If you’re seeking to market a product or service to either consumer or business audiences, there’s an exciting new trend you’ll want to be aware of: video reviews.
For the past two decades, four primary marketing tools have been used to establish the credibility of a company and its products or services:
- Case studies
- White papers
- Written customer testimonials
- Product or service reviews
All of these tools are still valuable, but marketers now have a powerful new tool at their disposal: customer review videos.
Of course, it’s well-known that videos are fast becoming an important method for companies to communicate with prospective customers. The use of video content for marketing purposes has been growing by almost 75% per year, and is expected to become the dominant means of corporate marketing communications in the not-too-distant future.
The Emergence of Video Reviews and Testimonials
But while most video content to date has been focused on advertising, product or service demos, and overview videos, one trend that has been percolating under the radar is video reviews.
Video reviews are exactly what they sound like: relatively short video clips in which a customer discusses the benefits of a product or service, usually in practical, everyday terms. Such videos are not scripted, but rather are told from the customer’s heart and personal experience, in his or her own words. And they typically don’t contain fancy graphics or special effects, but rather consist only of the customer talking straight to the camera.
Perhaps most importantly, thanks to new services by our partners at StoryTap, video reviews have become incredibly easy to produce and more affordable than most people realize. Overall, video reviews and testimonials offer a number of key types of benefits:
- They create a great first impression;
- They produce substantial marketing results; and
- They generate powerful financial results.
1. Video reviews and testimonials build great credibility and trust. As the marketing site MarketingWorks explains, “Video testimonials give prospects the ability to see actual clients give their real opinions about your company’s services or products—giving your brand undeniable credibility. A happy client is your company’s strongest salesperson and a video testimonial ensures that their satisfaction is leveraged to its full potential.”
2. They humanize your brand. A distinctive logo, a well-designed website, and a compelling value proposition help to establish your brand. But the sad fact, Forbes magazine points out, “is that people don’t really trust brands.” Instead, they trust other people, and so “you have to humanize your brand.” Video testimonials are one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of accomplishing this.
3. They trigger emotions. Research consistently shows that purchasing decisions (even among business buyers) are driven far more by emotion than by dispassionate calculations of costs and benefits. And video triggers emotions better than any other medium. At the most basic level, motion and sound create a subconscious sense of urgency by activating a primordial “fight or flight” response. When videos include people, that urgency is combined with attachment: as social animals, humans seek to bond with other humans, creating a vested emotional interest in what other people do and say.
4. Videos engage our brains. About 90% of the information that our brains detect is visual, and we process visuals 60,000 times faster than we can process text. This is one of the main reasons why 65% of people are visual learners—and the best way to communicate with these folks is through video.
5. People more readily retain information delivered via video. Studies show that the average individual remembers up to 95% of a message that is watched, but only about 10% of the message when it is read. Moreover, according to the marketing-tools website Hubspot, 80% of customers remember a video that they viewed up to a month previously.
6. Video reviews communicate in everyday language. Forbes magazine emphasizes: “When clients give you a testimonial, they won’t use your carefully crafted corporate words. They’ll talk like normal people. They’ll express your unique selling proposition and distinctive value prop in everyday language.”
7. People prefer video content over text. Research has revealed that four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it, and 56% of these respondents say that video testimonials are helpful in this regard. Even 59% of business executives prefer to watch videos rather than read a text-only article.
8. The promise of watching a video boosts email open rates. According to a 2017 report by the research firm HighQ entitled “2017: The Year of Video Marketing,” adding the word “video” to an email subject line boosts email open rates by 19%.
9. Video reduces unsubscribe rates. The same study also found that email unsubscribe rates went down by 26% when the word “video” was added to the email subject line.
10. Video also increases click-through rates. The HighQ study additionally determined that email click-through rates jumped by 65% when the word “video” was included in the email’s subject line. Likewise, video-based “calls to action” produce a full 380% greater volume of click-throughs than other types of call-to-action options.
11. Video increases referral rates. People share videos more than they do text and images—12 times more, in fact, than text and images combined. Even more significantly, Hubspot has found, visual content like videos is more than 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than is any other type of content.
12. Video attracts more inbound links. According to the website NewsCred, social-media and blog posts with videos attract three times as many inbound weblinks as do plain-text posts.
13. Videos increase search traffic. Companies that use videos on their websites receive 41% more traffic via web search than do sites that don’t use video. Video also boosts organic traffic by 157%. For these reasons as well as the increased number of inbound links resulting from video, described above, video content is 45 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results than is text-only content.
14. Customer testimonials are the best content-marketing tools. Research has shown that customer testimonials are the most effective content-marketing tools, with an effectiveness quotient of 89% (on a scale of 100%).
15. Video increases time-on-site. The average web user spends 88% more time on a website that has video than they do on one that has only text or images.
16. Consumers & business buyers rely increasingly on social proof for making purchase decisions. In one study reported by Statista.com, more than half of buyers said that reviews and testimonials were instrumental in their purchase decisions, with 38% of respondents saying these were “very important” and 19% saying they were “extremely important.” In fact, third-party reviews and testimonials are almost as important in buying decisions as are personal recommendations.
17. Video reviews increase conversions. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 benchmarks study, video reviews and testimonials are one of the three most effective customer-conversion tools. In addition, embedding videos on landing pages can increase user conversions by 80%, according to unbounce.com.
18. Viewers of video testimonials are more likely to make a purchase. Some 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it—and, according to Hubspot, those who see a product-promotion or customer-testimonial video are 1.8 times more likely to purchase than are non-viewers.
19. Consumer reviews increase revenue per site visitor. When a consumer interacts with a video or written review, revenue from that customer jumps on average by 62%, while total order size increases by 3%. Overall, a 2014 study found that customers spend 31% more with businesses that have positive client reviews.
20. Video has the highest ROI. In surveys by Hubspot, 52% of marketing professionals worldwide named video as the type of content that had the highest return on investment (ROI) among all types of marketing content.
To learn more about how video reviews can help your business enhance your company’s credibility, reach more customers, sell more products and services, get additional details on the Beachgrid/StoryTap video review packages to see which is a good fit for your, email Video Review Question, or call 858-248-1049.
Kevin Hopkins, an Internet strategist and consultant, has spent more than 25 years in the ecommerce and Internet industry, primarily as a senior marketing and product-development professional.
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