Are Product Testimonials Reliable? + How to Collect Trustworthy Reviews

Find out how testimonials can reliably increase conversions in product marketing, and how to make sure the reviews and stories you post look reliable online.

Product testimonials like customer stories, reviews, and case studies are a very reliable way to show the value of your business.

Authentic and engaging product testimonials made by your customers can:

  1. Work as powerful social proof, and build trust with your audience.
  2. Give your target audience a detailed understanding of your product.
  3. Create a strong emotional connection with your audience.
  4. Deepen your customer’s affinity with your whole brand.

These things in turn can help you increase conversions.

Below, we cover these four reasons in more detail, providing data and examples to show just how valuable product testimonials can be as part of your marketing strategy.

We also provide a guide to help you create the best and most authentic product testimonials possible.

4 Reasons Why Product Testimonials Are Reliable

When we surveyed over 450 marketing professionals, we found that testimonials — particularly video testimonials — significantly lifted the conversion rates of their campaigns.  In comparison to campaigns that didn’t use testimonial videos, 88% of marketing teams saw at least a 10% increase in conversions, and almost half saw an increase of 25% or more when they were introduced.

Testimonial videos significantly increase conversion: 88% of marketing teams see a 10+% lift compared to campaigns without testimonial video, and nearly half see a 25+% lift.

Let’s look at some of the reasons behind these results.

1. Testimonials are Social Proof That Convince More People to Buy In

Social proof is the idea that people are more likely to be convinced of the value of a product or service when they hear it from their peers.

User-generated content (like customer testimonials) is convincing because it’s produced by someone the audience can relate to. This can be a person who’s facing the same problem or someone they already trust and respect, like an influencer in their industry. When a potential customer sees that those people have already been convinced of the benefits of your product, it’s easier for them to imagine themselves enjoying the same advantages.

As a bonus, testimonials look fantastic on social media, which is the best place to reinforce your marketing strategy with social proof.  Our studies have shown that companies that use testimonial videos in social media campaigns see some impressive results. More than 20% of companies see a 50%+ lift in conversions, and around 90%  see at least a noticeable increase of at least 10%.

Conversion amplified with social media usage: Companies that use testimonial videos in social media campaigns see impressive results
Read about how Wonolo uses employee testimonials to promote their brand on social media.

2. User-Generated Content Gives a Detailed View of Your Product

Potential customers are often more inclined to trust content made by your users, rather than the marketing content your company scripts and publishes as a team. That’s because the format implies that the customer is giving their free, nuanced, and authentic opinion.

When they’re giving feedback, a genuine customer is also likely to address every aspect of their experience, including steps like product installation, which might give the potential customer more information than they’d find on the product’s webpage. This is a reliable way of convincing more buyers to add a product to their cart because it reassures them that the entire process — from ordering and delivery to setup and onboarding — is actually practical in a real-world scenario.

Read our interview with IdeaScale, showing how observations made in UGC will change customer marketing.

3. Testimonials Create a Stronger Emotional Connection

Customer stories are a great way to convey the respondent’s pride, gratitude, or happiness, and these emotions are key to humanizing your brand and closing sales. This is especially true of testimonials in video form, which let the viewer notice the subtle queues in tone and body language that show a testimonial is authentic.

Alongside data on the product specifications, or statistics showing its effectiveness, the storytelling aspect of testimonials — where your product is the tool that helped the customer to overcome the challenge they were facing — engages the heart as well as the head as potential customers make their purchase decisions.

Read about how Anna Stallmann Communications produces company culture videos to tell an authentic story about their brand.

4. Testimonials Can Deepen the Audience’s Understanding of Your Whole Brand

In testimonials, customers often summarize the reasons why they chose your product over one of your competitors. They might talk about what makes your company unique, or how their experience stayed true to your company’s value statements. This deeper understanding of what makes your company special and what drives the people who work there gives potential customers a more complete understanding of your brand and helps convince them they’re making the right choice.

Read about how U.C. Berkeley Skydeck uses testimonials to differentiate their product from their competitors.

Best Practice for Testimonials

Whether you choose to use written customer reviews, video testimonials, or case studies in your product marketing, you can follow these principles to show the reviews you post are authentic and maximize their effect.

Name the Respondent

First, your audience needs to know that real people have left these testimonials. So, always publish testimonials from a reliable, named source. The most trustworthy reviews provide the customer’s name (rather than just their username) and might even post a link to their company website or LinkedIn where a potential customer can verify their identity. If their testimonial is published on a third-party review site where this isn’t possible, the review will still seem more trustworthy if the user has written a collection of reviews over several months or years.

Vocal Video customer Vitality Cycles posts written reviews on their product pages, where they name the reviewer and, where possible, show a picture of them with the product they purchased.

Vitality Cycles: Verified Product Testimonial examples

And when Vitality Cycles posts product testimonials in video form, they ask the customers to hold the product they purchased as they talk about their experience.

Verify the Purchase

Positive reviews can look much more convincing if your company confirms the person writing is a real customer. You can easily verify a testimonial if you ask for a review as part of the messages you send to your buyers to follow up on their purchases.

Majka verifies the product testimonials they use on their webpage to increase a prospective customer’s trust in the review.  Used after the product description, these short and sweet review highlights reinforce the benefits of the product described in the company copy with a user-generated confirmation.

Majka: Verified Product Testimonial examples

Show the Product in Use

If you’re requesting a product testimonial video, it’s a good idea to ask the respondent to demonstrate the product — like these short but convincing reviews on the Prepared4X website. This not only proves that the respondent is a real customer, but also shows the product does what it claims to when it’s used in real-world situations and not just in test conditions in the factory.

Prepared4X: Verified Product Testimonial examples

Proofread Testimonials

The testimonials you publish might be a potential customer’s first impression of your business, so you want to make sure they look professional — even when they’re user-generated.

It’s best practice to proofread all of your testimonials before adding them onto your website or social media pages. You might also want to edit a testimonial for clarity or trim it for length. For example, it’s best if your text fits the maximum caption length for the social media platform where you want to post it, as comparatively few people will click “read more” to expand the caption.

The Mountain Sweet Honey Co. helps more people read their testimonials by posting them as graphics with a short and descriptive caption.

Mountain Sweet Honey Co: Verified Product Testimonial examples

When you’re using video testimonials, you should also proofread the subtitles to make sure they’re error-free and don’t contain any of the “ums” and “errs” respondents might make while they’re considering their response. For example, AI-generated subtitles sometimes fail to capitalize the name of a product or misspell names, which can seem like a glaring error to someone watching the video.

Go Into Detail

Although any collection of good reviews is an asset for your business, testimonials that go beyond star ratings are much more effective in addressing the doubts or concerns that someone might have to overcome before they complete their purchase.

For example, compare this short review of a local bakery:  

This is one of my favorite bakeries. I come pretty often depending on what flavors they have.

To this much more evocative, detailed review from a loyal customer, including their tips and recommendations:

I absolutely love the cookies from this bakery. The milk chocolate chip and honey cookies are my favorite. They’re incredibly delicious and never disappoint.

One thing that sets these cookies apart is that they’re always served warm. There’s something magical about biting into a warm, freshly baked cookie that takes the experience to another level. The warmth enhances the flavors and makes each bite more enjoyable.

If you have a sweet tooth, this is definitely the place to go. They have a fantastic variety of flavors to choose from, the staff are friendly and welcoming, and the location is good. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Ideally, you want detailed testimonials that evoke emotions, reassure the reader you can solve the pain point they’re experiencing, and show that your product will benefit its customers in the long run.

This video testimonial from Optimizely also hits these talking points as they explain how they showcase their company culture and employee testimonials in their marketing strategy:

In the video, they address the questions…

  • How is Optimizely using testimonial videos? (To share employee stories.)
  • What challenges did you have with creating video testimonials before Vocal Video? (Video collection was complex and their participation rates were low.)
  • What’s the ROI on video testimonials for Optimizely? (High, as they can post the testimonials on social media and elsewhere.)
  • Would you recommend others try Vocal Video? (Yes, enthusiastically!)

This creates a testimonial that’s full of the helpful details that customers want to weigh up as they make their purchase decisions.

Read more about how Optimizely uses Vocal Video.

How to Get Trustworthy Product Testimonial Videos Every Time

All testimonials that fulfill the criteria above are reliable, but some testimonials are still more effective than others. Done well, written testimonials will show that your product has real users and supporters and show the benefits from multiple points of view. They can be easily scanned for information as a customer scrolls through your page, and when sorted by star rating, they’re a quick way for people to assess the major strengths and potential weaknesses of your product.

However, written testimonials also have some drawbacks…

  • Because they’re so skimmable, your potential customers are unlikely to fully engage with or retain the information.
  • Because anyone can write an online review, your audience might still be skeptical about the content of written testimonials.
  • Because there’s no additional visual element to a written testimonial, the potential customer can’t easily pick up on the respondent’s emotional response to your product.

Video testimonials — like the ones you can collect with Vocal Video — address all these concerns, making them the most powerful and effective way to convey your customers’ stories.

The main reason most business owners don’t use user-generated product marketing videos is that they’ve traditionally been complicated, time-consuming, or expensive to produce. This made it harder to produce testimonials regularly or include them in multiple aspects of their product marketing.

Time and budget are the main blockers to creating more testimonial videos.

Vocal Video was designed to solve these problems and make the process of recording and collecting product video testimonials easy for both marketers and respondents, while still providing professional-quality video results.

With our software, anyone — with or without video production and editing experience — can record a well-edited, visually engaging video testimonial that reliably foregrounds the benefits of your business with the voice of your satisfied customer.

Customers can record video testimonials asynchronously in a matter of minutes by answering the questions you send them about your product. You won’t need to arrange a mutually convenient time for a video shoot or a call, they just press record at a convenient time. And because the process is so easy, your customers are much more likely to follow through and record a high-quality, informative testimonial about your product to use either alone or in conjunction with written reviews.

How Vocal Video Creates Reliable Product Testimonials

Here’s how our recording and collection process works.

Build a Video Collector in a Few Simple Steps

Our Video Collector is the interface that guides your respondent through the recording process. As well as recording their responses to the questions or prompts you send, the collector also gathers the information that will show the viewer the testimonial is reliable — like the speaker’s name, company, and job title.

The easiest way to build a Video Collector for product testimonials is to select our Customer Testimonials Template (though you can also build a template from the ground up by selecting “New Collector, ” then “Start Without a Template”).

Customer Testimonial Videos template: Use this expert template, sample questions, and our proven process to start collecting authentic customer testimonial videos today.

This comes preloaded with the questions…

  • Could you describe a time that [your product] helped you?
  • How would you describe [your product] in three words?
  • Why is [your product] different from other similar products or services?

You can customize these questions with your business name, or add additional questions to get more information about a customer’s positive experience.

Next, write a welcome and thank you message in your collector, and decide which attribution information to request.  

Attribution Page Settings: After your questions, we ask respondents to identify themselves or to confirm their preloaded information with a personalized link.

You can also send the collector to a customer with the attribution information pre-filled, either by entering the information yourself and generating a personalized link to the collector or by integrating Vocal Video with your CRM. We’ve found that the convenience of a pre-filled Video Collector helps to increase response rates.

Generate the link to the collector by clicking “Get Responses.” Our URL-based sharing is perfect for product testimonials because it’s so easy to include the link in your follow-up communications once the product has been delivered.

To collect responses, share this link with your target respondents.

With the link, the customer is free to record in their own time, in their own space, and with their own device. Even if you’re looking for a detailed B2B product case study or a highly personal customer story, the whole process can take less than 10 minutes and is very straightforward for respondents to complete.

Get Automatically Edited Video Testimonials (Or Easily Edit them Yourself)

You don’t need any professional video editing experience to create dynamic, reliable product testimonial videos with Vocal Video. Here’s an example:

This video includes several design elements that have been added with our unique automatic editing process to create a testimonial video that’s ready to share.

Already included in the video is:

  • Your company’s logo and brand colors
  • Beautiful interstitial cards showing what the customer is responding to
  • Animated transitions between slides
  • Royalty-free music from our library
  • Automatically generated subtitles
  • The attribution information supplied by your customer.

You can also use our suite of slider and drag-and-drop editing tools to further polish your video. Some options include:

  • Adding additional slides with more information about the speaker or your company (for example, adding data to back up their claims).
  • Changing your brand assets to make the testimonial instantly identifiable with your company or with the specific campaign it was collected for.
  • Switching the background music to change the tone of the video.
  • Editing the length of each scene in the video to suit the platform where you want to post it or focus on the most important points
  • Applying a new “theme” to instantly alter the font, graphics, and transitions and change the personality of the video.

When you’re ready to click “Share” and publish your video, you can also add a featured quote to build an eye-catching video card, like this one:

Making a video card is also a very simple process. From the sharing screen, choose “Video Card'' to go to the video card builder.  Here, you can change the design elements and shape of the card so they fit with your website’s layout and color scheme.

You can copy and paste the most attention-grabbing quote from the video’s automatically generated transcript, and choose the thumbnail image.

Video Card Builder: Sarah Wong example

When you’re ready, go to “Copy Embed Code” to pick up the lines of code you’ll need to embed the video into the HTML of your website.

Read more about the easiest way to make video testimonial cards.

By going to “Galleries'' in the Vocal Video dashboard, you can also create and embed galleries of your published videos to showcase all the testimonials you collect from your happy customers. When it comes to displaying social proof, our list, grid, carousel, and wall of love gallery layouts are the perfect way to highlight the number of people who’ve already had a great experience with your product, increasing the feeling that your testimonials are reliable.

Check out this interactive testimonial carousel from our customers:

Find out more about embedding Vocal Video galleries.

Share Testimonials Wherever You Touch Base with Your Customers

With Vocal Video, you can share testimonials effortlessly on your website or social media channels, or — with our paid pricing plans — download your finished videos to use in your internal communications.

Share this video: Embed it on your site, Copy the public link, Share it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Upload to YouTube, etc.

Our sharing options include:

  • Automatically generated embed codes for individual videos, video cards, and video galleries.
  • One-click sharing to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Downloading videos in the perfect aspect ratio and format for sharing on your website or short-form video platforms (like Instagram, Facebook Reels, and TikTok).

All of these tools make it easy to create, edit, publish, and repurpose video testimonials for every platform where your customers can find out more about your product.

When it’s so easy to produce high-quality, authentic testimonials that speak about the features and benefits of your product, you can share them more often and really start to build up a picture of your business and its strengths.

Record and Embed Reliable Product Testimonial Videos Easily and Inexpensively

Product testimonials are a very reliable asset to add to your marketing strategy. When produced with Vocal Video, they’re the most reliable way to convey the things that make your product stand out.

We make it easy for anyone to produce a verified product review from a named customer, which is the best way of showing your leads how beneficial your product has been to your existing customers.

Although written testimonials are a great asset to have, video testimonials can…

  • Make a more personal and emotional connection that testifies to the genuine advantages and benefits of your product.
  • Build a more complete and memorable picture of your business and your brand.
  • Convey more information about how your product solves a pain point in a way that people want to watch and engage with.

Ready to see how Vocal Video can help you easily and affordably produce reliable video testimonials for your products? Create a free account now.

For more information on creating and using testimonials, check out:

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