2016 Video Marketing Trend: Testimonial Videos as a Priority

"There is nothing permanent except change." - Heraclitus

Just like every year before it, 2016 promises to be a year of changes. In the world of content marketing those changes can move very quickly. What was hot last week, is not so hot today. No wonder we’re all reading blog posts, industry papers, magazines, attending webinars…it can get very tiring!

Video marketing isn’t any different. Even though (or because) video has found its way to being the number one engagement tool for marketers, there can be some confusion about what’s hot and what’s not. The last thing anyone wants to do is waste precious budget dollars on something that isn’t going to see a proper return on investment.  

Survey Says….2016 Trend Alert

In our 2016 annual Video Marketing Trends Survey (amazing infograph to come), we asked marketers what their company had planned for video content in the coming year. We saw a lot of changes from our 2015 survey and while some of it wasn’t that surprising, there were some changes that really got our interest.

The first trend we noticed was a shift away from Explainer videos being the number one type of video content that was being created. They're now in third place. 

In 2016, Testimonial videos are going to be King.

In 2016, Testimonial videos are going to be King.

Last year, Explainers were expected to account for nearly 64% of all videos created with Testimonial videos coming in at just under 55%. Our 2016 respondents reported that Testimonial videos are now the top priority for this year’s video content.

Why the Shift to Testimonial Videos?

To get a little more info we reached out to some respondents to ask about this shift. Why were Testimonial videos now the highest priority for them? The answer was twofold.

First - and this seems like the biggest reason - marketers understand that the greatest tool for selling to customers is to have previous customers speak for them. I don’t think many of us would deny that this type of modern day, instant video reference works better than references of old. The days of sending out names and numbers of people who would vouch for your company are past us. Video references (testimonials) are instant, convenient, trustworthy, and undeniably effective in persuading viewers.

The second reason marketers have switched priorities is simple – because others are doing it already. While this may not be the best reason to do many things, in this case it works. Testimonial videos work and, done right, make a great band wagon to jump on.

3 Solid Tips for Creating a Great Testimonial Video

Whether you're already sold on the effectiveness of testimonials or part of the band wagon group, it's a good idea to include them in your marketing arsenal. There's a reason "everyone is doing it" and they're appropriate for just about any business.

  • Choose your customer wisely. In this day of instant-everything on the Internet, people hop from site to site, and link to link like never before. Fair or not, instant decisions can make someone leave your site. Make sure your customer is well-spoken, well-dressed, and happy to be on camera. Nothing will turn off your viewers like a person who is clearly uncomfortable on camera. It may even translate to people thinking your customer really doesn't want to to do this for you. That would be bad. 
  • Give your customer a little direction, but let them speak from the heart. It can be a little difficult to line up someone for your video. There's red tape, there's conflicting schedules, there's emails and phone call back and forth....it can be a lot. So you want to make sure that the time they spend for you is time well-spent. So give them a general sense of what you'd like them to talk about; What was their experience in using your team? How did your product help them? What kind of value did they receive from you? And probably most importantly - Why did they choose you over someone else? But don't ever give them a script. It makes people uncomfortable with pressure to perform, and it can come off as disingenuous to viewers. 
  • Make it easy for them. This one is simple - You're going to get a lot further in having a customer agree to doing this for you by going to them. Whether it's their workplace, their home or a place that's easy for them to get to.

This is the third installment of our 2016 Video Marketing Trends report. Part one can be found here, and part two can be found here.

Storyboard Media Group is passionate about video content creation and video marketing. We listen and learn from our clients, and then work with them as creative partners to craft videos that perform. Contact us to learn more.