Word of mouth is still king when it comes to getting customers.
There’s just something more legit about someone else tooting your horn. The word of mouth phenomena has exploded on the internet. It’s no longer limited to friends and colleagues. You can find 3rd party opinions everywhere. Take Amazon for example. I don’t even think about buying electronics without reading 40-50 customer reviews on Amazon first. I value and trust what these anonymous people have to say more than Sony or Panasonic. For these reasons, I think the best marketing videos are the ones that feature customers and not the company. So if time, money and client participation permit, go out tomorrow, hire a video production company and make a fantastic testimonial video.
But what if time, money and client participation are an issue. Enter Plan B. Plan B consists of actively soliciting written testimonials and then creating a video out of them by adding images, footage and music. When done properly, it can be very powerful.
The obvious first step is getting the testimonials.
For many of us, asking for a testimonial may feel awkward, but the next time you’re talking to a client and they’re singing your praises, go ahead and ask them if they wouldn’t mind writing what they said down for you. You’ll be glad you did.
Once you get the hang of getting testimonials, start asking customers for more specific feedback. A good company knows its competitive advantages and benefits. Ask your customers to comment specifically on them. For example, if one of your competitive advantages is ease of use, then you’ll want to get feedback on that specific benefit and so on. If I were asking for a testimonial in this situation I might say,”Our customers value ease of use. Did you find the service easy?” Hopefully the response is ‘yes’. And then, “Would you be open to giving me a testimonial about how easy you found the service?
Here’s a trick I use to increase the quantity and quality of my testimonials:
I offer to write them for my clients. Now that may sound a little off but we’re all super busy. Even a client who absolutely loves you might not have time to write you a testimonial. And if they do, it may take a long time to actually get it. So when I ask for a testimonial, I usually add, “I know you’re super busy, would it be helpful for me to write a rough draft that you can edit, that way you’re not starting from scratch.” I have offered to do this at least 20 times and never had anyone reject it (and 4 out of 5 times it comes back unedited).
Once you have collected your testimonials, take the time to consider them as a group.
What is the best way to sequence them? Can you lay them out in an order that will tell a story? This isn’t always possible but at a minimum you should think about an order that makes logical sense. The quotes should play off one another.
Now that you have your sequence, you can let it serve as a script of sorts. Do you have any pictures or video that would complement what your customers are saying? If not, you can hire a videographer to shoot some footage. You might also need to hire someone to edit the video for you. Either way, hiring out some of the shooting and editing will cost a lot less than a full blown video production. The final piece of the puzzle is finding some some good music to accompany your footage and quotes. As I’ve written before, there is just something special that happens when you pair quotes and images with the right music. It takes the whole thing to another level and can create an emotion impact. Click here for a blog post that gives tips on getting good inexpensive music.