Testimonials in social media are the missing component businesses need to drive sales.
B2B marketers can spend all day posting on social media with no sales to show for it.
Posting content that doesn't convert can be a waste of a company's time, resources and budget.
So how can your business convert fans into customers through social media?
In this article, we'll look at how you can leverage video testimonials in your social strategy to convert fans into paying customers and drive sales.
Video testimonials are perfect for social media content. Due to their short, authentic style, video testimonials can easily be repackaged into shareable, social content.
To navigate to the topics which interest you most in this comprehensive guide, click the links below:
- Why Testimonials Thrive on Social Media
- Tactic #1: Leverage Testimonials as Organic Content
- Tactic #2: Launch Video Testimonial Ads
- Tactic #3: Feature Influencer Testimonials
- Tactic #4: Showcase Testimonials in Live Streams
Why Testimonials Thrive on Social Media
Social media can be a powerful channel for businesses to generate leads and convert customers — but only if they use it right.
There is so much content being created in today's world. From memes to long-form articles, it can be difficult to know what works on social media and what your audience is seeking.
Marketers are constantly trying to stay ahead of their fans on social media, trying all sorts of different content types and sometimes resorting to what's easiest to create.
This can create stale, lifeless social media feeds if they're using repetitive content.
Testimonials can break up the monotony of standard B2B social content.
Testimonials are less about the company, and more about customers' experiences with the products that the business is selling. They're personal, connective, and informative.
They natively integrate the business into the social conversation without directly hijacking or facing the conversation.
By outlining the customer's problem and solution, they validate the messaging, positioning and claims businesses are making in prospects' eyes.
Testimonials also make the company seem more relatable — almost like a partner.
Prospects will see themselves in the customers in the video and empathize with them. They'll appreciate how their lives were improved by the business' solution.
Also, testimonials are valuable pieces of social content, because fans of social media are actively looking for customer reviews.
These videos are effective because they show the company's product in use by their target customers' peers or aspirational industry leaders.
They can provide an unfiltered review of the product and user experience. The customer is speaking freely about the impact that the company has had on their lives. That's a powerful content asset that can be used in a variety of ways.
Businesses are creating rich, customer-centric video testimonials to share on social media in a variety of ways.
Let's dive into four tactics companies are using to share testimonials on social media.
Tactic #1: Leverage Testimonials as Organic Content
Testimonials are often featured on websites and as a marketing asset that can be sent directly to prospective customers.
However, they can also be shortened and resized as social media content, providing fans with an inside look at the product's use and function.
Since the company went through all the work to get a customer testimonial approved, why not show it off to all your fans?
Testimonials drive engagement on social media because they give followers more insight into products and explain use cases.
Video testimonials make your company feel more personal. They showcase an authentic interaction with your company.
In a world of businesses constantly promoting their own products, video testimonials can feel like a refreshing change of pace. They show the humanistic side of the company.
They're also more effective too. Video gets shared 1200% more than text and images combined on social media.
On LinkedIn, users are 20X more likely to share video than other forms of content.
On Facebook, video is the top-performing form of content. B2B businesses need to find a way to increase their video production efforts and natively integrate video into their strategy.
With increased engagement, video testimonials will expand your company's reach on social media too.
Existing customers — whether they are featured in the testimonial or not — will share the content with their followers. This will expose the video to an entirely new base of fans who are likely in your target audience.
Testimonials can be pinned to the top of your Facebook and Twitter accounts or featured in an Instagram Story that stays at the top of your profile.
If you're already producing long-form video testimonials for other marketing initiatives, cut them into shorter, bite-sized clips made for social media.
This increases the frequency of the video content you're able to publish without always having to shoot new footage.
As always, evolve your customer testimonial strategy to see which types are driving the most engagement on social media.
Social media listening and scheduling software like Sprout Social or Socialbakers will help you track your testimonials' performance on social media.
These insights can inform not only your social strategy, but also other content marketing and digital marketing campaigns you have planned.
Tactic #2: Launch Video Testimonial Ads
Top-of-funnel marketing can be complicated for B2B businesses.
Paid ads are a top-of-funnel marketing tactic that gets your brand in front of new, unknown fans that might be interested in learning more.
This tactic is common for most B2B businesses that are looking to reach the billions of social media users across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google.
Ads need to succinctly convey the product's benefit, while luring the viewer in.
Additionally, targeting has to be hyper-specific to ensure qualified leads are the ones viewing the ads. This can be a challenge for many B2B marketers.
After all, with so many people launching paid ad campaigns, how can you make sure yours stand out? What's the secret to acquiring leads through advertisements on social media?
The answer: leverage video and lead with your customers' experience.
There is a shift in focus for video ads in paid media campaigns. 96% of marketers have run campaigns with video ads.
People will stop scrolling if they see someone recognizable from their industry or a customer that has a problem similar to theirs.
Video testimonials can capture existing customers' experience in a short format that is easily digestible. This is what makes them so effective as digital ads.
They can sell the viewer on the product's benefits immediately, even if someone is just discovering the brand.
They connect the viewer to the customer, leveraging empathy as an ad psychology.
The viewer should relate to the customer if they're in the target market. If they do, they'll likely want to solve similar problems and be more interested in the product.
Video ads are becoming more popular as ad assets for paid media campaigns. The data rightly reflects this. Video ads drive lower CPC (cost-per-click) and higher conversions.
Also, video ads drive 20% more clicks than ads featuring a static image.
This is why you need to leave your image ads behind and invest in video for your paid ad strategy.
The investment up front will pay off in the long-term when the ad drives more qualified leads than the standard image ads you've been using.
Look at SailPoint's video testimonial for Threat Stack.
The SailPoint team explains succinctly how Threat Stack enables them to focus and why they consider it "the best in class" when it comes to security.
This video is short—only 35 seconds long, making it the optimal length for an ad.
Also, alternating between a variety of different people in various settings keeps the viewer engaged and drawn in for more.
Instead of a product video depicting ThreatStack's features, their marketing team can opt to bring their ads to life and let their customers sell for them.
Of course, we recognize that creating high-quality, professionally shot video content isn't always easy.
That's why Testimonial Hero is available to help pitch, direct, shoot, edit and produce your videos for you so you can stay focused on your business.
Once you have them in hand, you can use a service like AdEspresso to help optimize your ads and guide your paid media strategy across platforms.
This will increase your ability to deliver the right ad to the right audience when they're ready for it most.
Tactic #3: Feature Influencer Testimonials
Customer testimonials work well, but influencer testimonials work great.
Influencers lend credibility to your company, and also can expose your brand to audiences that may have never heard of you.
B2B marketers are turning to influencers in hopes of achieving just that.
Over 70% of US agencies and marketing professionals advertise with influencer videos, and 43% expect to spend more over the next few years.
Influencer marketing is driving results for businesses. 89% of marketers say influencer marketing ROI is equal or better than other marketing initiatives.
On Twitter, users are 5.2X more interested in purchasing a product after seeing promotional content from influencers.
So how can you capitalize on influencer marketing?
Provide your product to influencers in your industry to try, use, and endorse in a video testimonial.
In some cases, influencers may not be able to directly endorse your product or company. This won't derail your campaign.
Instead, ask the influencer to share knowledge and experience that implicitly points to your company's solution. This can validate your product and make their followers want to learn more.
You should also ask the influencer to share the testimonial with their own feed—exposing your fans to all of their relevant followers.
Depending on who they are, they might also share the content in their newsletter or with their subscribers.
If the influencer is a CEO, VP, or Director at another company, they may include the testimonial in their marketing efforts, exposing your brand to their subscribers through cross-promotion.
This could put your brand right in front of your target market's eyes for just asking the influencer to be involved in the campaign. There is little investment necessary, but a high payoff.
The effectiveness of an influencer marketing campaign on social media really comes down to whether or not the influencer is a right fit for your company.
Finding the right influencer doesn't have to be challenging. Influencers don't have to be celebrities or CEOs with hundreds of thousands of followers.
Look at your communities. Who do you follow on Twitter? Who is writing LinkedIn Pulse articles? Whose newsletters are you reading every week?
Find out who has an influential voice that people listen to. Review their follower counts. Even if they only have 1,000 followers, those could be highly relevant for your company to reach.
Think of influencers less as celebrities and more as those aspirational bloggers, business owners, employees, and industry experts that have grown a following—big or small.
Micro-influencers, targeted influencers with smaller, engaged followings, can drive leads for your business.
They might have a closer relationship with their followers, compared to someone with tens of thousands.
If you're still having trouble, trying using these platforms for influencer sourcing:
- Upfluence - This influencer marketing software will help you find, track, and optimize your influencer marketing campaigns. It helps B2B businesses with white-glove service that can take your campaigns to the next level.
- Twitter's Advanced Search - this is a manual way to find influencers by keyword. By approaching influencers directly on Twitter, you can create a more personalized relationship with them.
When you find an influencer who you think is a good match, work together to create content that is engaging for their followers and on-brand for your company.
Influencers are effective at what they're well-known for: influencing their audience with engaging, informative, and often entertaining content. Let them take the lead on content creation.
By integrating your brand into their feed through a video testimonial that features them, you're aligning your brand with theirs.
Allowing their followers to learn more about your company and increase their interest in your offer.
Let's take a look at an influencer testimonial ad that's currently live.
This is a LinkedIn ad for MarketerHire featuring Chelsie Lee, Co-Founder and CEO of Shipsi.
Although Chelsie isn't a traditional influencer, she has upwards of 500+ LinkedIn connections and is actively promoting her business.
By being active in her own digital communities, she can influence those who follow and admire her.
MarketerHire included her in their testimonial ad, so she could share her experience with the service.
Her ad attracts attention from those in her community and also introduces MarketerHire's brand to others who may just be familiar with her company, Shipsi.
They might think, "If she trusted MarketerHire to help her scale her company, why shouldn't I?" This is what makes the ad effective. She is likely one of MarketerHire's many happy customers.
Enlisting influencers for video testimonials can be an effective way to activate social media followers and turn them into customers.
Tactic #4: Showcase Testimonials in Live Streams
When most people think of a testimonial, they think of a customer review or a pre-recorded video of the customer endorsing the business.
But what about a live testimonial?
Businesses should incorporate testimonials into their live streams on social networks to engage fans while all their attention is on their business.
This native approach can make testimonials feel more natural and authentic.
Fans love it and are already participating. 80% of people have watched streaming video online over any given week.
Live stream is even starting to beat out other forms of video on social media, including long and short form, in terms of ad views.
Live streams have nearly 4X the amount of ad views as long-form videos and 11X the amount of short-term videos.
This shows the value of live streamed content—both in the viewers' eyes and also as a way for the business to get their brand in front of a captive audience.
So how can businesses take advantage of live streaming?
Companies can leverage YouTube, Facebook Live and LinkedIn Live to go live and interact with their fans.
While they do, they can invite a current client to participate in the live stream and share a testimonial or case study in real-time.
Companies can think of these live streams as a virtual event or webinar. In the stream, they can join with their featured customer and:
- Offer commentary on industry news and happenings
- Provide a step-by-step demo for specific tasks your buyers struggle with
- Highlight best practices and other insights from new research
- Showcase new product features with case studies
Live streams create open forums for direct conversations with customers.
As you go through a Q&A portion, your featured customer who is giving their testimonial can vouch for your product or service.
Strong, effective social media feeds capitalize on varying forms of content. Live streams break up the clutter of static images, gifs, and pre-recorded videos.
Live streams can help businesses acquire new leads. They can gauge interest levels and retarget audiences that stayed for the entire stream (or at least the vast majority of it).
Live streams can be packaged up into other assets for your content marketing campaigns.
Compile a blog post, create graphics with insights on them, or download the entire recording and host it on your site.
Just because it happens once live, doesn't mean it can't be used again to reach new audiences.
Shopify started a live stream series on Facebook Live tackling different aspects of marketing and highlighting tips, best practices and other strategies for their users to deploy.
In each one, they had both a host and a presenter that guided the viewer through the video.
Additionally, the stream was packed with insights, customer examples, and statistics to convey the value Shopify provides to its customers.
The main challenge for businesses is maintaining sophisticated production levels for the duration of the live stream.
If they don't, viewers will be disengaged and leave. There's no room for error.
Viewers will leave a live stream after 90 seconds if the production levels aren't up to their standard.
Software such as Brand Live will help increase the production value of your live stream.
With it, you'll have advance production, comment moderation capabilities, HD video, custom branding, audience management, and analytics.
All of these features will elevate your production into one that is not only high-quality, but also memorable for all attendees.
B2B marketers are always searching for the secret to social media.
What will make their fans happen? What will drive them to convert? Striking that balance is essential for fostering an engaged and valuable social media audience.
Video testimonials provide fans with informative, customer-centric content that fans enjoy and actively consume.
Businesses should repackage video testimonials and use them in a variety of ways on social media.
Repackage video testimonials into short, bite-size content that can be shared in your organic social media feed.
Launch video testimonial ads to draw audiences in and entice them to click.
Feature influencer testimonials to boost your credibility and reach new segments of your target audience.
Showcase testimonials in live streams to facilitate open lines of communication with existing customers and prospects.
Now that you know how testimonials can be used on social media, reach out to Testimonial Hero for help in producing high-quality video testimonials to turn your fans into sales.