August 30, 2021
Definition: Testimonial Advertising
The usage of a written or video recommendation from a customer, often extolling the benefits of a product or service, to draw attention to it in a public medium in order to promote sales or conversion.
We can barely do anything without customer reviews - picking a place for lunch, buying a car, or figuring out what doctor to see. In fact, the average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business, and displaying reviews can increase conversion by up to 270%. It’s almost unfathomable that a mere 20 years ago we had to *talk* to people or read magazines to see what our peers said about a product. (Fun fact: Epinions.com was one of the very first review sites on the web and was lauded as “10 most valuable web sites” in its day.) Steeped in this sea of user generated content venerating individual opinions, it’s no surprise that testimonial advertising can be one of the most powerful ways to connect with prospective customers and improve conversion rates.
Side note: Even if you have raving fans, it can be hard to coordinate getting and creating video testimonials, and setting up a scalable program to source new video reviews. Vocal Video makes it ridiculously simple to get compelling, authentic customer videos with motion graphics, captions, music, and in your brand style instantly. You can learn more here.
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.
We've seen the power of using customer videos in advertising firsthand. With our Facebook and Youtube ads, videos like the one below, collected and edited 100% with Vocal Video, perform at roughly 50% better than static images. Our original research also shows that the vast majority of marketers see an ROI of 50-500% from their testimonial videos, including significant conversion improvements.
“In Real Life”
User generated content repurposed as testimonial advertisements yield impressive results
In contrast to many consumer packaged good (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 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 cheat sheet:
The Natural Acne clinic regularly asks their customers for short video stories with Vocal Video. The results are authentic, relatable, and resonate deeply with their target market. The clinic shares their results through paid social advertising, and organic channels.
Natural Acne Clinic cheat sheet:
Video testimonial highlights in targeted social media ads.
With a diverse demographic of customers, split across age, geography and use case, it's necessary for First Republic Bank to be able demonstrate their success with a lot of different types of people. Fine-grained audience filters on Facebook, including interests and college graduation dates, enable First Republic’s marketing team to target different customer types with the appropriate customer video most relevant to them. Audience targeting can increase engagement and click through rate dramatically, with a recent experiment by AdEspresso increasing CTR by over 75%. The full cut of these customer testimonial videos are catalogued on their customer page.
First Republic Bank cheat sheet:
Quotes from customer testimonials used to educate your audience
Fellow takes the advice of making your 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 Blog
Fellow 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 cheat sheet:
Ad campaign made out of customer quotes
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 credence with the 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 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 cheat sheet:
Turning the camera towards themselves for remarkably in-depth testimonial
If done with enough editorial distance, the users of your product at your company can actually become great testimonials. And with video ranking as the number one type of content your customers want to see (above PDFs and written blogs combined), it can be worth getting creative with who your subjects are. Oracle highlights the experience of their marketing team in this high-budget video. Unsurprisingly, Oracle has massive reach with their advertising efforts including social, search, print and television.
This video, and others from additional customers have run in ads appearing on 1,000+ websites, magazines and TV spots.
Oracle cheat sheet:
Curious how companies big and small can capture new video testimonials, with automatic Hollywood studio subtitles, animations and music just by sending a link? Ready to start easily collecting, editing, and publishing testimonial videos to use for Facebook, Google & Youtube ads? Sign up for a Vocal Video free trial for 14 days, 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
Can software replace a video testimonial service?
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