Something we typically hear from a prospective client is this: “We know we need to start video marketing but for now we only have a small budget. What’s the one thing we should do to get started?”
I must admit I’m sometimes torn for an answer to this one. There is a very strong case for having a video on your homepage - often called an explainer video - which encapsulates in no more than about two minutes who you are, what you do and why the viewer should get in touch or at least explore your website further.
You might choose to do this using motion graphics; alternatively you may prefer the CEO to present to camera or be interviewed, or you could opt for a combination of the two. Whichever route you go down, a homepage video - done well - will create an excellent first impression and help to drive traffic to your website.
That said, there is another type of video that every firm should have: a testimonial video. It’s all about what we marketers call social proof. In essence, there’s general consensus among psychologists that when faced with uncertainty, human beings attach particular significance to what other people are saying and doing. But not just any old people; those we really take notice of are people like us. Without wanting to over-complicate matters, this bias towards our social peers is what some psychologists refer to as implicit egotism.
Social proof and implicit egotism are both influential on buying decisions. So, if you’re selling a product or service as most firms do, it’s vital to give prominence on your website and in your marketing materials to happy customers.
But that means more than simply having a list of testimonials. Research has shown that the most effective reviews or recommendations are those that include a photograph. People like to put a face to the name.
However there’s no more effective form of social proof - at least online - than a video testimonial. The combination of seeing and hearing one of their peers explain why they used your company can have a very powerful impact on your prospective clients. Again, shorter is generally better; aim for no more than two minutes.
Think about who your target clients are. Which of them fit that profile best? Which of them would be willing to wax lyrical about what you’ve done for them? And who would come across best on camera?
You can either fit two or three testimonials in the same video or - better still - have a series of short videos, each featuring a different client.
A final point: Studies also show that people respond far better to stories than they do to facts and figures. So, ask the client providing a testimonial to tell the story of how you helped them; what they were looking for - or what their problem was - before they discovered you; what you did for them; and, most importantly, how it’s made them feel.
Again, as with explainer videos, testimonials must be done well. Ideally, you ought to have both. But, if you’ve only sufficient budget now for one, a well-produced testimonial video should repay your initial outlay several times over.