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Written or Recorded: Which is Best for Testimonials?

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It’s hard to argue the power of the almighty testimonial. After all, third-party validation of your products or services by real customers is one of the best endorsements you can get. But when it comes to testimonials, should they be written or recorded? In the battle of video versus text, here are some important things to keep in mind.

Consider the Facts

There are plenty of stats that back up the efficacy of video, like one that declares 80 percent of visitors will view a video but only 20 percent consume the written content. People like to see other people telling their stories. Seeing existing customers’ eyes and hearing the conviction in their voices can do wonders for winning over prospective clients.

A company that does this well is Lifelock. Lifelock testimonials are prominently displayed on a page reserved just for this purpose, and they are presented as videos. Next to each video is a short blurb from the transcript for quick review. Each testimonial also includes the person’s name, as well as how long that individual has been a member of Lifelock. These two elements serve to make the customers relatable, and the testimonials even more powerful.

Plan Out the “How”

Conducting customer testimonials via video can require more of a budget than just writing them, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. If you set up the lighting properly and limit distracting noises, you can have customers record their stories through a webcam or smartphone.

If you want to go the professional route, find someone local. Many companies in your area can take care of the lighting and audio, as well as put finishing touches on recorded videos to make them web-ready without costing a fortune. Plan to let customers tell their own stories, but be ready to prompt them if they’re reserved in what they share. Some good questions to ask are what issues they were facing before they engaged with your company, what differences they’ve seen since, and how they plan to continue using your product or services in the future. Encourage them to show their personalities, but don’t forget that the purpose of the video is to show how your business has been a benefit.

Share It All Around

Your testimonials should be shared in numerous ways, preferably through social media and email. Announce the addition of a newly-posted video on your Twitter account by extracting the most poignant part of the testimonial and using that as a teaser. For example, is your most recent testimonial centered on how your product helped a new mom sleep better at night? Try something like, “Jennifer explains how ABC Products is helping her and her five-week-old baby sleep!” with an accompanying link. The more specific and humanized, the better.

Another great way for sharing video testimonials is through email. It’s been found that video in email can increase open rates by 20 percent and bolster click-through rates by two to three times. In your next email newsletter, include a link to your most recently posted testimonial alongside a brief blurb about what the story entails.

So when the time comes to showcase your customer success stories, think about taking it to the big screen (the computer screen, that is). Rather than just adding more copy to a verbiage-laden site, try recording testimonials in video format and displaying them clearly on your website. Then take to social media and email to get the word out. With some concerted effort, and your goals in mind, you can see video testimonials enhance your prospects’ experience and strengthen existing customers’ confidence.


Written by TeamSMF

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Written or Recorded: Which is Best for Testimonials? Reviewed by Tom Welby on Thursday, January 29, 2015 Rating: 5
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