In October 2016, 24-year-old Callum Hawkins, beat the Scottish half-marathon record that was previously held by Haile Gebrselassie. At this race, 44 of the top 50 finishers and 92 of the top 100 contestants recorded personal bests or seasonal bests.

But it all went up in smoke when all he records got invalidated because the race track turned out to be 491.1 ft (149.7 m) short of a proper half Marathon.

Testimonials, no matter how impressive they are, often suffer the same fate because they are not presented in their full bloom, and they can create their full impact.

Today, we discuss how to present your testimonials in the best light and with the highest impact in video form.

Video testimonials can produce magic, but they require a some forethought and preparation.

So, let’s see what can be achieved with video testimonials.

Build Credibility

We humans have three main ways that we use to discern and comprehend information and perceive another person’s credibility.

In NLP (neurolinguistic programming), they are called submodalities. We can be of visual, auditory or kinesthetic submodality types. Most of us a of mixed type, but one submodality usually dominates.

Unlike written text or audio, video can address all three submodalities in one fell swoop.

When you watch something of interest on video, you can form an almost instant like or dislike about the subject.

Note that dislike is good because maybe you’re not part of the target market that the video addresses.

But if it is for you, then it’s highly likely that the video drastically shortens the buying cycle.

While you would need several written pieces and several podcasts over several weeks or even months to have people fully believe you and buy your product, a couple of short videos can achieve that in a few short weeks because the written, audio and visual components compound the impact of your message and drastically shorten the buying cycle.

For more on this, you can read Hubspot’s ebook, How to Use Video in Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey.

Many people make the mistake of doing quick explainer videos which are really videoed PowerPoint slides with annotation.

While they are better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, they’re not much better. Not better if you use them as first contacts with your audience. As first contact, your market wants to see your face. They want to know who’s behind the company.

Explainer videos are great, but only after your audience has seen you face-to-camera explaining the big-picture concept behind your product. So, by the time your audience sees the details on these PowerPoint presentations, they are familiar with you.

Offer Entertainment

As the ancient Roman aristocrats referred to plebeians’ (lowest class of free people) needs in life, “remark panem et circenses”, that is, “Bread and circuses”.

Even then, just a few short years before Al Gore invented the Internet, it was as obvious as a ham sandwich that people wanted entertainment.

Oh, not only the plebs. The upper crust of society too, but they tended to keep quiet about their hunger for it.

Today we see something similar.

According to Insivia, the ideal video contains some 39% comedy and 33% of news.

But I’ve heard so many business owners tell me that their markets wouldn’t tolerate even the slightest entertainment because they’re so sophisticated.

Well, Herman Webster Mudgett was a serious and sophisticated man. After all, he was an accountant. But even he needed entertainment in his life.

And he got it. Under the name of H. H. Holmes, he became one of America’s first documented serial killers, allegedly having killed about 200 people.

But since nothing lasts forever, not even cold November rain, as we know from Guns ‘n’ Roses, eventually in 1896, Herman ended up dancing the hempen jig for four first-degree murders and six attempted murders.

Yes, some forms of entertainment only goes so far.

But rest assured, people need, want and crave entertainment. This is why more people attend memorial services than funerals (My first-hand observation as a gravedigger).

And video is a great way of providing appropriate level of entertainment while you do your normal presentation.

A few years ago, I watched a couple of videos from a lawyer. In each 4-7-minute video, he presented the home-made remedy to a light-weight legal problem. He started and ended his presentations with lawyer jokes. Some 70% of the commenters on his Youtube channel were from lawyers having come for entertainment.

Expand Your Exposure

Videos give you higher exposure than audio or written materials. It’s partly due to the fact that video is newer on the web than audio or written materials and as such, they are more popular.

But this popularity is fully justified if we consider the impressive results video can produce. And you can further increase your video’s exposure by…

  • Giving your video a great title.
  • Find the right keywords for your video.
  • Present a topic that is not easily available
  • Insert a video testimonial from a relevant customer – display both the customer’s and your company’s logos.
  • Start your video description with your website URL. Then start the real description in the next new line.
  • Have your logo displayed on your video
  • Embedding video on your blog, website, social media, etc.
  • Sharing the video’s URL
  • Use videos in your email marketing
  • End your videos with a call to action

Offer Education

One of the main reasons people watch your videos is because they want to learn something new. Consequently, it means, people are looking for education, so they can do something for themselves.

Yes, the solution to every business problem starts with looking for free information on how to do it in-house.

Then solution-searchers realise that there is more to the solution than watching a video.

When you watch skydiving, you may think there is nothing to it. You just jump out of the plane, spread your arms and legs and, at the right altitude, you pull the ripcord and that’s it. No, there is a little bit more to it.

In your videos, under education, you can…

  • Answer questions
  • Review others’ products
  • Present case studies and results
  • Present white papers in video format
  • Share stories
  • Refute industry-specific myths and dogmas
  • Offer a peek of your backstage operation
  • Answer questions that your visitors have asked
  • Go deep into a specific topic

These videos can be both “talking head” videos, live presentations videos, videoed PowerPoint or Keynote (for Macs) presentations (ScreenFlow for Macs and Camtasia for PCs are great tools) or quick explainer videos.

In a video testimonial, as the customer talks about how his problem got solved, you can insert a short presentations of yourself explaining the solution in broad strokes.

Humanize Your Business

This applies to any business, but if you’re in a line of business that requires high trust before being engaged, you desperately need to humanize your business.

Case in point: Until the appearance of Freshbook, Intuit’s Quickbooks ruled the accounting land for small- and medium-sized businesses.

Then Freshbooks showed up and demonstrated a level of user-friendliness that the corporate behemoth Intuit didn’t have.

Now owners of small- and medium-sized business are moving to Freshbooks. Yes, Quickbooks is more robust, which is good for big corporations but SMEs don’t need it. What they need is Freshbooks’ agility.

Also, many SMEs don’t have full-time accountants, so they need the kind of friendly hand-holding Freshbooks offers.

Freshbooks is growing as fast as it dies because it can humanize the company. Granted, it’s not video, but visitors can read about the early days of the company and its journey to its current position.

And that makes the company “human” enough, so business owners are willing to entrust their money in their system.

This gets a lot harder as the company grows.

Years ago the mantra was that no one got fired for buying IBM. Today, everyone knows that the IBM brand is blown out of proportion due to its age, not to its quality. Not even IBM can fool people forever. Ditto the big three US car companies.

Humans are humans, and for many years in the off-line world, they got used to the human connections that came with shopping.

And in the online world- they expect very similar connections. You can give it to them with videos.

Think about it. Which testimonials do you give more credit to? One written on a piece of paper and “signed” by the person’s initials or a video testimonial in which the customer talks about his problem and how Courageous Curmudgeons’ Coffin Carving Corporation solved his problem.

Longevity

Videos allow you to present evergreen topics that will last in the web for many years to come.

No matter how fast your industry and subject matter change, they usually change at a tactical level.

As Marketing maven, Dan Kennedy is fond of saying, “Tactics change quickly; strategies change slowly; principles never change.”

Yes, some goons have tried to convince us that marketing and selling online is totally different from selling off-line, but their theories are as bogus as a socialist campfire song (Maybe I should make some videos singing some of them.)

Some of the best online marketers or copywriters happen to be the old off-line marketing and copywriting warhorses.

You can find very old videos on Yutube that were recorded in the pre-internet era, but their messages are just as valid as though they’d been recorded yesterday. On this video, the late Gary Halbert talks about the ins and outs of copywriting and good sales copy. He must know. He made tens of millions of dollars without ever employing salespeople. His copy did all the selling.

So, as long as you stay with evergreen topics, you will stay on Youtube.

For testimonials, select those that talk about the business improvement that your engagement has caused, not the methodologies you’ve applied. The improvements will be desirable 100 years from now too, but as for methods, they’ll be dead and gone by then.

Conclusion

Many people shy away from video testimonials because they don’t think they have the right recording equipment or they think they have some other shortcomings.

As for equipment, it is secondary really. Or even tertiary.

If you have good testimonial materials, you can record them on your smartphone in pretty good quality, and then you can tweak it and add various bits and bobs to it in a video editor, like Camtasia (PCs) or ScreenFlow (Macs).

To learn more about how to use videos on your website, you can read How to Effectively Use Video in Your Content Marketing Strategy where we go deep into how to use videos.