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Last edited: 27.09.2022
What if you could take two of the most powerful marketing forces online — social proof and video — and combine them into a marketing super weapon?
You can, if you start to make customer testimonial videos.
Video testimonials are real stories by real customers that let the viewer see with their own eyes why someone just like them fell in love with the product.
Social proof has always been important, as 91% of people read online reviews before buying. Now video is taking over the internet and is predicted to account for 82% of traffic in 2022. Video testimonials combine both for maximal impact.
In this guide I’ll walk you through video testimonials from A to Z.
You’ll also get to see a few great ones for inspiration as well as learn what approaches work best for different budgets and different target audiences.
Let’s dive in.
Video testimonials are videos where your satisfied customers speak freely and tell in their own words why they’re your customers.
Before becoming a SaaS company, Trustmary produced over 5.000 customer testimonial videos worldwide, so we know what we’re talking about. Here’s a short showreel of what was done in 2021.
In other words, video testimonials tell engaging stories. The real stories of real customers who came across your company, got curious about it, decided to take a chance and ended up falling in love with their purchase.
Let’s take a look at an example:
It’s like a product review on Amazon, but instead of written testimonials, a potential customer can actually see this happy customer and hear them talk about their experience with the product or service.
When potential customers see this video, they’re very likely to buy the product if they could relate to the person on the video. That’s why using real people instead of professional actors is crucial.
Employee testimonial videos are similar to customer testimonial videos in the way they are produced. The only difference is that employees talk about the reasons why they chose this company as their workplace.
There’s a growing need for professionals in many fields and companies are fighting over who gets to hire the top talents. Employee video testimonials can help any company to attract the professionals they’re looking for. The magic lies in being open about what your company is like as an employer.
What would be a more authentic way to bring this forward than to produce employee video testimonials?
By starting to use employee video testimonials on career site and in advertising, Trustmary has been able to recruit many software developers and sales people in a matter of months. The best part about these is that they’re filmed remotely and with no effort from the company itself.
Companies are using video testimonials increasingly because:
What’s the first thing on your mind when you’re looking for information about something to buy?
“Sounds good, but can I trust this?”
When you google a product or service, it’s easy to come across praise and hype. And yet, you want to find the words that you can trust. Easier said than done. That’s why reviews, testimonials and customer testimonial videos are so popular.
People are suspicious of companies’ sincerity in their marketing. Every company claims to be the best at what they do. Other people, on the other hand, are considered much more trustworthy.
In fact, 9 out of 10 people say they trust what their peers or other customers say about a business more than what that business says about itself.
And perhaps surprisingly, 88% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
Think about your personal journey of becoming a customer. What did you do the last time you were looking for a new item to buy or a new restaurant to try?
Chances are you looked up reviews on Amazon, Google Maps or some similar platform.
This is called social proof: the reliance on our peers’ judgment in our own decisions. And it’s very powerful.
Let’s look at some more research.
According to research:
This is current data from 2021. The research demonstrates a clear trend: People trust people, not companies.
Now, let’s look at the other reason why video testimonials have become so popular in marketing: the power of the video format.
Video has taken over the world. In fact, video has become the preferred content format online.
The evidence is clear:
YouTube is the second most visited website in the world and the second largest search engine. Only Google beats it.
People watch over 1 billion hours of video every day on Youtube. The average American spends 24 minutes per day watching YouTube.
Reflect on that for a moment.
Consider also the rise of video-centered social media in recent years.
TikTok is the 7th most used social media in the world in 2021. On TikTok, users don’t even have to search for videos to begin with, so the experience is essentially nothing but video after video.
Furthermore, people consume 167 million hours of video on TikTok every single minute.
Tiktok is also becoming increasingly commercial and product reviews are a popular genre.
If you want organic engagement for your content on LinkedIn, upload a video. People are 20 times more likely to share a video than any other type of content.
Pro tip: Upload your video organically to LinkedIn and remember to add subtitles! As the sound is set to mute by default, you can grab people’s attention by adding subtitles.
2 out of 3 consumers say they’re more likely to make a purchase after watching a testimonial video.
Some data on what marketing experts think about video testimonials:
This is tangible evidence that video testimonials add to your marketing efforts and are very powerful elements.
They tap into people’s natural reliance on others and they deliver the message effectively with the power of video. And they’ve been proven to work in marketing.
But how can you create video testimonials? You’ll learn this in the next chapter. In case you can’t wait to get started, start gathering video testimonials with this step-by-step guide!
You might be surprised to learn that there’s an affordable and easy way to create and utilize video testimonials: by using video testimonial software and letting your customers do the filming for you.
In addition to using a video testimonial software, you can also go hire a professional video production team or just do it all yourself.
So, the three ways to create video testimonials are:
Using dedicated software is affordable and fast and allows the collection of large numbers of testimonials. You can even integrate it directly with your CRM (HubSpot, Pipedrive and many more) to automate the whole process.
Hiring a professional videographer is expensive and possibly time-consuming but will produce stellar quality, just like a TV ad.
Finally, doing it yourself allows for the greatest creative freedom — but comes at the expense of you having to learn everything and spending a lot of time and your own resources on the project.
Which one should you choose? Your budget and resources determine the answer in part.
But the more essential question is: Who’ll be watching the testimonials?
Consider this: if you’re looking for reviews on comfy mattresses on Amazon, what are you looking for — polished celebrity stories written by a professional copywriter? Or perhaps real, short, unscripted thoughts shared by folk like yourself?
Of course the latter. People want to see existing happy customers telling engaging stories that they can relate to instead of professional actors — that is social proof.
Remember to make the video relatable to your target viewers. Now, let’s take a closer look at the options.
What is video testimonial software?
Video testimonial software is an app that allows the collection, publication and utilization of video testimonials — largely automatically. If you use HubSpot and Pipedrive as your CRM, you can automate the video testimonial gathering process.
The key function of video testimonial software is to allow current customers to film their own video testimonials that the company can then use for its marketing efforts. This saves time and resources and allows the collection of numerous testimonials.
Here’s an example of a video created with video testimonial software (it is in Finnish, but there are English subtitles. Click the image to watch the full testimonial video)
Real, relatable, trustworthy. Not an Audi advertisement. Most importantly, these kinds of authentic testimonials speak for themselves.
This was created without almost any effort from neither the company nor the customer — the software automates the whole process and also asks for the marketing permits.
Here’s how the software works:
The tool allows you to send your customers a form asking them to record a video testimonial. This is usually automated.
The form is simple and elegant, greeting them and thanking them for their purchase and asking them if they’d like to record a video testimonial. The form may guide the respondent with a few useful questions to answer on the video.
Here are three free remote video testimonial templates you can copy.
The customer only has to agree and click “record” and then “send”. Effortless.
Upon filming and clicking send, you (the company) receive the video and can publish and share it online.
When you identify the clients that are super happy with your product, they WANT to praise your company. They’ll be happy to serve as spokespeople for you, since you really helped them in their lives.
The only thing you need to do is to make it easy for them. Quick and effortless — and with a little bit of encouragement. Here’s also a step-by-step on how to complete a video testimonial campaign in two weeks.
You can start your free trial Trustmary to get this process going.
Trustmary can also be natively integrated with your CRM.
Still not convinced? Don’t worry, I’ll talk about this in greater detail in the next chapter once we get there.
Typical features of video testimonial software include:
Some more advanced features found on certain tools include:
Of course, it depends how many customer testimonial videos you get from your customers since the software typically comes with a flat monthly or annual fee and then you can collect as many videos as you can with the same price.
Not convinced that software is for you? Maybe a professional videographer is. Let’s take a look at that.
Hiring a professional videographer used to be the standard way of producing testimonial videos before testimonial tools and easy DIY tools became viable alternatives.
In fact, that’s how we got started: Trustmary started out as a video production company, filming and producing testimonial videos for clients in our homeland Finland (yep, it’s cold) before going international and producing thousands of them in 20+ different countries.
We went on location with our gear, filmed the testimonial (with gloves on in Finland), edited and processed it and produced a polished final product for the client. It worked, but we thought: there has to be an easier way to do this.
We took the experience and expertise we had in professional video production and brainstormed on more efficient ways to create testimonial videos. That’s how our testimonial tool came to be and it’s now our flagship product.
That being said, let’s go through the details of hiring a pro — after all, sometimes it’s exactly what is needed.
Take a look at this testimonial produced by us.
It’s like we’re in the movies.
Whether this is what you’re looking for depends on your target viewer. For ordinary people looking for peer reviews, an overly polished video may come across as inauthentic. On high-value projects, it may be exactly what is needed.
Nevertheless, hiring a pro is expensive.
From a few thousands up to tens of thousands. Consulting, filming, editing, gear, travel to location — it all adds up.
It also takes time as the editing may take days if not weeks in huge productions. Creative process is something you can’t really hurry.
Furthermore, you need to design the script and the interview questions yourself if you are not partnering specifically with a testimonial video agency. Additionally, what sort of visual interest can you add to the video to really complement the story.
Consider your resources and your target viewers. A professional video producer may be essential to your marketing campaign’s success, or it may be an enormous waste of money.
Of course, you can also do it all yourself (probably the most expensive and high risk that you won’t get it done in the end).
Creating a video testimonial entirely in-house offers flexibility, creative freedom and avoiding external costs — in theory. This requires that your creative process works. In practice, it can be a costly headache. If you opt for doing it all on your own, have a quick look at our best practices first.
If you’re looking for simple, phone-filmed customer stories, you may have all the gear and talent needed for the project. You still need to get the customers to appear on camera. This may involve travel to location or paying them to get to you.
And if you want professional quality, you need to get expensive gear and learn videography and editing software. This translates to spending plenty of time and money.
In a nutshell, producing a single testimonial in-house requires solving plenty of pain points. In general, it’s not recommended. Furthermore, your customers are more relaxed if you’re not present at the filming.
However, if you have a specific kind of testimonial in your mind that you think you can best create on your own, then in-house production may be the way to go. Just be aware of the almost inevitable hassles and expenses that will incur.
In our recent blog post, How to Make a Testimonial Video, we go over the typical pain points in making customer testimonial videos. In addition, it explains in detail how to make a testimonial video.
This is the scary part. Asking for a favor from a stranger — not fun, right? Especially if you’re operating in the B2B field, you might feel a little hesitant about asking for a video testimonial.
But your customers are not strangers. And more importantly, your happy customers are not strangers — they know and LOVE your product. They are like your friends!
Doesn’t seem so hard anymore, does it?
Now, I want you to take a look at a typical testimonial request to see how it happens in practice.
But first, imagine that you’ve already bought something from the company — say, an ergonomic office chair — and you LOVE it. You’ve already been thinking in your head:
“This company saved my life, they provided exactly what I’ve been looking for. They rock!”
And now, you’re greeted with this in your inbox:
How do you feel?
It’s not so difficult. A satisfied customer only needs a little bit of encouragement and good vibes to agree to film a testimonial — and as long as the process is easy, they do it right away. One click to record, one click to send. Voilà!
Now that you’ve identified who you want to approach and how to reach out to them, it’s time to figure out what to say to them — or more specifically, what questions to ask to help them talk about relevant things.
To make the process smooth and get the best possible result from a marketing perspective, you need to consider two things:
Asking these nine questions will guarantee that this single customer case study will be a coherent story and be relatable.
The person who is watching the testimonial is watching it for a reason. They already have some degree of interest in the subject, but they’re not yet sure if you can be trusted. A customer testimonial video is great in building that needed brand awareness.
Highlighting the benefits of your cooperation or service won’t be enough. To get more sales, one thing you need to keep in mind is your target audience while editing the final result.
Emphasize the overall positive impact you’ve had on this particular customer’s life. Make them the hero of the story. Highlight the benefits they’ve experienced and let them tell all that in their own words.
Remember that not everything has to be said out loud. People considering buying your services are looking for a great deal and can also read between the lines. Create a story that has that welcoming feeling.
Don’t forget to consider the business you’re in! For example, patient video testimonials and fitness testimonials have a different feel to them than B2B stories.
Now that you know how to make video testimonials, we can already move on to how to use them.
In order to be able to achieve exactly what you want whether it be increased brand awareness, emotional connection with potential customers or telling the success stories of your existing customers, you need to be aware of the common channels.
The next section focuses on going over those.
Video testimonials help you to increase the trust between you and the customer. This comes handy both in marketing and sales. Indeed, video testimonials are used by companies in creating awareness and interest as well as increasing conversions.
On social media, a customer testimonial video can be embedded in short posts promoting the product or service in a way that fits right into the social media canvas: short, casual, relatable.
Not everybody visiting your website is ready to convert right away. They may still be in the early stages of consideration. To convince them that you’re worthy of their money, you may display testimonials in various parts of the website.
Here are some ideas for the placement of testimonials on your website:
You can also utilize your website’s analytics to see where people spend time and consider adding a testimonial there.
Testimonials are not your traditional advertisements, as they’re unscripted and just real customers talking on their own.
But they can nevertheless be USED as advertisements — often far more powerfully than the traditional scripted types.
You’ve probably already seen customer testimonials on YouTube ads. Yours could be there as well — or even on television. Why not?
Your prospect has reached the decision stage. And here, social proof matters just as much as in the previous stages, if not more.
In one case study, simply adding a testimonial increased the conversion rate by 32%.
Let’s break it all down.
The use of testimonial videos on your website for sales purposes is largely similar to the marketing uses as described in the previous chapter.
That’s good news for you, as the testimonials will work both for the prospects just getting to know your brand as well as the ones at the verge of clicking buy.
To close the sale, placing testimonials as close as possible to the moment of buying is good practice. Consider for example:
Another good place for a customer testimonial video is the abandoned cart email.
Abandoned cart emails are tough — every wording seems somehow inadequate. However, you should let your existing customer speak for you. Let the video testimonials do the talking.
You know the usual sales deck: one page after another with text, and graphs that try to convince the prospect.
It’s a tried-and-tested approach and works just fine. However, adding a customer testimonial video can add power to the punch.
You can utilize video in your pitches and presentations in many ways:
If you decide to incorporate a video into your sales deck, you should embed it directly to the slideshow to avoid any friction. The major slideshow tools like PowerPoint and Google Slides allow you to embed a video into a slide presentation easily and seamlessly.
It’s important for the video to be embedded seamlessly without having to click on links or opening media players. Those ruin the flow.
If you’re giving a presentation in-person, showing various documents, graphs and videos to one or more prospects, it’s easy to interject “by the way, I thought you might be interested in what our customer Jane says about our service” and click play. Smooth and efficient.
And finally, you might consider using a testimonial video alone in place of a sales deck. It may seem a bit risky to completely do away with the sales deck, but think about it: if the customer appearing on the video goes through all the relevant issues in the testimonial, wouldn’t this be the most concise way to get through to the prospect?
This may work well if you’re cold emailing a prospect. Trying to get a stranger to go through your sales deck may be quite difficult: get them watch a testimonial video — perhaps a tad easier.
Everybody gets sales offers and for some projects they receive many. How can you stand out and make them choose you over others?
Adding a customer testimonial video to your offer is a great way to catch the prospect’s attention. Written testimonials are commonly used in offers anyway, so video just supercharges the already tried-and-tested format.
If you think of the problems with offers, they are:
Adding a video testimonial to your offer can help to:
Now you know what makes a customer testimonial video great and what are the different ways to start using them.
A quick recap of the main lessons:
If you need more articles, take a look at these:
Satokausikalenteri: Video reviews to aid customer’s purchase decision
Case example: 32% increase in sales by using video testimonial on check-out page
7+ Tips for Using Customer Testimonial Videos in Marketing
5 Best Practices for Video Testimonials
How much does creating a video testimonial cost?
From a few cents to tens of thousands of dollars. It depends whether you’re using a testimonial software or creating them one by one by professionals.
What kind of testimonials work best?
Authentic video testimonials are your best bet of increasing conversions across your whole sales funnel.
How do you ask for a customer testimonial video from your customers?
Politely and directly. Ask them “for a small favor” to increase your chances of getting one. No matter if you want video testimonials from B2B or B2C customers, the same principle applies.
What proportion of my happy customers accept to be featured on a testimonial video?
According to our experience, all genuinely happy customers will agree to take part if: