March 09, 2022
It’s well accepted that testimonial advertising is a powerful way to connect with prospective customers, with some sources suggesting it can increase conversions by up to 270%.
But how do you go about actually using testimonials and reviews in your advertising? That is less clear.
Most online guides to testimonial advertising don’t specify which testimonial formats will give you the best results/highest conversion rates, or how to collect reviews and testimonials from your customers in the first place. But these are two important execution decisions you need to make.
There are generally two types of testimonial advertising to consider using:
In this guide, we’re going to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of both, including how to collect testimonials of either type, and then give you 7 examples of brands using testimonial advertising with great results.
We’ll also discuss how Vocal Video helps with video-based testimonial advertising.
If you want to try Vocal Video yourself, you can sign up here for a free 14-day trial.
Most testimonial advertising can be organized into two main categories:
This type of advertising includes quote testimonials, written reviews, and written case studies.
Static testimonials are often the most popular option for brands because they are the easiest type of testimonial to produce. All you need is a relevant quote from your satisfied customer — taken from a review site, for example — with a name, location, and an optional photograph. You can then post these testimonial advertisements across your communication and social media channels, focused on your target audience, as often as you need to.
The downside of these types of testimonials is their credibility in the eyes of your prospective customers. Static testimonials are so easy to create and so ubiquitous throughout the web that their authenticity can be consciously or subconsciously questioned by your customers.
Who is Carol from Columbus who said that a certain brand was the ‘best solution for my problem?’ Is she even a real person? On top of that, potential buyers may have banner blindness towards static testimonial advertisements, where their eyes simply skip over testimonials because they see them absolutely everywhere.
In contrast to static testimonials, video testimonial advertising holds far more credibility. This is one of the reasons we started Vocal Video: to focus on video testimonials.
First, video-based testimonial advertising is extremely hard to fake. You have a real person talking straight to a camera. It feels authentic and far more engaging for viewers than a static quote testimonial.
Second, as a result, it also packs a lot more information into less space (videos take up a fraction of the web page space of a long testimonial quote or case study, for example). This is more engaging and harder to skip over or have “banner blindness” on. The information that video conveys isn’t limited to just words either, your potential customer can see the facial expressions and emotions of the person speaking in the video testimonial — which is difficult to capture in written form.
Despite the benefits of video testimonials, in our personal experience and the experience of our customers, the biggest thing holding back business owners from producing more videos is the logistics and cost of actually producing the video testimonials.
Specifically, if you use traditional methods like hiring a camera crew and professional video editors to make your videos, they will be expensive to record and edit, and the whole process will take a long time.
We’ve experienced the complexities and pains of producing effective testimonial videos for ourselves, and founded Vocal Video to solve these issues and simplify the entire process.
Vocal Video helps users collect video testimonials from customers quickly, asynchronously, and affordably (more details on this process below).
Your satisfied customers simply receive a link to record a testimonial on their own device. It should take them no more than 10 minutes to record, and when they are finished, you receive an automatically-edited, professional-looking video in your inbox, like the one below:
At Vocal Video, we've seen the power of using customer videos in advertising firsthand. With our YouTube and Facebook ads, videos collected and edited with Vocal Video perform around 50% better than static images. Our own research also shows that marketers see an ROI of 50-500% from their testimonial videos, including significant conversion improvements.
For a comparison of testimonial video costs, read our guide to how much it costs to produce videos at several price points and levels of quality.
As we mentioned above, Vocal Video was designed to cut down on the time, complexity, and expense of recording and collecting customer video testimonials, without sacrificing quality.
Our platform removes the hassle from the entire process for both you and your users, helping you (1) record and (2) edit effective testimonial videos whenever you need them for your testimonial advertising.
When one of your users agrees to record a testimonial video on your behalf, you send out a link to what is known as a video collector, which has an interface that guides the user through recording a video.
Your users can use their own device (a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer) and record using the in-built camera and mic. They don’t have to download any extra software or apps — they are taken directly to your Vocal Video landing page to record their video.
Read this article for more information on how to collect video testimonials using Vocal Video.
The collector makes it super simple to record a video. Your users simply read each question you want them to answer and hit record.
When they’ve answered your questions and are happy with their recording (they can re-record if they want), they click to submit and you receive the video recording in your inbox. It should all take less than 10 minutes.
To reduce the amount of editing you need to do and speed up the video production process, Vocal Video automatically adds professional-style edits to your video testimonials. This includes:
You can use each video exactly as it arrives in your inbox, or use Vocal Videos native editing suite to add some extra polish and trim users’ responses.
Vocal Video’s editing tools are designed for anybody to use, regardless of your level of video editing expertise.
This is what our video editing interface looks like:
The whole Vocal Video editing system is based on drag-and-drop editing tools that allow you to change the order of each scene just by picking it up and moving it into position with your cursor. This makes it especially intuitive to use and means you don’t need to wade through hours of tutorials.
You can also trim each scene — to remove pauses and extraneous information, for example — to give your video testimonial more impact and make it even more engaging to prospective customers.
The editor also lets you change out colors, overlays, graphics, and background music (we have a huge library of royalty-free tunes or you can add your own track).
If you prefer to stitch together several testimonials to give your testimonial ad an even greater impact, you can use Vocal Video’s highlight reel feature to showcase several of your customer endorsements at once.
For a more comprehensive understanding of how to use Vocal Video’s editing tools, see our article: Testimonial Video Editing Made Easy
Below, we’ve put together some of the best testimonial advertising examples from radically different companies to help you visualize how your marketing team can take advantage of this powerful way of connecting with prospective customers.
Read our in-depth guide to see more client testimonial examples used in websites.
We start here with two examples of video testimonial advertising using videos collected with Vocal Video. Then, we’ll give you some other examples of testimonial advertising, including quote testimonials.
The Natural Acne clinic regularly asks their customers for short video stories with Vocal Video. As you can see from the Vocal Video above, the results are authentic, relatable, and resonate deeply with their target market. They also use the videos collected to pull powerful quotes from each video to use as a headline/tagline for each advertisement. The clinic shares their results through paid social advertising, and organic channels.
Natural Acne Clinic’s cheat sheet:
Your customers' stories can be the most relatable content you have to recruit new customers.
Authenticity can beat professional "influencers". The results will be much more believable, and convert at a higher rate.
Click here to watch the Natural Acne Clinic video testimonial (recorded using Vocal Video) and read our case study.
Video customer testimonials used to educate your audience
Fellow takes the advice of making its customers look like heroes literally with its #ManagementHeroes campaign, highlighting management lessons in this series. They go beyond looking for customers that can speak to the value of the product, to encouraging customers to become thought leaders with their expertise as managers, and sharing their learnings with peers. Quotes from this education-oriented blog series are used in social media campaigns and beyond. You can see more examples on the Fellow Reviews page.
Fellow’s cheat sheet:
“In Real Life”
User generated content repurposed as testimonial advertisements yields impressive results
In contrast to many Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) strategies, Glossier’s core DNA has always included a direct connection and relationship with its customers. With its Glossier in Real Life page, the company highlights user generated content from actual customers that have shared on Instagram with the hashtag: #yesglossier
These customers are more relatable than traditional models, and become the fodder of the company’s retargeting campaigns and more.
Want to get the A-Z guide to creating customer proof? Check out The Definitive Guide to Customer Testimonials.
Glossier’s cheat sheet:
“Write the future”
Grammarly reaches 7.6+ million people with a video testimonial.
As a part of a major advertising campaign that included lots of paid search ads, Grammarly highlighted some of the inspiring stories of their users. While it’s clear that Grammarly has not launched these customers on their extraordinary journeys, the sentiment expressed about the app is on-brand. Grammarly gets a “coolness” boost to its brand by associating themselves with what their customers are doing. You can see more on their blog.
Grammarly’s cheat sheet:
Ad campaign made out of customer quote testimonials
Short, authentic customer quotes on targeted web properties.
Enterprise-level software teams can be a hard audience to market to. CircleCI chose concise, informal testimonials to advertise to them, lending another layer of credibility with trusted sites, like Deployer, Scotch.io, Window Resizer, and Think & Build, where they placed their ads. The benefits of “speaking the same language” as the target buyers and reaching them in reputable, trusted websites paid off with 65% lower cost-per-lead, and higher quality.
CircleCI’s cheat sheet:
A Review Becomes the Ad
Leverage your customer reviews in advertising.
Ecommerce brands live and die by reviews, and these can be easily repurposed for digital marketing campaigns. Check out how Fugoo highlights a customer testimonial that touches on how tough the product is, and what an awesome life you will have with this speaker (visiting the beach, and paddleboarding).
Fugoo’s cheat sheet:
In-depth interviews of key customers for remarkably in-depth testimonials.
In its 12-part B2B web video series, Oracle focused on key customers’ experiences and interviewed them in-depth to create great testimonials. And with video ranking as the number one type of content your customers want to see, according to HubSpot (above PDFs and written blogs combined), this approach is worth emulating.
This series of high-budget videos is packaged as educational and entertainment content rather than a traditional testimonial, making it far more engaging and impactful. Unsurprisingly, Oracle has massive reach with their advertising efforts including social, search, print, and television.
Oracle’s cheat sheet:
Note: Ready to start easily collecting, editing, and publishing testimonial videos to use for testimonial ads across your social media channels (Facebook ads, for example)? Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Vocal Video, no credit card required.
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Testimonial Video Templates
Research: The ROI of Video Testimonials
Video Series: Behind the Marketing
Reinventing Video Testimonials
The Definitive Guide to Customer Testimonials
Client Testimonials: 11 Great Examples
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