Would you do business with a company without scoping them out first? When choosing a restaurant, do you stalk their Yelp page? I’ll bet you pay close attention to that coffeemaker’s star rating before buying it on Amazon. Yes, we as consumers are hard-wired to look for existing social proof before we make any buying decision. And your potential customers are no different.
They have questions about your business. When a prospect arrives at your website, chances are, they are looking for a solution to some problem they are having. They’re checking you out to see if you can offer the best solution for them. A well-executed testimonial can do just the trick to answering that question while calming any fears or objections before they come up.
A testimonial gives your prospects access to your previous clients, so they have a better idea of what they are getting themselves into. But a written testimonial can only be so convincing. That’s where testimonial videos come into play.
Why Testimonial Videos Work Better
The problem with the written word is that people have a hard time connecting it with a real person. By ditching the traditional written testimonial in favor of testimonial videos, you can expect an exponential increase in its positive effects. Why? Because people respond to other people. More importantly, we respond to all of the non-verbal subtexts that goes into it: facial expressions, body language, and the overall passion for the product or service.
Imagine you come across a written testimonial on a website. How likely are you to believe it at face value? Especially given the fact that it lives on a site that the business itself controls. For all you know, it could have been written by a friend of the owner, or worse yet, completely fabricated. Whether it’s real or not, the fact remains, you just don’t know.
Video can fill in the missing pieces. You know a real person is on the other end of the testimonial because you can see them. And more importantly, if they seem to be telling the truth, they most likely are. We have all seen more than a few “staged” video testimonials — television commercials use them all the time. And they are largely ineffective because we know what people look like when they are speaking in their own words, versus giving a pre-prepared speech.
It’s hard to quantify, but we just know when something seems fishy, and when it feels genuine. So if you get real testimonial videos from real customers, they will be incredibly effective. But there is still more to think about to maximize their impact.
Put Yourself Inside the Mind of Your Audience
In order to craft the most useful testimonial videos, you need to know who they are speaking to. Once you understand the kind of information your audience needs to hear, you can help guide the narrative so that it is as effective as possible in convincing new prospects.
So before you start obtaining these videos, you will want to come up with a few personas of your ideal customers. Chances are, your business has more than one, so be sure to develop a persona for each.
Be as specific as possible. A persona is not a type. It needs to be a “real” person, with a name, an age, a job, hobbies and a life. These personas are who your testimonial videos need to speak to, and ideally, you will have at least one video for each.
Within each video testimonial, you want to pay close attention that you are answering the three questions that your prospects are wondering about. If you can hit on all three, then they should be extremely persuasive, resulting in more future business.
Question 1: Do they specialize in what I need?
Once a customer is on your site, they will be looking around, making sure that you offer what they are looking for. In other words, they are looking for a solution to their problem. If your testimonial video can show a previous customer finding a solution to the same problem, this will help future customers see your product or service as the cure for what ails them.
Question 2: Can they help someone like me?
This is where those buyer personas really come into play. Once you have the personas written down, strategically target past customers that fit in line with each of them. By showing your target audience past customers who are similar, they will feel much more drawn to them, and will take their words to heart.
They will draw the conclusion that you can help them because you have already helped someone just like them.
Question 3: What will the end result be?
This is possibly the most important question you can answer in a testimonial video. The entire reason people do so much research into a product or service up-front is because they don’t want to waste their time and/or money on a solution that isn’t going to work.
When your testimonial subjects talk about the outcome of your product or service, (especially if they show real enthusiasm for the results,) your new prospects will be incredibly motivated to move forward.
Testimonial videos are essential “word of mouth” that you can control. Even if a customer has never heard of your brand before coming to your site, by simply watching videos of your past customers, they will begin to trust that you can deliver what you promise.
If they can get their questions answered not only by you but by a real person who is just like them, you have a very good chance of winning their business.
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