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February 01, 2024
Reviews and testimonials connect your brand with potential customers by showing what real customers have to say about your product and services. But there are differences in the length, tone, and structure of reviews and testimonials, and as such, these two types of content are at home in different parts of your marketing strategy.
By understanding the key differences between a review and a testimonial, you can make informed decisions about which form of high-converting social proof to use in different parts of the buyer’s journey for your business. This will help you focus your resources on gathering the right stories from your satisfied customers, clients, and employees.
In this article, we'll:
Vocal Video is the best way to collect video reviews and testimonials about your product, service, or company culture.
With our testimonial and review platform — trusted by global brands like Google, Spotify, and Hilton — you can ask for, record, and publish user-generated content about the benefits of working with your company, even if you’ve never explored the world of video marketing before.
Upgrade your reviews and testimonials with Vocal Video. Sign up for a free plan.
There’s a lot of overlap between reviews and testimonials because they both involve someone speaking about their experience with the company, in their own words.
Reviews tend to be shorter and more informal; they might address the speaker’s reservations as well as the benefits they saw.
Testimonials tend to be longer, more formal, and talk about a customer’s outstandingly positive experience.
Testimonials can also focus on a specific aspect of a business, which makes them a great tool for writing case studies.
For example, check out this review on one of Majka’s supplement products:
What’s more, this review sits alongside more than 100 others on the product page, so potential buyers can be pretty sure the supplement will live up to what the company claims.
Customer reviews like this work really well in product marketing and for businesses with a physical location (e.g., a realtor’s office, a gardening service, or a restaurant).
When customers interact with these types of businesses, they have one distinct, personal experience to review. In fact, if you have premises or you sell online, your business will probably start to attract some reviews organically because people will review their purchase or experience on third-party sites like Trustmary, Tripadvisor, Google My Business, or Amazon.
While a lot of reviews on these websites are written statements, video reviews are also a great way to get potential customers to fully see how your product looks and works. Here’s another product video review from Majka — made with Vocal Video. The respondent talks about the natural ingredients in the product they chose, as well as the positive effect on their energy levels, and how quickly they started to see the results.
But racking up online reviews isn’t going to be the best strategy for all businesses. Some, such as software companies, non-profits, healthcare practitioners, and marketing agencies, will benefit more from testimonials.
This is because testimonials do a better job of explaining the value you offer when you’re offering a non-trivial service.
For example, check out this testimonial blog post from Student Life Blog of Georgetown University.
In this long-form, structured testimonial, the student…
Here, the longer testimonial format works better than a review, because it gives plenty of space for detail and personal insights. The “customer” talks about their situation before their relationship with the “business” started, explains how their fears were resolved, and describes the long-term benefits they’re seeing now. This three-act testimonial structure situates the business as the tool that helped the respondent to achieve their goals. This is extremely compelling for other people who are researching their options.
Both Majka and Georgetown use Vocal Video to collect reviews and testimonials.
You can meet more of our global customers here.
When your goal is to increase conversion rates or get more people to visit your business in person, reviews are particularly important.
Focus on boosting your review collection when…
You can also focus on collecting reviews when you have a plan in place for dealing with some of the potential drawbacks.
A lot of the reviews your business collects will be spontaneous, but you have much more control over the testimonials customers send you. Usually, businesses craft a set of testimonial questions and share them with the people they know will give them a great response to use in their marketing.
Channel your resources into collecting testimonials when…
Whatever business you’re in, you can benefit from increasing the number of reviews or testimonials you have — and some businesses will be able to use both.
These forms of user-generated storytelling can act as snippets of social proof that build trust with your potential customers. And it can even help new customers imagine themselves in the same position as the people who’ve already made a video or written testimonial.
In the past, collecting testimonials — especially engaging, sharable video testimonials that look great on websites and social media — was a time-consuming, labor-intensive process.
With Vocal Video, you can collect high-quality, engaging video reviews and testimonials about your business — in the same time it takes to type your thoughts into a review site.
Vocal Video is an end-to-end platform that requests, records, edits, and publishes video reviews and testimonials from your real-life customers. It’s incredibly easy to use, even if you’ve never shared feedback online or worked in video marketing before.
Publishing video content from your customers, clients, or employees is a three-step process you can set up in minutes, and your customers can respond in record time, too.
Here’s how it works.
Your Vocal Video collector is the interface that welcomes the respondents, shows them the questions you’ve asked them to answer, and then records them as they speak about their experiences.
You can build your video collector from scratch or customize one of more than 45 collector templates.
For example, in our “customers and clients” templates, you’ll find pre-written prompts specifically designed for reviews and testimonials. If you use a template, you’ll simply have to add your organization name, set your brand colors and logo, and customize your welcome and thank you messages before you start asking for reviews and testimonials.
Take a look at some of our most popular review templates.
When companies are considering big purchases, the stakes can be high, so every positive review counts in B2B marketing.
Like all our collector templates, this one includes a pre-written introduction thanking the respondents for their time and giving them a contact person if they have any questions. It comes with three customizable questions and the option to add two more.
The questions are…
These questions are designed for B2C businesses to get reviews from the people who purchased their products online.
Every good review makes a difference, but endorsements from influencers can boost the results of your content marketing faster by putting your product in front of a new audience. This template includes the questions…
Our testimonial templates encourage the respondent to go into slightly more detail than the short-and-snappy review questions above. These templates are designed to tell a credible story that potential customers, applicants, or employees remember.
Vocal Video testimonial templates often encourage the speaker to introduce themselves with the first question. When the viewer can put, for example, a name and a job title to the face, it makes an instant connection that helps the content to land.
One of our most popular testimonial templates creates authentic, detailed videos with the questions…
We also know that testimonials take many forms, which is why you’ll find collector templates for different industries and customer relationships.
This template for businesses creates videos with the classic, three-act case study structure, presenting your business as the tool that helped the customer succeed.
Finally, remember that an easy way to build your testimonial library fast is to explore employee-generated video for marketing. Asking the people you work with every day to record a video about what makes your company unique and why they’re proud to work with you gives you versatile videos to use on your website, in your external marketing materials, and in recruitment.
This template includes the questions…
This template produced this fantastic set of videos for Vocal Video customer LivePerson.
When you collect video reviews and testimonials with Vocal Video, you can also complete two more steps duing the collector set-up to help you get even more usable responses from your audience.
As you move through the steps in the collector set-up, don’t forget to add an incentive for the people who record a response. You can enter your respondents into the monthly Vocal Video prize draw, or add your own incentive (where you handle fulfillment). Choose between a giveaway, a contest, or a donation to encourage more people to get involved.
As we said above, businesses can get into trouble if they incentivize reviews on sites like Yelp or Google My Business. But with Vocal Video incentives, there’s nothing to worry about.
Everyone who records a video with your collector will agree to let you share their answers online. This means all your Vocal Video reviews and testimonials are yours to download, embed, or share — with no need to screenshot or reformat the transcript like you would have to with a review from another site.
Vocal Video Pro pricing plans also let you add a custom video release to your collector. Just open the settings in your Vocal Video dashboard, go to “Custom Video Releases” in the workspace settings, and go to “+ New Video Release” to add your text.
Vocal Video collectors are URL-based, so asking for feedback is as simple as copying and pasting the link we generate for you. Just go to “Get Responses” to get your collector link.
This means there are lots of places where companies can share their collectors and start getting responses.
Once they get the link, your respondents can open it on any smart device and record their review or testimonial without creating an account or downloading an app. The whole process takes as little as five minutes, and they’ll be able to re-record their answers until they’re happy.
As soon as someone finishes their video, we’ll automatically edit it and send it to your Vocal Video library (with a handy email notification to let you know it’s ready).
Our unique automatic editing process stitches together your customers’ responses to make a high-quality, dynamic, engaging video that looks great on social media or as part of your website.
You can see some of these features in action in this review video card from Aletha Health, where we added…
Don’t forget, automatic editing also includes music from our library of royalty-free tracks.
You can then use our suite of intuitive, drag-and-drop editing tools to trim the clips, change the order of the responses, or add additional slides. Or, to change the tone and personality of the video in just a few clicks, swap to a new video theme to change the animations, music, font, and layout.
Now, let’s look at some of the most effective places to share the reviews and testimonials you collect.
When you’re ready to share one of your testimonials, go to any published video and click “Share” to see your options, which include…
For longer, in depth testimonial videos, try:
For example, Vocal Video customer Hone uses a video testimonial from one of their customers to show how they put their headline claims into action.
Find out how to embed videos seamlessly onto any page of your site.
For short, visually engaging videos, try using your Vocal Video content to build a post on social media. You can even copy and paste your caption straight from the transcript.
For example, Mountain Sweet Honey includes memorable Vocal Video testimonials in their video marketing on Facebook.
All the content you publish on Vocal Video will be hosted on its own searchable, sharable public page. Sharing the link to this page is a great solution when you want to share reviews or testimonials on external sites that don’t let you embed video — including on careers sites.
For example, Sunrun links to Gio’s public testimonial from their job postings on third-party websites, so jobseekers have the chance to experience his enthusiasm.
And when your collection of reviews or testimonials starts to grow, you can add them to a beautiful, dynamic Vocal Video gallery. This is one of the fastest ways to build a dedicated testimonials page for your website, or to show your product in action to any of your sales pages.
For example, Prepared4X uses a carousel gallery of video reviews on their product pages.
Find out more about building Vocal Video galleries in five different formats.
Testimonials and reviews can both bring credibility to your business’s online presence. They show that the claims that you make about your product, your values, and your company culture are true, because real people have already experienced them.
Business owners might ask whether they should channel their resources into collecting reviews or testimonials. It depends a lot on the service you provide, the stage your business is at, and how your customers usually find your product. But whatever industry you’re in, there’s a form of customer feedback that can increase your visibility and boost the number of potential customers your content converts.
Whether you want to focus on reviews or testimonials, Vocal Video makes it quick and easy to boost the amount of user-generated content you have to use in your marketing. Simply write the questions in your review or testimonial collector, share it with your target audience, and get automatically edited responses that are completely yours to share.
Sign up for a free Vocal Video account today, or collect reviews and testimonials at scale with a Team, Pro, or Enterprise plan. Find out more and sign up here.
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