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Use Video Testimonials to Increase Conversions

This guest post is by Annika Martins of AnnikaMartins.com.

You think you want more traffic, but you don’t.

You want I’m really interested in your stuff traffic that converts into social media sharing, new signups to your list and of course, sales.

But how do you make that happen? How do you ensure that when first-time visitors land on your site, they’re going to take the action you want?

You have to wow them. You have to (very quickly) convince them that you’re the real deal, that you have what they want and need.

Common sense, right?

But most people screw up the execution

In trying to position yourself as the go-to person in whatever you do, are you actually shooting yourself in the foot?

Are you one of the guilty ones who wrote a 1300 word bio telling us your entire employment history and why that makes you the best person to deliver X service or product? Do all of your blog posts reference your client work and how much better you are than your competitors?

Yawn.

Standing on a soap box and bragging about how awesome you are doesn’t impress anyone. In fact, it encourages most people to turn around and run in the opposite direction.

Let someone else be your soap box

When it comes to determining whether you’re legit or not, that first-time visitor couldn’t care less what your opinion of yourself is.

The opinions of your former clients and customers are what they’re really interested in.

They want to hear from someone who worked with you, who has used your products and loved them—and isn’t being paid to say nice things about you. They want to know what problem you help people solve and how you do it. And they want to hear it directly from the person who had the problem.

In short, you need to immediately provide convincing, concise (and honest!) quotes about the quality of your service or product from someone other than you.

The marketing world calls this “social proof.” Most of us refer to these as “testimonials.”

And because ProBlogger has told you before about the importance of including a testimonials page, you might have already created a dedicated page for this very purpose.

And then you filled that testimonials page with glowing quotes from former clients and customers, each neatly formatted into a short paragraph. Maybe you were smart enough to include their picture and URL too. Perfect, right?

The problem with your testimonials page

Creating a centralized storeroom of digital love is a great move. But a stand-alone testimonials page is only one piece of the puzzle. By itself, it is not going to make much of a difference.

The main reason a stand-alone testimonials page isn’t much good is because, aside from the first one or two testimonials on the page (if that), most people won’t read through it.

Get practical about this. Consider your own internet-perusing experience. In the course of a single hour, you probably have dozens of popups, emails, status updates, tweets, phonecalls, text messages, doorbells, maybe a screaming kid or two, and whatever else vying for your attention.

With all those distractions, is it realistic to assume that a first-time visitor is going to sit there and scroll through each and every one of those testimonials? Probably not.

But there’s hope, so don’t give up just yet!

Revitalize your stand-alone testimonials page

Well-written, praise-showering quotes are precisely the sort of content that motivates someone to sign up for your digital course, to join your newsletter list or start following you on Twitter.

With that much power, you can’t let your testimonials die on a page no one ever sees.

In order to make the most of them and therefore convince first-time visitors to stick around, here are five ways you can repurpose those golden testimonials so they actually get seen:

1. Your homepage

Your homepage is like the front window of a store. People drive past, peering in, debating whether they’re going to come inside and mosey around. Isn’t that the perfect place to tell them Fancy Pants Person A thinks you’re awesome?

Carve out a small (but prominent) spot on your homepage sidebar to include one or two of your most impressive testimonials.

Remember though, this is intended to whet their appetite, so edit longer quotes down to a brief sentence or even a phrase that a former client or customer has used to describe you.

To maximize this space even more, you could also install a plugin that scrolls through several short testimonials. That way, instead of reading only one or two quotes, visitors could easily see three or four quotes before clicking over to another page.

2. Twitter Favorites

If you have a strong presence on Twitter and happy customers have sent you tweets raving about your products, those are testimonials that you have to take advantage of also.

By favoriting tweets that wax poetic about how smart and wonderful you are and then installing this Twitter widget, you can add a sidebar widget that will continually refresh itself with your most recent Twitter love.

This is a great way to amplify direct testimonials by demonstrating the scope of your community, your social media savvy, and the passion others have for the service or product you provide.

3. Video testimonials

Take advantage of the fact that millions of people learn best through visual stimulation by creating a short video that highlights your best testimonials.

Ideally, you want to include footage of interviews with former clients so we can see their eyes light up when they talk about how talented you are. But if your clients are camera-shy, even just putting a picture and their quote on the screen with some energetic music can have a huge impact.

You could also splice in brief shots of you talking about why you’re so passionate about what you do.

4. Product and service descriptions

So now that these mini-testimonial snippets have aroused your visitors’ curiosity and they’ve wandered over to your sales page, you think the testimonials can take a break, right?

Oh no. We’re just getting started.

Another great place to feature testimonials is within and alongside the copy that describes your products and services. Testimonials fit in perfectly here because they bring in more social proof that you don’t just write fancy sales copy, but you actually deliver a valuable service or product to real people with real problems.

Building in testimonials here also assures potential customers that you have the experience and expertise they need.

5. Email launch announcements

When you’re writing to your email list to announce a new product or service, remember that some (a lot!) of those people are still not sure whether your products or services are right for them. They’ve joined your list to get to know you better, to get a taste for what you do and see if it they like it.

When promoting something new, incorporate a quote from someone who’s previewed the product, an attendee from last year’s event or one of the beta testers of your digital course.

Building social proof

Don’t underestimate the value of adding new and relevant bits of social proof to everything you launch.

By using these 5 strategies, you will make sure that your glowing customer reviews don’t stay hidden on some random page no one ever reads.

By distributing testimonials throughout your site and promotional materials, new visitors will be much more likely to morph from casual observers to subscribers and buyers.

Do you have any other ideas for ways to revitalize a testimonials page? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

Annika Martins writes about entrepreneurship and not taking ourselves so seriously at http://www.annikamartins.com. She likes jalapenos and counter-intuitive wisdom, like The 10 things no one tells you about being a woman entrepreneur.

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Comments

  1. Max says:

    Although it is not the first time I have seen these tips, the first line: “You think you want more traffic, but you don’t” left a great impression on me!

    As a believer in quality, not quantity, I can not agree less with you. Nice post! :)

  2. Having effective video testimonials is so vital in today’s web culture. And it’s so easy to do. With most smart phones able to capture video and youtube willing to host it free you really have no excuse not too.

    The ones I did for myself at http://www.darklit.net/testimonials only took a little planning scripting and a $250 video camera. And if you look at mine, I know there is a typo in one of the videos. I’ll fix it someday…

    This is really a great article. Remember though it will only benefit you if you follow the advice here!

  3. Aranjuez says:

    users prefer to watch video than read text, so introducing video in a post is very useful and descriptive

  4. Chihuahua0 says:

    Hmm…interesting article.

    However, the headline is misleading, as it only applies to one of the minor points (“video testimonials”), instead of referring to the overall topic of the post (“how to not screw up testimonials”).

    Thinking about it, “How to NOT Screw up Testimonials” makes a more intriguing headline. :p

  5. Sergio Felix says:

    Hey Annika,

    I’m all up for social proof and in fact, it is that what convinces me or not, to buy a product lately.

    No wonder why Amazon reviews are such a huge thing whether a product makes the sale or not.

    The tips about spreading testimonials throughout our content was very cool, I’m going to do it as soon as I have something to share, thanks!

    Sergio

  6. Hi Annika,

    Social proof is THE currency, after content. Really, if people shout you out, you are golden.

    We do things based on trust. If we trust a buddy, or a respected person, and they give you a glowing testimonial, you better believe good things will happen for you. More team members. More money. More sales. More good stuff all around.

    The other day somebody noted how people seemed to be saying good things about me, as they fished around, doing their due diligence. This is it. This is the key. When word of mouth advertising takes off, you never lack for team members or customers. Why? You generate leads on auto-pilot. No need to strain and strive, working endless hours.

    People reach you. People connect with you. People tell people about you, so you spend less time reaching out, and more time calling opt-ins or connecting with individuals who found you through attraction marketing. Wonderful, how easily it all works, when you make a firm and definite commitment to grow your business the right way.

    People do much of your most powerful advertising for you, by offering glowing testimonials.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Annika.

    Ryan Biddulph

  7. I find that with video testimonials are the best kind of testimonials that we can get apart from the written. It builds more trust than the written one because people can actually watch the real person (of course there are some fake video testimonials too but there are a lot more fake written testimonials).

    Another way to build trust is to be on a forum where you contribute and build up your authority status in the forum. Also, the testimonials from the forum member are better than others due to the social environment.

    Cheers,
    Ming

  8. Justinas says:

    I’agree with Chihuahua0

  9. Aaron Eden says:

    Annika, your post made me think of this person who said that no amount of marketing can give you more conversion if you don’t offer something unique… and your tips here are more than the usual call-to-action stuff that we often see. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Koen Stevens says:

    I’m also a believer of using web video for businesses.

    I strongly believe customer video reviews to be the next evolution of online world-of-mouth. This is something we are exploring with our company.

    Compared to text reviews, video is more transparent and has proven to enhance conversions (f.e. Zappos sells 6-30% more with product videos).

    Will be interesting to see how small businesses are going to approach this opportunity (especially nowadays, when every client can become an ambassador of your company, just by using their webcam).

  11. Marc Ensign says:

    It’s not enough to just have video testimonials on your site. You need a solid strategy. I got a HUGE response for a client of mine using video testimonials. He owned an agency that booked wedding bands. I had him get each of the band leaders a Flip Cam and after the wedding while they were packing up when the bride was just glowing and over the top happy ask her to give a quick testimonial on video. He gave it a shot and we put them on the site. The result was one of the most active pages on the site and the next viewed page was almost always the contact page. Future brides were looking at this couple gushing about how great their wedding was with “that look” in their eye that every bride wants. It was a big success!

  12. WizIMS says:

    Great article Darren. I was writing down the stuff that I need to make my next landing page just perfect, and this will absolutely help.
    I believe the video testimonials should be all in one well-made video. Something with awesome graphics, etc. It’ll really excite the users to grab the product or w/e.

  13. Brad Dalton says:

    Thanks Annika

    That’s exactly what i am working on now

    I currently use my homepage for posts but have changed themes which include built in custom rotating testimonials and Why Are People Choosing Us?, Our Latest Work and What Our Clients Say.

    I would also like a add a video testimonial but i think that’s going to be hard to get even though my clients gave me excellent written testimonials.

    When my clients asked what they should write in the testimonial, i asked them to be honest and not beat it up but they did so i’m not sure anyone will believe they are genuine.

    What i did find works very well is adding a ‘why subscribe’ link next to the opt in box linked to a page with 8 reasons to subscribe which i plan on linking to my testimonials page as well

    I’m also going to write a post about the best testimonial and customer review plugins and widgets after reading this post.

  14. SavorWeb says:

    This is an interesting article. Word of mouth is huge for our small website company. I often feel lost in a sea of companies that do the same thing, but if a business owners knew how great we really were with customers, turn-around times affordability and quality products, we would rule the world! Our existing clients love us and tell their friends which is great.

    Maybe I should make a video about that.

  15. As a user I would much rather prefer to watch a short, informative video than read lots of text text. I use web video on alot of dental websites and it certainly helps lower the bounce rate! I need to introduce more video content into all of my work.

    Thanks for posting Annika!

  16. Anoreksi says:

    I have started doing videos lately, and it really works like a charm. I’ve boosted my sales with 48% so far, combined with a much more sweeter design, and a lower delivery cost. Combined it gives you a much more professional looking shop, and the customers will spread the word to their friends.

    Kind Regards

  17. Jim Ross says:

    As a video production professional I always suggest to my clients that they let their clients and customers do the talking. When you talk about what you do that is just opinion, but when your clients get in front of a camera that is pure credibility.

    HOWEVER – keep in mind that the quality of the video will reflect back on your professionalism. If you are selling Gyro Wraps at the food court then a Flip video of customers raving about your food would be just fine. But a Flip Cam of your client standing in front of the $25,000 pool you just installed, or the $10,000 in dental cosmetic work you did will make you look UNprofessional because of the lack of professionalism of your video.

    Remember- people view how you do ANYthing as how you do EVERY thing. Cut corners and be cheap here and they will wonder where else you cut corners. The professionalism and quality of your video is as important if not more important than the quality of your website, your business card, or any marketing material you use. If it looks cheap you look cheap. Doing it yourself to save money will only cost you credibility and sales in the future, just like if you try to build your own website, do your own graphic design, etc. Hire a pro and your results will be much greater.

  18. bricorey says:

    ya i agree,Because in text chat any one can be irritate.So.video testimonial is a good option.

  19. Although it is not the first time I have seen these tips, the first line: “You think you want more traffic, but you don’t” left a great impression on me!

    As a believer in quality, not quantity, I can not agree less with you. Nice post! :)