Whether your company is selling a product or service, professional video testimonials have the power to swing purchasing decisions in your favour in a big way. Here’s why:
Consumers have a voracious appetite for video
Video consumption is increasing year after year: 92 per cent of Canadians now tune in at home or work, according to comScore, with more consumers scouring the second-largest search engine, YouTube, for business, service and product information.
Furthermore, video seems to offer a higher degree of authenticity as it allows viewers to see and hear from a client delivering the testimonial.
Real recommendations rock
You may think your products and services are great, but do your customers feel the same way? The reason platforms such as TripAdvisor and Yelp are so popular is that they present real stories about customer experiences and feedback, which carry a lot more weight than what a company has to say about itself.
Establish trust with the brand
Giving your clients the opportunity to offer their opinions adds a powerful layer of transparency to your brand. Viewers can watch real people provide genuine feedback, and the topics they cover will often address their main concerns about your business.
Content is king
When working with a company to produce your business’s video testimonials, it’s important to be clear on your messaging. Vague testimonials won’t spark the same response as topic-specific testimonials.
For example, if you have a car dealership, you may want to focus on questions such as: What was the experience like working with your sales team? How much money did your customers save? How did they find the process of buying a car through your dealership? What exactly do you love about your car? Why would they recommend others work with your clients?
Any unique features you would promote about your business tend to be great areas around which to produce testimonial videos.
An effective selling tool
If positioned properly, professional-looking videos are some of the most powerful tools a business can have in its marketing toolbox. The top places to promote your testimonial videos are: on your website, on relevant social media platforms, in e-mail signature, in-store displays, presentations, trade shows, client quotes and proposals.
Loyal clients will be happy to help
Video is such a powerful vehicle to communicate experience, and using it strategically will work wonders for any business. Leverage your loyal customers by asking them to provide testimonials about your business. If the video testimonials come across as honest and trustworthy, more and more potential customers will respond, translating into great results for your bottom line.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Lisa Ostrikoff is a TV journalist and anchor-turned-creator of BizBOXTV, a Canadian online video production, advertising and social media marketing agency.
Facebook reached a new high last month with almost 558 million video views, according to comScore’s February 2013 US Online Video Rankings.
For the month, Facebook was second with 61.2 million unique video viewers — well behind Google/YouTube’s 150.6 million uniques. Facebook’s 558 million video views was third overall, way behind Google/YouTube’s 11.3 billion and AOL with 570 million video views. Facebook is near the bottom when it comes to engagement, with an average of 19.9 minutes per viewer (MPV) during February. The only Top 10 video site with lower engagement is Amazon at 12.6 MPV.
Facebook video production views wasn’t the only online video record last month. ComScore says Google/YouTube set a new high with more than 2.2 billion video ads delivered in February — almost a quarter of the overall 9.9 billion video ads that were shown during the month.
Are you looking for a company to create your business/brand’s Facebook Video Production?
Advertisers are starting to push creative boundaries in an attempt to engage, using the latest innovations, from gaming strategies to social media to branded video and Web TV content.
But with all of the clutter we are surrounded by in this digital age, getting someone to pay attention to a company’s brand message seems to be getting trickier.
From annoying pop-up ads to often completely irrelevant video pre-rolls, the clutter is causing consumers’ “BS meters,” as digital rock star Gary Vaynerchuk has called them, to become more sensitive and accurate than ever before.
So while the speed of technology is increasing, it’s interesting to note that one of the hottest trends in online marketing might just be the age-old art of story-telling.
What does this mean? To cut through the clutter, businesses need to stop annoying, and start telling stories.
Story-telling has evolved from ancient rock markings to the current age, where brands are able to effectively tell their stories via Web video, blog posts and social media platforms. Despite technology’s effect on the methods we’re using to tell stories, the basics remain.
If you ask the experts, they’ll tell you the same story they’ve been telling for years.
“Marketing is storytelling,” says author, entrepreneur and expert Seth Godin. Writing on “ How to tell a great story,” Mr. Godin says that “first impressions are far more powerful than we give them credit for,” making it important to ensure your story does what you need it to do the first time someone reads, hears or watches it.
“Your products and your service and your people are all part of the story,” Mr. Godin adds.
Peter Guber, chief executive officer of Mandalay Entertainment Group and co-owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, also has a take on the importance of story-telling.
“Simply put, if you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it,” he writes in Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story.
The first chapter is entitled “It’s about the story, stupid.” You can read it by downloading it here.
“Our brains still respond to content by looking for the story to make sense out of the experience. No matter what the technology, the meaning starts in the brain,” writes Pamela Brown Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center, in The psychological power of storytelling posted on Psychology Today. She notes that there are several psychological reasons why story-telling is so powerful.
So, what’s your story? Ask yourself what messages you are trying to get across to your audience. Is your story authentic and interesting?
All businesses and business owners have a great story. This is the year to tell it, on purpose.
Special to The Globe and Mail
The relevance of video for business continues to increase as the digital world we live in constantly evolves.
“Putting video on websites has been a huge success …” according to MarketingSherpa. “Marketers gave us hundreds of great examples touching on dozens of ways in which using video has had a positive impact on sales, lead generation, and improved customer relations.”
There are many ways businesses can use video: company profiles, testimonials, product profiles, how-to’s. One main area I focus on, coming from a journalism background, is to feature business owners in 99 per cent of video productions. Having done many business “features” in TV news, it just made sense that people would want to hear from the people driving the rather than a random spokesperson or actor.
My thought process? “Where’s the authenticity in that?” As a budding entrepreneur, I also knew what would and wouldn’t work on the flip side, as a consumer.
So, should the boss step into the spotlight when a company is considering a video presence? A recent report released by Ace Metrix concluded ads that feature CEOs outperform those that don’t. “The aim is to introduce the CEO as a real human being who provides a face, a real life story and a personality that viewers can associate with the brand.”
From the report, a few other things to keep in mind:
Presence: A CEO that is perceived as “genuine” is critical to an effective on-camera success. Personal charisma and the ability to communicate authentically are signs your boss may be camera ready.
Commitment is key: Most brands use the CEO concept sparingly, dedicating most of their advertising to non-CEO content. Those who commit see better results. Papa John’s and Samuel Adams are examples of brands who have fully committed to the “CEO as the frontman” strategy.
As you can see if you click through the hyperlinks, the final result can be a lot of fun, and pack a lot of emotional punch.
Don’t think you or your boss are ready to roll and record? A little coaching, thoughtful pre-production and a relaxed atmosphere works wonders. A lot of what comes across on camera has a lot to do with who’s behind the camera, and who’s in the edit suite, making sure your final video product accurately portrays your brand messaging and energy.
The importance of telling your business story cannot be underestimated. Every business has one to tell, and it’s those stories that connect and resonate with people. Stories make us human and offer a tremendous opportunity to establish trust and rapport, which in the business world means more business. At the very least, it’s worth a shot.
Lisa Ostrikoff: Special to The Globe and Mail
First Published Thursday, Oct. 11 2012
The story of your business is a starting point that should never be underestimated. It needs to be an engaging tale to get your message across – one that gets people talking and sharing.
People have been telling tales and listening to stories since the beginning of time. Stories carry history, experiences and certain messages, and above all, they connect people in a way nothing else can. Good stories resonate with listeners. Great stories encourage them to share.
Storytelling is also not new to the marketing world. Big brands with massive budgets attempt to nail the concept time and again. With the opportunities provided by the digital age, there is no reason smaller businesses can’t leverage the power of stories – you want to talk to the same people as the big guys.
“In order to differentiate in a crowded marketplace, a natural advantage comes to the brands that have a compelling story,” says digital marketing strategist Ernest Barbaric. “Think about TOMS Shoes or Virgin, for example. The story of their brands, and more importantly of their ‘why,’ has the potential to forge an emotional connection with their audience.
“When it comes to making decisions (to purchase or to share a piece of content), they’re driven by emotions and justified by logic.”
Consumers have never been more connected than they are today, which means this shift will continue and become even more obvious. There are two types of stories at play, and there always have been when it comes to businesses.
There are the stories you tell about your business to your customer, and there are stories they tell their friends based on their experiences. Both have the ability to make or break your business.
What’s your story?
This may be the most important place a business can start when crafting its market position and strategy. “What is our story?” It’s the core of what a business is, what it does and why it exists. If it’s compelling enough, that story will spread. If it’s boring, you are invisible.
Every business and every entrepreneur has a story to tell. More of them are starting to do it as they realize their story makes them human. It’s people that people connect with, that they learn to trust, and that they ultimately do business with.
As business thinker and author Seth Godin says: “There are small businesses that are so focused on what they do that they forget to take the time to describe the story of why they do it … If what you’re doing matters, really matters, then I hope you’ll take the time to tell a story.”
A real life, authentic story is often the most effective way to develop customer loyalty.
Tell your story
There are an increasing number of ways to tell your story to a target audience these days, from text to pictures to online video. If you use social media, every tweet or update should reflect the core of your story in some way. “You are your brand and you broadcast who you are with every tweet, comment, post, picture or video,” says word-of-mouth marketing strategist Karen Richards.
Ms. Richards, who is also a PR instructor at Mount Royal University in Calgary, further emphasizes that “paying attention to what you say over social media channels is key.”
Mr. Barbaric says content “is the main driver” of digital marketing.
“The number of ways you can deliver it has steadily increased, even in the last year or so. For example, you could put together a story of your brand on Facebook Timeline – as well as a series of blog posts linking to Pinterest.”
The rise of visual storytelling is something to pay attention to. The increasing consumption of YouTube videos, to the more recent impact of Instagram and the rise of Pinterest this year makes a bold statement about the potential for visual content to have a strong impact on results. According to a recent report from Cisco, 1.2 million video minutes are expected to travel the Internet every second by 2016.
One thing you can count on: the digital revolution isn’t slowing down any time soon.
In their words
Business more than ever is about people: People connecting and sharing with people. And those people are either talking about your business, or they’re not. If they are, what they saying?
“A brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room,” Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has said.
“Telling your story means how your brand is translated through the experiences of your community using social media told in their own words,” Ms. Richards adds.
Powerful, when you realize you can’t control the messaging or the distribution of this part of your story. The things you can control are: the story or stories you share, the story you maintain or experience that determines the stories of others, and how you react when people share their versions.
When others share your story, positively or negatively, you need to be there to respond to help define that plot line and determine where that story ends up. As one of the leading minds in social media, Gary Vaynerchuck, has said: “Tell your story, tell it every day, tell it from the heart, make it authentic, care, and you have a business.”
What story are you telling? Does it get people talking in a way you’d be proud of?
Lisa Ostrikoff – CEO/Founder, BizBOXTV
Special to The Globe and Mail
Cutting through the advertising clutter is the goal of any business – small, medium or large. While many companies remain committed to what has worked in the past, some have taken to technology, and online / web video, to spread their message. Their choice to “step up and step out” has placed those businesses, more often than not, directly in front of their target consumer.
If I told you about a new business today… a business that provides a product and service I truly felt would benefit you in some way. What would you do? Look in the phone book? Check the newspaper for a 1/3 page ad? Listen to the radio for a :30 second commercial?
Of course not.
You are likely going to use the one thing you know best to provide the information you want, when you want it. That’s right – your search will begin with the “Internet”. I can’t tell you the last time I saw the “Yellow Pages”. Well…actually…I can. When I shoved the sucker to the top of our utility closet, along with some cassette tapes and a food dehydrator.
Some traditional forms of promotion such as phone books, consumer classifieds, and business publications have limited ability to speak on the specifics of a particular place of business with more than simple text. If that new business I told you about had a website, you would visit it. If that site contained nothing more than text… is it really of greater benefit to you than using that phone book?
When companies make use of online video on their website, they communicate the very best of their business to someone who wants to know more. Professional, in-depth, educational and entertaining. A business can truly work the value of video to their advantage when providing the “perfect pitch” to a unique visitor. Consumers are online everyday, at work or at home (usually both). While online, they are researching products and services that are of interest to them. Why would anyone not make use of that pool of well positioned people to better promote their product or service via web video?
Advertising is successful when it goes beyond your competition and places your brand, product or service in the brain and heart of the buyer. That’s the game. When you can satisfy the current societal demand to keep information concise, relevant and engaging… and it just so happens it highlights your business specifically… you win.
The time is now to Broadcast Your Brand™ with BizBOXTV Online Video Production & Marketing for business. We have produced hundreds of online videos for Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver businesses, and would love to tell your story via web video, too. What are you waiting for? Take the first step towards blasting your business’s success out of the park… via BizBOXTV Online Video Production.
Todd Gallant, BizBOXTV