Monday Mornings with Madison



For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about the value of testimonials or third-party endorsements.  Typically, recommendations are provided to companies in writing and then posted online and offline for maximum exposure.  But if a picture paints a thousand words, how many words does a video testimonial deliver?  Infinitely more.

Why video?In a blog post, The Power of Video Marketing, real estate and media mogul Donald Trump extolled the virtues and viral power of video marketing.  As he explained, online video marketing is not about companies pitching consumers with shotgun-style commercials they habitually block out.   The game of pitch and catch is over.  It is about engaging potential customers with information relevant to their search.

Why has video gone viral? Consumer demand for video explains, in part, why this medium is growing exponentially.  Today, has 13 Billion video views per month. There are a lot of people watching hundreds of millions of videos each day!  Nearly 85% of online users watched at least one video on YouTube. 

Another factor contributing to the explosion of video has to do with supply.  The cost of video camcorders has decreased while the quality and availability of video has increased.  Small, inexpensive, quality video recorders are now ubiquitous and much easier to use.  While once upon a time capturing a video testimonial would have required a lot of effort, today it is a cinch to capture and upload a client or referral video endorsement.  Using a slender Flip video camera ($119 retail), which weighs less than a pound, fits in a shirt pocket, and can sit comfortably and unobtrusively on a mini-tripod on any flat surface, you can record without monitoring up to two hours of quality footage and sound that can then be uploaded seamlessly by plugging in the camera directly to a computer port (without need of any additional wires, cords or tapes).  Moreover, most smart phones now have built-in video camcorders too.  That would explain why every 60 seconds (that’s right, every minute of every day) there are 24-hours worth of video uploaded to YouTube.

What to do with video testimonials?Yet, even though it is much easier to capture and upload videos, few companies have adopted the use of video testimonials… at least for now.  Companies that embrace this strategy will be ahead of the curve.  In fact, it can safely be predicted that, given consumer demand for authenticity and transparency, eventually potential customers will expect to see video testimonials before they engage with new companies or try new products.

Where and how video testimonials are used is important.  Placing all video endorsements on a single testimonials webpage of the company website will not generate optimal sales or SEO results.  Instead, video testimonials can be:

  1. placed on the Home page of the company website.  However, video testimonials on the Home page should be balanced so they don’t crowd or overwhelm the page.  There should be one or two testimonials there at most.  
  2. added to other strategically placed pages of the company website.  A banner or tile can offer the testimonial to be played with the click of a “Play” button.  Specific endorsements should be placed in relationship to the products/services being offered.
  3. used on Search Engine Marketing landing pages.  Independent studies have shown a 50% boost in conversion rates when video is placed on SEM landing pages compared to those campaigns without one. To get the most benefit, video testimonials should be properly tagged with relevant keywords so people can find it.
  4. uploaded / distributed to major video sharing websites such as YouTube.
  5. used in display or PPC ads with search engines such as Google and Yahoo.  More opportunities exist now to offer positive comments about your company’s performance before a potential customer even interacts with your company website.

On the internet, people want information fast and easy.  They also want authenticity and transparency.  A video testimonial offers a quick and easy way for a potential customer to learn about a company’s performance from the mouth of a third-party with very little effort.
“Concealed talent brings no reputation.” Desiderius Erasmus

© 2011, Written by Keren Peters-Atkinson, CMO, Madison Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.

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