written by MO.com Subject Matter Resource David Howard
Customer video testimonials are a great way to add engaging marketing content to your website. And they no longer require expensive production crews.
The music industry figured out years ago that listeners were willing to accept lower levels of fidelity in return for the convenience, wide selection, and portability offered by digital music and Internet radio. (Users of e-book readers will have noticed the same degradation of fidelity with regards to the printed word.)
The same technological advances and shift in audience attitudes behind this movement have also made it easier to produce video content. Internet fidelity for audio and video is, if not “hi,” then certainly acceptable. Laptop computers are commonly equipped with pinhole digital video cameras these days, both Windows and MAC OS ship with video editors, and there are plug-ins available to record Skype video meetings. Audience expectations are lower. Just as the rise of the mobile phone taught people to accept lower fidelity telephone conversations, audiences don’t expect the same high production values for produced video. This has been fostered also by the rise of social media and user generated content – low production values in video from real people can appear more authentic than slickly produced professional pieces. Lo-fidelity is in.
What does it mean for marketers? Cheaper, but valuable, marketing content in the form of video testimonials. One no longer needs to even send a production crew onsite. Happy customers can record a testimonial with their webcam, smartphone or flip camera and upload it. Testimonial interviews can be conducted on Skype, recorded and edited with very fast turnaround. The content can fill out your brand YouTube channel, and be integrated into your website and pay-per-click landing pages. The same content can be repurposed to fill-out video albums on Facebook, and opportunities abound for developing brand loyalty and brand engagement contests or promotions centered on user-generated video content.
One must, of course, find willing participants. Again social media can help. Look for your brand loyalists on Yelp, Twitter and Facebook and product rating/ranking websites that invite user reviews. Who’s talking about you, and talking you up? Key accounts with whom your brand is close are, of course, candidates as well. Add an informal video testimonial to the list of “asks” when you need a new customer referral, or a quote for a press release. You might find that, once the camera starts rolling, it will be hard for loyalists to stop talking about your brand.
It requires some agility, quick thinking, and light-footedness to make it work. You have to metaphorically have the camera in-hand at all times, but the results will be worth it: low-cost, engaging marketing content from people that your audience can relate to.
Of course, underlying all of this is an ability to deliver high-quality products and services, consistently, every time, to nurture those brand loyalists. That’s actually the hard part.
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