By now you must have heard of The Shed at Dulwich, the top-rated restaurant in London… that didn’t exist. But how did Oobah Butler get his “restaurant” to the top of TripAdvisor, you ask? Butler reveals that it’s by using a consistent flurry of fake reviews. Yes, ITV’s Susanna Reid was right in calling him “a naughty boy”, but what can businesses learn from his little experiment?
- One is that people hunger for authenticity and are willing to pay for it.
- That people look for social proof. They trust “trusted” review sites so much they’re basing their decision on them. In fact, Nielsen says 70% of consumers trust their fellow consumers’ opinions online.
- That even top sites can be tricked (Yes, okay, SEO specialists and Google have been at it for a while, and this isn’t an endorsement to resort to trickery, we just like stating the obvious).
- That the adage “Fake it till you make it” actually works.
3 Effective Video Testimonial Qualities Found in The Shed Experiment
But first, why video testimonials? Well, according to WebDAM, it’s the marketing content with the highest rate of effectiveness at 89%.
Not only that, unlike written testimonials, video testimonials can’t be faked as easily as in the case of ‘The Shed’.
Now, let’s identify three qualities that made The Shed experiment a success and then throw in examples:
This is an example of a long-form/ success story testimonial, as it’s a series of vlogs showing steady results. Although this isn’t brand sponsored content, or of a personal challenge done by a regular YouTuber, who is advocating for an idea – the keto diet – it’s an effective testimonial for the diet, because people see how it really works on an actual obesity sufferer.
On to its branded counterpart. Notice that even though it’s created by Nutribullet, it doesn’t have the usual infomercial feel to it. The video may be scripted, but the treatment of the video is unpolished, giving it a natural feel.
This is an example of a user and even employee testimonial.
Uber takes the number one spot in Adweek’s list of Most Improved Brands among Millennials and from this testimonial video, it isn’t hard to see why. This ridesharing platform is everything that millennials aspire to: global, trendy, inclusive, democratic, and empowering.
Meet the Women Behind the Wheel
There’s a host of feelings or moods that you can tap into to solicit an emotional response from viewers. Depending on your line of business and target audience, you can opt to make people laugh or cry, with the goal of having people associate a feeling with your offering.
For a dating site like eHarmony, warm and lighthearted works. These successful couples’ testimonials are all that some people need to believe that they, too, can find their one and only using eHarmony.
Success Couples Share their Stories
4 More Characteristics of High-Impact Video Testimonials and their Examples
Customer testimonials showing how a company’s solution is being used in their business is a demonstration of the product’s effectiveness. This type of testimonial is what SMEs typically need to build credibility.
Golden E Dairy Customer Testimonial
Practical or product-in-action testimonials also work for multinational companies like Schneider Electric
“Before Shootsta we weren’t doing enough video content, we were going to external video companies, and that was logistically difficult to organize and sometimes, quite expensive. So, that sort of put a cap on how much video we’re doing. One of the great things about Shootsta is making videos is more accessible across the business and we can get more people involved and shoot video content.”
For speciality business like furniture design, the testimonial should focus, not just mastery of the craft, but most especially on customer care. Businesses in line with the arts can be very particular and meticulous, and it’s businesses that can highlight the fact that they’re into details win.
Peter Thomas Designs
Speaking of customer care and very particular customers, here’s Social Gen’s Jeff Chang talking about his experience working with Shootsta.
“I’m convinced that helping businesses leverage the power of video is a life mission, as I’ve never met such a passionate, happy, and helpful bunch of people. They even baked banana choco chip muffins for me for god’s sakes!”
If you belong to the corporate business industry, you’re dealing with specializations like management, leadership, public speaking, strategies, and so on. If you’re going to make a video testimonial, aim for a steady and controlled, but not severe image.
Professional testimonials aren’t limited to corporate clients, but as well as to clients in the public service industry.
“We are a government organization, so our content isn’t always very sexy, but it’s important content and it’s information that’s important for people living in Canberra, so we have to find ways to really create engaging content for our audiences and we’re finding video is perfect for that. The Shootsta platform is certainly helping us produce more and better video in a more timely way, so we’re more effectively reaching our audience, which is the Canberra community. And we’re getting great content out on our comms channels.”
Credibility is about having a proven track record to back up claims. In this example, nothing beats having Tony Award nominees readily and proudly vouching for your platform in roping more aspirants in.
Testimonials from 2017 Tony Award Nominees
For a big book publishing brand like Harper Collins credibility comes down to concrete results.
“The main pain points prior to Shootsta are outdated equipment, minimal training, poor quality results. So prior to Shootsta, we’re probably paying a couple of thousands of dollars per video, but this comes down to about 800… [and] we’re creating so many more videos, being more creative, and we’re no longer dreading the whole filming process. Views have doubled and engagement has grown by 20%”
In this smartphone crazy generation, everyone has a say in everything. Online, people create their own communities, generate their own content, rally around an idea, product, or service, effectively taking back the power to influence from brands.
User-generated content (UGC) is something that you can explore in place of traditional video testimonials.
In the world of UGC, anything goes, meaning, product/service reviews also double as unboxing and testimonials, and more.
In this example, one of YouTube’s most popular food critic named John a.k.a. Reviewbrah, the creator of TheReportOfTheWeek channel, who’s always wearing a suit, unboxes, test, and reviews Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries. He’s just there sitting in his car eating fries and rambling, but the video has 2M views.
Are Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries Worth the Hype?
How to create powerful video testimonials?
- Be authentic and as real as you can be. Today’s customers hate anything that smells like advertising.
- Be relevant. Always be updated with the trends and don’t be afraid to ride them.
- Use the spectrum of emotions to your advantage. Make people feel something because their emotion is the way to their wallet.
- Pay attention to personalized service. Customer experience isn’t considered a mega trend for no reason, meaning it’s big business.
- Appear professional. If your business is corporate, you have no other choice but to sound and smell corporate.
- Build your credibility. It’s true that you’re only as good as your last work, but then some works last forever, like in films. So, showcase your reputation-building stories in your video testimonials.
- Get with the times and go social. Experiment with UGC and learn how influencers are doing testimonials these days. Tip: They usually do combinatorial hybrid videos.
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