After my career in television ended I had to look for work. Over the years as well as my news reading and journalistic duties I was often called on to MC events around town. It was a case of them coming to me through the filter of the TV channel, but when that partnership ceased I was on my own and had to generate my own income stream. Part of that was to set up a website Good Innings Media outlining what I was able to offer and a point of contact. It became apparent that although I had done literally hundreds of MC and hosting roles I had little evidence to show for it. So began a long task of approaching people and organisations that I had worked for over the years and ask for testimonials. Most of those I approached were very generous in providing testimonials and for them I am very grateful. Now, whenever I do a job I ask straight away for a testimonial, if they are happy with my performance. So far no one has turned me down. A list of their comments is on the Good Innings Media website. The power of testimonials cannot be over sold. You can have the best product and the best staff, the best advertising campaign, the best website, but without satisfied customers singing your praises your business will not fulfil its’ potential. All businesses rely heavily on word of mouth, and that’s effectively what a testimonial is, and the brilliant thing is it costs nothing. All you have to do is ask. I don’t know about you but when I’m looking at something on line with a view to buying it I’ll go straight to the customer reviews. If they come up largely negative the warning bells start ringing and I’ll look elsewhere. In January 2014, WebDAM reported that customer testimonials beat all other types of content marketing in effectiveness. Now, a review isn’t quite a testimonial but it is feedback and social proof – the things we all need to make a considered decision. Written testimonials are all well and good, and very effective. But if you want the icing on the cake get video testimonials, where prospective customers can see and hear how happy the client is. A video customer testimonial brings life and authenticity to your product or service in a way that quotes in written form just can’t compete with. Hearing a satisfied customer talking about their personal experience with your business not only leaves a great impression on prospective customers, but also builds trust by backing up the claims you make about your business. Once again, video appeals to all our senses and is the most effective way of getting a message across. All the evidence suggests that visitors will spend far longer on your site if you have video than if they have to read text alone. So what if you get a negative testimonial? Research shows that showing negative comments can actually work in your favour. Nothing but positive reviews can suggest censorship. Almost 70% of people say they are more likely trust a company’s reviews when they see both positive and negative testimonials. So while you don’t go out of your way to attract negative comments – placing them alongside overwhelming positive comments is more likely to generate a favourable outcome. Also turning round a customer who has a problem that you have been able to fix, helps prospective customers gain faith. They can see that you are not just in business for a quick sale but they can be confident that if there IS a problem you will sort it out. If you need more convincing about the value of video testimonials check the stats. Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for all types of content marketing, with a rating of 89% (WebDAM) Jupiter Research found that 77% of people take the time to read product and service reviews before they make an online purchase. 90% of consumers admit that their buying decisions are actually influenced by online reviews. It all means people are taking less notice of the big budget advertising and looking to fellow shoppers to help them decide on whether to buy or not. Maybe it’s time to let your customers do the talking for you. If you’d like to like to learn more how video can help your business call us at The Video Professionals 8325 2746.