In this article, I’m going to share with you three secrets to getting powerful video testimonials for your agency.
Around five years ago, I made my first attempt at capturing video testimonials for one of my businesses. It was super difficult to get the videos from clients. And when we did get videos back, the content wasn’t compelling, and the quality was bad.
Eventually, after a lot of trial and error, I figured out solutions to these problems. Having an abundance of compelling video testimonials made a huge difference, and our sales skyrocketed. With this experience in mind, a few years later, I started ResultStory with the goal of solving this problem for other businesses.
Our done-for-you service has made over 1,000 video testimonials over the last three years. In this practical guide, I’m going to use all that experience to reveal what I’ve learned and share three secrets that will help turn the needle for your agency.
Why Video Testimonials Can Grow Your Agency
Your agency’s fees most likely represent a significant investment for your client’s businesses.
When a significant investment is involved, you need to build trust. The more confidence you can build, the more likely your potential client is to sign up with you.
Don’t believe me? These stats show just how much social proof impacts buying behavior:
- 83% of consumers said reviews were the most important factor in their buying decision.
- 87% of consumers check out online reviews for businesses before buying.
- 79% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family.
If you’re going to collect social proof, the most effective media format to use is video.
Your prospects know written reviews are relatively easy to fake. As such, video conveys a much higher level of credibility.
In addition, video is also more compelling. Facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice can convey much more than words. You can build more trust with video.
The stats below on the impact of video on sales prove how impactful it is:
- 64% of people are more likely to buy after watching a video.
- Businesses who use video grow profits 49% faster than those who neglect video.
- 51% of marketers regard video as the content type providing the best ROI.
What’s more, having video testimonials opens up the door to powerful repurposing opportunities to fill your entire funnel with social proof. With video testimonials, you can:
- Make short 20-30 seconds clips (edited out from longer videos) to post on social media as organic content.
- Showcase montage videos, where you combine the best bits of several client success stories into one 60-90 second video. This can work great above the fold on homepages (see the WordAgents homepage for an example) or sales pages.
- Publish longer case study-style videos. These videos, which tell the before and after story of your clients, are highly effective at the bottom of the funnel, and you are likely to see tangible results if you use them immediately before and after prospects book a consultation with your agency.
- Turn your video content into written case studies (which will provide immense SEO benefits). Use clips from your video testimonials as paid advertisements (this can work effectively as advertisements that run to cold traffic or as retargeting ads).
Now that you understand some of the great benefits of video content let’s dive into the three secrets to getting powerful video testimonials for your agency.
1. Don’t Expect Your Clients To Send You Video Testimonials
“Can’t my clients just film the testimonial and send it to me? Everyone has a smartphone or a computer with a webcam these days...”
I get it... but nope!
You should never leave the job up to your clients.
Donald Miller covers this really well in his bestselling book Building a StoryBrand. I highly recommend this book as a resource for building a marketing message framed around client success stories. The author explains that asking customers to go away and produce a video testimonial and send it to you is:
- A big ask.
- Likely to produce inferior content (more on that later!).
If you break it down, with self-recording a video testimonial, you are asking customers to:
- Prioritize helping you with your work above their own projects.
- Think about what to say.
- Produce a decent quality video.
- Upload and send you the video.
As Donald Miller says, that’s a big ask. Your clients are busy business owners. While they will likely be open to helping you, it won’t feel like an important, time-sensitive task for them.
The most likely scenario is the weeks will drift by as your video testimonial waits, being pushed aside by other more urgent tasks until your client completely forgets. On top of this, you will feel bad chasing them because they are doing you a favor.
So, what’s the solution?
You should look to capture the video testimonial by scheduling an interview instead. As soon as a client agrees to share their experience, get a call locked into your client’s calendar with the utmost urgency.
From the perspective of your customer, all they need to do is block off 20 minutes in their calendar and answer some questions. That feels like a much smaller ask! Having a time and date confirmed prevents this from being an open-ended task that gets forgotten about.
The other advantage of capturing video testimonials via interview is that you will have more control over the content. More on that next.
2. “Reverse Engineer” Your Ideal Video Testimonial With Great Questions
Most of your clients will not know how to make a powerful video testimonial for you. Without direction, your testimonials can end up looking something like this:
“(Agency Name) were great, and we really enjoyed working with them. We would definitely recommend them.”
This kind of testimonial is better than nothing, but it isn’t compelling, and it’s definitely not going to turn the needle for you and generate sales.
Another option is scripted testimonials (i.e., sending a pre-written text for a client to approve and read on a video testimonial). The problem with this type of testimonial is that they look scripted. When you are trying to build trust, the last thing you want your prospect to sense is inauthenticity.
The sweet spot is guiding your clients with smart questions. This strategy allows you to help shape the narrative and get great content while still keeping the testimonial 100% authentic and in your client’s own words.
So, what are the best questions to ask?
Well, the secret is getting clarity on exactly what your ideal video testimonial looks like. You then “reverse engineer” this ideal testimonial by framing your questions to produce the desired content.
Here’s a mini-worksheet to help you develop your ideal video testimonial. If you simply write out the answers to the five questions listed below, you will have a well-defined and ideal testimonial:
- What background information, if any, would you like your clients to include when they introduce themselves?
- In your ideal testimonial, what would your clients say when describing their situation (i.e., pain points and challenges) before working with your agency?
- What are the main objections your target market may have for not working with your agency?
- In your ideal testimonial, what would you like your clients to say when describing their situation after working with your agency?
- Are there any other results, benefits, or aspects of client ROI that you want to bring out in your video testimonials that haven’t been covered in your responses?
With the answers to these questions in hand, write out between six and eight questions that would allow your clients to hit these points when you interview them. This is surprisingly easy once you’ve answered the initial five questions listed above, as you will have a great outline of what you want your clients to share.
There are other important advantages of knowing exactly what your ideal video testimonial looks like. First, it will help you ask great follow-up questions, as you will know immediately whether your client’s responses are hitting the mark during your interview.
Second, it will also help with the post-interview editing process as you can share the answers as a resource for your video editor. This will provide great direction on the overall goal of the video and the type of content you are aiming for.
3. Build a System For Requesting Video Testimonials
One of the biggest mistakes I see agencies making is not having a formal structure around how and when they ask for testimonials. When it’s not defined, it simply doesn’t happen (or at least not often enough).
The best strategy is to first define at least two milestones in your client’s journey when you are going to ask for a video testimonial. These milestones can be results-based. For example, when you help a client achieve an SEO ranking goal.
However, I would strongly encourage you to also ensure at least one of your milestones is either time or service-based. For example, asking for a testimonial after your agency has sent over the first three deliverables or asking for a testimonial at the end of the first quarter of working together.
Time and service-based milestones have the advantage of being fixed. This is important as it empowers you to build an abundance of testimonials. Remember, you can ask your client for a testimonial at both of the milestone points you establish - it’s not one or the other.
For example, if you are an SEO agency, you can ask your client for a testimonial at the end of the first three months of working together. This testimonial will mostly include content about your onboarding and how it has been working with your team. When the same client hits an SEO ranking goal 3-12 months later, you can record a second shorter interview specifically about this achievement.
You can then edit both sections of the content together for a really compelling timeline video.
Once you define your milestones, the next step is to build a system that uses these milestones as triggers for a video testimonial interview. Ideally, this process would be as automated as possible (i.e., a milestone trigger that automatically sends an email request using your email marketing software).
And yet, automation can be a technical and logistical challenge. The simpler option is to create a written process around what should happen when a milestone is reached. Importantly, you should clearly assign the responsibility of a client video testimonial request to a specific team member. I’ve seen many agencies have success by making this part of their Account Manager KPIs.
By applying what you’ve learned about these three secrets, you will move your company significantly closer to crushing your video testimonial goals. How much of a difference would it make to your agency if, in six months’ time, you had an abundance of compelling client video testimonials?
This social proof will instantly create trust throughout your marketing and sales process, and your agency will grow faster as a result. My advice? Block out some time this week and use it to create a social proof system for your agency.
If you would like someone to do all the heavy lifting for you, our done-for-you service could be a great solution. We have a very special promo with WordAgents, where we can make qualifying businesses a sample video testimonial entirely free of charge! Check out this link for additional information and the application form.