You see them everywhere: on your computer, on your cell phone and certainly on television. Video testimonials seem to lead the way for many products. A company provides information about a product’s benefits and accompanies the promotion with someone who offers a believable and often convincing testimony.
The video testimonial industry is one that has grown up to accommodate the need for persuasion, certainty and sometimes celebrity. Instead of just flashing a picture of the product on the screen, advertisers now accompany their message with someone believable or famous who tells you what they like about the product. And it isn’t just confined to products; the industry has expanded to include services, as well. Résumés, job applications, even dating propositions are prepared as video testimonials. Dental offices, lawyers, real estate, accounting firms and hospitals feel a need to provide customers with an encouraging nudge from a spokesperson.
Celebrity endorsers come from everywhere. Fred Thompson, the actor and retired U.S. Senator, pitches reverse mortgages for an advisory group. Shaquille O’Neal, the retired and ultra-glamorized basketball player, endorses cars, pain relief products and cable T.V., while Joan Lunden, the ex-Good Morning America co-hostess advertises for a service that provides nursing care for older adults who are unable to care for themselves. Jimmy Johnson, the ex-Dallas Cowboys football coach, boosts a male-enhancement product.
These video testimonials are great product endorsements: they bring a familiar person into the picture who uses the product and approves of it. In some cases, it can feel like word-of-mouth marketing: if done well, it can feel similar to when a neighbor or friend tells you about a product’s strengths and shows you how they use it and how effective it can be. This can be a very persuasive strategy.
Usually a spokesperson whom people have a high opinion of is used to emphasize the desirability of a product. As services are advocated, professional-looking people or those who are knowledgeable about the service you are interested in offer a testimonial that takes away the uncertainty that a consumer might otherwise feel. In the eyes of potential customers, this provides an assurance that a product or service will provide the quality for which they’re looking.
In a study conducted by a market insight and information group, it was found that 75 percent of respondents reported watching more videos online than they did a year ago, and 78 percent felt that online video ads provide as much or more of an opportunity to learn about a product or service than television. This would seem to indicate that the online community looks upon these video testimonials favorably.
If these numbers aren’t persuasive enough, it was further found that 64 percent of respondents had taken action after seeing an online video testimonial with 44 percent going to the advertiser’s web site, 33 percent searching for a product or service, 22 percent visiting a physical store and 21 percent discussing the advertised product with friends or family. So it isn’t just a look-and-ignore reaction; these video testimonials may actually be creating marketing buzz!
Don’t be surprised if you begin to see more video testimonials in the future. With shopping channels proliferating on television like weeds in a garden and pop-up ads flourishing on the Internet, this seems to be a successful way to stimulate sales for businesses.
[box_light]Jerome Pilkington has a strong interest in video production, business development and the intersection and intermingling of the two; for those who’d like to further their knowledge of video production check out the resources from a prominent Boston Video Production Company.[/box_light]