All too often, content marketing is all about “me.”
When building content marketing strategies, it’s easy to get caught up in what you want to say about yourself – your messaging, your value propositions, your story, etc.
But it’s just as important to consider what your customers are saying about your brand.
Unfortunately, many companies view customer testimonials as an afterthought – or worse, a necessary evil.
They can be so, so much more than that, though. Customer testimonials should be major assets to your content marketing strategy, providing that final push prospective clients need to make a purchase.
The power of customer testimonials
What drives your decision-making process? Admit it, sometimes all it takes is a thumbs-up from someone you trust to convince you to plunk down cold, hard cash on something you were waffling on. That holds true for even the most discerning and judicious B2B decision-makers.
All the extensive feature lists and persuasive value propositions in the world may not be enough to push someone to make a business purchase. In those cases, the brand’s content strategy is likely still lacking a decidedly human element.
It’s lacking trust.
Consider the stakes of any new investment or business partnership for the individual who signs off on it. Their jobs, maybe even their careers, could hang in the balance if it’s not a rousing success.
You think it’s tough picking between Chicken McNuggets and a Big Mac? Well, no one ever got fired for ordering the wrong lunch (except for my Uncle Marty, of course, but that’s a different story altogether).
Even the most confident decision-maker may need a little additional assurance before finalizing a business investment. They’ve done their research, reviewed service or product features and, sure, everything looks good on paper. But how will it work in the real world? What kind of impact will it have on the business, the end users and, perhaps most importantly, the decision-makers themselves?
That’s where customer testimonials come into play.
With a video testimonial, prospective clients can get a much more visceral and emotional sense of how your products and services have improved the daily working lives of your customers. That personal touch shines through video content in a way that case studies or written reviews could never support.
The fact is, having your customers personally vouch for your brand and your business isn’t a luxury; it’s a requirement.
People need that confirmation from their peers to feel confident about putting their neck on the line and approving a purchase. In the absence of an extensive referral network, customer testimonials are the next best thing.
How to create a captivating testimonial
Now comes the hard part: actually capturing the client experience in a way that resonates with your sales prospects.
Let’s be clear, customer testimonials need to be more than just talking heads rattling off a list of features. Above all else, they need to tell a story.
The customer should open up about their experience and feel free to speak candidly. That can be a tall order, especially for people who aren’t used to being in front of the camera.
It’s essential that you have an experienced video team and producers who can put on-air talent at ease and help them get over their initial fit of nerves. Even the biggest line flubbers can put together a compelling testimonial – they just a need a little help getting there.
Brafton’s own expert video team has found that by establishing a more conversational environment, people loosen up and you wind up getting the best footage possible. After a few questions, the lights don’t seem quite so bright and the camera all but disappears.
You should also incorporate footage to showcase the product or service in action and further hammer home its impact.
That can be relatively straightforward for visually engaging products, but what about something a little more abstract, such as a software platform? An animated video could help highlight the functionality and benefits of products and services that are a bit less camera-friendly.
Let your testimonials flow free
Now that you have this great testimonial video, where should you post it?
Everywhere! Although this type of content fits squarely into the bottom of the sales funnel, you don’t need to wait around for a prospect to come calling to show it off. Post it on your social networks, sprinkle it throughout all your touchpoints and channels – keep hammering away at that message of trust.
Even if a viewer isn’t quite ready for a consultation, demo or even sales sheet, that message will stick in the back of their head. So, when the time comes, they’ll already associate your brand with quality, respect and success.
The two keywords to remember here are “trust” and “impact.”
Your goal with any customer testimonial should be to build trust with prospective clients by demonstrating the clear, beneficial impact your product or service can offer. Keep that in mind, and you’ll knock it out of the park every time.