Testimonials by celebrities can be effective if we like the celebrity, but when we know they’ve been paid for their endorsement it loses a little power to influence us. Testimonials by ‘real people’ tend to be more powerful as long as we believe they’re sincere, because a sincerely delivered endorsement from someone just like us carries a lot of weight.  In fact, Entrepreneur article “How to Effectively Use Testimonials” states they build trust and overcome skepticism. So is there a downside for using testimonials to market your product or service?

When the internet became a popular marketing tool inauthentic testimonials became common, with businesses hiring individuals to write numerous positive endorsements of their products or negative reviews of competitors, giving rise to fraudulent testimonials called “opinion spam.”  The resulting enormous quantities of fake testimonials were responsible for the testimonial verification services and Federal Trade Commission rules governing endorsements that rapidly followed, but it left the average consumer in a quandary.  How do you know who to believe?

Video testimonials add an authentic element to ‘real people’ endorsements; after all it’s a lot harder for one person to provide a multitude of fake video testimonials than written testimonials. Video also conveys facial expression and body language, and this makes it easier to evaluate sincerity.  All this means a video testimonial is harder to fake and easier to believe. 

With the added information provided in a video testimonial, and the resulting power the visual element adds, you have a much more effective endorsement. Real people aren’t usually marketers though, so your testimonial might not be as professional sounding as a scripted and acted testimonial, but realistic language carries its own benefit; added authenticity. “A good testimonial is from someone your audience can relate to”, per Entrepreneur, and a video testimonial can make that connection immediately.

In addition, you can give a non-professional endorsement a bit more power by including your endorser’s name, location and an e-mail address (always with their permission).  According to the Entrepreneur article, requesting customers mention the benefits they liked in your product or service tells why it’s different from the other choices available and testimonials that tell what your product did for them that another product failed to do are even better.  

Now that you’re convinced, how do you get these great video testimonials? Per Entrepreneur, one of the easiest ways is to include a link on your site, asking your customers to tell you what they think, and including the link next to existing testimonials lets them know what you’re looking for. If you’re not using testimonials you may be ignoring a powerful marketing tool, and if you’re worried about customers thinking your testimonials are fake, video testimonials may be your answer.

For more about video testimonials, contact us.