and shareable content to support their culture; and a ton of testimonials to support their sales cycle and improve the bottom line.

Your clients—for sure—also take selfies and share videos with their friends or peers all the time. If your brand is helping them out through a rainy day, some of those videos could be about you. And if you already have an engaged advocate community you can collect in a week more testimonials than you could produce with a cam and crew in a year. Unscripted, authentic, cost-efficient testimonials.

The best thing about user generated testimonials is how diverse the videos look – customers are recording them in the comfort of their office, in the store or showroom with their colleagues and clients, or even on the floor of their production factory. They speak confidently without a script, present an authentic version of themselves, and can enlist an army of colleagues to get you amazing b-roll. Keeping the content unscripted and inviting your customers to be a part of a meaningful storytelling initiative about your brand can be exciting and relationship-building.

If you are a brand who leverages user made video testimonials in your digital properties, you may want to be more deliberate in defining some style guidelines, making it easy for your users to take the shots you need and inserting some brand elements or b-roll into the content. You also want to make it fun and collaborative and reward active customers with perks from your advocacy program.

You will of course need some simple editing to brighten their videos, add titles and lower thirds, or cut out the occasional stammer. After all, your customers are not trained speakers

According to Chris Lavigne, Head of Production at Wistia: “When people are worried about marketing speak and hitting everything perfectly, it’s unnatural and robotic.” So it’s up to your brand to take that worry out of your advocate’s way and let them focus on the details of their experience in an authentic way that viewers will trust.

customer advocate filming user generated video testimonial photo

Add Our Secret Sauce to Your User Produced Video Testimonials.

Our partners at Sauce can help you transform your advocate community into a powerful video testimonial creation force. Their powerful platform empowers you to create video projects with instructions that describe the goal and content required. Then you can invite advocates to capture and upload their testimonials. The platform allows you to direct, collect and curate their submissions in the cloud, get notified when footage is uploaded and send notifications to your contributors. You can easily edit the content by dragging start and end points of each video, adding brand and transition elements, or adding music and captions.

Alternatively, you can send it to us for production. Simply select the desired content, create your storyboard and send it within the app to our video editors. We’ll turn around a professional video in just a couple of days.

We believe that brands are powered by their customer communities. The people who embrace your products or services can offer authentic stories that illustrate your brand message best.

Sauce empowers you to collaborate with customers around the world and create these stories together. Their mobile and desktop platform gives you the tools to build a powerful, resourceful video team and realize your brand’s creative vision.

Start empowering your advocate communities to create testimonials without waiting for a cam and crew and you will see your brand and bottom line grow exponentially.

About The Author

Diana Gabroveanu
Diana runs the creative and strategy team that gives our clients the fuel they need to start a new program. She has 15 years of customer advocacy experience - from program design and deployment to positioning strategies and community engagement. Diana is HubSpot and Influitive certified consultant.

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